The food service program for Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) holds itself to a high standard: with an award-winning director, innovative practices, and a fiscally sound structure, Cincinnati’s team is a study in possibilities.
“We wanted to take our program to the next level but we didn’t know how,” said Jessica Shelly, CPS Food Services Director. “We needed a new perspective to validate barriers we thought were there, and to identify things we were doing really well.”
CPS needed a strategy for growth but there were veritable obstacles. Staff time was limited, and resource constraints were a factor. Further, leadership perspectives were just too close to the source, rendering an objective evaluation almost impossible.
What they needed was a fresh pair of eyes.
Pro·Team arrived to conduct a “Fresh Eyes” review, which was purchased through the redemption of Cool School Points. Thankfully for Shelly and her team, the “Fresh Eyes” report was more than just a stuffy document---it was the impetus they had been waiting for.
CPS PRIMARY CHALLENGES
MARKETING. “We struggled with establishing an identity and a level of respect,” said Shelly. CPS needed a marketing strategy---not just for revenue but to approach operations from a holistic perspective and embrace the “Why?” of what they were doing.
EXPOSURE AND DISCLOSURE. “It’s not easy opening yourself up for criticism,” said Shelly, “even if it does benefit your organization.” This is true for all institutions looking to survey strengths and weaknesses; it can feel like an outsider stepping in with a microscope.
THE RISK OF HIRING THE WRONG CONSULTANT. Outside consultants might supply what’s theoretically “right,” but if those recommendations aren’t feasible, then it’s nothing more than a report. CPS Food Services needed to know it was hiring the right people.
A STRONG ALLIANCE. Pro·Team gracefully entered the CPS Food Services arena by establishing a shared mission. This wasn’t about looking for flaws; this was about identifying opportunities. Pro·Team’s “circle of safety” assuaged concerns and allowed staff to engage in honest dialogue. Consequently, an accurate assessment could be executed.
HOMEWORK. CPS Food Services chose Pro·Team because of its consultants. These experts earned their wisdom from experience, which means Pro·Team advice was grounded in feasibility. Consultants took policies, procedures, and resources into consideration so that their recommendations had the best chance of success.
A FRESH ASSET. The “Fresh Eyes” review was packed with creative solutions for short- and long-term impact. Facts, figures, and marketing strategies filled the pages, which meant decisions could be tied to data. It was the ROI document CPS needed to influence leaders and stakeholders.
A FRESH START. CPS Food Services took immediate action after the review. A formal request was made for two additional staff members and, thanks to Pro·Team, that request was supported by ROI data. Likewise, CPS now has a marketing strategy, which was the missing ingredient for advancing their program.
ARE YOU READY TO TAKE YOUR PROGRAM TO THE NEXT LEVEL?
Contact an advisor to discuss how “Fresh Eyes” will give your program a whole new look.
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