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Strategy Matters, LLC consultants work with mission-driven organizations to develop creative solutions to complex problems, and to help them meet their goals.

Diversity, Equity, + Inclusion Initiatives

Every organization is struggling to figure out how to “do” diversity better. Some have added a focus on equity and inclusion. Most are, by their own accounts, not living up to their potential. We can help.

Building skills for having more authentic conversations about the many varied dimensions of how we experience, diversity, equity, and inclusion is one of the first steps to doing better work. The second is to create meaningful change. We can help.

Leadership + Management Training

Great leaders are trained, not born. Our consultants work with your organizational leadership to develop a clear understanding of what it takes to lead teams, and then help them to build the habits, practices, and mindsets necessary to lead through challenging times. 

Conflict Management + Resolution

Healthy conflict in organizations drives growth, keeps engagement high, and is a sign of a high performing and innovative team. Many organizations struggle to transform interpersonal conflict, or artificial harmony, into healthy conflict. Our consultants can design engagements to support your team in creating conditions to use conflict for growth.

The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative


Context: Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) is a nationally recognized place-based nonprofit, operating the nation's largest urban land trust and catalyzing resident-led community revitalization.  DSNI contracted Strategy Matters to coordinate the drafting of their application for a 2010 Promise Neighborhood Initiative Planning grant.  Once submitted, DSNI learned that their application was among the top ranked in the country, and the award was granted.


Approach: Working collaboratively with DSNI resident leaders, two Executive Directors and the entire staff, our writers worked with DSNI on this first big project and many more. Supporting resource development functions in lieu of a Director of Resource Development, our team had a role in most of the organization's fundraising and grant development, stewardship and more between 2008 and 2015.


Result: During the time of their work with Strategy Matters, the DSNI team increased the organization's budget from under $1M to $4M annually, winning three new federal grants as well as grants from the Ford Foundation, Surdna, Kresge and others.  




Change Management 

Change happens whether we plan for it or not. Our team can support you in developing the personal and team capacity to prepare for, adapt, and manage change in support of your goals.

Program Development

From idea generation to implementation, our consultants will guide you through the stages of program development, including communication strategies, project management, assessment, and budgeting.

Team Building

Our consultants partner with you as we help your team to solve organizational challenges and adapt to changing contexts while building trust and alignment.

The American Society for Addiction Medicine

Context: ASAM is a professional society representing over 5,000 physicians and associated professionals dedicated to increasing access and improving the quality of addiction treatment. Founded in 1954, ASAM has several well-established programs (conferences, publications, clinical guidelines) that are designed to meet the needs of clinicians engaged or interested in the treatment of addiction. ASAM has separately incorporated chapters that cover most states across the United States and has an international membership.


In 2009, ASAM conducted a formal strategic planning process resulting in a five-year plan (2010- 2015) that included goals and objectives, mission, vision and values for the organization. In 2016 ASAM, reaching the completion of its then-current five-year plan, hired us to conduct a formal strategic planning process and develop a new strategic plan to guide the organization in the coming years.


ApproachRecognizing that the current opioid crisis has brought new attention to ASAM’s work, we designed a process intended to be as open and inclusive as possible, gathering input from the full constellation of members, supporters, critics, funders, policy makers and patients. Through extensive interviewing and a public survey reaching thousands of respondents in countries across the globe, we helped the Board of Directors develop a shared and clear understanding of the voices within and beyond their membership. We framed up three strategic scenarios for moving forward and accelerating progress toward the fulfillment of the organizational mission, and most importantly, we supported a very engaged Board in identifying their shared goals and coming to consensus on a strategy and high level goals to guide the organization’s work for the coming years.


Result: Many Board members commented after the planning retreat that they appreciated the opportunity to air, share and consider opposing points of view on topics which can ordinarily be quite divisive. The plan that emerged from the work of the day is strong and will prove helpful to the staff leadership in directing organizational resources.


Client Comments“You helped us to understand the importance of building a strategy for the organization to move forward, uncover some truths and discover new possibilities. Thank you!” - ​Board member




Strategic Planning Design + Facilitation

Our consultants work with you to design an engaging, efficient, and practical process. These processes result in usable strategies and high-impact tactics. Our consultants can continue to support you through implementation to keep work on-time and on-budget.

Implementation Support

We know what makes implementation work post-planning. We support your team in selecting the metrics and developing the organizational practices necessary to ensure the attainment of your goals when the planning phase is complete.

Training Design + Delivery

Experienced curriculum developers and dynamic facilitators, Strategy Matters consultants custom design highly interactive training based on your team’s needs.


The City of Malden, Mayor’s Office


Context: We designed and facilitated a community engagement process to engage residents in conversations about race and race relations. This launched in the summer of 2016, one of the most divisive and racially charged moments in memory, and though small, Malden (the state’s most diverse community)  experiences the same challenges as everywhere else.


Approach: When we learned of the Mayor’s interest in reducing and preventing racial animus, we thought of this Dwight Eisenhower quote: “Whenever I run into a problem I can’t solve, I always make it bigger. I can never solve it by trying to make it smaller, but if I make it big enough, I can begin to see the outlines of a solution.” Making Malden’s problems bigger, we asked: How could we build racial harmony?”. We decided to work with the residents to learn. Through public meetings, we created shared language around racism (including institutional and structural) and racial harmony (defined as the absence of racial discrimination and social exclusion, and the presence of interracial friendships and curiosity). We invited residents to agree that they, as a community, embraced racial harmony as a goal and to strategize around how to achieve that goal.

Result: Close to 100 people attended each of the four meetings, and they set shared goals, agreed on indicators of racial harmony, and made action plans to increase it.


Client Comments"The feedback we have been receiving has been overwhelmingly positive!” 
Karen Colon-Hayes, Community Outreach Manager, City of Malden

“I believe that our diversity is Malden’s greatest strength and with that comes the responsibility of building and sustaining an inclusive environment. Liz O’Connor and her firm helped us toward that by facilitating discussion at three community meetings where participants had a chance to share their concerns and observations related to diversity and inclusiveness. From these dialogues we were able to identify possible resources and areas that need improvement as well as establish a Task Force to continue the work and important dialogue moving forward.”
Mayor Gary Christenson

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