inspiring people to care about each other 
and the world in which they live

Planning Services


Scroll down to locate details about the service that interests you. We're happy to customize these or other services to meet your specific needs - don't hesitate to ask if you think we may be able to help you. 





























Community or Regional Planning

 


What is community or regional planning and why do I need it?

Most communities, whether large or small, face challenges that can only be resolved through joint efforts. To be effective, this requires community members to work together at many levels and in many ways. Establishing common goals and objectives that help the entire community in terms of economic, environmental, and social equity values can be a challenge that requires outside facilitation to be successful.

 

The same can be said of regional issues, whether the region comprises several communities along a scenic byway or encompasses a region-wide industry or industries. The tourism industry is a perfect example – it requires cooperation between hotels, locally owned bed and breakfasts, interpretive attractions that may be run by government agencies or nonprofit organizations, transportation providers, and eating and shopping establishments.

 

A thoughtful planning process can bring all of these interests to the table and create a common vision for the community or region with specific tasks to be accomplished by each partner.

 

 

What kinds of help does Heartfelt Associates provide and how much does it cost?

We use a HEART-based approach to planning for communities and regions (expressed in our book, “Put the HEART Back in Your Community: Unifying Diverse Interests around a Central Theme”). We offer services to communities or regions on several levels:

-       Half-day seminars and speaking engagements to introduce the concept of HEART-based planning (usually $3000 plus expenses)

-       Two or three-day HEART assessments to see where your community or region falls on the spectrum of successfully engaging residents and visitors (usually $7500 plus expenses)

-       Five-day planning workshops that address specific issues in a given community or region and that also help train local people in a thoughtful planning approach (usually $10,000 plus expenses)

-       Longer-term consultative planning services (cost and length of process to be determined by scope of service needed)

 

 

Who does Heartfelt Associates assign to my project and where have they worked before?

The principals of Heartfelt Associates are involved with every project. Additional associates may be brought on to a project team as needed and may include specialists in graphic design, visitor studies and research, videography, exhibit design, architecture, landscape architecture, economic analysis, and other disciplines as appropriate.

           

How can I make arrangements for services or ask specific questions?

Simply contact us to discuss your specific needs.


Strategic Planning


What is strategic planning and why do I need it?

Strategic planning is a process that helps provide an overview of mission, vision, core values, goals, and objectives for an organization or that helps provide guidance for working towards solutions for specific issues.

 

Many organizations will complete a strategic plan when they are first starting up, when they are reorganizing or changing focus, or when they must address some very specific issues. Generally, a strategic plan has a life span of three to five years, but that may vary depending on why and when the planning process is undertaken.

 

Although it’s always a good idea to confirm the validity of an organization’s operating guidelines, it is not always necessary or advisable to revise the mission, vision, core values, and goals in a strategic planning process. Depending on the desired outcome for the process, you may decide to leave the operating framework intact and simply revisit strategic objectives to resolve a specific issue or bring objectives up to date to better address changes in the environment of your organization’s operations.

 

Can I do it in-house or do I really need outside helpUnless you have an accomplished strategic planner on staff, it is usually advisable to bring in an outside facilitator for this process. Having a facilitator with an objective viewpoint can help you stay focused and identify areas of concern that you may otherwise be tempted to ignore. An outside facilitator can also help navigate your planning group through the troubled waters that can arise from different points of view so that internal politics don’t get in the way of sound decision-making processes.

 

What kinds of help does Heartfelt Associates provide?

 We can facilitate your process from start to finish. Facilitation includes helping you identify who should be involved in the process, determining what issue(s) will be addressed, conducting a preliminary analysis of the issue(s) at hand with the planning group, leading the group through a facilitated discussion of the issue(s), solidifying the group’s ideas in a draft document, prioritizing the results of the group’s decision-making, providing a final document, and evaluating the success of implementation. With this process, the facilitator refrains from offering advice or opinions, but simply helps the group through the process so that it can be completed and implemented in a productive fashion.

 

An alternative is to provide a facilitative consultant who will bring his or her experience with organizations of your type into the discussion so that you can benefit from the facilitated process and gain some insight into how other organizations have handled similar situations.

 

We can also offer a review of an existing strategic plan document to identify strengths and weaknesses that may inform a decision about whether to undertake a new strategic planning process, tweak the existing document, or use a completely different approach.

 

How long does it take?

Depending on what level of service is desired and the complexity of the issue, the entire process may range from two or three weeks to two or three months. Generally, a review can be done from a distance in a day or two and usually includes a preliminary discussion and a follow-up conversation along with a short written assessment.

 

A facilitated or consultative process usually involves a preliminary discussion (may be done from a distance or on-site) lasting two to three hours; one to three weeks to develop, distribute, and collect and analyze results of a preliminary survey of the planning group (can be done from a distance); two to three days with the planning group on-site; two to three weeks to prepare a draft report; two to three weeks for review and preparation of the final document; and a two to three hour discussion a few weeks to a few months following submittal of the final document for evaluation of implementation. This schedule can be adjusted to meet the specific needs and desires of the client.

 

What is all this going to cost?

Pricing varies depending on the complexity of the process and the location of the client. A simple review from a distance may be as little as $500, while a facilitated or consultative process usually ranges between $5,000 and $75,000. We will provide a specific price once the variables of timing, location, number of on-site visits, and desired products are identified.

 

Who does Heartfelt Associates assign to my project and where have they worked before?

The principals of Heartfelt Associates are involved with every project. Additional associates may be brought on to a project team as needed and may include specialists in graphic design, visitor studies and research, videography, exhibit design, architecture, landscape architecture, economic analysis, and other disciplines as appropriate.

           

How can I make arrangements for services or ask specific questions?

Simply contact us to discuss your specific needs.

Interpretive Planning


What is interpretive planning and why do I need it? 

Interpretive planning is a process that helps provide guidance for selection of the best interpretive media to communicate a message, given the needs and desires of management and target markets.

 

Interpretive plans can be prepared for single projects (such as an exhibit hall, special event, scenic byway, or new visitor center), or they can be prepared as master plans to provide guidance for long-term development and implementation of all interpretive activities and media for a site, facility, community or region.

 

Can I do it in-house or do I really need outside help?

Unless you have an accomplished interpretive planner on staff, it is usually advisable to bring in outside help for this process. Interpretive planning is not the same skill set as providing interpretive programs, or design interpretive products, and although some people have some combination of planning, program delivery, or design skills, the combination of two or three in one person or one firm is not a given. A Certified Interpretive Planner should be skilled in facilitating a planning process that will involve the client to whatever extent the client desires.  

 

What kinds of help does Heartfelt Associates provide?

We can provide assistance with a variety of projects and products. Our combination of planning and operations backgrounds allows us to share unique perspectives with our clients – not only do we know how to plan for success, we know what success looks like on the ground and how to evaluate your efforts at implementation. Our interpretive planning is based on real world achievements at the various locations we have worked or provided planning services for in the past. We know what works by having tried it first-hand and having seen examples of successes and failures around the world that we can share with you.

 

Our philosophy of interpretation is based on social science and neuroscience research, along with decades of experience in training others in interpretation methods and theory. Should you need to take your interpretive plan further along the path towards implementation, we can arrange subcontractors for graphic design, exhibit design, fabrication, and installation if needed.

 

In some cases, you may simply want a review or assessment of your current interpretive product mix to determine if you need to do some additional planning overall or for specific projects. In such a case, we will visit your site and develop an assessment report based on our findings and recommendations. We can look at your interpretive facilities, programs, products, and services, in the context of the overall guest experience and give you a simple or in-depth analysis of what seems to be working or what could use improvement and suggest next steps toward that end.

 

How long does it take?

An interpretive planning process may take as little as two days for a simple assessment project or up to a year for a complicated effort involving many partners. The scope of the project, the number of partners, and the complexity of the site and subject matter all play a role in determining the most appropriate schedule. Generally, most interpretive planning projects will range from two to six months.

 

What is all this going to cost?

Pricing varies depending on the complexity of the process and the location of the client. A simple site assessment done within a couple of days may be as little as $5000, while a full consultative planning process may range between $20,000 and $100,000. We will provide a specific price once the variables of timing, location, number of on-site visits, scope of service, and desired products are identified.

 

Who does Heartfelt Associates assign to my project and where have they worked before?

The principals of Heartfelt Associates are involved with every project. Additional associates may be brought on to a project team as needed and may include specialists in graphic design, visitor studies and research, videography, exhibit design, architecture, landscape architecture, economic analysis, and other disciplines as appropriate.

           

How can I make arrangements for services or ask specific questions?

Simply contact us to discuss your specific needs.

            

Business Planning

 

What is business planning and why do I need it?

Business planning establishes the core values of your organization and helps you to express those core values in every aspect of your operations. Business planning is generally done when a new business line, site, or organization is launched for the first time or when a major change has occurred and a fresh look at the overall operation is needed. Business planning generally includes a look at the mission, core values, goals, and objectives of the organization or agency as well as describing the niche market(s) and product mix, along with a one, three or five year action plan and proforma budget.

 

Can I do it in-house or do I really need outside help?

You may be fully capable of developing a business plan in-house and simply want someone to run ideas past. Or you may feel more comfortable having someone take you through a facilitated session to clarify certain components of your plan. Outside help is a good idea if you don’t know where to start with a business planning process.

 

What kinds of help does Heartfelt Associates provide?

We use a HEART-based model for business planning (described in our book, Put the HEART Back in Your Business, to be published in November 2012) that identifies how you can build long-lasting relationships, internally with your employees and externally with your customers, while achieving business objectives. Depending on the need that you define, we can do a simple assessment of your current business practices, facilitate a mission/goals/values clarification workshop, or develop a logic model for measurable output, outcome and impact objectives. 

 

How long does it take?

Depending on the complexity of the business and the desired level of service, you should plan to invest anywhere from one week to six months to this effort.

 

What is all this going to cost?

Again, depending on the complexity of the business and the desired level of service, you may be looking at as little as $5000 for a two-day facilitated workshop or as much as $50,000 for a more in-depth planning process with several facilitated sessions, reviews, and confidential logic model work.


Who does Heartfelt Associates assign to my project and where have they worked before?

The principals of Heartfelt Associates are involved with every project. Additional associates may be brought on to a project team as needed and may include specialists in graphic design, visitor studies and research, videography, exhibit design, architecture, landscape architecture, economic analysis, and other disciplines as appropriate.

           

How can I make arrangements for services or ask specific questions?

Simply contact us to discuss your specific needs.