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 BMR Associates, Inc.

Past Projects

Perhaps the best way to understand what we do is to read about a few of our completed assignments.

The projects described below will give a sense of the kinds of work we do, as well as the depth and scope of the work.

In order to protect the confidentiality of our clients, when requested, we have left out their names, as well as certain sensitive details, of the project descriptions.

Project: Change Management Initiative

Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB)
Assignment: The Change Management Initiative (CMI) was intended to ensure well managed transitions for the long-term institutional success of another CPB effort, the Major Giving Initiative (MGI). The change being sought by the MGI was to create a culture of philanthropy at public television stations. The CMI had three phases. The first two phases focused on introducing change concepts and breaking the MGI curriculum into tasks lists to facilitate the building of a solid major giving program. The third phase was focused on applying public broadcast expertise and experience to identify and address substantive personal and institutional change issues that emerged during MGI implementation, and the creation of a set of recommendations for future investments in such projects.
Term of Contract: One Year (with extensions it was ultimately three years long), Fixed Term Contract
Steps and Deliverables:
  • Identify and verify substantive issues critical to address to support long term institutional advancement

  • Craft detailed assistance plans for efficiently addressing Station’s issues that would
    • Outline at least one significant plan of action
    • Identify the stations to which the plan of action are directed
    • Recommend outside expertise, consultants or other resources as necessary to assist the stations in addressing the issue

  • Present Each Draft Plan to the CPB and the Core Team

  • Coordinate, monitor, assess and report on the implementation of the Assistance Plans

  • Produce a Final Report that assesses both the MGI and change management efforts taken together, and provide recommendations for future projects.

Recommend- ations: BMR recommended specific steps and tools designed to foster success when public television stations implement major new initiatives.
Integrate change management into project design.Dialogue around the reason for and nature of the change and the vision of success.
Reinforce change with persistence and patience.Use empathy and training to deal with resistance, use urgency to keep momentum while at the same time developing long term view, use benchmarks to measure success. Provide a long enough time horizon to allow change to happen.
Develop the leadership required to make change happen.Understand that change can come from all levels of an organization, or from outside. Use “influentials” to demonstrate and embody change. Look to system-wide collaborative measures that include but go beyond training.
Provide support within the station as well as through system-wide connections.The Implementation consultant model combined with national meetings which bring stations together and bring board, management and staff together.
Communicate relentlessly about the vision for change and the progress being made.Celebrate successes; use many different forms to address different learning styles.
Outcome: The MGI has been a very successful system wide program. It has made significant progress on its overarching goal of creating a culture of philanthropy in public television, as well as its subsidiary goal of building capacity for and success at major giving fundraising. In addition, the MGI raised expectations for and openness to future well-designed system-wide programs, as there was high praise for the initiative as being the best system-wide program ever. Also, the MGI created a high level of optimism, as expressed in exit interviews at the station level. We believe that this shows that the MGI left stations with a clear vision of what had to be accomplished and the tools required to tackle the challenge.

Assist Public Broadcasting Stations in identifying the most promising, feasible and sustainable opportunities for the public broadcasters as a group.

Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations
Assignment: Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations (IPBS) wanted assistance in developing a strategy for optimizing the future success of public radio, television and emerging public media in Indiana. Specifically, BMR was contracted to assist in determining what IPBS as an organization needed to do to be optimally effective, identify an appropriate role for IPBS in providing educational services; assist member stations in taking advantage of emerging technologies, develop strong partnerships with compatible organizations and agencies, and identify practical and feasible sources of revenue and sustainable models for pursuing opportunities.
Term of Contract: 73 Consulting Days, Fixed Fee Engagement
Assignment Tasks and Deliverables:
  • Gather and review information about the recent history, current status, and future plans for public broadcasting in Indiana.

  • Create, Engage and Involve IPBS Futures Group (six of the nation’s highest regarded thinkers and “doers” in public broadcasting)

  • Conduct IPBS Futures Seminar

  • Visit Stations and Interview Key Internal Stakeholders

  • Interview Key External Stakeholders (as identified by the IPBS board—may include several educational policy leaders).

  • Prepare an Environmental Scan: Work with IPBS to conduct an environmental scan of key issues from local to national that may impact IPBS and member stations pursuit of mission and goals, including:
    • IPBS broadcastings relationship with educational systems and institutions
    • National trends in public broadcasting and educational systems

  • Review the most recent and relevant studies and research regarding the creation of synergy between public broadcasters and educational entities.

  • Facilitate and coordinate communications between all project participant groups

  • Develop a draft statement of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT Analysis).

  • Prepare a Final Report with recommendations for pursuing the most promising opportunities compatible with the mission of the stations, along with potential sources of revenue to fuel those pursuits, as well as a suggested course of action to strengthen the connection between public broadcasting and formal education.
Recommend- ations: BMR recommended that the IPBS organization increase its staff level in order to effectively pursue opportunities. Also, BMR identified a better way for the eight public televisions stations to lower costs by implementing an interconnected system for the distribution of content. BMR also identified sources for funding and underwriting, encouraged the pursuit of new directions in the delivery of Indiana current affairs to the Indiana public, identified key educational partnerships and technologies to engage Indiana Public Broadcasters in educational content delivery, and identified other partnership opportunities for the delivery of public service content that leveraged IPBS’ expanded digital capacity.
Outcome: Thus far the results of this recently completed project have enabled IPBS to make a strong case for additional state funding, generated interest from a well known endowment to help the organization implement BMR’s recommendations, and obtain initial funding for a statewide “CSPAN” service. Increased state funding provides direct support for at least four of the key BMR recommendations. Based upon BMR’s recommendations, IPBS has created and funded the full-time position of Executive Director in order to more effectively pursue the opportunities identified during the study.

Project: 5-year strategic plan for Book Division

Book division of a $1 billion media company
Book division needed a 5-year strategic plan to comply with corporate parent directive. Head of the division agreed to the directive on the following conditions:
  • That the plan be based on "bottom-up" input, rather than the more tradional, "top-down" approach.
  • That the plan be created from scratch, with no preconceived notions about the strategy.
  • That the process for creating the plan be as important as the plan itself.
Term of Contract:
Original assignment completed in one year. Subsequent expansion of consulting work on a retainer basis.
Goals and Deliverables:
BMRA was responsible for creating:
  • A planning process, which includes soliciting input from every member of the book division staff.
  • 5-year plan for book division, as well as for each of the individual departments, such as editorial, marketing, etc.
Recommend- ations:
We recommended that the division should maintain their direction, but that management should:
  • Do a better job of explaining to the staff the goals, strategies, job responsibilities, organizational structure.
  • Delegate responsibility to a new set of senior managers, thus easing reliance on the division Publisher.
  • Continue historical rapid growth by diversifying into new products and channels of distribution.
During the past five years, revenue and staff have increased 350% without a decrease in divisional profitability (the return on sales and investment remained constant).

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