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New York City Leadership Academy: Strategic Business Planning

Case Overview

FSG helped the New York City Leadership Academy make strategic and business decisions to increase impact and improve sustainability.

The Challenge

The New York City Leadership Academy offers innovative leadership development and support programs for educators seeking to or currently serving as NYC public school leaders. FSG was engaged to critically examine the NYC Leadership Academy’s strategic positioning, identify opportunities to strengthen its work with the NYC Department of Education, determine local and national demand for current and potential NYC Leadership Academy services, and analyze options to make the organization more sustainable.

Approach & Solutions

The project started with internal interviews to understand the NYC Leadership Academy’s distinctive resources, unique expertise, current business model and governance structure. This internal assessment was complemented by a rigorous analysis of the external environment, including in-depth interviews with the senior leadership of the New York City Department of Education to determine the demand for NYC Leadership Academy services, test the DOE’s willingness to pay for those services, identify opportunities to improve current programming, and develop potential pricing and “product” options.

Leadership academies in other cities were profiled, with a particular focus on their strategic positioning, services/programs, revenue models and governance structures (e.g., 501(c)3, university-based, district-based, etc.). This research formed the basis for a national competitive analysis of training and advisory services available to principals and districts, enabling FSG to benchmark the NYC Leadership Academy’s model against peer organizations around the country.

Interviews with current and potential consumers of NYC Leadership Academy advisory services in districts across the county were conducted and a fee-based service arrangement concept was tested with them. These interviews identified the NYC Leadership Academy services that were most valued and determined potential fee-for-service price points. FSG consolidated these findings into a proposed service menu and set of pricing recommendations to help the NYC Leadership Academy become more sustainable through earned income and through the exploration of new services delivered via new distribution methods.

An operational and governance plan was proposed that would enable the NYC Leadership Academy to best implement the strategic recommendations. FSG conducted a thorough fiscal analysis of potential revenue and expenses, detailed the resulting staffing requirements and drafted a new organizational chart – positioning the NYC Leadership Academy not only for sustainability, but for growth.

About the New York City Leadership Academy

The New York City Leadership Academy prepares and supports visionary, passionate educators who lead schools that orient all their activities around accelerating student learning and academic growth.

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