Success Stories

“CP is at the base of everything I do.  It’s kind of like Lamaze.  I got into it for one reason and then found applications for it in so many other aspects of my life. Sometimes faculty members have an idea of what they want to do and they’re not really sure how to make it specific.  How do they make it into a form that we can apply for a grant and fund their idea?

For example, one group I did Compression Planning with involved four cooperating organizations who wanted to help girls get more interested in science.  We received a four-year grant for $800,000.”
Pamela Jira
Executive Dir. Foundation &

Assistant to the President
Zane State College
Zanesville, OH


“We were approached by a school district to write a grant.  It was really complex because it involved three federal agencies and a host of community partners. Doing a grant with one department of the federal government is tough enough.  Working with three federal departments is unbelievably complex – and we only had two weeks to pull it all together and submit it.

The competition for the grant was fierce and people all over the country were applying for it.  Their people had done lots of the background work that needed to be pulled together and focused.  Everyone thought there wasn’t a chance to get the grant; however, we took it on.

In two meetings…one for about two hours…another for one hour…we used Compression Planning and identified all the parts and pieces and most importantly, identified the holes…the gaps that were missing and assigned them to people to be completed.

I know without Compression Planning that school district and their partners would not have been awarded the $9 million grant.”
John Jeanetta
Former VP of Organizational Development
AIM Institute
Omaha, NE


“We’ve found CP really helpful in providing direction and priorities for the grants we apply for a yearly planning period.  It helps get all the entities and departments on board for what we are going to do…the priorities…they buy in to the collective agenda and where we’ll spend our efforts.

The biggest benefit for us has been to get people on the same page priority-wise.  When you work in higher education, people have their own agendas with their own priorities.  Compression Planning helps people see and appreciate the big picture in the mission of the larger university.”
 Chris Shaw
Grants and Projects Coordinator
Ohio University
Zanesville, OH


“I estimate we complete projects in about a third less time with Compression Planning.  The process allows us to be one of the most productive grants offices in the United States.  There are only two staff members in our office, and last year we completed 188 projects.  Over 22 years, we’ve received $118 million in successful grants.  Compression Planning gives us a huge competitive edge.  We use it on 100% of all major grants and projects.

We academics have a reputation for discussing things to death.  We are exceptional at sitting around and admiring the problem.  We want to look at all possible options, and end up solidly bogged down.  Compression Planning enables us to avoid that and focus quickly on the key strategic things.”
    Neil Herbkersman
Senior Director of Grants Development
Sinclair Community College
Dayton, OH


“In my role as Director of Planning and Grants at a large, public technical college, Compression Planning has been instrumental both in the development of an institution-wide strategic plan and in planning programs and grant projects.  I have also successfully used Compression Planning with various smaller nonprofit organizations to develop program and fundraising action plans.

In every situation where I use this approach, people who participate are delighted with the outcomes they achieve in a short period of time, and they are always energized by the process and appreciate the relationships that emerge from this positive experience.  And in the debriefing process, it’s clear that people feel valued by having used their limited time wisely and productively.  This is absolutely the best approach to planning I have seen in any organization!”
   Sula J. Hurley
Director Office of Planning and Grants
Greenville SC Technical College
Greenville, SC


“Several things happened during my first CP session. First, even though I had always received compliments on my facilitation skills, I was taken aback by the participation of each group and how good they felt at the end of the sessions.

Second, we got twice as much accomplished than with my old process and no one left wondering about the next steps.

And, finally, we didn’t have to figure out how one newsprint stuck on the wall related to another because the CP boards and cards were organized…they were right in front of us and easy to build on in preparing our next session and next proposal draft. I was sold!

I find the preplanning session with the key stakeholders invaluable. By having this session in place, the first session with multiple stakeholders is so much more productive and people participating really appreciate the clarity of the bigger picture.

We’re using CP with every single proposal that we develop. I do know that we have improved the time it takes us to develop most grants by eliminating duplication of effort and not having to backtrack to find out something that we missed.

The ‘old dogs’ like me who have problems learning ‘new tricks’ need to know that this will bring a breath of fresh air to your work and you’ll wonder where it has been all of your life.  Just think about the fact that people will walk away feeling good about the meeting (how often does that happen?) and they will be talking about how skillful you are to others.”
    Judith Cawhorn
Exec. Dir. of Grant Development
Mott Community College
Flint, MI