what it's like to work with Action Planning
Action Planning’s ethos and culture
Action Planning has developed its reputation by building long term relationships with clients, putting their interests first, responding with integrity to their needs and trying to exceed expectations. We passionately want to see our clients succeed. We deliver work of the highest quality, provide impartial, practical advice rooted in our breadth of experience, prefer imaginative solutions to ‘off the shelf’ methodologies, and strive to provide good value and build clients’ capacity by transferring knowledge and skills.
When we engage with clients we do so as fellow travellers on a journey. We recognise that one client’s starting point may be different from another’s, and that whilst the consultant’s familiarity with the route is a great advantage, each client will want to make the journey in their own way, and at their own pace. Action Planning works collaboratively with every client, tailoring our approach to suit the client’s culture and specific needs.
Integrity remains of the highest importance in our dealings with our clients, and with each other. It is our key defining characteristic. And we try never to forget that it is a real privilege to serve organisations as they carry out their immensely important, if varied, work, trying to make the world a better place.
Why does someone become an Action Planning Associate?
First and foremost, Associates want to be able to work with the extraordinarily diverse and fascinating range of organisations with which Action Planning engages on a daily basis. Some Associates obtain a significant amount of work from us in this way. Other Associates are still waiting for the phone to ring, but even so there are other benefits to being part of the Action Planning ‘network’.
Action Planning Associates are not retained by Action Planning - we make no financial commitment to them other than paying them for the client work they do, and we therefore place no restrictions on them, e.g. in terms of the clients they work with, or in terms of other agencies they work with.
Action Planning’s Associates enable us to provide strength in depth to our clients, and are encouraged to benefit from their relationship with us in a number of ways - hopefully including a goodly number of client assignments.
Implicit ethos and quality assurance
Being accepted as an Action Planning Associate is a vote of confidence. It says something about the quality and integrity of the individual. Many Associates like to align themselves with our particular style and approach, and enjoy an enhanced profile and credibility through association with this leading consultancy to the not-for-profit sector.
Before being added to our network, every Associate is interviewed and references are checked, then an Associate Contract is issued and signed by both parties.
Action Planning Associates are welcome to state that they are Associates in their promotional materials etc., but must not imply that Action Planning is in any way involved with the delivery of any of their contracts unless we have been contracted to do so. Similarly, Action Planning will promote Associates on its website and in other material, invite them to write for our e-Bulletin, and provide occasional opportunities to speak as a representative of Action Planning at regional or specialist events.
Access to information and support
Action Planning Associates receive our monthly e-Bulletin, and have access to AP colleagues for advice and support. We also hold occasional ‘Awaydays’ for Associates, with opportunities to meet each other and build networks.
For assignments that go through Action Planning, Associates have access to a full support infrastructure, including administrative support, proposal development, contracts, quality control, invoicing etc.
Even if an Action Planning Associate is tendering for a larger assignment in their own right, it can be reassuring to know that they have access to the extensive range of skills and resources available through Action Planning if required.
Potential to work on AP assignments
Being an Action Planning Associate offers the potential to work on interesting and worthwhile assignments, generated through AP’s extensive marketing presence.
Although this is the principal reason that people want to become an Action Planning Associate, we have listed it last. This is because we want to be honest with Associate colleagues that there is no guarantee of work for members of our network, although clearly it is in our interests as well as that of Associates that work is generated.
How to become an Action Planning Associate
If you would like to be considered for inclusion in our network of Associates, please send your CV to David Saint, Action Planning’s Chairman: firstname.lastname@example.org