Your board of directors sets the tone and direction of your organization and effective board leadership and governance helps ensure your organization can operate to its fullest capacity. ASCEND will connect your leadership with the tools and resources needed to create an effective board that includes your systems for recruitment, engagement, and growth. Offering expertise in board assessment, policy review, planning, performance review and planning, and fundraising, and more, our team of experts is ready to assist your board leaders’ comprehensive growth.

A good business plan not only helps organizational leaders focus on the specific steps necessary for their business ideas to succeed, but it also helps to achieve both short-term and long-term objectives. Setting direction, vision, and creating a foundation that will earn money and attract team members is key to a successful organization. ASCEND will connect you with experts who will assist you in planning, writing, developing, improving, and/or updating your company’s business plan. We specialize in the new, innovative approach of business model mapping, an approach that maximizes value by creating new business models or re-imagining existing ones. Focusing on purpose, process, and payout, our team will assist and lead you in creating or recreating the value of your organization.

Business communication takes many forms. Companies communicate internal information between managers or employees, while external communication is used to inform consumers about the company’s products. ASCEND can assist your organization with establishing a communication and messaging function, determine the necessary channels, and support your leaders in creating a communications strategy that will work.

Good business communication is an essential building block for successful organizations and is vital for building a team that will make the business a success. Communication plays a fundamental role in all facets of business. It is essential both internal communication within your organization as well as the communication skills of your employees are strong and effective. Communication helps everyone perform their jobs better and is a foundation for planning.

Organizational commitment and employee engagement is one of the greatest predictors of employee retention, lessening turnover, promoting organizational citizenship behaviors, and performance. When staff feel a connection to their team and department and are able to create meaning around where they fall within the largest sense of the organizational team, mission, and/or vision, there is organizational commitment and employee engagement is optimized.

ASCEND will connect your organization with experts who can help you increase your focus on creating a work environment that encourages, supports, and optimizes employee engagement. Our professionals will conduct research, measure and interpret your current environment, and share the results you’re your leaders. Then, based on your organizational needs and priorities, we will make recommendations for change, and coach your leaders in implementing them.

ASCEND will connect you to CSU enterprise center, the Institute for the Built Environment, which will help your organization create healthy, thriving built environments through services that simplify and amplify your sustainability efforts. The Institute for the Built Environment provides services in five key areas that align teams, simplify sustainability, and create meaningful outcomes: Green Building, Organizational Sustainability, Community Vitality, Facilitation, and Regenerative Development.

Running a business takes more than industry expertise and human and financial capital management skills. ASCEND can support you in managing the land on which your business exists. CSU is proud to have numerous departments with which ASCEND can connect you to perform soil analysis, landscape design, landscape architecture, tree assessment and tree health management, and more. With access to experts in these areas, you can continue to create an environmental foundation that will support the growth of your organization long-term.

In Northern Colorado, it can be difficult to find the perfect location for organization meetings, retreats, and special events. You need a space that meets your specific needs, offers the space and accommodations your group requires, and isn’t the ‘same old place.’ Colorado State University has many retreat centers you’ve never heard of and will meet your company’s needs as you plan your next employee event or retreat. In addition to on-campus meetings space, ASCEND offers your organization access to the CSU Todos Santos Center located on the Pacific coast, 75-minutes from the San Jose del Cabo airport, CSU Mountain Campus (formerly called Pingree Park), and the CSU Tamasag Center located in Bellevue, Colorado.

ASCEND can assist you in accessing the professional expertise and support you need to create and implement a new or better employee wellness program. We offer members access to CSU’s (and the nation’s) best experts in the areas of nutrition, food science, and exercise science. We will facilitate and nurture the partnership you need to create a comprehensive lifestyle management program that includes an intervention for group support while being tailored to the individual and addressing specific chronic disease risk and weight management needs.

Leadership development is crucial to your business’ next stage of growth because it helps you and other emerging leaders in your company: Develop strategies that give your business a competitive edge, re-examine your business’ purpose and priorities, improve your business’ financial performance, implement sales and marketing strategies, and attract, motivate, and retain employees who will be deeply engaged in supporting your goals and vision.

ASCEND professionals and our campus colleagues have expert-level ability to help leaders at all levels reach their performance goals through engaging and sustainable development experiences. We design leadership development programs as stand-alone engagements as well as larger leadership strategies to provide the right development opportunities to the right audience and maximize the positive impact on your organization.

Marketing and branding has direct, immediate results on your organization’s growth, ability to communicate and advocate, create and maintain customer and stakeholder relationships, and make money. Your brand is a foundational piece in your marketing communication and one you do not want to be without. Branding is strategic, and marketing is tactical. Together, these two concepts—among others—are the guide to understanding the purpose of business objectives.

If your organization is faced with the challenge of establishing an effective strategy for marketing, branding, and advertising, ASCEND can create the connections you need to execute these tasks. Whether you’d like to establish the right overall marketing plan for your company, or simply looking for someone to execute a marketing strategy, ASCEND will open the door to experts who can support you. Whether expert academics or consultants who can consult on far-reaching marketing strategy or building a brand from scratch, or current students who can provide creative work, such as website development, writing copy, or designing branded materials, we are able to make the connection you need.

We connect you with researchers who conduct a comprehensive assessment to obtain a snapshot of your workplace culture from the point of view of your employees. Through the implementation of an online tool, we collect both survey responses and answers to open-ended questions that help us understand your organization’s health, level of employee connection to the organization and its mission, and employees’ levels of capability in their professional roles. After coding and interpreting the data, we make recommendations based on constructed themes. This full-service process allows your organization’s strengths to remain in the forefront while we simultaneously discover opportunities to bring your organizational culture to the next level of success.

Recent research suggests that up to 70% of employees in the U.S. are disengaged in their jobs including in the nonprofit sector. When employees are engaged in their work, they are willingly go the extra mile, work with passion, and feel a profound connection to their organization. Employee engagement is a key predictor of both satisfaction and performance.

ASCEND creates employee engagement workshops that focus on research-backed ways organizations can build a culture of engagement and building a collective sense of purpose. By focusing on (1) how to design and facilitate meaningful work, (2) create an open and supportive work environment, and (3) empower supervisors to develop effective relationships, workshop participants will learn applied and practical strategies to increase and maintain employee engagement.

Scenario planning is a unique, innovative, and useful alternative to traditional strategic planning that has been credited with the ability to anticipate and navigate fundamental market changes and shifts. ASCEND can facilitate a partnership between your organization and CSU professor, Dr. Thomas Chermack to undergo a long-term planning process so you are better able to predict uncertainties without your industry and make plans accordingly.

Strategic planning is critical to business success. It provides a sense of direction and outlines measurable goals; it describes where you want your organization to go, not necessarily how you’re going to get there. Strategic planning is a tool that is useful for guiding day-to-day decisions as well as for evaluating progress and changing approaches when moving forward.

ASCEND will connect your organization with experienced strategic planning professionals who can lead and support your team in developing a comprehensive, reality-based, accountable, action-oriented, and integrated strategic plan that builds clarity on your organizational purpose, vision, and goals. Once we assist you in creating this important plan, we’ll coach you on involving your stakeholders in a way that optimizes your chances for a successful implementation.

An organization’s internship program ought to be year-round, cyclical program. Much of the success or failure of an internship experience depends on planning. Developing an internship program is an excellent strategy for investing in your organization’s future successes, often leading to discovering future colleagues and leaders. An internship benefits both the individual and the employer. An internship is any carefully monitored meaningful learning experience in which an individual has intentional professional goals and reflects actively on what he or she is accomplishing throughout the experience.

CSU grads are employed at a rate 10% higher than the national average. With more than 150 programs of study in eight colleges, CSU students have rich diversity, exceptional skills and a breadth of experiences and make excellent interns—and future leaders—for any organization. ASCEND members get unique and valuable access to this network of interns through our Career Center’s services and events including on-campus interview space, career fairs and recruiting events, access to our career partners Program, and more.

ASCEND wants to support your organization in your ongoing training and development of your employees at every level. Upskilling is the ongoing improving the skills of workers, usually through training, so they will be better at their jobs. Upskilling keeps workers’ passion burning and creates a consistent sense of organizational commitment.

Proper upskilling leads to the creation of a purpose-driven service plan—something that will have enormous internal results for your team. When front-line workers do a good job for other people, they develop pride in their work as well as increased happiness and satisfaction in their jobs. Because pride is the number one way to develop organizational commitment, creating a customer service plan that creates and breeds pride creates a solid foundation for strong and consistent employee engagement.

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