When a business school dean was looking to craft a vision and strategy to make the school and its graduates more competitive, he found that Acuity co-creation services helped him do the job.

A business school needs to connect to corporate customers and practical needs as well as reflect the best thinking of academics. We first made staff, faculty, students, and voices from the business world part of the process—bringing the needs and ideas of all together to see if all the pieces fit together to create something great.

In a series of one-on-one, co-creative conversations, we shared facts about needs of the economy and society and an initial catalog of the school’s assets. That helped focus the conversations on solutions even as it invited alternate views about the facts. In those conversations, we listened to a string of additional insights, and impressive strategic thinking, that progressively built into the makings of co-created priorities and ideas for both innovation and how to fix problems.

Shared facts, clarity about points of disagreement, and the beginnings of real solutions made the next step—live co-creation sessions—more productive than the typical strategic planning process. The offline work defined six major areas of focus. The co-creation sessions produced a unified vision, the beginnings of a school positioning and aligned messaging, new cross-functional relationships, and an action plan.

When the strategic planning initiative was complete, The Acuity Project was further engaged to help turn some of the ideas generated into products, services, and further execution plans, while the school’s leadership set out to nurture ongoing development and implementation.

We also developed targeted messages for one of the new programs created in connection with the strategic planning process, which garnered local press and was covered by Businessweek.