Shep Englander — Strategic Initiatives
Cincinnati 2020 in 2015: Q&A with Tedd Friedman, Cincinnati 2020 Chair: Guest Post by Barb Miller
This guest post series is in anticipation of the upcoming Leaders Forum for Cincinnati 2020, which will bring together all the leaders of the Jewish community in October to assess our progress and plan for the future. Each installment features a different perspective on Cincinnati 2020, the Jewish community’s visionary plan for building an exceptional future, excerpted from a discussion with Barbara Miller, our Director of Community Building at the Federation. This week, we hear from Cincinnati 2020 Chair Tedd Friedman. — Shep
How did you first get involved in Cincinnati 2020?
I was asked to join a meeting about creating a strategic plan for the Federation. We immediately realized there was no way to undertake an internal Federation strategic plan without thinking about how it would touch the rest of the community.
Describe the initial Cincinnati 2020 leadership forums. How did you even begin to get everyone in the community on the same page?
One of the great things about Jewish Cincinnati is how collaborative we are. In the first leadership forum, we were literally starting from blank sheets of paper. There were easels and Post-It notes, but no detailed plan. Those first leaders forums were brainstorming sessions. Lots of white boards. Lots of reorganization of ideas. It was creating something out of nothing.
So what did you do with all those Post-Its?
Well, we had a lot of data. We created working groups, and we came up with a summary of where we wanted to go. That became the vision and the plan for Cincinnati 2020. It’s a living, breathing document. Last I checked, it was at version 20-something. Even now, as we continue the process, the document evolves and grows. But each iteration embodies the same ultimate goal for the year 2020: More Jews, More Engaged.
Why should Cincinnati 2020 be important to the community?
Jewish Cincinnati has an amazing opportunity. We have incredible resources in dollars, human talent, and collaboration. And we share a will to improve our community together —it’s incredible. We’re doing something really special. Getting everyone to agree like this…everyone headed in the same direction —it doesn’t happen every day.
Why is Cincinnati 2020 important to you?
Simple. I want to build the kind of community that I want to live in and I want my kids to live in.
Has it been successful so far? How do you measure its successes?
Oh, yes. There’s procedural success, which is apparent in getting everyone working towards a common goal. Then there are physical successes like the Barbash food pantry, the transformation of JVS Career Services and the 2016 Congregation and Community Mission to Israel that will bring all of our congregations together for a 10-day trip to Israel next summer. I could go on and on.
What surprised you along the way?
I was afraid when we started doing this that we were doing a run-of-the-mill strategic plan. And I thought it was going to be like every other strategic plan that goes into a drawer and never does anything. But, this process has been completely different. The plan evolves and gets better with every change. It’s a “live” process because people are participating.
What do you hope to see happen at the upcoming Leaders Forum on October 21?
A renewal of the spirit of collaboration and a shared understanding of where Jewish Cincinnati is in our growing process. We’ll educate everyone on our shared successes over the past five years and how they fit into the overall plan. Then we’ll think through some exciting opportunities and whiteboard those ideas.
What do you hope the community accomplishes through Cincinnati 2020 in the next 5 years?