ENHANCING THE PERFORMANCE
OF RURAL ECONOMIC ACTORS
To be effective in a market economy, rural economic actors must be able to formulate coherent and realistic plans and have the internal capacity to implement them while coping with unexpected developments.
These three aspects determine the effectiveness of any economic actor:
- The process by which decisions are made
- The capacity of people carrying out those decisions
- The systems that deliver instructions and resources throughout the organization and monitor progress toward goals
Governance, human resource capacity, and management systems: these are the three cornerstones of organizational development.
ACCESS’s organizational development practice was initially developed for financial institutions. However, its approach to governance, leadership, planning, financial management, marketing, and team building, among others, has been found effective for MSMEs, trade associations, government agencies, civil society organizations and NGOs.
LEARNING BEFORE DOING
INSTITUTIONAL DIAGNOSTICS/DUE DILIGENCE
ACCESS is a highly data-driven organization, and it employs diagnostic tools for each of the three main aspects of organizational development in order to develop customized solutions for its partners:
- Governance: governance assessment, board performance appraisal
- Human resources: staff performance appraisal and training needs assessment
- Management systems: operational diagnostic and financial analysis
In-depth consulting assignments are designed with our partners utilizing the strategy map and balanced scorecard framework developed by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton as a holistic diagnostic tool.
LEARNING THROUGH EXPERIENCE
INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY BUILDING
ACCESS offers nearly 40 training courses to strengthen leadership, management, and staff capacity of rural economic actors, including soft skills such as effective communication and time management.
Effective training requires dialogue. ACCESS specializes in delivering knowledge transfer programs using a highly-participatory approach embodied in adult learning principles. Among its key pedagogical tools, ACCESS employs the experiential-based learning cycle (EBL) to shape capacity development around real work situations within the organization.
Learning methods often utilize structured learning exercises (SLEs) such as simulations, role plays and other techniques that provide a real-world context for learning, ACCESS’s training courses establishes the institutional processes and systems needed to sustain new capabilities. In most cases, trainings are actually training-workshops, in which the participants are supported to analyze the situation in their own institution, identify gaps, and initiate the process of revising and enhancing systems, policies, and procedures as well as their own knowledge, skills and attitudes.
SUCCESS STARTS WITH EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP
GOVERNANCE AND LEADERSHIP
ACCESS’s “Effective Governance and Leadership” program begins by explaining key concepts and principles, the roles of the board and managers, the difference between leadership and management, the role of leaders in setting a strategic direction and organizational policies, and the relationship between governance and areas such as risk management and internal control. Using a participatory approach in which the participants assess the governance of their own institution, ACCESS enables them to identify their strengths as well as weaknesses that need to be addressed. The output of the process is a plan to improve governance and the formulation or enhancement of the institution’s governance manual. Follow-up coaching supports the implementation of the policies and procedures in the manual.
ROADMAP TO THE FUTURE
STRATEGIC AND BUSINESS PLANNING
Planning is an essential function of any effective organization. ACCESS facilitates strategic, business and operational planning workshops for financial institutions, associations, SMEs, and NGOs working in rural areas.
ACCESS’s intensive strategic planning program begins with an in-depth look at the organization’s vision and mission, conducts a SWOT analysis, and facilitates the selection of “grand strategies” and the development of “strategic statements” for the six aspects or perspectives of any organization utilizing the strategy map and balanced scorecard framework developed by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton. The workshop concludes with the development of a change management plan and budgeting to guide implementation of the organization’s new or revised strategy.
ACCEPTING RISK IS A CHOICE
Any economic actor faces risks, and for actors operating in the rural economy, the risks are often significant. ACCESS’s risk management program works with its partners to enhance the risk management culture within an organization.
The workshop begins with an understanding of fundamental concepts and the risks an organization face, such as strategic, operational, market and liquidity risks. Risks are prioritized and then appropriate strategies for managing them are developed. Strategies and related tactics are set within a broader risk management framework that includes measurement and monitoring processes. The workshop concludes with the development of an implementation plan and strategies for dealing with potential obstacles.
MANAGING FINANCES FOR GROWTH
ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Financial management involves all the activities that enable a company to obtain capital for growth, allocate resources efficiently, maximize the income potential of the business activity and monitor results through accounting documents. ACCESS’s approach to strengthening financial management involves a combination of understanding the institution’s financial system, financial performance analysis, financial projections, pricing, and asset and liability management and maintaining accounting system compliant with international standards and principles.
MANAGE THE MOST IMPORTANT RESOURCE
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
ACCESS’s support covers seven aspects of managing human resources:
- Planning, recruitment, and hiring
- Performance management and evaluation
- Position and job description review
- Salary structure rationalization and incentives
- Competency-based career pathing
- Building highly effective teams
- Human resource information system (HRIS)
ACCESS’s workshops for strengthening human resource management cover HR planning and policies, HR data collection and management, compensation and benefits rationalization, performance management, staff development, job descriptions, salary structure, and team building.
Working with an MIS expert, ACCESS has designed a “Human Resource Information System” module that includes key staff data such as performance reviews, training needs, and satisfaction survey results, among others.
GET THE WORD OUT
ACCESS’s marketing management program begins with an introduction to basic marketing approaches and strategies, insight into the basic principles and practices underlying the marketing philosophy, and an in-depth understanding of the functional areas of marketing.
The Strategic Marketing workshop focuses on how rural economic actors deal with new challenges that appear as the market evolves. This course provides a perspective and emphasis that extends beyond the traditional focus on managing the marketing mix and branding.
The Client Care and Customer Relations workshop discusses best skills, strategies and techniques to ensure that every customer experiences unique and professional customer care.
Finally, the Managing Sales Performance workshop tackles the art and science in selling and managing sales growth and performance, in order to expand the customer base in the most effective and efficient way.