for-AOoA-blog-300x199By Mike Beier, ContXt CEO – Social service agencies don’t have shareholders or other investors, but they do have stakeholders invested in their futures. And when it comes to strategic planning, they may need assistance informing staff, board members, funders, vendors and others about their goals.

The Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, Inc., recently turned to ContXt Corporation for our help with outlining to stakeholders its latest four-year strategic plan, which the Ohio Department of Aging asks agencies to provide as part of the funding process. The Area Office on Aging decided to go the extra mile and have a map that visually shows what direction it is headed in while continuing to provide seniors with vital services in coming years.

Since the majority of people are visual learners, the map really made the Area Office on Aging’s strategic plan come to life for various stakeholders. We used the map in workshops to help align participants, and the Area Office on Aging plans to continue communicating with it as goals are met in coming years.

Strategic Plan Map

The map we developed for the Area Office on Aging is a great visual tool to use while going over the agency’s mission, vision and core values. It also showcases goals the agency wants to accomplish from 2015 to 2018.


Our task was to sum up their strategic plan into a visual map that would be a central part of educating the agency’s stakeholders. The Area Office on Aging was pleased with the result and stakeholder feedback, saying the map provided more meaningful interaction.

We look forward to working with more nonprofit, community agencies as they educate people about the services they provide, goals they have and other important messages. Agencies such as the Area Office on Aging are beneficial to so many people, and we’re happy to partner with them.

Visual Learning

Studies show that visual learners make up about 65 percent of the population. Visual learners are best able to retain and recall information that they see instead of merely listening to a presentation.

That is why ContXt helps clients get their messages across with a variety of visual tools, including maps, discussion guides, other Meeting-in-a-Box materials and videos.

Does your organization use visuals during workshops and other learning sessions? Please share in the comments below what you think works best and why.

Mike Beier is the founder and chief executive officer of ContXt Corporation, a management consulting firm based in suburban Toledo, Ohio. ContXt helps organizations achieve strategic objectives by translating big concepts — including strategic plans, culture shifts and process changes — with simple, effective communications tools. For more information about ContXt, please visit