Project overview:  Higher Achievement is a DC based organization with sites in four cities with approximately 300 staff. Its mission is to close the opportunity gap during the pivotal middle school years. By leveraging the power of communities, Higher Achievement’s proven model provides a rigorous year-round learning environment, caring role models, and a culture of high expectations, resulting in college-bound scholars with the character, confidence, and skills to succeed.  

In 2015, Higher Achievement recognized that it needed its talent systems and practices to catch up with its recent expansion, and the organization received a large federal grant that finally allowed such work to be funded. After winning a competitive RFP process, AchieveMission partnered with Higher Achievement on a six-month Talent Initiative project. Based on the assessment and gap analysis, the two partners developed a three-year talent management plan. Implementation plans were created for three prioritized projects: competency modeling, leadership and career development and total rewards (compensation philosophy pay bands, administration guidelines, and drivers of retention). Within the six months of the Talent Initiative contract, AchieveMission completed work on both the competency model and the total rewards program and began to implement the leadership and career development plan. AchieveMission soon became Higher Achievement’s go-to for talent and leadership challenges. In 2016 AchieveMission guided Higher Achievement to develop a new organizational design following shifts in future strategy and gaps in skills to meet this strategy. More recently, the board of directors requested our help developing a CEO performance management approach for which AchieveMission worked closely with both the board and the CEO. The plan was executed that same year.