BACI embarks on the path to possibilities


New strategic plan based on hopes, dreams of people supported and others
Lisa Bailey

The Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion’s (BACI’s) path to possibilities is paved with the hopes and dreams of the people they support, community partners and others.

Executive director Tanya Sather says building this path – or strategic plan – for the next five years is an exciting process.

“The thing about a path process is there are no limitations. It truly is what’s possible – what do we want to accomplish — and there’s no filter at that time,” she says.

“It’s really about dreaming that day and then trying to make the dreams a reality.”

BACI’s board of directors and senior management team, as well as the board of BACI’s Sharing Our Future Foundation, met Feb. 1 to work on the strategic plan.

Calling it Possibilities, the plan focuses on a number of themes that arose during strengths-based consultations with four groups – people with disabilities served by BACI, families, staff and community stakeholders. Each group was asked to identify their strengths and assets, what needs to be preserved, and their hopes and dreams for BACI.

The emerging themes largely carry over from BACI’s last five-year strategic plan for 2006-2010, Tanya says.

They include BACI being entrepreneurial, sustainable and resilient as an organization with a mission of social and economic inclusion for the people it supports through innovation. Part of this is focusing on succession planning to ensure a perpetually strong board and team of staff and reaching out to more community partners such as businesspeople, entrepreneurs and developers.

“When you’re talking about resiliency as an organization, the more people you are in partnerships and relationships with, the stronger you are, especially in a time right now when there are questions around funding and the longevity of social service organizations,” Tanya says.

“The better relationships you have, and the more you have, the stronger you are. And that’s one of our keys as an organization.”

Some other priority areas are continuing to celebrate successes, providing quality services to people of all ages, being person- and family-centred, and being a top employer.

BACI’s strategic plan has been mapped out graphically as a source of effective communication and motivation.

“It lives on our wall,” Tanya says.

“It’s huge, it’s a massive illustration that we keep up and it holds us accountable because it’s there all the time. It’s not a document you just write down, stick in a book and put on a shelf that nobody sees,” she says.

“We keep it in the association’s office so it inspires us. When people come in and tour the building or meet with us, we can literally show them our strategic plan and say this is what we’re working on.”

As well, Tanya notes, the illustration can be universally understood by some of the people BACI supports who don’t necessarily use words to communicate.

The next step is to develop an operational plan that maps out goals and actions to meet them. Senior managers are in the process of meeting and developing an operational plan for the next three and six months, which will be presented to BACI’s membership at a March 17 meeting.

At the annual general meeting in September, operational plans for further into the future will be presented.

If you have a story to share or feedback on this article, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 25, or e-mail lisa(at)


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