Concentric Strategy's people-centered and process-oriented approach has roots in several key frameworks:
Organizations are more like gardens than machines. We nurture small-scale interactions that lead to large-scale impact.
Creating and implementing strategy is a living process that unfolds over time. Our plans are responsive in real-time, centered around clear vision and goals.
We champion Universal Design and antiracism, and we make sure that people affected by decisions are included in decision-making.
We owe tremendeous gratitude to the following thinkers and ideas. We highly recommend their books!
Ecosystem-based systems change — "Emergent Strategy" by adrienne maree brown applies principles from the natural world and human relationships to movements for social changes. brown writes that strategy is “building complex patterns and systems of change through relatively small interactions.” Nurturing organizational wellbeing requires being fluid in the face of constant change, understanding the interconnectedness of many elements (people, processes, policies, resources), and being thoughtful and intentional at every step.
Real-time adaptability — "The Nonprofit Strategy Revolution" by David La Piana creates a method for embedding strategic thinking across an entire organization. In his model, carrying out strategies or plans isn’t a list of checkboxes executed by leadership; it’s a living process that unfolds over time. Plans are oriented around a "north star" of values and vision, allowing implementation to be adaptive and responsive in real-time.
Nothing about us without us — This statement from the disability right movement articulates powerful self-advocacy. It ensures that those affected by decisions are themselves involved in the decision-making. Re-centering power and autonomy within and among marginalized peoples is the foundation of our work around antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Melinda Steffy (she/her), Founder & Principal
Melinda loves when creative practice and social impact collide. Her 20-year career in the nonprofit sector has been deeply shaped by her perspective as a visual artist and musician. She brings innate creativity and nimbleness to her work, making complex ideas come to life through careful process, attention to detail, and abundant empathy.
She previously served as Executive Director of music nonprofit LiveConnections, which she guided for 8+ years from start-up phase through its merger with music venue World Cafe Live. Melinda is an experienced public speaker and facilitator, and a LEADERSHIP Philadelphia fellow. From 2021-2022, she co-hosted the podcast "So, where do we go from here?", speaking with Philadelphia's creative community about resetting as we emerge from the pandemic.