Cultivating a Healthy Culture with Strategic Planning


The Energy Services division of Snohomish County Public Utility District (SnoPUD) was in the middle of a 5-year strategic planning process, with new departmental leadership and new initiatives on the horizon. The division head wanted an infusion of energy and creativity into the Strategic Plan, and to use the process to engage employees to make the plan actionable across all functions. The sponsor requested Milepost facilitate a series of meetings that would culminate in activities to inform the division’s biannual work plan.


Milepost first engaged leadership to establish commitment to the process and identify success factors. We then formed a Cross Functional Team (CFT) representing all programs, and conducted a series of working sessions to guide the team from awareness to issue identification to problem-solving to implementation. Initial meetings revealed fundamental cultural challenges that led to new ways of communicating and protocols designed to foster a culture of collaboration. Milepost researched best practices from design, manufacturing and business fields to create a process whereby working groups developed a business case, presented to leadership, and won resources to carry initiatives forward.


The priorities established by the CFT are being addressed and serve as a model for innovation that empowers employees to collaborate and make the Strategic Plan a part of everyday operations. Across the division, there is change focused on improving the customer experience and providing excellent service to colleagues. The CFT model is now the basis of a formal innovation process that engages every employee in refinement of the biannual work plan, as well as cultural shifts that address previously unrealized communications challenges.


  • Strategic Planning
  • Change Management
  • Training & Team Building
  • Market Research
  • Messaging & Storytelling
  • Facilitation


Snohomish PUD


1 year

Project Lead:

Julie Hayes Ask Me Questions