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Presenting the 2023 Strategic Plan

J. Ryann Peyton’s Visionary Leadership Paves the Way for a Bright Future

December 2023

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Distinguished architect, innovative visionary, and inspiring leader—J. Ryann Peyton expertly inhabited each of these roles while serving as CBA president last year. Throughout their tenure, Peyton harnessed their unwavering passion for the legal profession and their unwavering commitment to elevating the bar’s excellence, culminating in the creation of a groundbreaking strategic plan. Collaborating closely with the Strategic Planning Committee and Executive Director Amy Larson, Peyton steered the team through a process that was profound, intellectually demanding, and truly transformative for the CBA.

As eloquently articulated in Peyton’s October 2022 presidential message, “Reimagine,” the strategic planning journey comprised three phases:

  • Phase 1: Research and Assessment
  • Phase 2: Community Input
  • Phase 3: Building the Blueprint.

The 2023 Strategic Plan was meticulously crafted, a labor of love that was then entrusted to the capable hands of the dedicated CBA staff. Serving as the guiding light and cornerstone for the staff, the plan has ignited countless stimulating discussions on achieving its three synergistic goals:

  • Cultivating Profession-wide Relevance and Reach
  • Building Community Through Belonging
  • Generating Economic and Geographic Sustainability.

As you delve into this transformative plan, we invite you to share in our enthusiasm, feel reinvigorated, and kindle your curiosity for the remarkable journey ahead.

CBA 2023 Strategic Plan

The Colorado Bar Association’s (CBA) strategic plan is represented by a pinwheel with three equal parts:

  • Cultivating Profession-wide Relevance and Reach
  • Building Community Through Belonging
  • Generating Economic and Geographic Sustainability

Each goal depends on the others. The synergy between the three is paramount, and the strategic initiatives contained in each goal bind them together.

The CBA wheel is always in motion, and it moves in both directions. While our members have always been the focal point, increasingly members must take responsibility for playing a bigger role toward inspired community and professional growth. Empowered leaders draw them in. The staff provide support to guide them toward success. Together, members, leaders, and staff are engaged in synergetic motion to create a bar association in which we all thrive. An approach that is constant, yet adaptable. The CBA wheel also displays the dynamic nature of the strategic vision. The visual pinwheel, which illustrates the strategic framework and three goals, remains a fixed guide for our long-term growth. At the same time, the strategic objectives under each goal are designed to adapt and evolve as we change so that the CBA goes forward with powerful and agile vision.

Goal One: Cultivating Profession-wide Relevance and Reach

In a rapidly changing legal profession, there is a clarion call for attorneys to renew their commitment to practice with competency, integrity, and civility. The CBA is uniquely situated to connect the varied constituencies of our community to give shared relevance to the profession’s purpose and calling.

Purpose: Exemplify the CBA mission to advance members’ practices, support the justice system, and enrich our community so that those with whom we interact experience a holistic professional character. This will promote an identifiable relevance to our work and known reach throughout our communities.

Priority: Implement statewide programming and resources to ensure a legal system that is fair, effective, and efficient. We achieve this when we take the time to know one another and to learn from and with each other, so that we may continue to pursue the work, honor, and community of the profession. Supporting advancement of the practice and enriching community in a strategic, inclusive, and civil manner anchors efforts to deliver:

  • tools for our members to be successful practitioners;
  • a community within which to build professional relationships; and
  • the focus to successfully navigate a modern profession.

Strategic Objectives:

  • Provide dynamic, relevant, and engaging continuing legal education and practical skills-based training to captivate members and cultivate professional competencies guided by our Mission, Values, and Vision.
  • Invest strategically in solo/small firm practitioners with an increased focus on providing programs, resources, and assistance to enhance professional success.
  • Evaluate and develop a system for greater consistency, continuity, and collaboration in delivery of support and resources for local bar associations.
  • Empower sections to deepen the knowledge and understanding of members to better assess their professional needs and goals to generate more relevant offerings that equip them for success.

Goal Two: Building Community Through Belonging

Becoming the best bar association possible requires all of us to connect and care deeply. The CBA is a professional community where everyone can thrive. We promote this value through connection, shared purpose, and belonging. The CBA is the sum of its people, and each member is a contributor to our culture of belonging.

Purpose: Shift the paradigm so that the valuing and validation of one another becomes a professional norm that is held in high esteem. This allows for deeper interpersonal understanding and enhanced professional solutions.

Priority: Create, provide, and bolster statewide programming, leadership opportunities, and containers for conversation to guide in the continuous development of a legal community that values connection, learning, impact, equity, integrity, respect, and honesty.

Strategic Objectives:

  • Create a fulfilling and collaborative culture of growth by fostering agency and trust, inspiring professional development, and encouraging leadership.
    • Communicate a clear definition of belonging and how it relates to future success of the CBA and the legal profession.
  • Increase understanding and appreciation of the collective effort of the CBA’s professional endeavors by valuing all members’ contributions and emphasizing shared success.
  • Live our principles beyond the CBA by leveraging partnerships with diversity bar associations to amplify the needs of lawyers from underrepresented communities and extend the reach of these organizations.
  • Innovate toward greater belonging by deepening our understanding of diverse experiences at the CBA and enhancing all members’ sense of inclusion.

Promote inclusive on-boarding practices to ensure all members feel valued, sup- ported, and respected as they join the CBA.

Goal Three: Generating Economic and Geographic Sustainability

By design, the CBA is purposed to educate, advocate, and engage statewide. Our members across Colorado are the most powerful and influential ambassadors for our work, and they reinforce the importance of innovation and inclusion, values at the core of the CBA’s mission.

Purpose: Engage statewide populations by serving as a “hub” for representation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing across groups, regions, and subjects.

Priority: Consistently cultivate relationships within the membership, with and through local and specialty bar associations, and use technology and communication tools to dynamically connect members to each other and to resources.

Strategic Objectives:

Build confidence and credibility in the CBA’s relevance to Greater Colorado legal communities through improved and equitable access to opportunities, services, and resources.

  • Utilize state of the art facilities and technologies to galvanize member engagement through in-person and hybrid events focused on community, business, and practice development.
  • Support whole-being wellness for CBA members through member education and contribution to professional systemic, structural, and cultural changes to support lawyer well-being.
  • Position the CBA as a capacity builder for access to justice by providing funding and technical assistance to increase the capacities of legal service providers to deliver stronger programs, take risks, build connections, innovate, and iterate.
  • Design a strategic communications plan to improve the CBA’s website functionality and enhance the reach and influence of CBA communication to members and the Colorado legal community.