City of Aspen


The Community Development Division of the City of Aspen was not hitting its goals. When we started working together the team was accomplishing only 60% of its objectives.

Here’s why: Aspen had a significant problem balancing conflicting interests – and the Community Development Division (CDD) was stuck in the middle of all of it. City leaders wanted to foster responsible growth, and locals wanted to preserve historic sites and limit development. The CDD did not have a clear structure for sorting through the competing priorities.

As a result, the Division had a difficult time making good decisions and accomplishing their goals. Team members felt defeated and frustrated. The team leader was worried that key team members would leave, putting the team in an even deeper hole.

The team needed a “reboot” to identify their most important goals, learn to work together effectively, develop a system for balancing competing priorities, making good decisions, and be accountable for success.

The Work of Best Year Yet®

The team participated in a year-long program with a certified Best Year Yet® coaching Partner. The key components were:

A retreat to create an annual strategic plan with clear, measurable objectives

Monthly meetings to review progress towards goals

An online tracking program that enabled every team member to track individual accomplishments. Each team member knew what the others were doing so they could hold each other accountable and stay on track.

Here’s what Chris Bendon, the leader of the team, had to say:

“In our strategic planning meeting, we got clear on a unified purpose based on the values we established as a group. With most retreats, two weeks later the whole thing disappears. You go back the next year and the same things come up.

Kate’s program had a memory. We identified a limited number of goals. We met every month to focus on those goals and what we needed to do in the coming month to further each goal. It stays alive the whole year.

In our monthly meetings we had a safe and structured way to have important conversations that wouldn’t otherwise happen. We resolved issues and became way more productive.

There’s a software program where you input your goals, you see other people’s goals and how they progressed, you score yourselves and re-enter goals for the next month.

With this program, you’re continually reminded of your strategic goals and you’re closer to the tactics of how to actually accomplish your goals. You break your big goals down into bite sized pieces and focus on the tasks that you can actually accomplish month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter that will get you to your year-end goal.”


The team went from hitting less than 60% of its objectives to a 94% success rate. And all the top talent stayed on board and got re-energized. The return on investment for the program was 2100%. The City of Aspen has now been using the Best Year Yet® system for 10 years and counting!

Click here for video interviews with City of Aspen team members talking about their experiences.

Ready to see results like this for your own business or organization?

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