In short, Pat McNellis just wants to make life easier on decision makers.
McNellis’ dad, Jerry McNellis, started McNellis Compression Planning® in Sept. 1978. Pat worked alongside his father for 26 years until Jerry passed away last year. The last two assignments they worked on together was with DCCCD.
“We loved being down there working with [the DCCCD],” Pat McNellis said. “We led a session with [Brookhaven College President] Thom Chesney back in December and we did an institute where we taught another round of people Compression Planning in February.”
McNellis will be back in Dallas this month for the Compression Planning Institute here at LeCroy from Sept. 21-23.
Compression Planning, which has been used both throughout the district and at LeCroy, is a proven method that serves to quickly and efficiently develop viable solutions and plans of action through an interactive and visual planning process.
“I’m real big on respect and it’s a respect for people. I just see where people get beat up in organizations,” McNellis said. “When somebody says, ‘Maybe we should pursue something [else],’ it’s almost the kneejerk response is to come at it from a negative perspective. ‘We can’t do that and here’s the litany of reasons why.’ I think Compression Planning offers an alternative to that.”
So how does McNellis gauge whether he’s had a successful planning session or Institute? He said during a break in a recent Institute, he overheard a woman tell her colleague she felt they were going to get out of the session with a realistic and sensible plan, which told McNellis they were all doing something positive during the session.
Sometimes, McNellis said, he can tell it’s been a successful session by the joy and hope he sees in the room.
“I was talking to a friend of mine who has incorporated Compression Planning into the work that he does and I was telling him, ‘There’s a phenomenon that goes on at the end of either Institutes or planning sessions,’” McNellis said. “In 95% of our sessions, there’s a transformation that happens that somebody verbalizes.
That’s the unofficial [gauge for success]. I’d say the official, at least in the Institute, is when I start hearing how people are using it. Then I know it was time well invested on both sides.”
McNellis emphasized that Compression Planning works out over the long term.
“You don’t know what the results of a planning session are until you fast forward to some point in the future,” he said. “Because you can walk out of anything and you can have a fantastic plan down there at LeCroy, but if you don’t have the leadership that’s going to hold the people accountable to the plan, then nothing’s going to happen. Compression Planning has grown the roots that it has in Dallas because you have a chancellor who believes in it.”
Registration costs $1,995, although DCCCD employees can use the coupon code “dcccd195” for a discount. Out of town participants can stay at the Homewood Suites by Hilton, Fairfield Inn, Holiday Inn or Westin Dallas Park Central all in Dallas.