Celebrating 160 Years: The YMCA of Metro Atlanta Champions Change Management and Sustainability

All organizations must deal effectively with change. As an organization strives for excellence while maintaining its relevance, progressive systems can fuel its growth, stability and sustainability. The YMCA of Metro Atlanta exemplifies successful change management with 160 years of viability, providing services and programs in the regional Atlanta area, spanning more than 12 counties, and beyond.

As Atlanta has grown, the YMCA has also evolved to meet the changing needs of our community. Well-thought-out planning, while engaging stakeholders at various levels, provides the backdrop for sustainable change and positive impact at the YMCA of Metro Atlanta.

Here’s how the Y shores up systems and programs to support our work for another 160 years:

We cultivate diversity and inclusion, and ensure the Y is welcoming to all. Our communities are rapidly changing, and the Y responds with relevant strategies to meet the evolving needs of people across all dimensions of diversity. The Y also actively seeks to identify and involve those in need.

We create a culture of open communication and transparency, where fierce conversations are encouraged. We lead staff forums and create safe environments for feedback.

We develop and deploy human capital investment strategies to gain competitive edge. The Y provides opportunities for employee growth and advancement through leadership, career development trainings, implementation of career paths and succession planning.

We engage volunteers and staff in long-term strategic planning, including program innovation and growth, succession planning and professional development.

We conduct groundbreaking wellness research and evaluation to address current health and wellness challenges and support people in all life stages and abilities to improve their health, well-being and social connectedness. The YMCA of Metro Atlanta is the leading institution for creating wellness programs cited by the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. Our programs have been adopted for use in 35 YMCA cities across the United States and by practitioners in Canada and the United Kingdom.

We form partnerships locally and globally to expand the Y’s capacity and build stronger communities so that more people have access to our programs and services.

We engage tomorrow’s leaders to realize their full potential and prepare them to connect to and serve community. The Y has a rich history of youth programming, and our focus on youth development—from birth to career—helps children and teens learn, grow and thrive.

Commitment to change is necessary as organizations prepare for future growth. In order to create forward motion, organizations must intentionally and continuously engage all of its communities, including volunteers, members, and staff, on a journey fueled by partnerships.

By providing impactful services and support networks, and building bridges between people from all backgrounds, the Y has maintained its relevance, helping to create stronger, more cohesive communities for all.