Could you use a thinking partner?

30 Sep

What if you had a trusted nonprofit peer with whom to test new ideas, explore strategy options or troubleshoot challenges? Someone who’d draw from both the organizational development world and practical experience as a nonprofit executive director, project developer and board chair to focus on your most critical questions and decisions? Someone who’d hold everything in confidence and help you stay on track?

With luck and intention, many nonprofit leaders have people in our lives who informally serve as sounding boards and advisors. But sometimes it’s helpful to have someone outside of your regular circle, to explicitly and formally focus on helping you think things through.  In the past, I’ve personally benefited from having an outside advisor help me sort through a set of interrelated transition decisions for a nonprofit organization I led. Now in my Write to Know consulting practice, I find that this sounding board role is something I’m commonly asked to do, and I find it immensely fulfilling.

Until now, it’s been a fairly informal component of my services. It’s sort of a focused professional coaching role, but I prefer to think of it as a partnership: a “thinking partnership” focused on getting your non-profit’s most important work done well. After a great pilot experience with formal “thinking partner” services for a local nonprofit, I’m ready to partner up with more of you!

Here’s how it works. We’ll start out with a complimentary session to review your goals for a thinking partnership. Those goals– the opportunity you’re trying to clarify, the challenge you’re trying to address, the decisions you’re trying to sequence– drive the work that follows. On a regular basis, typically 1-2 times per month, we’ll meet in person or video-conference (if you aren’t in the Eugene-Springfield area) for an hour or two to assess progress, obstacles, options and next steps in a structured way.

The underlying premise is that you have almost all the information that you need to move forward: my job is to help you recognize, organize and prioritize what you know into actionable items. After each meeting, I’ll send you a follow up summary to document your intentions, as well as useful background references where appropriate. I’ll also be available for quick phone consultations in between meetings as needed. We continue as long as it feels productive from your perspective- typically two-four months. The price is fixed for each month.

Are you interested? I’ll take up to five such thinking partners at any one time. Please contact me if you’d like to learn more.