Below are some of the key learnings from clients we’ve worked with.
Keep it simple
A funder took on the challenge of taking a more bite-sized, prototype-based way of launching projects and setting goals. Their “aha” from this experience was that in their previous way of working, they would plan things out completely before launching—often struggling to integrate all perspectives before taking any action. As they began to take on smaller pieces at a time, large and overwhelming projects became more manageable.
A transportation organization needed to clarify its strategy for its key funding partners. Taking a deep dive to understand what its partners needed, the leadership team realized that the assumptions they had been making about these needs didn’t actually align with the partners’ perspectives. This allowed the team to let go of some efforts and refocus on services that were a better match with partner expectations.
Work through challenges
A health organization wanted to rethink its organizational structure. We worked with the core team to uncover some divisive issues that had been preventing forward movement. We facilitated a dialogue that put these issues on the table in a way that all parties could speak honestly about them. The greater openness allowed the team to work more effectively together and explore new directions in a collaborative way.
An international network was seeking an organizational redesign to cut through unwieldy structures and processes. We worked with their worldwide team of leaders in an iterative way to design the new structure, continually integrating ideas and resolving competing needs. The pathway to the new structure strengthened the organization’s sense of inclusivity through collaboration and greater transparency.
Meet real needs
A community nonprofit wanted to broaden its impact by sharing their years of experience with other communities. Instead of launching a “build it and they will come” website, we coached them through a user-centered approach to understand the key needs that other communities faced and how they could best address them. The team was able to prioritize and simplify its offering, saving time and money, tracking impact, and empowering users to co-create with them.
"Not only did I appreciate Alison's approach to tricky conversations and ability to forge connections and relationships, but I also know she is an intuitive thinker who deeply "gets" nonprofit conundrums.”
— Katy Neusteter, Interim VP of External Relations, Global Greengrants Fund