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Sample Workshop Outlines



The following session descriptions are intended to give you a sense of the kinds of workshops that are frequently requested and offered by Common Ground Consulting LLC. These popular sessions can be tailored to meet specific needs and are offered in a variety of formats ranging from 90-minute conference workshops to one or multi-day institutes. As Common Ground offers a broad array of additional training topics, please contact us with your specific needs.


"Craig's sessions are the best I've ever attended at any conference."
—Department of Education Safe and Drug-Free Schools Grantee, Arizona



THE ECONOMICS OF TRUST

Primary Goal
Participants will develop an understanding of how trust operates in social profit environments; and how to expand and leverage that trust.

Abstract
Think for a moment about the relationships you have in your life--at work, at home, with colleagues, friends, and family. What happens in those relationships when there is a high degree of trust? How about when trust is low?

In this new workshop, we'll use a series of interactive tools to analyze the economics of trust--real world, practical, insights that will change how you spend your time. This session will explore the impact of actively building and leveraging quality relationships as a tool for sustainability in our social profit organizations. Is the "trust factor" real? Can it help us recruit more volunteers? Can we use it to raise more money? The answer is an unequivocal yes! And in this session, you'll learn how to do it.

Objectives

  1. Be able to define "Trust Factor" in practical, real-world situations.
  2. Recognize the economic impact of low-trust relationships in terms of program sustainability and fundraising.
  3. Learn to use specific tools and strategies for improving stakeholder trust.
  4. Understand the key attributes of high-trust leaders.

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CONSULTING FOR CONSULTANTS

Primary Goal
Participants will explore various paradigms of management consulting, focusing on helping social profit clients to: 1) Discover, clarify, and align organizational values, practices, and priorities; 2) Use self-discovery methodologies to elicit their own solutions and strategies; and 3) Hold themselves responsible and accountable to their own choices and decisions.

Abstract
This highly-interactive workshop presents a new way of thinking, talking, and acting in our roles as consultants. It is not so much a "training" in the traditional sense, as it is an exploration of the concept of consulting--both the theoretical and more importantly, the practical implications of our work.

Please come prepared to expand your self-knowledge, challenge your own paradigms about what works and what does not, and be actively engaged and fully "present." We promise it will be a practical, thought-provoking, hands-on few days!

Objectives

  1. Be able to explain the key concepts and basic frameworks involved in management consulting.
  2. Learn to use self-assessment tools to assist client organizations determine priorities for building institutional coherence, efficiency, and effectiveness.
  3. Employ specific tools and strategies for creating high-trust relationships with client organizations.
  4. Explore personal attributes that you can use to strengthen your consulting practice.
  5. Recognize the value of coaching as a tool for supporting client organizations manage difficult change processes.

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BUILDING ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY

Primary Goal
Participants will develop an understanding of the key elements of organizational capacity building.

Abstract
In the for-profit sector, companies invest millions of dollars annually in the people and systems that affect their bottom-line. The social profit sector has been slow to embrace this strategy, yet we are faced with solving some of our nation's most dire social problems. Burnout and turnover are epidemic in our organizations; and few social profits have taken a hard look at their infrastructures with an eye towards long-term stability, let alone growth. In this session, participants will define capacity building using a particular approach that looks at seven key indicators of capacity and will leave with a tool for assessing their own organizations.

Objectives

  1. Be able to define capacity building as it is used in the social profit sector.
  2. Learn to recognize and explain the seven key indicators of organizational capacity.
  3. Learn how to use a particular model and capacity assessment tool.

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ENDING THE DEPENDENCY: EMBRACE ABUNDANCE

Primary Goal
Participants will learn to embrace and prioritize individual donor-based fundraising as an integral part of their overall organizational fundraising efforts.

Abstract
Time, talent, and treasure are resources within your reach right now! Participants will learn to embrace and prioritize individual investor-based fundraising as an integral part of their overall organizational fundraising efforts. If social profits are going to get serious about sustainability then we need to get serious about asking people for the resources we need to do it. In this provocative session, you will change the way you think about fundraising. You will believe that asking people for money is easier than you think and that the rewards are always greater than you expect. And you're going to learn how to do it.

This session is not just for management. In fact, program staff need to attend this workshop. The skills taught in this workshop will also help you find new and creative ways to identify and recruit volunteers; tap into their wisdom, experience, and skill sets for the benefit of your program; and, most importantly, raise all of the money your program needs to both survive and thrive!

Objectives

  1. Be able to describe the major reasons that people give and continue giving.
  2. Be able to define the board's role in fundraising.
  3. Understand essential paradigm shifts necessary for successfully raising money from individuals.
  4. Learn how to track passion rather than money in developing sustainable giving strategies.
  5. Apply the skills to raise more money (and recruit more volunteers).

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INVOLVING YOUR BOARD IN SUSTAINABILITY PLANNING

Primary Goal
Participants will learn the basics of developing a strong and effective social profit Board of Directors.

Abstract
It has been said that "A great board is a victory, not a gift," and I agree. It requires a tremendous amount of time, energy, hard work, and commitment to manifest a strong board of directors. It is not easy, but I can promise you that the rewards are well worth it.

The goal of this session is to offer a few essential tools to help you as you work to involve your board members in sustainability planning. My hope is that introducing and using these tools will create opportunities for your board to embrace the roles and responsibilities that are critical to your organization's overall success.

Objectives

  1. Describe the key roles and responsibilities of social profit boards.
  2. Develop strategies for recruiting and orienting strong board members.
  3. Maximize the relationship between staff and board members, particularly the chief executive and board president.
  4. Use proven strategies for motivating new and old board members.

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LEVERAGING EFFECTIVE COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

Primary Goal
Participants will learn how to build and maintain strong community partnerships.

Abstract
Strategically formed partnerships have a variety of potential benefits for youth programs including: access to potential volunteers and program participants; access to space and in-kind resources; increased organizational capacity and more. This session will explore the basics of partnership building with a focus on recognizing, understanding, and benefiting from the normal expression of self-interest inherent in all relationships.

Objectives

  1. Be able to describe the key elements of successful partnerships and describe the benefits of partnership with their organization.
  2. Be able to define and recognize organizational self-interests in forming partnerships.
  3. Learn how to write clear partner agreements.
  4. Develop strategies for ongoing partner communication.

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MIXING IT UP: CREATING EFFECTIVE YOUTH & ADULT PARTNERSHIPS

Primary Goal
Participants will learn the basics of creating and maintaining high functioning adult-youth partnerships.

Abstract
Youth service agencies can and should involve young people at every level of organizational decision-making. How we make this happen without setting ourselves up for failure, however, is a real challenge. This interactive session is designed to highlight successes and failures with "authentic youth empowerment" and offer strategies for ensuring youth voice in organizational decision-making. Participants will learn tools for creating successful and effective partnerships in your own agencies.

Objectives

  1. Be able to determine whether your agency views young people as objects, recipients of services, or as resources.
  2. Be able to implement strategies for improving the role of youth in decision-making.
  3. Be able to articulate the primary tenets of the community youth development model.
  4. Be able to create more effective and strategic adult-youth partnerships.

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WORKING TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY

Primary Goal
Participants will learn how to build a sustainable social profit organization.

Abstract
In order to ensure the continuation of critical youth and family services, it is essential to integrate proven sustainability strategies into the day-to-work of these programs as soon as possible. It is critical to think about sustainability in a broader sense and with a longer-term vision, extending beyond just the next grant cycle. In order to remain viable, programs must develop competencies which include marketing the benefits of the program to the community, demonstrating that services result in improved outcomes for children and families, and sharing and leveraging resources through partnership and collaboration. This workshop will provide strategies for achieving these goals.

Objectives

  1. Describe the basics of social profit sustainability
  2. Understand and be able to use logic models
  3. Describe the key roles and responsibilities of social profit boards.
  4. Develop strategies for involving board members in sustainability planning

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STRATEGIC TRAINING DESIGN & FACILITATION

Primary Goal
Participants will develop a working knowledge and practical ability in the basics of training design and facilitation.

Abstract
This session will provide participants with an opportunity to refine their training design skills by working with others from the field. This interactive session is designed for participants who design and/or deliver workshops, training sessions, or other types of presentations, and will rely heavily on the insights and experiences of the participants. Those attending should come prepared to ask questions & share their knowledge. The session will include both small and large group work as well as opportunities for participants to share training tools and techniques.

Objectives

  1. Be able to explain how adults learn and apply that theory to practical workshop design and facilitation.
  2. Be able to articulate the six steps involved in strategic workshop design, emphasizing needs assessment, learning objectives, and evaluation.
  3. Be able to describe several training methods and their uses.

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RETHINKING DIVERSITY:
ANALYZING PRIVILEGE & SOCIALIZATION

Primary Goal
Participants will address issues of diversity within youth service programs using strategies for community-building and anti-oppression in existing and future efforts.

Abstract
If youth service programs are to succeed in improving social conditions in this country, it is critical that the field is actively engaged in understanding and addressing issues of diversity. This session will provide an opportunity for participants to engage in a variety of thought-provoking and highly interactive activities designed to challenge each of us to "step outside our comfort zones" and explore the ways in which we have been socialized concerning human differences. This workshop will involve participants on a personal level, as well as provide strategies for incorporating community building and anti-oppression strategies into existing and future programming.

Objectives

  1. Be able to define and explore the interconnectedness of a variety of diversity issues.
  2. Be able to explore difficult, challenging and often controversial issues in a safe environment.
  3. Explore strategies for dealing effectively (both personally and organizationally) with a myriad of related diversity issues.
  4. Learn to use new tools for dealing with conflict, particularly around differences in values.
  5. Recognize the added strength of diversity in problem-solving efforts.

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SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY FOR SCHOOLS & SOCIAL PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

Primary Goal
Participants will learn strategic, low-cost ways to integrate social media into their volunteer recruitment, organizational communications, and fund development activities.

Abstract
Social media is changing the way we communicate, the way we plan and organize, and the way we raise money. In the new reality, information no longer flows just from the top down; in fact, it's now just as common for it to begin at the grassroots. How can human service agencies, schools and nonprofits harness the power of social media to better serve the community, especially if you're a smaller, resource-deprived network or organization? Where do you start? How do you engage in ways that are consistent with your values as an organization? How do you manage and monitor your online networks? How will you know if your strategy is working?

The good news is that you don't have to be a big group to have a big impact, you just need a rock solid plan.

In this hands-on workshop, we'll provide leaders in the social sector with the tools and resources you need to create, manage, and leverage your social media presence. We'll help you understand how to use Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, in particular, as part of a strategy for strengthening your key stakeholder relationships. We'll discuss both the power of using social media effectively and the pitfalls as well. With more than 850,000,000 using Facebook alone, you can't afford not to be planning for the future.

In this important session, we're going to start the conversation. Please come prepared to talk about what you're already doing and to add your voice to this discussion.

One thing though, please don't expect a highly technical session. We'll offer a few basics when it comes to understanding how to establish your presence online, but we won't be setting up your Twitter account. Instead, this session will look at relationship building in the age of social media, focusing on when and how best to use these new tools to create your powerful social media footprint, as well as how to measure your success.

Objectives

  1. Be able to explain the reach of the most popular social media platforms.
  2. Be able to articulate key strategies for effectively using social media in your school or social profit organization.
  3. Discuss ways to prepare your colleagues for a future that effectively leverages social media tools.
  4. Learn to use new tools for setting goals and measuring your social media impact.

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TELLING YOUR STORY: MOVING PEOPLE WITH YOUR MESSAGE

Primary Goal
Participants will have the opportunity to learn new methods for telling those stories related to their work that move people to action.

Abstract
In this powerful and provocative workshop session, you'll be asked one of the hardest questions that we as human beings must answer: Why Do You Do What You Do?

We'll use a variety of iterative techniques to help you uncover and discover your passions, exploring how they connect to the choices that you make and the actions that you take.

From there, we'll help you connect your passions to the work you do everyday, creating the stories that move people to get involved as volunteers, as contributors, or board members. This is a workshop that will improve your work; connect you to a global network of engaged people; and change your life.

Objectives

  1. Be able to articulate why you do what you do--your values, motivations, and dreams.
  2. Recognize the connections between this level of self-awareness and your work.
  3. Use this new awareness to create the organizational stories that cause people to act.
  4. Apply the skills by creating a two-minute speech related to your organization's work.

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MARKETING, MESSAGING, & MEDIA: WHAT'S THE ANSWER?

Primary Goal
Expanding on the storytelling workshop described above, this session has been designed to provide practical tools for social profit organizations and educational institutions to think about how you are currently marketing your organization.

Abstract
In this session, we'll discuss creative strategies for telling your stories; how those stories impact community engagement; and how they can leverage that engagement to recruit volunteers, raise more money, and provide critical services to more stakeholders.

We will use a variety of interactive techniques to help you uncover and discover your passions, and explore how they connect to the choices you make and the actions you take. From there, we'll help you connect your passions to the work your organization does everyday, and determine the most effective ways to tell the stories that align with your values and move people to get involved as volunteers, as contributors, or board members.

Objectives

  1. Be able to articulate why you do what you do--your values, motivations, and dreams.
  2. Recognize the connections between this level of self-awareness and your work.
  3. Use this new awareness to create the organizational stories that cause people to act.
  4. Apply the skills by creating a two-minute pitch related to their organization's work.
  5. Determine the best marketing approaches for building high-trust approaches to community engagement.
  6. Engage stakeholders in marketing efforts, particularly social media strategies.
  7. Learn how to use a organizational self-assessment tool for strengthening capacity-building efforts.

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