HOW WE WORK

A Voyaging Analogy

Like traditional Hawaiian deep-sea voyaging, organizational effectiveness relies upon three equally important and inter-related realms: the Course, Canoe, and Crew. If the community is going to benefit from your successful voyage, all three realms will need attention and adjustments.

The Course: Reaching the Optimal Future

We can elevate your organizational effectiveness by bringing together your many stakeholders to clarify and articulate the optimal future - the most preferred future - that the community envisions you reaching. Once the "big picture" is known, we can work with you and all your stakeholders to develop with certainty the most strategic way to reach the preferred future. As important as determining the destination is knowing you're on course to reach it. We can design and facilitate an integrated evaluation framework that connects immediate outcomes with your organizational mission or your overall strategic goals.

The Canoe: Sustaining Innovative Responses

We can enhance organizational sustainability through processes to identify and expand efficient organizational systems, to ensure you're effectively responding to changing environments. When new opportunities emerge, we can increase your ability to secure these resources through development of outcome-based project plans and grant proposals. If your voyage is in its earliest stages, we can work with you to formalize the organization as a recognized nonprofit and tax-exempt organization.

The Crew: Strengthening the Team

Even with a certain destination and clear plan, success still requires a team with a high "proactive capacity." In our voyaging analogy, you might imagine the consequences of a powerful ocean storm when a crew is ill-equipped to improvise. We can work with a team or your entire system, to build skills, strengthen leadership, or facilitate a process towards the best team decisions. We specialize in highly participatory facilitated events that will genuinely engage your stakeholders, and result in initiatives that prioritize and organize your way forward.

We want to be your most committed partner in each of these three realms, providing content and process resources that strengthen your likelihood of success in advancing communities.

Our Guiding Beliefs and Values

We believe that organizations, nonprofits, and agencies, are all bold endeavors for advancing communities, with great potential and resources waiting to be tapped.

We also believe these organizations can and should be great places to work, because they connect us with a greater good.

My friend and associate Jim Lord considers organizations of social good to be "conduits" for individuals to contribute to society. He also called to my attention that our organizations have more to teach the Corporate world than its own for-profit business models have to teach us. For example, how often will someone "volunteer" at a for-profit firm one day, then mail a cash donation to the firm the next day? Yet, we see this in the nonprofit sector all the time! There is something in our sector that brings out the best in people. Our firm works closely with Jim, to grow this vital essence in communities world-wide.

Our Approach

Our typical client process begins with a complimentary discussion to gain an understanding of each other and the services we offer. After identifying your particular organization's concerns and priorities, we can consider some possible objectives, processes and results. After this initial discussion, and assuming we are "right" for each other at this time, we will be able to propose a scope of work.

We are flexible. Different clients need different things. One size does not fit all. Although we have a variety of service modules (see "Our Services") that address a wide variety of issues, we approach each project with the same attitude: To design a project that produces valuable results unique to your organization's circumstances.

We are a "shift". We work from a paradigm distinctly different from that which informs most of our society. This paradigm is articulated through "appreciative inquiry" and "social constructionism," and is at the core of our facilitation design and implementation.


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Advancement Services for Native Nonprofits. PO Box 4789, Hilo, HI 96720 Tel: 808.969.3991