We confess we
love every group that comes through the Institutes Immersion Class.
Whether they are just starting their consulting practice or they are 30+ year
veterans, these are people who want their work to change the world. How amazing
class for consultants affiliated with Management Support Organizations stood
out from the rest, though. People who lead nonprofit resource centers,
volunteer centers and similar programs wear two hats in their work. Yes, they
share the same client issues as any other consultant. But they also run their
own organizations, often facing the same board issues, fundraising issues, and
measurement issues they are helping their clients
That dual role
led to richly layered discussions and learning. We asked a few of the
participants in that MSO class to share their thoughts about the class.
nonprofit management at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, where she has
been a driving force for developing a regional Boards Initiative. On behalf of
the University, Debra also coordinates the Snowy Range Nonprofit Institute,
running an annual conference for nonprofit leaders in the
Kumer is the Executive Director and lead consultant / trainer at
the soon-to-be-renamed Nonprofit Leadership Institute at Duquesne University in
Jones works with Michael as the other in-house consultant /
trainer at the NLI.
has the class made on the work your MSO is doing with organizations?
All the difference in the world! Weve clarified/strengthened our
stand regarding our highest aspirations for our own work, and we
are clearer in our communications with clients about who we are.
One specific area of clarity has been an increase in our emphasis on core
values, for ourselves and for our clients.
The immersion course has expanded exponentially both my vision of what is
possible, and my toolbox from which to make it happen. What I particularly
appreciate, and what drew me to the CDIs work from the beginning, is that
most of this lived inside of me all along. Participating in this class helped
me articulate it, and fill in some pretty critical gaps in understanding how it
has the class made for your MSO itself?
Our little MSO is so new, it feels like we are far from actually doing this
work right now. But as we are building it, the class is informing everything
about how we plan our work, how we engage people in building the initiative,
the questions we are asking. It is informing everything about how we are
At the NLI we are now modeling what we teach to others (which alone made
enrollment in the Immersion Course so vastly rewarding). We enjoy more powerful
internal communication. And our decision-making has improved exponentially.
We can now articulate our philosophy (based on The Pollyanna Principles) into a
whole approach to planning. And since both members of our in-house consulting
staff have attended the course, we are completely aligned in our approach with
You all attend
workshops and conferences and classes as part of your job. What is different
about what you learned at the CDI than what you have learned in other
What I appreciated most was that the content began and ended with vision,
mission and values. As a consultant called upon to deal with the practical
challenges my clients face, I appreciated the chance to see and frame
vision, mission and values in very actionable ways. They arent
fuzzy concepts; they are absolutely real, absolutely tied to practical work,
and absolutely inspiring.
Other classes focus on changing nonprofits, or maybe even changing
the nonprofit sector, but the CDI class focuses on changing the world! This is
the kind of stuff that makes you excited to get up in the morning. It is
creative, inspiring and groundbreaking work.
Thats because we finally learned the why of our work (as
opposed to merely the how).
What would you
tell an MSO leader who is considering taking this
There are three reasons I would recommend taking this
- The chance to
explore (and take away) world-class content that has the potential to change
both the world and the Community Benefit Sector that serves
opportunities to practice this work, both as facilitator and as client, which
increases your potential for effectiveness when youre working with an
organization in the field.
- The instant peer
group that you join - both your classmates and the broader CDI learning
The MSO Immersion course is a giant step in the thousand mile journey of
Learn about the
January 2011 MSO class - and register now. The class is limited to only 10