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Community-Driven Institute


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Community-Driven Consulting
Immersion Level

 Learning to Be the Change You Want to See in Your Community 


As The Pollyanna Principles makes clear, learning to simply “do new things” is a small part of what it will take to transform the work of the Community Benefit Sector. The more important (and often more difficult) step is to transform the assumptions and expectations that undergird those skills.

For that reason, the Immersion Level course in the Community-Driven Consulting curriculum is aimed first and foremost at transforming the way you as a consultant think about the work you do with your clients, to take your practice to the next level of effectiveness.

When a consultant has worked with and internalized Community-Driven ways of seeing, thinking and being with their work, they can then apply those skills to any specific content area. Whether you specialize in governance, planning, resource development, etc., your consulting practice will be aligned more firmly behind the end goal of effecting significant improvement to the quality of life in your clients’ communities.

This course, therefore, is about transforming your consulting work to more effectively be the change you want to see; and then building the business side of your practice to reflect that work.

Who This Class is For  

Students must have at least one year experience in consulting to Community Benefit Organizations (or its equivalent) prior to participating in this course. If you are not sure if your experience is “equivalent,” please ask us.

We understand that often consultants would prefer to learn alongside those who are at similar places in their careers - seasoned consultants with seasoned consultants, for example. However our experience shows that when a group is learning new ways of thinking, having seasoned and newer consultants learning together is actually a benefit, as both bring much to the discussion.

Program Outcomes  

Client Results:

  • Consultant will be able to aim clients at their highest potential for creating a better future for their communities.

  • Consultant will have practiced each of the processes and systems in the Community-Driven curriculum, and will have learned how to transform the systems he/she is currently using by infusing Community-Driven philosophies and approaches into those systems.

  • Consultant will have a network of supportive colleagues for ongoing learning and support after the class.

Business Results:

  • Consultant will be able to build the business side of their practice, applying to their own personal goals the same approaches and thought-processes they will be using to reach for their client’s goals.

Program Format  

The Immersion Level Program will center around a 5-day intensive on-site program, in Tucson, Arizona. This 5-day timeframe accomplishes numerous objectives simultaneously, providing students with enough time to learn and practice multiple new approaches, while also providing the time to reflect both individually and collectively on the assumptions, expectations and belief systems the consultant will bring to his/her work.

The program core will be a Learning Community, to ensure participants gain knowledge from both the Institute staff and from each other. The on-site environment will encourage learning / practicing new skills together, discussing, exploring, reflecting and sharing each other’s wisdom.

The Learning Community will continue after the on-site work, through email discussions and/or other online tools, to provide ongoing support for implementing more Community-Driven approaches with clients.

The Immersion Level Program will include:

  • 5 day intensive learning experience, on-site in Tucson, Arizona

  • Workbook with handouts / worksheets for use with clients

  • Post-session Conference Call 30 days after the session, to answer questions, share experiences, and remove stumbling blocks

  • Email discussion group before, during and after the session, for ongoing Learning Community support. Institute staff will assist with questions / problems as participants begin applying new approaches to their work with clients

  • Ongoing assistance by Institute staff for clarifying / answering questions that arise as students begin transforming their consulting practice

  • Additional technology tools, such as a wiki or other on-line community, as requested by students and as developed.

Course Content  

The focus in the Immersion Level is to apply Community-Driven thinking to the practical processes / systems consultants use with their clients. The focus in this course is Hands-On, How-to learning, for re-considering their existing processes / systems and for adopting new systems.

That said, this is not a “how to facilitate” class. The systems that will be presented - as listed below - will be reviewed step-by-step as examples of The Pollyanna Principles in action. Discussion will focus not only on how the principles are reflected in these particular systems, but how the consultant can apply those principles to the work they are already doing with their clients.

The following are the systems that will be reviewed, step-by-step, in this course.

I - Governing for What Matters

  • Defining What Matters:
  • Facilitating vision work
  • Putting mission into vision-based context
  • Facilitating values work
  • Putting What Matters into Action - the place where most vision / values work falls down!

II - Community Impact / Organizational Wellness Planning

  • Step-by-Step facilitation of the Planning Process • Facilitation technique
  • Discussion / integration of other planning approaches and techniques

III - Program Development and Sustainability
      Facilitation of processes for:

  • Building programs upon shared community resources
  • Asset-Based Resource Development
  • Community Engagement

IV - Practice-Building: Impact Consulting

  • Applying the approaches you’ve learned to create dramatic results within your consulting practice.
  • How to use systems such as Vision-Based Impact Planning for your practice, to get what you really want.
  • Sales training specific to Community Benefit clients, from initial inquiry thru proposal, negotiations & final contract
  • Transforming your entire practice to aim at client impact and outcomes - and how to sell that for increased fees

What to Expect  

The following is just a taste of what you can expect when you participate in this 5-day immersion course.

  • Expect to learn from the instructors and from other students, and expect to share your own experience, wisdom and ideas, in a highly interactive environment. Expect to form a trusting Community of Practice with your classmates, that will last beyond just the 5 days.

  • Expect to be stretched and challenged, as you begin holding yourself accountable for the community outcomes your clients (and you) have the potential to achieve.

  • Expect to change your own assumptions, views, belief systems and expectations about how you integrate your life and your work with your community and your world.

  • Expect to leave with approaches you can put into practice with your clients immediately.

  • Expect to be inspired and energized. And expect to laugh and have a lot of fun.

For Registration Infomation

(including program dates and fees)

Register Now!

Oct 26 - Oct 30

Nov 16 - Nov 20

Jan 18 - Jan 22

Feb 22 - Feb 26


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