We are a network of experienced consultants, who offer a varied menu of opportunities… here is a paragraph on various things on offer…
We know that many leaders feel isolated. They cannot unburden themselves on anyone without a risk to confidentiality and loss of credibility. A listening ear and a few prompts to think through issues of concern can be available from people who know the situation quite well, have experience of similar situations or are complete outsiders who can listen attentively and be a ‘sounding board’ to think through different courses of action and their likely impact on a difficult situation.
Where do we go from here? It is good to take stock of the progress (or otherwise, perhaps!) of your organisation. There are several ways in which that can be done, from large scale consultation to a team review, but it is usually helpful to have an outsider to help ask the questions that get overlooked by those closest to the action. Issues may arise from seeing what effect the programme has on the beneficiaries and whether others are affected for better or worse as a consequence; whether the original vision has been lost and whether something should change; can the work be done more effectively or presented better.
Strategic planning is vital for the wellbeing of any organisation, but different people have different ideas and approaches. The ‘Commander’ may just decide the strategy with others too timid to contribute. So many ideas may pour out in a workshop that the organisation is swamped with things that seem essential to do but there is no knowledge or time to implement them. How can it be done effectively, and be useful? Good facilitation will help you reach a realistic map of the way forward with clear guidelines on route, rather than a fancy document that impresses while it collects dust. John and Phil have separately or together worked to facilitate several strategic planning workshops for dioceses, programmes and individual projects in different parts of the world.
‘Logframes’ are popular with some donor agencies but are often very difficult to write. But they can help to clarify aims and identify objectives as well as enable the team to consider together the processes and potential risks to the project. John has provided the external guidance in this process to strengthen the team’s understanding and to produce a comprehensible document. He has facilitated workshop with projects of the diocese of Hyderabad and worked with those co-ordinating the writing of a logframe.
The new accountant brought into the office wanted to leave as he felt his new colleagues resented him and at least one of them resented him getting a job that he felt should have been his. Relationships deteriorated and mis-trust abounded. A simple process of Appreciative Inquiry opened up the issues in an open forum. The person believed to be wanting the accountant out turned out to be his most vociferous supporter and an attack on the integrity of another person lead to a strong expression of support and the exposure of a misunderstanding. Someone was challenged to modify their language so as to ‘say what they mean and mean what they say’. It could not have been done without facilitation but it transformed the atmosphere and efficiency of the office. Several of us are experienced in the process of Appreciative Inquiry, which if handled well can transform working relations.
We have extensive experience of managing independent evaluations of projects. These are usually required by donors. Using our own extensive experience of project leadership and management in difficult issues (drug rehabilitation, education provision in remote and rural areas, …) and drawing on local expertise they form an effective team that draws on collective experience in similar circumstances to understand constraints and see opportunities for developing quality ministry.