We deliver inspiring results by igniting the human spirit in your organization.
Organizations are perfectly designed to achieve the results they're currently getting. A provocative statementand true in our experience because most organizations are designed in ways that stifle the human spirit. Even most service organizations still operate with high control structures that are designed to maximize efficiency and minimize variance. These structures were appropriate for the industrial age, when success meant producing the highest possible number of identical widgets at the lowest possible cost. Standardization and control were essential to success.
But in our post-modern age, these industrial-age structures are dysfunctional. They inhibit an organization's ability to be flexible and respond quickly to changes in the environment. They inhibit diversity and innovation, hope and individual empowerment, freedom and trust. In short, they stifle the human spiritthe cornerstone of success in today's environment of turbulent change.
When you partner with us to ignite the human spirit in your organization, you can expect to achieve these kinds of results:
- To make a transformative difference in the lives of your clientsYou find ways to continue providing quality to your clients, even if you've had to reduce services. At the end of each day, you go home knowing that their lives are a little better as a result of your work. Perhaps a homebound elder got to share a laugh, or a latchkey child found the courage and support to try something new. Over time, you'll see the bigger changes in the community as people feel more empowered and hopeful because of your contributions.
- To retain exceptional staffYou keep employees and volunteers who are passionate about their work because they do what they love and love what they do. They are committed to "hanging in" through the tough times because they take care of themselves and each other as well as clients. They see clearly how their daily activity contributes to moving the organization forward, and are thrilled to be part of creating their desired future for the organization.
- To generate the resources (financial and other) needed for a comfortable budget and financial stabilityYou provide quality programs/services without scraping. You no longer count paper clips, you say "yes" to small requests for "extras," even support training for staff or an off-site retreat! Igniting the human spirit in your organization streamlines and energizes your development activities and generates new funding strategies. If you need additional expertise in fundraising or grant writing, we can refer you to people with excellent skills in these areas.
- To develop an agile organization that "rolls with the punches"You are able to take advantage of change because you have a compelling mission and values statement, a crystal clear strategic focus and inspired leadership. Your mission, values and strategic focus engage everyone in heading in the same directiontoward the image of the future you want to create together. Inspired leadershipcultivated at every level of the organizationprovides guidance in when to press forward, when to retreat, when to duck, when to change direction. Anyone in the organization can provide leadership to meet a particular needincluding clients and other key players traditionally seen as outside the decision-making process.
- To achieve desired results you currently believe to be impossibleYou continually reflect on how your beliefs about what is possible affect your results. Everyone supports each other in expanding your perspectives and creativity so that you become increasingly open and innovative. You amaze yourselves by bringing "impossible dreams" into reality.
Our Positive, Strengths-Based Approach to Change: Appreciative Inquiry
In our culture, we are bombarded with the negative. Too often, we focus on what's wrongwith the world, with our government, with our boss, with our loved ones, with ourselves. In organizations, we approach change by striving to "fix problems" or "improve our weaknesses." Over time, this negative approach becomes demoralizing and debilitating.
Change occurs more quickly and easily by building on the positive, according to the most current research (see Resources for references and additional information). Focusing on what's right with us and our organizations is energizing and empowering. It enables us to see new possibilities we might otherwise miss.
For example, suppose you want to enhance the quality of service in your organization. Using a negative or problem-based approach, you analyze client or member complaints to determine what's going wrong, then develop ways to improve. Using a positive or strengths-based approach, you analyze success stories to identify "best practices," then develop ways to spread them throughout your organization.
Increasing numbers of organizations are adopting a positive approach to change called Appreciative Inquiry (AI). Tom White, former President of GTE Telops, says, "Appreciative Inquiry gets much better results than seeking out and solving problems
. Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating mindless happy talk
. We can't ignore problemswe just need to approach them from the other side." Over the 20 years that AI has been practiced, many additional organizations across all sectors have gotten "much better results" through AI.
Inspiring Results uses Appreciative Inquiry to help clients shift to a positive, strengths-based mind-set. When we first begin working with you, we'll ask questions about what's working in your organization, not what's wrong. We'll help you identify your current strengths and your greatest hopes for the future. And we'll help you identify ways to build on your strengths as you move toward your desired future.
What are Inspiring Results unique strengths?
We practice what we preach in our work. Appreciative Inquiry is a way of life for us, not just the way we earn our living. We are committed to modeling the AI philosophy and methods in every interaction with you. You can count on us to hold ourselves to the highest standards of quality and integrity in our work together.
We have unique qualifications for serving volunteer-based organizations. In addition to our experience in organizational change generally and Appreciative Inquiry specifically, we have extensive experience in volunteer management. This unique combination makes us the best choice for organizations that wish to create "inspiring results" among staff, volunteers, and the people they serve.
Our founder, Nancy Ogilvie, brings a unique blend of experiences to her work. She has a solid understanding of small and large companies and nonprofits, as well as contracting experience with municipal and federal governments. Her greatest skills involve creating opportunities for people to:
- Listen to each others’ perspectives
- Develop relationships built on mutual trust and respect
- Find common ground and build consensus
- Design organizational systems and structures that support them in creating the future they most want together.
For additional information on Nancy’s background, please click on “About Inspiring Results.”
How we'll start working with you
Hiring a consultant is a big step for an organization. You want someone who is competent
and who will be trustworthy and respectful. You want someone who takes the time to truly understand your situation
and who can offer innovative ideas and approaches. You want a partner who will help you create inspiring results!
In our first conversation, we clarify the results you want to achieve. We'll talk about how you want your organization to be different and the strengths you have to build on. You'll have lots of opportunity to ask questions about whether Appreciative Inquiry and Inspiring Results are right for you. Then, we'll determine together whether and how to proceed. Often, the first step is to conduct an introduction to AI for key stakeholders in your organization who need to be included in the decision to partner or not.
To learn more about AI and how it creates successful and sustainable change, click here.