In nonprofit facilitations, clinic time cures what ails

Posted on February 15, 2012 by Pam Truitt

Last week, The Patterson Foundation sponsored an all-day session for the 12 Florida-based consultants who have completed Phase I and Phase II La Piana Consulting training.

Five months have passed and it was time to check-in to see how they are doing in terms of collaborative restructuring projects, business development, learning additional technical skills and clinic.

The group gathered at the Rollins College Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership Center in Winter Park, Fla., spending the better part of a Friday learning and sharing.

In my opinion, the most important part of the day was when they engaged in open and honest dialogue about portions of their work that were troubling, sticky or testing — or some combination. One consultant shared that a client may have a hidden agenda. I shared that a project I’ve been involved with was probably doomed from the beginning. What signs did I miss?

The consultants are all independent professionals with a vast amount of experience. Bonding through the training has set a foundation where, over time, trust can be built. We got first-hand experience in terms of what we ask nonprofits to do when beginning conversations that may lead to collaborations.

Simple collaborations begin when you are confident in the outcome. Even if that outcome is knowing that confidential conversations among friends are shared for learning and will not leave the room even when you do.

The clinic time was the perfect therapy for those things that ail us.

How would you begin simple collaborations?


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