Organizational Development

Having been executive directors of several agencies; from small start-up to large, 50 staff/multi-million dollar organizations, we have experience with the wide range of issues that challenge Executive Directors.

Are you an executive director who is feeling burned out?

Are you an executive director who has come up through the ranks of the agency, and know the mission and programs of the organizations well, but aren’t quite sure about this new level of responsibility?

Are you a board president who wants to see your executive director be more effective?

Executive coaching entails regular consultations with:

  • specific support
  • setting goals
  • assessing strengths
  • analyzing challenges
  • creating strategies for increasing effectiveness
  • creating balance between work and personal life
Executive Transitions

Organizations, like people, go through developmental stages on their way to being strong, well integrated and healthy adults. Like individuals, organizations go through significant rites of passage from one stage of development to another.

Among the many transitions, the ending of the tenure of a long term leader is a critical cross road for most organizations. It is often a tremendous opportunity missed, as people are engaged in the grieving of the loss.

We work with organizations and individual leaders through the transition. We facilitate an organizational assessment that supports the organization in determining its future direction enough to inform the decisions about the replacement of the leadership.

We provide that support via any or all of three roles:

  • Transition consulting
  • Interim Leadership (Executive and Operations)
  • Search for new leadership
Meeting Facilitation

Among us, we have over 30 years of facilitation experience. We understand group dynamics and interpersonal relationships well.

Working with a planning team from your agency, congregation, or organization, we learn about the organizational culture. With that culture in mind, we facilitate staff and/or board retreats, large planning meetings, collaborative group meetings, and regular staff meetings.

Our facilitation approach is to incorporate your members’ strengths and to provide a safe, helpful environment where you can make decisions and learn to work more effectively as a team. We attend to spoken and non-verbal interactions in the room, and create a process that results in a sense of ownership by all participants.

Coaching

Spiritual Coaching
The strength of a spiritual practice is its capacity to teach us the lessons our journey is offering to us. Spiritual direction provides support for the journey. We work one-on-one or in small groups with people who want to deepen the insights and strengthen the power of their spiritual lives.

We provide regular consultations with specific support for integrating spirituality into all of life.

  • Listening
  • Sifting for treasures from childhood religious experiences
  • Discerning next steps on the journey
  • Reflections on the place of spirit in work life

Executive Coaching
Is your organization, congregation, agency committed to its mission, but side-tracked by not being well organized? Problems between board and staff? Organizational structure that just doesn't work any more? Finances a mess? Loss of team spirit? Strategic plan missing, or gathering dust on a shelf? One hand doesn’t know what the other is doing? We can help! We offer a full range of technical assistance to non-profits, foundations, congregations, and public agencies.

Ask yourself these questions. If you see where there might be some opportunities for growth and development, call us.

1. Do you know how to assess the health and strength of your organization?
Like living things, organizations go through developmental stages. Deciding how to grow can be a very healthy and helpful process. Without thought, growth can be destructive and painful. We can help with

  • board roles and responsibilities
  • organizational assessment
  • personnel issues

2. Does everyone know where you’re going?
“Not to decide is to decide”. It’s better to think ahead and take a pro-active stance toward your organization's future than to let it just happen. Either way, the future will come. Strategic planning is a key component to self-determination. We can help you to:

  • engage all stakeholders
  • look at strengths and challenges
  • set clear priorities
  • set measurable goals
  • develop concrete action steps
  • design constructive evaluation processes

3. Do your agency demographics reflect the larger community?
The United States, and even more so the Bay Area, reflect the diversity of the global village. To be effective in the 21st century, organizations need to understand the complexities that working with many cultural/racial groups entails. We can give you tools to help you move toward becoming a more inclusive organization.

4. How do you make decisions?
There is a particular form of decision making that moves a group beyond Robert's Rules of Order to true consensus. Techniques for achieving this significantly empowering method are available. We have extensive experience working with team building and consensus decision making models.

Cross-Cultural Effectiveness

We live in increasingly diverse communities, reflecting the world community here in the U.S. Each of us has a cultural lens through which we engage in and with our community.

At Seven Generations, we use various methodologies to engage groups in attending to the cultural behaviors, perceptions and assumptions we bring to our work and our lives.

Understanding that we all engage successfully across some measures of difference, our approach is to begin from a position of strength, recognizing that there is wisdom as well as the need to grow in every group.

We use the most effective tools for each context. Here are three samples and their elements:

    Toward Transformation
  • Identity development and race
  • The dynamics of oppression
  • Individual
  • Institutional
  • Internalized
  • Insider/Outsider: group identity development
  • Prejudice, Power and Privilege
  • Resistance
  • Communication
  • Liberation
  • Reconciliation
    Through Different Eyes
  • How do we think: assumptions?
  • What do we say/do: behaviors?
  • What don’t we say: assumptions?
  • Where do we go from here?
    The Multicultural Organization
  • Stages toward appreciating diversity
  • Identifying barriers
  • Practical strategies for our own context
Rituals and Ceremonies

Building on their own histories, we help families celebrate with rituals and ceremonies drawn from their own cultural and/or religious traditions and practices, and create new traditions on which they can build. We do not appropriate cultural practices.

Naming/welcoming ceremonies
We facilitate the welcoming of the new baby into the family and into the world.

Rites of passage
At adolescence, moving away from home, retirement, and empty nest, there are emotional, spiritual and collective experiences that when marked by ceremony or ritual can be transformative for all involved. Our ceremonies mark these and other life transitions as sacred.

House blessings
Moving is a stressful event. Blessing your new home gives you the opportunity to be attentive to what you want for your life as well as your new home. Our ceremonies reflect the new occupants’ desire for wholeness and wellbeing in their home.

Weddings/Holy Unions
The binding of two lives is a sacred moment. We bring together the concerns and celebrations of both members of the couple. We honor where they have come from and celebrate what they are creating by their union. Each ceremony reflects the values and dreams of the couple.

Healing ceremonies
There are many contributing factors to illness. If we are attentive, illness, like everything else in our lives can provide us with important lessons. Healing ceremonies provide an opening to the lessons our lives have to offer. Often, in the process, physical healing occurs as well.

Memorial ceremonies
Like birth, the death of a loved one, changes our lives. Marking this moment so that it reflects the life of the person who has died is a sacred trust. Families can find transformation in the passing of a loved one, even in the midst of tremendous grief.

Finance and Economic Literacy

We approach financial management from a place of literacy and organizational culture. Often within an organization fostering a culture that supports the administrative, development and financial needs of the work is at odds with the organizational culture that supports the program work on the ground. Understanding how these cultures are interdependent, innovative, visionary and symbiotic is central to our approach.

The services we provide to clients are directed in three areas: The first is within operations and finance management; The second is development and fundraising consulting services, including grassroots development planning; and the third area of our work is supporting the financial literacy and long term sustainability of the nonprofit and social justice community.

Since its founding ten years ago, our commitment to the non-profit sector has strengthened, as has our belief that our personalized work plans and projects will best serve the varying needs of each organization that we work with.

Finance and Operations Management

  • Help establish finance systems in the organization
  • Coordinate annual budget process and mid year review
  • Lead and coordinate annual financial audit process
  • Long term financial strategic planning — systems, earned income and org growth
  • Write and/or review personnel manuals
  • Asses organizational development, leadership development and training needs

Development & Fundraising

  • Nonprofit development workshops
  • Board training and coaching
  • Grassroots development planning
  • Earned income — social enterprise strategic planning
  • Strategic development planning — diversifying revenue streams and expanding capacity
  • Donor relations and stewardship

Financial Literacy and Finance Planning

  • Workshops and training on REAL personal financial management for nonprofit staff
  • Personal cash and debt management — understanding credit scoring
  • Retirement planning and major life changes as part of strategic financial planning
  • Understanding the home buying process as part of strategic financial planning