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Case Studies:

Taking Leadership to the Next Level
Creating a Strategic Vision
Building a Collaborative, High Performing Team
Inspiring Organizational Breakthroughs

Case Studies:

Taking Leadership to the Next Level
Creating a Strategic Vision
Building a Collaborative, High Performing Team
Inspiring Organizational Breakthroughs

Taking Leadership to the Next Level

New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF) RootSkills Leadership Workshop

The New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF) seeks to energize and nurture long term civic engagement in local initiatives that create and maintain healthy, just, safe and environmentally sustainable communities. The Fund uses stories, tools and dollars to fuel local activism and social change.  NEGEF brings together over 150 activists and community innovators annually for RootSkills: a day of skills-sharpening, designed especially for the grassroots.  Amanda Silver Consulting was hired to design and lead one of three skill-building track, focused on Personal Leadership.

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Questions guiding this project:

What skills and qualities do NEGEF leaders need to be more effective in their work?
How do we support NEGEF leaders in addressing burn-out?
What can we do to provide inspiration and reflection for our grantees?

Services provided:

Leadership Training
Custom Curriculum Design
Facilitation

Process:

Step:
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1
Meet with NEGEF staff to identify the overarching purpose and outcomes for the session.
Step:
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2
Custom design content for a five-hour session for 30 grantees from 25 different organizations.
Step:
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3
Facilitate a 5-hour workshop focused on exploring different styles and skills for effective leadership.  Content includes the role of leadership in one’s work, exploration of personal vision and purpose for social change, and new tools for skillful communication and time-management.

Results:

30 grassroots leaders from 25 organizations strengthen their ability to lead their organizations and communities.
New relationships and partnerships are forged between participants to further their work.
On a scale of one (lowest) to five (highest), 100% of participants who fill out the evaluation rate the training a four or a five.
Amanda is so well schooled in what leaders need to be strong social change leaders. She quickly got into the Grassroots Fund's culture, but then kept the strength and focus to guide our grantees through their leadership training, leading them to greater self-awareness of their innate skills and knowledge from their own experiences in the field.
Cheryl King Fischer, New England Grassroots Environment Fund

Creating a Strategic Vision

Lebanon, NH School District Strategic Plan

The Lebanon School District serves 1600 students in four schools.  The mission of the District is to provide a challenging, positive and safe learning environment that CARES.

Amanda Silver Consulting was hired to facilitate the creation of the Lebanon School District’s first strategic plan.  Working in collaboration with the Superintendent and the Strategic Planning Committee, Amanda designed a broad-based process that involved over 300 teachers, parents, community members, students and board members over a 9-month period.

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Questions guiding this project:

What are the strengths and challenges of our school district?
How do we engage our full community in the creation of our vision for the future?
What are our strategic priorities for the future of our students and community?

Services provided:

Strategic Planning
Retreat Design & Facilitation
Organizational Change
Assessment and Survey Development

Process:

Step:
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1
Clarify outcomes, design, and timeline for strategic plan with Superintendent and leadership team.
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2
Conduct community – wide survey to assess strengths, challenges, and potential priorities for the District.
Step:
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3
Facilitate two community forums and a senior leader retreat to engage teachers, students, parents and administrators in soliciting ideas and refining priorities.
Step:
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4
Design and support 9-month process with Strategic Planning Committee to clarify 3-year priorities, strategies and outcomes.

Results:

The District defines a clear set of priorities and objectives to guide decision-making, planning and budgeting for the next three years.
Greater communication and engagement between the broader community and district leadership develops through the process.
Senior leadership team increases collaboration and sense of alignment around core priorities.
Developing a meaningful three-year strategic plan can be an arduous task. I am very appreciative of Amanda's guidance and support throughout our strategic design process. One of Amanda's strengths is the facilitation of committee meetings and larger Board and community forums. Each meeting was facilitated in a way that opened up conversations and resulted in the gathering of valuable input. She also crafted surveys that provided essential feedback from the community.  Our collaboration with Amanda led to a three-year plan that celebrates district strengths and targets annual goals.
Dr. Joanne Roberts, Superintendent, Lebanon School District, NH

Building a Collaborative, High Performing Team

Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P) Interdepartmental Team Retreat

Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) has earned a national reputation as one of the most comprehensive HIV/AIDS services providers in the U.S.  Their mission is to meet the evolving medical and social service needs of people living with HIV/AIDS by providing direct services and advocacy, while working to prevent new infections through education and outreach.  Amanda Silver Consulting was hired to work with Leslie Sholl Jaffe Consulting to support the staff in building interdepending relationships and working more effectively across departmental lines.

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Questions guiding this project:

How aligned is our staff with the mission and vision of D.A.P?
How can we strengthen communication between our teams? What is working? Where are the breakdowns happening?
How can we deepen our sense of collective purpose and commitment to serving our clients?

Services provided:

Team-building
Survey and assessment
Retreat design and facilitation
Organizational development

Process:

Step:
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1
Meet with the directors of the two departments to establish goals and outcomes of the retreat.
Step:
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2
Get broad input on retreat goals through eight interviews with cross section of staff and a department-wide survey to 40 people
Step:
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Design retreat, ensuring that it meets outcomes and addresses concerns and suggestions from interviews and survey.
Step:
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4
Co-deliver a two-day off-site retreat for 40 employees that meets all outcomes.

Results:

Participants discover new ideas to address communication challenges between the two departments and develop action plans for implementation
Participants feel and see improvement in morale and accountability.
Participants feel a renewed sense of commitment to the organization and their work together.
Things here are going well. The mood from the retreat seems to be carrying over. I have overheard staff saying to one another ‘you can count on me for…’ and that makes me smile. Looking forward to the next steps.
D.A.P. senior staff member

Inspiring Organizational Breakthroughs

Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging Visioning Retreat

The Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging (DCHA) aim to improve the quality of life for northern New England's more than 350,000 elderly by fostering research, education and interdisciplinary collaboration.  The organization hired Amanda Silver Consulting to facilitate a visioning process to help the organization identify current strengths, future opportunities and areas of intersection between the three Centers of work.

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Questions guiding this project:

Where are we now? What are we doing well?
Where should we be going? What can we do to have greater impact?
Where does our work overlap and differ?  How can we leverage our future impact through greater collaboration?

Services provided:

Services provided:

Team-building
Survey and assessment
Retreat design and facilitation
Organizational development

Process:

Step:
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1
Meet with DCHA senior leadership to establish goals, outcomes, and timeline for the visioning process.
Step:
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2
Gain input on current strengths, challenges, and priorities for retreat through interviews with cross-section of staff and organization-wide survey to 30 people.
Step:
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3
Design and facilitate two-day retreat focusing on building relationships, increasing collaboration, and developing a vision for DCHA’s future.
Step:
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4
Develop and present recommendations from retreat to senior leadership for next steps.

Results:

Participants identify new ideas to strengthen collaboration between different Centers within the organization.
Staff build greater alignment for DCHA’s organizational mission and purpose.
Staff gain greater understanding of one another’s work and their unique contributions to DCHA.