Training, Workshops, and Consultation

This is not an exhaustive list of training, workshops, and consultation services. For additional information on others, please email

Tenacious Change: An Approach to Sustainable Community Change with Collective Impact and Community Development

2017-07-17 - TC 1095x435 TransparentAnchored in original research by Tom Klaus, PhD and Ed Saunders, PhD, this training is designed to introduce groups to the Roots to Fruit of Sustainable Community Change Model (R2F). The model offers a “measurable roadmap” to communities seeking to create positive tenacious change. As a roadmap, R2F offers a framework for organizing and moving forward to build support for community change. In addition, community groups can monitor and assess progress through an evaluation tool developed for R2F. Research into the R2F model has also formed the framework for one of the first efforts in the United States to teach collective impact at the university level. Since 2015, Tom Klaus has been teaching collective impact in a doctoral level course at Eastern University in Philadelphia. Now, the R2F research and the practical experience in teaching Collective Impact has been brought together in a new training for practitioners of community change. The training examines the two key aspects of community change. First, “roots” of community change in the structure and organizing for change. Community change agents will learn how to build an infrastructure that can effectively facilitate and drive change. Second, the “fruit” of community change through community engagement and mobilization. Training participants will come to understand how community change happens through the Stages of Community Transition. Finally, participants will learn how to monitor and assess progress in both establishing the “roots” and growing the “fruit” of community change.

The Community Engagement & Mobilization Game

The Community Engagement & Mobilization Game is a highly interactive, gently competitive, and fun simulation activity to teach common skills and strategies for effective community engagement and mobilization. The nature of the game requires a minimum of 50 participants and a half-day (3 to 4 hours) to complete. Participants in the game have given it very high marks. Here are just a few of their comments:

  • “I saw clearly how important it is to have TIME to build relationships. We don’t ‘recruit’ just to have numbers. Quality relationships matter.”
  • “It helped to make abstract concepts more concrete. It was nice to see all of things we have been discussing in this training put into action.”
  • “It is so, so important to seek the voices of those who typically don’t feel engaged or included.”

Teaming for Optimal Performance: Building Shared Leadership Teams that Get the Job Done on Time, with Humor, Grace, and Professionalism

This training and consultation is designed to strengthen the capacity of coalitions, collaborative groups, and teams to become high performance teams that regular meet their objective and goals. Group or team members participating in the training will be able to: 1) describe the stages of  group development and identify their group’s stage at any given moment; 2) utilize effective communication skills to achieve clarity and understanding between team members and between teams; 3) describe and utilize the principles of emotional intelligence; 4) identify their own “default” shared leadership approaches; 5) articulate the core competencies for working as a team during a period of crisis; and 6) effectively organize their group for effective action.

Community Mobilization for Community Change: Creating an Optimal Transformation Environment

Originally developed for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) teen pregnancy prevention grantees, this training is also now available to community wide groups working on any number of issues. The purpose of this training is to strengthen the capacity of community wide change initiatives to utilize effective community mobilization strategies in order to build broad and long-lasting support for adopting, implementing, and evaluating their programs and services. This training was delivered in May, 2016 to 235 OAH teen pregnancy prevention grantees in Denver, CO and Washington, DC to rave reviews. Participants in this training will be able to: 1) identify, enlist, and retain community “champions” who will become allies in community mobilization; 2) help community mobilizer groups (e.g., community coalitions and youth leadership teams) achieve consensus on a common mobilization agenda and message for their community; 3) involve community champions, supports, and fans with meaningful roles in community coalitions and youth leadership teams; 4) select “best fit” community mobilization activities to use in their community; 5) develop and confidently enact a community mobilization plan; and 6) assess their community mobilization efforts.

Strengthening Team Communication: A Group Exercise in Using Dialogue

How important is good communication in work teams? It may make the difference between team success and failure. This training focuses on building the capacity of individual team members to communicate more effectively with one another. Through a series of learning activities, participants learn the value of communication in healthy team functioning, the difference between debate and dialogue, and how to use dialogue in a variety of settings.

Beyond the Needs Assessment Survey: Developing a Deeper Understanding of Community Needs, Wants, and Will

The basic community needs assessment surveys that reveal the numbers behind an issue is an important, fundamental tool for informing the strategy of community change initiatives. The ability to look beyond the numbers, however, is particularly important when trying to engage difficult to reach populations. This training is designed to teach program staff and community change groups at least three simple qualitative strategies for gaining deeper understanding of a community. These strategies will not only illuminate the needs revealed by the numbers but also improve understanding of what the and has the will to do. Group or team members participating in this training will be able to: 1) describe the indicators of social disorganization that may be used to identify individuals most in need; 2) practice a basic eco-mapping strategy for understanding which services individuals are most likely to use; 3) practice an appreciative qualitative process to increase understanding of why individuals choose the services they do; and 4) consider changes that can be made to increase utilization of services by individuals and families.

Simple Rules for Community Engagement: A Case Study

Using a case study approach, this training helps program staff, community collaborations, and coalitions understand the principles of community engagement. By participating in this session, attendees can expect to: 1) learn the “simple rules” (core principles) of community engagement; 2) build understanding of how to apply the simple rules even in facing complex issues; and 3) gain practical experience in articulating and applying them through a case study learning experience.

Adaptive Strategy Planning: Going Beyond the Usual Strategic Plan to Create Something Groups Will Really Use

Nonprofit organizations trying to affect complex social issues need a strategy planning approach that considers the continuously changing context in which an organization functions. This means effective strategy planning needs to align an organization’s vision, mission, and strategic goals, yet pro-actively include a process by which the strategy plan can be adapted as the context changes. We specialize in helping organizations create an adaptive strategy plan that allows them to chart a clear course and yet, when needed, to nimbly and thoughtfully adapt the plan to remain competitive, relevant, and effective.

Strategic Conflict Management: Engagement and Communication for Effectively Managing Conflict and Controversy

Strategic conflict management is the art and science of anticipating conflict in order to minimize its collateral damage. Social change creates controversy and conflict. Nonprofit organizations at the forefront of social change will stir up both. Many nonprofits, however, do not anticipate and prepare for it.  Failure to prepare for controversy and conflict can put any gains already made at risk and can even undermine the entire effort. This research-based training event draws upon the qualitative research of the trainer, Tom Klaus, PhD, with leaders of organizations engaged in high-stakes, high-pressure social change efforts. The training is designed to teach nonprofit leaders, board members, program managers, and “front line” staff how to forecast conflict, work proactively to minimize its damaging effects, and respond effectively to controversy before it becomes all-out conflict. Change is never easy and is rarely welcome. This training can make the way forward less stressful and more productive for leaders and their organizations.

 Tailored Training, Workshops, and Consultations

If you do not see what you are looking for, ask if it can be developed for your group. Many of the events and services listed on this page came about as a result of special tailored requests. We would be happy to talk with you about your specific needs. If we cannot help, then we will help you find someone who can.

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