Consultants as Catalysts for Community Change

It is the end of Day 3 of our Pollyanna Principled Immersion Course for consultants. Our expectations have already been surpassed so many times, we are now simply reveling in what continues to evolve.

The combined experience of this group of 7 practitioners easily approaches or even surpasses 100 years.  They have certainly been around the block more than several times in the work of this sector.

These are precisely the consultants – at the top of their game – one would NOT expect to find in a course that is encouraging them to relearn everything about the way they think about their work!

And yet, in describing the work we are doing together, group members are using words like “revolutionary” and “heretical.” They are unlearning and letting go of ways of thinking that simply are not creating the kinds of dramatic community change they know is possible and want to achieve.

They are trying on new ways of being – some of them after 20+ years of doing this work.  And they are practicing those new ways of thinking and being at every turn throughout the week.

Their feedback and reflection includes statements like, “This resonates!” and “This just feels so right!” and “We are taught to do just the opposite of this – but this works so much better!”

At the core, these consultants are practicing a way of thinking and being that ensures they are holding themselves accountable for their client’s highest potential.

For every piece of their work, they are being urged to ask, “What is the potential of this piece? For whom? What potential will you hold yourself for accomplishing?”

At every step of the class, we (the instructors) are modeling The Pollyanna Principles in action. We know if we model these approaches with the attendees, they will learn to model those same approaches with their clients.  We are doing our best to walk our talk.  I’m looking so forward to asking the group, at the end of the last day, what they saw us modeling, and how they will take that with them.

And the results so far?  One attendee is a seasoned business consultant with an MBA and over 30 years experience.  He observed,

“I have never in all my years seen a group become a group this quickly.  We are taught that it can take days or longer for a group to become a team – the old “Form / Storm / Norm / Perform.”  But this group was a team within the first hour!  I cannot wait to start working this way with the groups I consult to!”

Others have expressed similar surprise at how quickly governance and planning and fund development discussions realign themselves, simply  by focusing on what we as consultants are holding ourselves accountable for achieving.

So is this magic?  No.  It is by design – a design that is aimed at what we at the Community-Driven Institute are holding ourselves accountable for in this class.  Because after all, as Pollyanna Principle #1 tells us, “We accomplish what we hold ourselves accountable for!”

And so, as we have developed and executed this class, the potential for which we have held ourselves accountable is simple and direct:

We intend for the attendees of the Pollyanna Principled Consultants Immersion Course to be wildly successful catalysts for community change.  And we are holding ourselves accountable for making that possible and doable.

We have created the course to establish the conditions that will lead to that success.  Our job, then, is to ensure that is precisely the result that comes to pass.

What will it take to ensure a consultant is a catalyst for community change?  In the next few days, we will have some video from this class’s participants, to share some of their answers to that very question.

In the meantime, we all hope you will consider taking the plunge and joining us for the next class, to experience the answer to that question yourself.

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