Straight from the Consultant's Mouth

Gayle and Hildy

I’ve been sharing a lot about Pollyanna Principled Consulting and our Immersion Courses these days, mostly because I am as immersed in them as the students are!

So I thought intead of hearing how excited I have been about these courses, I would share a note I received from one of the students in our April class.  Gayle Valeriote is the manager of training and consultation for the Volunteer Centre of Guelph / Wellington, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.  Gayle has been putting her learning into action from the moment she left Tucson last month.  In reading her note, I hope you are as excited about what is possible as we were to receive it!


Hi Hildy:  I’ve finished my two-part workshop series – “Building an Engaged Board in 2 Acts” – which I revamped to reflect the Community Driven Approach. The group was 15 board members from 6 different child care centers in Guelph.  In a word, the feedback was excellent.
Over 6 hours, we dove into vision, values, mission, accountability, organizational structure/ends & means, board and ED roles (overlaps and unique responsibilities), strengthening organizations, friendraising (general) and ED evaluation.  All had a very strong tie to alignment behind vision and values, the last 4 topics at their request.
One of the best moments last night was when we were talking about the Diaper Bank example of strengthening an organization by growing deep roots in the community, and one of the participants lit up and said, “Oh!  I’ve just put together 25 years of experience and I finally get it.  I get what we need to be doing!”  She had this dreamy look on her face, like she had found perfect peace.  It was humbling and exhilarating, all at the same time.
Check this:  I watched the “back of the napkin” video that our new colleague shared on our Community-Driven Consulting community site last week.  I threw out all the powerpoints and led the group through recording their learning with a back of the napkin approach, using a pie chart of 6 sections (our napkins were scrap paper…).  In the evaluation discussion at the end, under the positives column, they told me to “continue to avoid powerpoint“, that the graphics and drawing were a much more powerful way to learn, that they would likely stick more!
To put it succinctly, I’M IN HEAVEN.  If I was a baseball player, I just pitched a no-hitter.  If I was a hockey player, I just got a hat trick.  I am a golfer, and it’s like I imagine a hole in one could be.  (Sorry, that exhausts the limit of my sports knowledge… 🙂  ).
I should add that I led “Act 1” again on Tuesday night with some child care board members from a very small community north of Guelph.  After 3 hours of vision and values, they begged me to find a way to do the session with their town council.  “We’re calling the mayor,” they said as they left.
Forget H1N1:  We need a pandemic of The Polyanna Principles!
In the past 6 weeks, in every conversation or training session or needs assessment or planning meeting I’ve attended, the Pollyanna Principles have been at the root of my participation.  This work has completely entered my way of being, beyond my work and even with my family.
Let me sum all this up by saying this:  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU THANK YOU, THANK YOU………………………….. and one more, thank you!
The thanks all go to you, Gayle, and to everyone in Classes #1, #2 and now #3, who are now out in their communities, being the change they want to see.  It is an honor to have each and every one of you in my life!
If you’re thinking of taking the first step in transforming your consulting practice to create more significant change in your community, check out the reading list for Phase 1 of the Consultants’ Curriculum.

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