CONSULTING SERVICES TO ORGANIZATIONS
Women's Theological Center offers consulting services to organizations seeking to draw on the wisdom and full participation of all stakeholder groups in order to live their mission more effectively. The focus of our work with organizations is to create shared understanding of and strategies for addressing the barriers that prevent such full and diverse participation. Our goal is the creation of organizations that are diverse, intercultural and inclusive in which ownership, leadership and benefit are shared across divides created by racism, sexism, classism, etc.
In his book The Tao of Democracy, Tom Altee writes,
Given a supportive structure and resources, diverse ordinary people can work together to reach common ground, creating wise and deliberative policy that reflects the highest public interest.
Our consulting services to organizations begin with creating the supportive structure needed so everyone can bring their best selves to the task of building the shared mission, vision and values needed to work collectively for a common purpose.
We therefore ground our work with organizations in what we call "spiritual leadership" - the aspect of leadership that is rooted in a sense of purpose, inspired by a dream, connected to energies and communities beyond itself, and committed to the creation of a just world. In our experience, grounding in spiritual leadership offers participants creative and joyful ways of engaging in transformative processes that are often complex and sometimes feel uncomfortable, painful, or overwhelming to those involved.
In addition to spiritual leadership, creating diverse, intercultural and inclusive organizations also requires other aspects of leadership. As consultants, therefore, we also seek to develop the problem solving and the facilitative aspects of leadership.
Through the use of problem-solving leadership, we work with an organization to assess what problems need to be addressed and to design strategies for addressing these problems using the mission, values and strategic objectives of the organization as a guide or road map.
Through the use of facilitative leadership, we help build a team of people (often the "diversity committee") who can lead and support the rest of the organization to move through the transformation process needed to increase an organization's capacity for living its mission.
As consultants, we begin with the assumption that each organization is unique. While it may have experiences similar to other organizations, each organization has its own history, its own purpose and gifts, its own culture, its own networks and relationships.
Our consulting practice begins with getting to know something about the unique character of the organization and the particular situation that has led to the call for consulting services. We work with the organization to understand the level of intervention sought and to determine a plan that is appropriate based on issues identified, resources available, and the time frame set for the process to be engaged. Depending on these variables, an intervention can be anything from a full-scale initiative that takes place over years to a short-term series of trainings for teams.
Our services include:
- organization-wide assessments through the use of focus groups, surveys and/or interviews to determine the range of understanding of issues, concerns, strengths and opportunities within the organization. This typically involves individuals from all identified stakeholder groups, including staff, board, program participants, members, funders, etc.
- trainings to develop individual and collective awareness and understanding of ways in which systems and structures increase or limit the organization's capacity to live its mission;
- trainings, workshops and consultation on anti-racism and anti-internalized racism through the lens of spiritual leadership;
- workshops in communicating about and across difference;
- facilitated workshops to increase individuals' capacity to work in teams (e.g. diversity committee, board, staff);
- facilitation of affinity groups (e.g. people of color, whites) to explore structural and cultural issues particular to that group and to identify resources within the group that can promote organizational transformation;
- conflict mediation between individuals or groups;
- program design;
- and, strategic planning to design and implement policies and practices that enhance full and diverse participation toward the fulfillment of the organization's mission.
OUR CONSULTING PARTNERS
WTC consultants include about 20 individuals and organizations. The group is diverse in terms of its demographics, representing a range of genders, ages, ethnicities, cultures, "races", classes, religions/spiritual paths and sexualities. It is also diverse in terms of its areas of expertise and fields of experience. We work collaboratively and, depending on the need, typically work in cross-racial teams of at least two.
To discuss ways in which we might be of service to your organization, please email us.