Archive for the ‘ Linear Service Model ’ Category

A Linear Service Model=Continuous Improvement Part 1

So now that you know what a Linear Service Model is, what’s next? What makes a Linear Service Model so much better than a Global Service Model? Its simple: The ability to foster a community culture of continuous improvement within our Pregnancy Centers. The ability to understand what is not working and the ability to fix it.

As the pioneer in creating and implementing the only repeatable and measurable LSM for a PRC in the world you’ve come to the right place. At CompassCare we understand that no pregnancy center is perfect. We also understand that we executives serve because of our passion for the mission. It is our mission that drives us to excel. We know that there is not a sane woman alive who actually wants to have an abortion. She comes to our organization saying things like, “I’m stuck, trapped . . . I’ve got no other choice. I need to have an abortion.” Our mission is to erase the need for abortion in the mind of every woman.

As executives we are responsible to answer to our boards and ultimately to our communities that have invested so many resources in our organizations. We are responsible to give an answer as to how those valuable human and financial resources have been used to bridge the gap between a community with abortion and a community without. We need to give an answer as to how we delivered on the mission to reach and serve women seriously considering abortion helping them to have their babies.

Metrics Are a Bridge to an Abortion Free Future

And how do we as executives communicate the results our organizations are getting? And perhaps more importantly, how do we get better at what we are doing? This is what the business world calls the ‘Return On Investment’ or ROI. Talking to other pregnancy center executives is good. Attending Pregnancy Center related conferences can be good. But those activities don’t tell you how your organization is performing nor can they pinpoint exactly what your organization should do to get better.

The only thing that can help your organization make the right changes in right way is measuring the right things. Remember the old adage, “What gets measured gets fixed?” The question for us becomes, “What should we measure?” To see a CompassCare Master Metrics report designed to help OT executives get a good picture of how their organization is performing on the mission click on the following link: OT Network YTD Master 11.1.10

If your organization is determined to help reverse the abortion trend in your community then two of the most important categories to measure are; 1) Reaching the right women and 2) Serving them in the right way. Understanding and learning to use metrics will empower you as an executive to lead your pregnancy center into greater effectiveness than you ever imagined possible. In fact, one of CompassCare’s OT executives recently said to a group of executives in training, “If I didn’t have these metrics anymore, I’d close our doors.  It’s how I know that what we’re doing is working!”

Metrics: The Key to Success

For more information about CompassCare’s comprehensive advanced Linear Service Model (LSM) training click here.

Update:  See Linear Service Model = Continuous Improvement, Part 2

New York City Council Bill Restricts Free Speech of Pregnancy Centers

Free Speech Restrictions on Pregnancy Centers

New York City Council is attempting to pass a bill restricting the free speech rights of pregnancy centers there. Click here to read New York Times article. This idea was first introduced back in 2006 by Rep Carolyn Maloney of New York with a bill entitled “Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women’s Services Act.” At the time the ACLU, an organization known for its broad interpretation of free speech rights, came out in support of this speech restriction. It resurfaced in June of 2010 as HR 5652 and now New York City council wants its own version.

Why is the abortion industry working so hard to regulate Pregnancy Centers and deregulate their own activity that exploits women when most vulnerable? What is unfair is the fact that abortion providers are permitted to provide substandard medical care and market themselves as objective options consultants without disclosing the significant financial conflict of interest their activity represents: Abortion providers all have a vested financial interest in the woman making a particular choice. This reality makes it very difficult for them to maintain an objective presentation of the facts especially when under significant financial strain (See Planned Parenthood tax defunding in New Jersey).

This represents an external threat to pregnancy centers certainly in New York State as New York city may be willing to set a dangerous precedent. However, if a pregnancy centers followed a linear service model that documents what information is provided, how, and by whom it would go a long way in insulating pregnancy centers and by default women considering abortion from coercive political maneuvering.

Legal Do’s and Don’ts for Pregnancy Centers and Other Non-Profits

Many Executives and leaders of non-profits like pregnancy centers do not engage in political issues during the election season for fear of the negative impact it might have on their non-profit status. The attorney Barry Bostrom and his legal firm Bopp, Coleson, & Bostrom have put together a list of activities that we as non-profit organizations can and cannot do. Most pregnancy centers are registered as 501 (c) (3) organizations under the IRS tax code and as such have legal rights to engage in certain kinds of activities to not only protect their organizations but also to further the cause of community change for which their organization exists. To download this very helpful document click the following link:

Political Do’s and Don’ts during Election Season

Some examples of things you can and cannot do as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit pregnancy center are:

(1) Discuss the positions of political candidates on issues: Yes

(2) Endorsement of political candidates: No

(3) Financial contributions to political candidates: No

(4) In-kind Contributions to political candidates: No

(5) Independent expenditures in favor of or against political candidates: No

(6) Fundraising projects for political candidates: No

(7) Contributions to PAC’s: No

(8) Electioneering Communications regarding Federal candidates: Yes

(9) Expenditures related to state referendums: Yes

(12) Appearance of political candidate at meeting: Yes

(14) Voting records Yes

More Abortion-minded Women: Making Your Dream a Reality

An issue came up in a Pregnancy Center Leadership discussion group recently that we as executives think about all the time: “How can we reach more pregnant women truly at risk for abortion?” and its sister question, “How can we serve those women in a way that more consistently helps them have their babies?” The particular conversation centered around an executive of a Pregnancy Center in a Midwestern college town feeling like they are not reaching enough abortion-minded women compared to the number of abortions taking place there.

“What exactly leads you to conclude that you actually have a problem?” I asked. “You have made some logical assumptions but your logic is hidden to the rest of us. I am sure you have already figured this out but it would be helpful for the rest of us to get a really good handle on how you arrived at your concern and more importantly what to do about it. Would you be willing to be a little case study for us by answering the following questions for us to chew on? I believe the old adage is true: What gets measured gets fixed. Perhaps we can analyze this as a group of PRC executives in an effort to not only help you but help each other.

1. How many abortions occur in your area annually? 1000

2. How many abortion providers are in your county? 3

3. What is the primary ethnic, age and educational demographic of those women getting abortions? 18-24 Caucasian with 13 years of completed education (sophomore in college)

4. How many appointments did your organization schedule in 2009? 250

5. How many pregnancy tests were performed in 2009? 125

6. How many of those pregnancy tests were positive? 75

7. How many of those positive test patients did you consider to be ‘at risk for an abortion?’ 60

8. How many pregnant, at risk clients can you serve this year? Maybe 460

9. How many of the pregnant at risk patients received an ultrasound their fist visit? 45

10. How many of those said that they were going to continue the pregnancy at the end of their initial appointment? 38

The dream of this executive is to reach 460 pregnant women seriously considering abortion this year. Her initial impression was that all she needed to do was increase her advertising budget. Based on the information she provided if she wanted to reach all 460 women seriously considering abortion in her area using the organization’s current client trends and percentages she would need to filter through 12,000 client appoints per year!

We have found this scenario to represent the typical pregnancy center. What about your pregnancy center? This executive thought that the answer to her low client volume was more advertising. But there is a deeper issue at play. More advertising will only result in more of the same. The approach the center is taking in order to serve the right women in the right way needs  to be streamlined so they can accomplish their goal. (See Case Study of Omaha, NE Pregnancy Center) Otherwise they will be spending precious resources on women who are either not pregnant or not really at risk for abortion. The solution to this service problem lies at the philosophy of ministry that has been adopted. This pregnancy center while using an ultrasound machine is still in the old paradigm of pregnancy center ministry CompassCare coined the Global Service Model or Client-centered approach. In order for them to reach their goal of serving 460 pregnant at risk women they will need to adopt a new paradigm of ministry CompassCare coined the Linear Service Model (LSM).

For information about how to create a linear service model (LSM) to reach and effectively serve abortion-minded women go to prcoptimizationtool.com.

New York Abortion Deregulation Bill

The New York Senate (S5808) and then Assembly (A11484) will be considering the Reproductive Health Act known as RHA.

Dangerous Abortion Bill

For a distilled interpretation click here. The pro-abortion agenda generally attempts to do one of two things; deregulate abortion or regulate the pregnancy center industry. The RHA attempts to do the former and it is unparalleled in its heinousness. A brazen deregulation eliminating conscience clauses forcing hospitals to provide them, making it legal for medical professionals who are NOT physicians to provide abortions, potentially legalizing all forms of abortion at any stage of pregnancy, making abortion a fundamental right, removing unborn children from the definition of homicide, permit females of any age access to any contraception including the dangerous RU 486. Basically, the bill attempts to scour through all New York legislation with a legal scalpel and surgically remove all abortion regulatory language thereby making New York the nation’s most deregulated abortion state, making it an abortion hub.

All human life is valuable (Societal Costs of Abortion). All attempts to destroy it at any phase of existence is evil. The role of government is to reward those that do good and punish those who do evil. The RHA does the exact opposite and in fact gives hearty approval not only of the act of abortion but of those who perform them. If the pregnancy center industry does not regulate itself it will be regulated by the abortion industry. The movement is vulnerable. This abortion bill is highly unethical. More reason to adopt a linear service model.

prcoptimizationtool.com

Linear Service Model Strategic Planning Survey

Strategic Planning for Results

Many executives have used the following tool to understand the overall health of their organizations and have found it clarifying. CompassCare developed this tool for the linear service training of executives. We thought it may benefit you too so we are releasing access to any who are interested in it.

If you are a center that has done some strategic planning and, like many, do strategic planning in the summer you may find this survey helpful as you look to focus your efforts. CompassCare uses this survey in Executive optimization training as a pre and post evaluation to attempt to visually graph where the organization is mature and where it needs to grow within the basic strategic planning categories. The survey takes no more than 20 minutes to complete and when you are done you get a nice graph showing organizational health in the five main areas of strategic health complete with explanations. If you are moving in the direction of a linear service model this survey could be a useful tool for you and your board. Enjoy!

Simply click here for the Executive Strategic Planning Workshop Survey. It will ask you for your email address. To ensure that you are a real person it will then immediately send a confirmation email with subject heading “Survey Registration Confirmation” which will contain a link to the survey. There is computer code within the email so if you do not receive the email with the link check you junk mail as sometimes is gets caught in spam filters.

A Pregnancy Center Executive’s Journey to an LSM: Wisdom Applied

If you are following the story of the Pregnancy Center Executive’s journey to a Linear Service Model (LSM) the first step

In Pursuit of Wisdom

is to acquire wisdom. This post deals with the Executive application for being more intentional around the personal pursuit of wisdom. As executives we are constantly forced to make decisions. Those decisions are almost never binary. Meaning we don’t have the luxury of making choices that are black and white, right or wrong. Our choices are usually determining which of four or five good options is best. This is why we need wisdom, to discern what is best. Will we make mistakes? Yes. Is there grace in those mistakes? I believe for those who are pursuing wisdom with all diligence that there is an ocean of grace. So below are some practical steps to begin building into your personal executive experience to be more intentional around the virtue of wisdom.

1.  Get wisdom (Proverbs 4:7) because the understanding needed for yesterday will not be enough for tomorrow.

__Identify at least two professional experts (i.e. Current executive of a medical service that consistently reaches and serves women at risk for abortion, a marketing professional, a strategic planning consultant, etc)

__Compile questions you can ask them that would help shed some light on issues that you are facing as an organization.

__Call those two people and ask them those questions.

__Create a reading list for executive leadership (See suggested reading list at prcoptimizationtool.com)

2. The staff of the organization are key to accomplishing the mission:  Affirm and support them.

__Provide them with the resources they need to get the job done

__Determine two ways to reward your staff within reason in the next month

__Give them clear direction

__Determine the primary goal to be accomplished by the organization this year (e.g. It should be the biggest obstacle to accomplishing the mission of reaching and serving more women at risk for abortion.).

__Initiate weekly one hour staff meetings (Click on the follow for a sample Strategic Leadership Tool used in CompassCare’s LSM call the Optimization Tool: Weekly Core Staff Meeting Agenda)

__Communicate that goal to the staff and begin to brainstorm on ways to overcome the obstacles to accomplishing that goal.

__Begin to have weekly one on one meetings with your key staff (e.g. Client Services Director, Development Director, Nurse Manager) in order to begin to set clear expectations for them with respect to the organization’s overall mission and annual goal.

__Begin to communicate the goal and plan of the organization to accomplish its annual goal to donors through every means available.

New Washington State Law Makes Planned Parenthood Accreditation Agency?

To be accredited means that your organization holds to a set of standards of practice within its own industry. Those standards have to be visible in the daily provision of services in the form of documented process and protocols.

The Washington State legislation that was apparently passed recently provides immunity from liability to abortion providers as well as sets up Planned Parenthood as an accreditation agency. This is a potentially disturbing issue. Making an organization with a subjective, financially vested interest in the abortion business an accreditation agency is the classical ethical conflict of interest. First, it is assumed that the organization has documented standards of care for helping women through the decision-making process knowing full well that if they decide to do anything other than have an abortion the organization looses money and hurts their PR campaign. Second, assuming they have documented standards of care the question becomes whether or not they in line with proper medical and counseling standards. Third, can they actually prove that they uphold their standards on a case by case, patient by patient basis? Fourth, what happens when they are asked to be the accreditation agency for women’s health organizations with differing philosophies of service, say pregnancy centers for instance?

This is a perfect example of how at risk the pregnancy center movement is. If the pregnancy center movement cannot demonstrate that it regulates itself according to current professional codes of ethics in the fields of medicine and counseling/psychology the government will be tempted to create regulation for it. If the movement lets this Washington State legislation pass without identifying and holding to our own documented standards that are in line with current medical and counseling ethics the pregnancy center movement may very well be regulated right out of existence. The best way to meet this challenge is with a comprehensive linear service model.

Click CompassCare Ethical Standards for Organizations Helping Women 6-8-10 for CompassCare’s Standards for Organization’s Helping Women. To know that these standards are being observed in your organization a linear service process is necessary. For more information on a complete linear service model go to CompassCare’s Training website.

A Pregnancy Center Executive’s Journey to an LSM: Wisdom Part B

Walking into the office on his first day George was met with two very valuable surprises.  The first was a phone message from a local doctor saying she wanted to somehow be involved in the organization not knowing in what capacity a non-medical facility could use a medical doctor.  The second was a business card that was given to him by the organization’s client services director, Val.  She had heard this man speak at a conference from which she had recently returned and thought that he may be someone that could be helpful.  His name was Bob.  As George read the card he realized that he knew this man.  Coincidentally, eight years earlier his wife had once worked for Bob in a CPC in the southeast as a counselor coordinator.

Wasting no time George made the call.  “Hi, Bob?  You may not remember me but my name is George Knight.  My wife . . . .”

With that Bob interrupted saying, “Oh, yes, George, how is your wife, Linda?  I really appreciated her servant’s heart.  We miss her around here.”

Surprised by the immediate and warm reception of this most certainly very busy man, Bob asked George to explain the events that led to his being hired as the Executive Director of a CPC in the northeast.  George described how after finishing their master’s degrees in Chicago they moved to Florida so that he could take a position as the pastor of a small church north of Tampa.  George describes, “Bob, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.  The church was fraught with issues including moral ones that needed to be addressed.  When I attempted to address some of those issues, the people that held most of the influence pushed back telling me to leave things alone.  Finally, it became clear to me that at the next church business meeting I would have to make a decision about my tenure there.  One of the hot button issues was going to be decided upon and if the church voted the wrong way I would have to choose to either stay and look the other way knowing that something was gravely wrong or take a stand and ultimately resign my position.  The church business meeting was scheduled for the next Wednesday.  That Monday, just two days before, I received a call from the interim executive saying that the board of Crisis Pregnancy Services had received and reviewed my resume wondered if I was available for a conference call interview that same day.  In describing the situation to the interim executive saying that my preference was to remain as pastor bBut if the situation did not change I could not in good conscience do so.  We both agreed that a board interview would not hurt anything.  To make a long story short the board unanimously decided to extend an offer to me that evening should God free me from my current situation.  Two and a half weeks later we had moved.

With that Bob exclaimed, “George, welcome to the club.  How can I help you?”

“Well, here we are in a medium size town with a small operation.  Furthermore, I know virtually nothing about running a pregnancy center.  What do you think is the first thing I should do?” asked George.

“First let me take a minute and applaud the fact that you are seeking wisdom.  In the Bible the book of Proverbs 4:7 says, ‘The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding.’  George, to me the fact that we are even having a conversation says that you are off to a great start.  Keep seeking understanding about what it is you should do and you will be rewarded.  Never stop seeking wisdom because you will never have enough. The world continues to change around us and the understanding you had yesterday will not be enough to handle tomorrow.”

“Thank you for your encouraging words, Bob.  But you know, I truly feel at a loss as to where to even begin.”

“Well,” began Bob, “your staff are key to your organization’s success and there are two things you must never fail to do for them; a) provide them with the resources they need to do their jobs and b) provide them with clear direction.  You can start by spending a little money on showing them how much you appreciate them.  Do you have any money in the bank?”

“A little.”

“If your organization is anything like the other organizations I’ve seen in the past the staff does not get paid very much.  So do whatever you can to thank them for their dedicated service.  It is they who will be accomplishing the mission.  Give them bonuses, buy Christmas gifts, and take them out to lunch.  Do as much as you can within reason to show them you really appreciate the sacrifices they have made for the organization.  It will be worth every penny in the moral boost you will gain from it.”

“O.K.,” George scribbled down another note on a piece of paper a little reticent about spending the precious dollars he new they would need in the not-so-distant future.  “What next?” asked George.

“Then,” said Bob, “you need to start digging.  If you are going to provide direction for your staff you need to know more about what it will take to get where you want to go.  Do your homework about what it will take to add a medical service to your operation in your State.  It would be good to locate a doctor that would be willing to work with you.”  George smiled at the note on his desk from the doctor offering to volunteer.  “Other than that, just settle in and start to get to know some of your donors.  You’ll need money pretty soon in order to sustain a more professional service like medical care.”

After a few more miscellaneous questions the conversation ended with Bob expressing confidence in George’s ability to accomplish the lofty task of moving toward a medical model of service leaving the door open for George to call again any time.  George new that the wisdom he had just received was solid gold and he wanted more.  He looked down at his notes after he hung up the phone and reviewed what he wrote.

See the post next week for Executive application of Wisdom virtue for a linear service model or click HERE to go to the CompassCare Training website for a suggested reading list.

A Pregnancy Center Executive’s Journey to an LSM: Wisdom Part A

Two months in to his new role as Executive Director at Crisis Pregnancy Services George Knight sat starring down at the city street from his second floor Executive office.  It was a nice office but the walk up the cavernous lonely stairwell from the busy city sidewalk felt a lot like being transported into a private detective novel where the PI’s office was in an old ACME building complete with metal desks and Spartan wooden chairs.  A chill wind was blowing and somehow managed to find its way through the failed molding of the big windows that were part of the old 1900 brick façade.  It was only 3 P.M. and already it was starting to get dark there up near the boarder of Canada.  The cloudy sky did not help to brighten things up.  Sitting there he wondered what it would really take as an Executive to turn around this small, fledgling non-profit Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC).  He wondered . . . would a handful of volunteers, no professional services to speak of, few clients being served from day to day, and just three part time staff be enough to bring the organization to a new level of professional medical service?  Not to mention the fact that the annual budget was just a little over $100,000 supported by a couple hundred small but committed donors.  Yet they did have $48,000 in the bank to invest in rejuvenating the organization.  Secretly though George wondered if it would be enough.

Balancing What You Have with Where You Need to Go

The Board of Directors brought George on with the primary commission of converting the operation from a traditional lay counseling CPC to one that offered professional medical services to women facing unplanned pregnancy.  The board felt that the organization was not reaching the women the organization was created to help; pregnant women who were at risk for an abortion.  They reasoned that adding a professional medical service like ultrasound technology could be the one thing that may make the organization appear more relevant to the women they needed to reach.  George did not question that assumption at first.  However, adding medical services was not an easy task especially in a State where this was uncharted territory as well as a State that seemed to over legislate everything.  Added to that the town had a history of being pro-abortion, and currently housed 13 practices that provided abortion with an estimated 8000 abortions occurring in town annually.  The competition for the attention of the women facing unplanned pregnancy was almost overwhelming.  Additionally the organization and its supporters were grieving the untimely death of the previous executive who George was replacing.  But George felt a deep sense of commitment, as if God Himself had called him to this mission of reversing the abortion trend in the community.  And therefore in his more optimistic moments believed that the resources he had at his disposal would be enough to get that little organization where it needed to go.  Two things George new for sure: 1) He did not know enough to get this job done on his own and 2) He knew some people that might be able to help.

For case studies of pregnancy centers that have implemented a comprehensive linear service model click here.