Posts Tagged ‘ prc leadership

Call for Standards and Accountability

CompassCare has been beating the drum of standards and accountability since 2005 when we copyrighted the first Linear Service Model for medical pregnancy centers ever. After seeing 2039 women at risk for abortion having their babies in 2010 in just 10 PRCs we have seen the value. Value not just in terms of being more effective with the mission of reaching women and helping them have their babies but value in terms of leadership confidence. We as executives know that we have the moral high ground and can be as bold as we need to be in order to safeguard the organizations we run. Whether we’re talking to a Senator about regulatory legislation, communicating to donors, responding to the media, or exposing abortionists for their immoral and fraudulent practices a linear service model frees us to lead with confidence. Since 2005 there have been many instances on both sides of the service coin (abortionists and pregnancy centers alike) where objective standards and documented evidence of accountability would have served the cause of women and children well. As this is being written there is legislation being considered in Washington State and New York that would regulate pregnancy centers. One of the key arguments from the abortion lobby is that Pregnancy Centers adhear to no set standard and therefore need to be governed. We all know that abortionists if regulated are not held accountable to those regulations as seen in the recent horror in PA and the Planned Parenthood clinic in NJ. See my comments on the latest revelations of abortionists on with Twitter (see right hand column below) and Facebook too.

As pregnancy centers we are uniquely suited to set the standard for women’s reproductive health in America. But we must first implement those standards in our own centers first. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:30-32; “For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.” My concern is that many pregnancy centers are ‘weak and sick’ because of a lack of appropriate judgment (self-discipline) that only comes with delivering professional services (medical or counseling) in line with accepted industry standards. Government regulatory legislation is a judgment that will ultimately condemn the pro-life pregnancy care movement to the religion of secular humanism.

Improving Mission Effectivness for 2011

As executives we face a myriad of daily challenges. Everything from dealing with individual client issues, staffing challenges, donor communications, media inquiries, to running board and committee meetings, etc clamor for our time. If we are not careful we will miss doing what only you and I as executives can do for the organization; maintaining focus on the mission. As management guru Peter Drucker says, “Every non-profit institution exists for the sake of performance in changing people and society. But how often do we make decisions about what we do from day to day based on the medical clinic or pregnancy center’s performance?

Drucker goes on to say, “The most important task of an organization’s leader is to anticipate crisis.” He says this for several reasons. First, a crisis is always looming on the horizon. To think otherwise is unwise. We may not be able to avoid it but at least we can anticipate it. Anticipation allows for better preparation. Our organizations can never be fully prepared which is why leadership amidst the crisis is so critical. Second anticipating a crisis forces innovation or what is often called continuous improvement. We begin to ask ourselves, “How can we keep accomplishing our mission in a down economy?” or “How can we continue to provide the same services under greater governmental restriction?” It forces us to work ‘on’ the ministry rather than working ‘in’ it. It forces us to empower others to do the tasks that others can do so that we can focus on what no one else can do for the organization. Third, anticipation provides the necessary courage for us to make the hard choices of trimming the services that are not getting the results we need to get for the mission while at the same time providing clarity to communicate rationale to the organization’s constituents why certain decisions have to be made.

Of course, to effectively anticipate a crisis so as to avoid it or weather it one must be the steward of a mission that is laser focused. Without a laser focused mission it becomes virtually impossible to anticipate crisis. One might even be tempted to say, “Only God knows the future!” and go on doing the 501 piranha school of tasks nibbling for your time. This is the path toward organizational mission drift and in the end will result in a museum of service rather than a mechanism for service. But a very focused mission such as to reach and serve women at risk for abortion and help them have their babies raises the executives vision high enough to see the challenges over the horizon.

Mission Focus Gets Results

So, to improve Pregnancy Center mission effectiveness in 2011 one must begin by reviewing the organization’s mission statement for clarity and focus. Then review all the activities of the organization to see if they immediately apply or are if they are helpful but non-essential to the mission. Finally, begin to think through a plan to improve either first by focusing the mission or asking questions of the organization to understand if it can get better at reaching more abortion-minded women and serving them in a way that more effectively helps them have their babies.

Remember executives are obsessed with results. If the organization is not getting the results it should something must change and that’s why you are there.

For more information go to prcoptimizationtool.com.

Standardization, Accountability, Measurability, Continuous Improvement

CompassCare has been committed to serving the Pregnancy Center movement since 2006 by identifying standards, structuring client/patient care plans around those standards, providing real tools to maintain accountability of roles for those serving the women as well as creating and maintaining key measures that help each center know how well they are performing. This empowers the executive to make the targeted changes they need to make with their marketing or services that will keep them on the cutting of reaching and effectively serving that woman who says, “I need to have an abortion.” CompassCare is the only organization in the nation with a proven track record of helping pregnancy centers accomplish their mission in a way they have dreamed of doing for years (See CompassCare Case Histories). In fact, you can even watch interviews of executives that have experienced the difference by clicking here. But the real difference is in hearing about the experiences of the abortion-minded women we are all trying to reach.

CompassCare Is the National Pioneer in PRC Standardization, Accountability, Measurability, and Continuous Improvement

As a pioneer CompassCare led the charge to develop the first repeatable medical model in challenging New York State while most PRCs were under investigation by the then Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer. Out of that travail CompassCare birthed the first repeatable Linear Service Model of a medical PRC. CompassCare was the first to apply the terminology Global Services Model (GSM) and Linear Service Model (LSM) in an effort to teach executives at NIFLA about the distinct differences between the two paradigms. To read a history of the Linear Service Model in the PRC movement click here.

In fact, CompassCare has been fortunate enough to grow in such an adverse climate that we are often in a position to identify early what the abortion industry’s strategies will be and help pregnancy centers prepare for them. Many of the new allegations being leveled against pregnancy centers and how to avoid them were first taught by the CompassCare team. Listen to a list of free podcasts published in 2008 teaching PRC executives about the threats we as a movement are now facing and how to safeguard our organizations against them through standardization and accountability.

CompassCare is committed to helping pregnancy centers and executives in tangible ways to increase their effectiveness on the mission. We understand executives need answers from other executives who walk in their shoes day in and day out running pregnancy centers. For more information about the first and only comprehensive Linear Service Model (LSM), CompassCare’s Optimization Training program, click here. If you would like to contact a coach click here.

Linear Service Model=Continuous Improvement Part 2

Since we are committed to getting better at what we do we must be willing to do the hard work necessary to get and understand the right information about how our services are influencing our clients/patients in the first place. This is the value of a Linear Service Model. There are several elements required for an organization to begin to collect reliable information in order to make targeted changes to stay on the cutting edge of service. One of those things is an agreement on definition of terms. For example, it is not enough to agree  that an abortion-minded woman is someone who says she wants to have an abortion, or that a woman who is assessed as “Carry to Term” is one who says that she does not want an abortion. We must create a system of defining and assessing each woman used by each client advocate or nurse with each woman the same way. CompassCare’s system for doing just that is called the Abortion Vulnerability Rating Scale (AVRS).

Improving Your Service

Another necessity for organizations serious about continually improving is the standardization of services. This means that everyone from the people who answer the phones, to receptionists, to advocates, to nurses all perform their job the same way each time with little variation. The more variation in the way a task is performed the more difficult it becomes to assess what is not working and what to do to fix it. In some cases this requires scripts, sometimes training in the use of forms, sometimes a dress code but whatever is required disciplined thought always gives way to disciplined action, “What gets measures (disciplined thought), gets fixed (disciplined action).” If we as executives are disciplining ourselves and our organizations to improve it will almost always result in very specific actions that measurably improve on those things.

Another crucial element to measuring with an eye to improving is team work. A team that is committed to improving for the sake of the mission is a unified team. A team that does not know what they are trying to accomplish, will never know when they will arrive. This breads discontent, confusion, and mission drift. Clearly defining what you want to accomplish and what that means will provide focus to your staff and volunteers in a way that will empower them to do what is necessary to improve.

Above all, it is important to note that it is not the specific Linear Service Model that an organization uses that makes the difference. It is what the executive does to create a culture of continuous improvement that matters in the end. We are all of us on a journey and in many respects the journey is the destination. The days of believing that once we have added Ultrasound technology we will have arrived are over. Ultrasound technology is simply a tool. And those of us who have paved the way of developing and implementing a LSM understand that while the services offered by our PRCs are important the manner in which those services are provided are even more so.

CompassCare’s OT training program provides the only LSM with a customized web based patient database with a system to serve clients/patients that can be measured and changed. For more information go to prcoptimizationtool.com.

Update:  See Linear Service Model = Continuous Improvement, Part 1

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

Connecting Critical Leadership Resources to Executives

Welcome! You and I are passionate about reversing the national abortion trend. I believe a critical component to accomplishing that goal is an effective pregnancy resource center movement. To have an effective movement where women considering abortion choose to come to our centers FIRST rather than the abortion provider means that we need to have effective individual pregnancy centers. And the more the executive is effective at running the pregnancy center the more effective the pregnancy center will be at accomplishing its primary mission; to reach and serve women seriously considering abortion.

Free Valuable Resources

You can also find additional valuable resources and learn more about what makes CompassCare’s linear service model  (LSM) training so effective as well as read case studies and hear testimonies from other Executives at the CompassCare training website.

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.

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.

Be Encouraged, Executives!

The following poem by Rudyard Kipling has fed my soul many times over the years. I hope it will do the same for you. By the way when you see the word “man” please interpret in the broadest sense (e.g. man or woman).

Don't Lose Sight of the Goal

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

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.