Posts Tagged ‘ reaching more abortion

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.

Optimized Linear Service Conference Review

Thank you to all the Executives that attended the April conference!

After some time to process the executives that attended CompassCare’s high impact conference in Rochester, NY came away with some valuable tools for continuous improvement when using a linear service model. How to know if doing something new is the right thing for the pregnancy center (A.K.A. innovation) is an extremely important part of keeping our pregnancy centers on the cutting edge.

Conference attendees were given principles and tools including a hands on workshop to help them navigate the sometimes difficult waters of knowing what to do next, how to go about doing it, and assessing whether or not it is helping the organization accomplish its mission of reaching and serving more efficiently women at risk for abortion. The tools included how to effectively:

  1. Assess
  2. Plan
  3. Do
  4. Reassess

Executive attendee Becky Wood made the following comment: “Regarding the OT Conference, it was more than I imagined, not just professionally, but also spiritually where it counts for eternity.

I loved the actual hands on experience of putting into practice the things we discuss about innovation, research, etc.”

Thanks, Becky and all!

For more information about CompassCare’s Linear Service Model call the Optimization Tool go to www.compasscaretraining.org

CompassCare Pregnancy Center Optimization Conference

CompassCare has trained many medical pregnancy centers in several States to “Optimize” their services in order to reach more women seriously considering abortion and help them have their babies more effectively. The results have been staggering. For last couple years the Executives of those pregnancy centers have been requesting CompassCare to host a conference just for them in Rochester, NY where it all started. This year we gave in and said yes. We decided to open it up to other Executives so that they could get a glimpse of the inside of the CompassCare network of high-performing medical pregnancy centers. The conference will be held on April 20-22.

If you are interested in more information go to www.compasscaretraining.org

Mission Statements . . . Be Careful, There’s a Catch.

Recently I responded to a question about developing a new mission statement by an executive director in upstate New York on www.PCCTalk.org. Below is my response to that question with some modifications.
A mission statement is 1 of 5 primary elements in a strategic plan. Drafting a good mission statement is a two step process; 1) determine your primary objective and 2) Draft the statement.
1. Determine Primary Objective:  It requires that your organization have a good grasp on a single, and highly focused objective for which it is extremely passionate. A good formula for understanding that primary objective is the following:  That which you are passionate about+That for which you have the unique skills to be the best in the world+Resources to support it (See Jim Collins’ “Good to Great and the Social Sectors”).
2. Draft the Statement:  Once you have a clear understanding of your primary objective you are in a good position to draft a mission statement.  The mission statement should be succinct, memorable and have the following elements: Who is performing the mission, what  will be done, how it will be done, and for whom.  For example CompassCare’s local center mission statement is “CompassCare (who) is dedicated to empowering women and men (for whom) to erase the need for abortion (what) by transforming fear into confidence (how).”
If you would like more information CompassCare’s Optimzation Training you can check out the training page on this blog or go to our new training website at www.compasscaretraining.org.

However, creating a mission statement is fraught with communication challenges and if done well will require clearly defining what is meant by the mission by identifying what will be measured to help reveal whether the organization is actually accomplishing the mission; this process is called identifying core measures. This aspect of organizational management in my experience has proven to be the most divisive. A mission statement by its nature does not tell you if you are being effective at accomplishing the mission. Core measures do. So when you create a new mission statement understand that your board, your staff, your volunteers, your donors, etc will interpret this new statement differently . . . they will interpret the new mission statement in the light of their understanding of your CURRENT mission statement. Determining the 10 or 12 key things you want to measure that tell you if you are accomplishing your mission will clarify what is actually meant by the mission. This is where everyone’s personal assumptions about what it is you do and why you do it will be revealed. However, until you get to the point of defining what you will be measuring there will be widespread misunderstanding. I have attached a sample metrics spreadsheet that all the CompassCare OT centers use to help the Executives keep their finger on the pulse of organizational performance around their mission. Modifying your mission statement can have dramatic benefits as well as major pitfalls. Managing the transition will be crucial for a change that actually benefits the organization. Rule of thumb: Over-communicate to everyone.