Consulting for Positive Change

Intentional Communication Tools

The biggest challenges for organizations of all types are not organizational.  A great strategy and a well-designed organizational structure are only the beginning, and a simple, cursory look at recent history shows us many well-designed and well-planned organizations that have failed. 


It’s after the people get there that the real challenges begin.  That's because the really big challenges are interpersonal.  Interpersonal problems are most often connected to a breakdown in communication.  Someone neglected to tell someone; or someone got the wrong idea. Someone felt slighted or abused, and let their speech or actions reflect that feeling, and the whole organzation paid the price. 


The most important investment an organization can make to improve productivity is to invest in creating positive change through improved communication skills for volunteers, staff, managers and leaders.  That’s where we come in.  Our  "Intentional Communication" training teaches every group member, from the bottom up, five indispensable steps to communicating clearly, completely and compassionately.  Beyond this, 5 "I messages" keep interpersonal communication professional and direct.


Tools forged and sharpened in the most difficult of circumstances are brought to bear on the problems you face in your organization, with predictable results.  Learn to read the facial and bodily messages others are sending, sometimes even without knowing they are doing it.  And learn to use the body postures that give you maximum power to succeed in every conversation.  


Policy Governance for Non-Profit Boards

Working with and leading a non-profit, contrary to what some believe, is not easier than a for-profit business. In fact, the added wrinkle of government scrutiny on non-profits lately can make it more difficult.  Most non-profit board members are aware of the board's basic responsibilities to create a strategic plan and oversee staff as it’s implemented; monitor activities to ensure they contribute to the organization’s larger mission; hire and evaluate the chief executive; ensure adequate financial resources; and perform essential fiduciary duties of care, loyalty and confidentiality.


Following that general task list, however, doesn’t necessarily make a board effective. Good governance requires nonprofit boards — and executives — to go the extra mile and do the following:


  • Write policies, including conflict-of-interest, whistleblower, document retention and destruction, gift acceptance, Form 990 review and related-party transactions.
  • Form an audit committee made up of financially knowledgeable board members to oversee regular internal and external audits, and consider adding a paid or unpaid CPA if expertise isn’t already available from within the board.
  • Provide new board members with an orientation that covers your nonprofit’s mission, policies, programs and goals, and regularly offer refresher courses to long-time board members.
  • Develop emergency plans, including a leadership succession plan, procedures for handling urgent matters that require board input and a communications plan.

Consulting with your board, the Banyan Group can help you comply with IRS regulation, operate according to a set of policies you write that are clear and concise, and avoid danger areas you may not be aware of.

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Positive Change:  Sometimes those words seem like two opposites, strangely connected in a random phrase.  For many people, change is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of positive things.  For many people, families and organizations change is not positive, because it brings discomfort, discord, dysfunction and division.  We know it doesn’t have to be that way.  And we instinctively believe there must be a way to manage change that brings us to a place of agreement, comfort and unity.  But finding that way can be a daunting task.


The Banyan Group  is a private, independently organized non-profit practice, dedicated to counseling, coaching and consulting, always with a view to managing change in such a way as to bring positive, helpful and hopeful results.  


Perhaps you're visiting our website as part of a search for help in your personal life; or for direction in your career; or maybe as part of a search for help answering some particular questions about the structure, leadership or management of your church or non-profit organization.  The Banyan Group provides resources from a wide range of experience and expertise, seeking to add value to what you are already doing in any or all of these areas.  We believe in being helpers, not in "reinventing the wheel.”  We seek to help our clients discover the missing piece, whether by counseling, coaching or consultation, to get their life, their career or their organization to a place of positive change.  


We invite you to explore our site and learn more about the services we offer. As you seek assistance, it is important that you are always well informed and an active participant in your journey toward positive change. We welcome questions and invite you to contact us about the process and our work together.

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