Performance Practice for Consultants

What Consultants Can Do

Provide training, consulting, and coaching for continuous improvement

Frame Engagements Around Resources for High Performance

Consultants, advisors, and others involved in organizational and talent development can use the Performance Imperative and the Performance Practice to better advise and support their nonprofit, public agency, and funder clients.

The Performance Imperative offers a way to frame engagements and help clients understand what it takes to get better at delivering results for the people or causes they serve. Various modules of the Performance Practice can support different types of consulting, from using the leadership module to help boards get on the same page about their leadership to working with staff on improving financial sustainability and use of data.

Using the Performance Imperative and the Performance Practice allows you to engage clients more effectively in your efforts to:

  • Discuss their strengths and opportunities in the context of high performance
  • Encourage openness to creating meaningful changes in organizational practice, people, and culture
  • Support clients’ efforts to improve organizational performance and results

Use a Discussion Guide Developed by 50+ Experts

Rely on an objective framework and discussion guide developed with the collective expertise of 50+ nonprofit practitioners, researchers, funders, and consultants. The Performance Imperative and the Performance Practice are the results of collaborative and rigorous processes.

Use resources that have been vetted by leaders like your clients and consultants like you.

Get a Comprehensive Picture of Organizational Performance

Get a comprehensive view of the extent to which your clients have adopted concrete organizational behaviors and practices that underpin high performance in each of seven disciplines. The Performance Practice will help you understand organizational strengths and opportunities.

Define consulting engagements that move your clients forward on the path to high performance.

Prompt Deep Client Engagement in Support of Practice Change

When you engage your clients in using the Performance Imperative and/or the Performance Practice, you’ll produce more than a high-quality deliverable—you’ll help your clients reflect, learn, and acquire insights into their own organizations’ strengths and opportunities.

Build on your clients’ understanding and engagement to help them create lasting improvements to organizational practices.

Adapt an Accessible and Transparent Approach to a Wide Range of Projects

To advance its purpose of inspiring, motivating, and supporting nonprofit and public-sector leaders to build great organizations for greater societal impact, the Leap Ambassadors Community makes the Performance Imperative and the Performance Practice available as complimentary products.

Use the Performance Imperative and apply selected modules of the Performance Practice—or parts of modules—in the ways that work best for specific projects and clients.

You can even encourage your clients to engage in a self-guided improvement process in areas that have bearing on their goals but fall outside the scope of your consultancy.

Ways for Consultants to Use the Resources

While nonprofit leaders can use the Performance Imperative and the Performance Practice on their own, many find that outside facilitation is helpful. As a consultant, here are some ways you can incorporate the resources into your services:

  • Board and leadership development: Invite the board and executive team to complete the Performance Practice board and executive leadership module (or one of the other modules) before a board retreat. Analyzing the results will give you a thorough understanding of perceptions—and the degree to which they diverge. Use the information to prepare the agenda and facilitate a retreat that involves candid discussion, learning, reflection, and getting on the same page about strengths, needs, and plans.
  • Strategic planning: Use the Performance Imperative or the Performance Practice to help an organization reflect on where they are—and where they want to go—in preparation for strategic planning. This could involve reviewing the Performance Imperative, or completing selected or all modules of the Performance Practice. Schedule a retreat or a series of meetings to facilitate discussion, priorities, and plans.
  • Fundraising: While writing excellent proposals and nurturing donor relationships are critical to successful fundraising, the ability to deliver meaningful, measurable, and financially sustainable results over time can set an organization apart in a competitive fundraising environment. Introduce the Performance Imperative and recommend that your clients go through one or several modules of the Performance Practice—whether you facilitate or they do it on their own—to help them see their own strengths and needs and then chart a path to higher performance. Using the resources can help you and your client better articulate their needs, make a sound case for general operating support or capacity-building funds, and better position the organization to seek competitive funds.
  • Organizational development: Whatever the area in need of development—from financial planning to evaluation—the Performance Imperative and the Performance Practice can serve as a structure for team learning and organizational development. Guide organizations through self-assessment, analysis, reflection, and improvement.The degree of your involvement may vary depending on the organization’s needs.

Learn more about the Performance Imperative and the Performance Practice.

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