Working with Organizations

the mackenzian consulting logo: on the left, a green four-bar arrow; on the right, "mackenzian" in gray text

Three concepts guide what I work on, who I work with, and how I carry out the work I do: meaning, communication, and knowledge.

Meaning

A healthy and productive organization develops missions, policies, communications, and external relationships that are mutually coherent.

Mission is your organization’s why, its reason for being and social value premise. Policies and practices create the structure through which the organization expresses that reason for being. Internal communications refine staff members’ shared action and advance your mission; external communications connect staff with your audiences and stakeholders and give the organization an opportunity to reshape itself as it describes itself to others.

Coherence in these four areas makes for less institutional “noise,” more fluid decision-making, and more sustainable mission effectiveness. I work with growing organizations to increase that coherence.

  • Zoom Out. Sometimes it helps to step back and see where you are and what you’re building. I review and report on your organizational governance structure, assessing features like mission, vision, values, board structure, strategic planning practices, and reporting cycles. Reports can include other institutional features on request.
  • Look at the Path. Policy and document assessments break down an existing policy or document and also include strategic revisions. For an additional cost, assessments can also include a template you can use to help you analyze future materials internally.
  • Tell Your Story. Guided conversations about an institution’s or program’s narrative can help staff to remember the why behind their routines, the roles that specific programs play, and their power to write their story’s next chapter.

To build meaning in your organization, partner with me.

Communication

I’ve invested over 15 years and several thousand dollars to learn about communication that works, and my partners reap from this investment every time we collaborate. Together, we’ll explore your intentions for creating or revising content and the context you’d like to influence:

  • Motives. Why are you reaching out to stakeholders?
  • Outcomes. How do you want to impact readers?
  • Audience. What background does the audience bring to what you’ll share with them?

What I bring to our relationship: technical communication and rhetoric—clear, accurate, effective information design, and audience-centered presentation and persuasion. Because of my experience, partners often ask me to review and create specific types of communications including web and electronic copy, research reports, project evaluations, public-facing communications like membership letters and social media posts, and administrative briefings or conference presentations.

Beyond the forms I create, I work with individuals, businesses, and non-profits to ensure that the communications you send out represent you and accomplish the strategic purposes you intend.

Knowledge

Lots of organizations are functional and make sales. But not all organizations make knowledge. Knowledge applies information in ways that prompt sounder decisions over time. I aim for this increased practical wisdom with every partner, and this is one reason I’m selective about who I collaborate with.

Thought leadership in articles, scholarly research, collaborations, and invited presentations or panels is a way to share applied information and practical wisdom with peers and future partners. I encourage partners to publish their insights and discoveries in traditional discipline-appropriate forums and in publicly accessible media: whether you’re part of the arts, STEM, or social disciplines, you’ll grow strong by sharing your learning with others. Let’s grow together.

Reflect and respond

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