Keeping the Mission Alive at Nonprofits with GO Team

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GO Team is an incredibly flexible learning tool that is being used in all kinds of organizations- from Fortune 500s to small civic groups. Recently we talked with two of our partners who are finding great success in the nonprofit world. Janine McDonald is owner of J9 Leading Solutions and affiliate consultant of One OC; and Philip Yaeger is CEO of AIDS Services Foundation Orange County. We asked for their insights about their collaboration with each other and with GO Team.

DavidTell me first about the organization. 

Philip: Our mission is to prevent the spread of HIV and improve the lives of men, women, and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Orange County, California. Its easy for people forget that there’s still no cure, and it is important to keep talking about it and providing testing.

Janine: I love working with leaders like Philip because they are so passionate about the mission. They’re working hard and stretched thin. Like a lot of nonprofits I work with its hard to pause and say “howcan we do our work better?”

DavidYou have found GO Team to be a solution for your work.

Janine: It started with Philip’s commitment to his people. He knew he wanted a series of ongoing opportunities for the 12 members of the management team.

Philip: Also, not everyone was dealing with the same issues. So we needed a solution with flexibility. When Janine brought us GO Team, we were excited and committed to two-hour sessions over a period of six months.

Janine: I thought it was significant that Philip was a part of those sessions. It’s important for people to see leaders participating.

DavidWhich GO Team modules did you use?

Janine: We started with the most basic work, which for this team was creating their operating principles. Then we moved immediately to trust.

Philip: I loved the flexibility. There wasn’t a rigid “step one, step two, step three” process. We were able to choose modules based on what was happening in the team at the time. Next, we have agreed to focus on Giving and Receiving Feedback, which is an important skill for anyone who manages people.

DavidSo what does the future look like?

Philip: The future looks like GO Team! After doing a half dozen sessions, everyone said they wanted to go for another six months. My team loves the GO Team program, and we love working with Janine. I don’t have to drag people to sessions. They arrive with enthusiasm, ready to absorb and learn.

Janine: Philip is treating this not as a “training program” but as a culture shift. That commitment, and his terrific team, have made this a huge success.

This interview was reprinted with permission from the author.

Susan Gerke, David Hutchens, and HRDQ-U are hosting a free webinar March 30th at 2pm ET. Register here! 

Susan is the president of Gerke Consulting & Development where she designs, customizes, and implements leadership and teamwork programs. Her clients include Bank of the West, BHK Accountancy, City of Anaheim, Human Options, Orange Coast College, Sole Technology, UC Irvine, and Warner Bros.

David Hutchens is a bestselling author and consultant who specializes in organizational storytelling, leading, creating and innovating, organizational learning, systems, and more. He has created award-winning communications and learning solutions for companies such as IBM, The Coca-Cola Company, Wal-Mart, GE, and Nike, just to name a few.

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