Strategy, Capacity and Team Building

Affordable, Fast-Result, High-Impact Programs 
for Environmental Action Organizations


Summary

Motivation: too much to do, too little time and resource to get it done
=> a need for the greatest possible impact from the available funds and resources
=> a need to reduce stress on staff and volunteers

Environmental Funding Sources:
“We want our financial contributions to have the greatest possible impact, with clear transparency.”

Environmental Funding Organizations: 
 “We want our grant-making decisions to have the greatest possible impact, with strong collaboration with our grantees.”

Environmental Action Organizations:
“We want our available funding and staff resources to have the greatest possible impact, with sustainable levels of effort.”

Environmental Consulting Organizations:
“We want to provide the greatest impact using our resources with scalable economic value for our clients.”

Problem:

Strategy, Capacity and Team Building are critical needs in achieving the above goals and maximizing positive environmental impact.

And while many organizations are very well managed, virtually all organizations can increase their impact with continuous process improvement and intentional organizational design, particularly environmental action organizations that are going through start up, high growth, staff turnover, new service development, and/or new strategic direction. 

We are using “Capacity Building” in the strong sense to include a range of functions that contribute to the ability to have impact.

However, there is a bottleneck in Capacity Building: there are not enough people available to do all the capacity building work that is needed in organizations focused on positive environmental impact.

Solution:

ActionMap can rapidly open that bottleneck, by greatly increasing the number and capability of the people doing capacity building for environmental action organizations.

Why ActionMap:

ActionMap provides software, training and delivery of high-impact online workshops that rapidly produce:
high quality work products that directly support capacity building, along with
team building and engagement based on strong shared understanding of tasks, values and ideas

In terms of increasing the number and capability of people doing capacity building work, the ActionMap solution is:

Fast – significant results can be created in a few hours of online workshops.

Reliable – the ActionMap® workshop procedures have been proven in over 150 engagements, including 30+ software-based engagements.

Versatile – ActionMap has been applied to a wide range of purposes, from strategy to action plans.

Affordable – associated with the speed of results, ActionMap workshops can produce
significant results in strategy, team building and capacity action planning, in many cases at
a fixed cost of $995.
(See examples of what can be produced in such programs by clicking here.)
(See Service Pricing by clicking here.)

Collaborative – ActionMap can be used in conjunction with many other methodologies and services, including for initial engagement stages.

Scalable – Extensively supported by software, the ActionMap® workshop method can be
widely learned, greatly increasing the number of people that are able to contribute to
organization and process optimization for environmental action organizations.
(See Global Impact Program by clicking here.)

Call to Action

ActionMap is seeking clients, referrals and partners to expand and accelerate action toward a sustainable and regenerative environment. 

If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to me in one of these ways:

Connect or send me a message on LinkedIn:
Jim Johnson
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimjohnson/

Arrange a conversation at this link: 15 minute Zoom meeting

Email me at: 

ActionMap Value Proposition for

Environmental Action Organizations

Organizations that work directly on environmental action can both:
increase the impact of their staff, volunteer and funding resources, and
reduce the stress on staff and volunteers,
by engaging a fast, reliable and affordable capacity building service.

In addition to doing the work themselves, environmental action organizations provide direction for a very large percentage of the overall number of people and resources available for sustainability and regeneration. So the capacity of these organizations is critical to the overall sustainability and regeneration effort. 

ActionMap’s approach is based on fast, easy-to-schedule, high-impact online workshops. 

Collaborative Improvement through Teamwork and Shared Understanding

A major part of capacity building is increasing shared understanding among stakeholders of organizational process and each other’s interests.

The shared understanding and work products from ActionMap workshops produce many values for many stakeholder groups

In addition to supporting better communication, the strong shared understanding created by he ActionMap® method systematically reveals concrete, doable action points. 

This can be of particular value in asking grant makers, donors, board members and volunteers for specific help in specific areas.

The ActionMap® Toolkit™ method has been used in over 130 engagements, with organizations including these:

Testimonials on the value of the ActionMap method are provided here. 


The Shortfall in Capacity Building Capabilities & Why a Process-Oriented Approach is Needed

Process methods are a major element of capacity building.

Environmental action organizations can very often benefit from process methods and skills.

 At the same time these organizations often lack access to those methods and skills

WHY is this an issue?

Optimization is not automatic. Virtually all organizations can increase capacity through process improvement methods. However, process improvement results are rarely achieved unless they are deliberately pursued.

May not be part of the culture While many organizations have strong organizations and processes, in other cases the people that are engaged in environmental organizations may not have come from commercial/industrial backgrounds where there is a large emphasis on process optimization.

Taken for granted.  People in all organizations often overestimate the amount of shared understanding of processes that exists among stakeholders, and often underestimate the importance of that shared understanding.

Limited skilled people. Also, social enterprise organizations are not a focus market for people with process improvement methods and skills (which when effective involve increasing shared understanding). So social enterprise organizations may have limited access to those methods and skills.

Needed right now. All this is particularly true at a time when these organizations and/or their programs are in start up or high expansion mode.

How ActionMap Contributes to Capacity Building 

ActionMap Workshops:

Quickly produce strong shared understanding among stakeholders of operational processes and each other’s interests, concerns and ideas with respect to those processes.

   ❑  This strong shared understanding is a foundation for engagement, teamwork, and all other capacity building functions.

Rapidly accomplish detailed discovery of process operations and stakeholder interests, concerns and ideas with respect to those operations.

Systematically uncover actionable opportunities for process improvement and organizational change.

Produce high quality process maps, evaluations and action plans based on strong shared understanding among stakeholders of operational details.

Provide fast, effective, affordable support for in-house capacity building efforts.

Quickly launch extended capacity building projects and accelerate extended capacity building implementations.

 

The ActionMap® Toolkit™ method has been used for many purposes, including those shown here:

Workshop Program Designs

General Guidelines

❑  Workshops use an online software application, access through e-meeting services such as Zoom or WebEx. Participants need to be able to view the application via individual workstations or meeting room large display screens or projections.

❑  Identify the right people to attend and participate, a group that together has knowledge of the entire area, and is central for creating strong shared understanding and alignment.

❑  Workshops are initially scheduled for two hours, with 90+ minutes effective working time.

❑  No advance training or knowledge exchange is required for participants or facilitator. Just schedule the time and get started.

❑  Results are exported to PowerPoint and Excel for broad distribution.

❑  These work products can be used after the workshops to capture additional information from a larger group.  That information can then be added into the software for re-export.

 

Service Pricing

Workshop programs that deliver significant standalone value in:
❑ knowledge sharing,
❑ team building, 
❑ detailed process maps, and
❑ concrete, doable action plans

can be conducted within a few weeks (or even days) at a fixed cost of  $995.

This program package covers:
❑ Initial consultation and program design conversation (see “Program Design” above.)
❑ Communications for meeting planning and coordination.
❑ Up to four hours of online workshop time, producing the work products described below, along with strong shared understanding, knowledge sharing and team buliding.
❑ Post-workshop document preparation (for distribution in PowerPoint and Excel).
❑ Up to an hour of action plan organizing, formatting and review.
❑ Workshop and program review conversations.

This cost can be rapidly recovered through increased productivity and impact.

Additional services are billed at a target rate of $195 per hour, always on clear mutual agreement.

The times above are flexible; our goal is to deliver the results.

Alternative fee and payment structures are also available.

About ActionMap

ActionMap services are delivered by Jim Johnson, Co-founder of ActionMap Inc., a consultancy and software provider based in the San Francisco Bay Area.  

Jim’s career includes over 40 years of:
❑ IT development, management, support and sales
❑ Tier 1 consulting business development and account management
❑ IT performance management and compliance
❑ Professional meeting facilitation.

Jim has a B.S. in Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College, where he served as student body president. 

For more details about Jim see his LinkedIn profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimjohnson
or see the “Company Info” item on the main menu above.

Call to Action

ActionMap is seeking clients, referrals and partners to expand and accelerate action toward a sustainable and regenerative environment. 

If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to me in one of these ways:

Connect or send me a message on LinkedIn:
Jim Johnson
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimjohnson/

Arrange a conversation at this link: 15 minute Zoom meeting

Email me at: 

ActionMap Value Proposition for

Environmental Funding Organizations

Funding organizations can increase the impact of their grant decisions by encouraging funding recipients to participate in fast, reliable and affordable knowledge sharing, team building and capacity planning workshops.

ActionMap workshop programs can deliver significant results in team building, knowledge sharing, and capacity building action plans within a few weeks and for under $1000. Those costs are quickly recovered through increased productivity and workflow streamlining, while rationalizing organization structure and reducing staff stress.

These results enhance grantees’ ability to both reliably deliver impact and also to explain how they deliver impact, increasing their ability to attract grants, donations and volunteers.

❑  Strong shared understanding between grantor and grantees of how grantees operate and produce value is a key element in maximizing the impact of funding.
❑  A major focus of ActionMap workshops is to rapidly create strong shared understanding among stakeholders of each others’ activities, values, ideas and plans.

Call to Action

ActionMap is seeking clients, referrals and partners to expand and accelerate action toward a sustainable and regenerative environment. 

If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to me in one of these ways:

Connect or send me a message on LinkedIn:
Jim Johnson
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimjohnson/

Arrange a conversation at this link: 15 minute Zoom meeting

Email me at: 

ActionMap Value Proposition for

Environmental Consulting Organizations

Consulting organizations can increase their scope of impact by using ActionMap Workshops to:
Profitably extending scope to smaller Environmental Action Organizations.
❑ Quickly develop and launch new business relationships and projects.
❑ Conduct fast, high-value discovery while accomplishing knowledge sharing and team building.
Re-deploy staff resources to achieve greater impact.
    ❑ Allow senior staff members to focus on high-value, high leverage activities.
    ❑ Develop junior staff members while expanding market presence and learning about new client opportunities.

❑  Stakeholder alignment and collaboration are critical to all capacity building projects. 
❑  Strong shared understanding is the foundation of alignment and collaboration.
❑  ActionMap excels at rapidly creating strong shared understanding for a variety of stakeholder values and project purposes.

The ActionMap® Toolkit™ method has been used for many purposes, including those shown here:

Testimonials on the value of the ActionMap method are provided here.

Examples of ActionMap engagements are provided here.

Call to Action

ActionMap is seeking clients, referrals and partners to expand and accelerate action toward a sustainable and regenerative environment. 

If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to me in one of these ways:

Connect or send me a message on LinkedIn:
Jim Johnson
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimjohnson/

Arrange a conversation at this link: 15 minute Zoom meeting

Email me at: 

Example of Work Products from ActionMap Workshops
(Process Map and Evaluation List/Action Plan)

❑ The work products are created through a structured set of questions that prompt the workshop participants for information. The same basic procedure has been reliably used in over 130 engagements. The workshops start quickly and have high levels of energy and engagement.

❑ The interactive group construction of the work products is what creates the strong shared understanding. Review of the work products in additional meetings can both collect additional information and extend the shared understanding.

❑ The work products provide source material from which many other formats can be created.

❑ The amount of information in the documents directly below can typically be captured, organized, formatted and shared in three to four hours of online workshop time.

❑ This is a generalized example taken different real client engagements.
❑ Examples from specific engagements are provided at the bottom of  this page.
❑ These examples have been exported to PowerPoint and Excel.

(The highlighting below is only to call attention to the comment rows)

The shared understanding and work products from ActionMap workshops produce many values for many stakeholder groups

 An important benefit of the workshops is to bring out, capture and share stakeholders’ knowledge, interests and ideas that they may not be able to easily describe. 

Call to Action

ActionMap is seeking clients, referrals and partners to expand and accelerate action toward a sustainable and regenerative environment. 

If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to me in one of these ways:

Connect or send me a message on LinkedIn:
Jim Johnson
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimjohnson/

Arrange a conversation at this link: 15 minute Zoom meeting

Email me at: 


Global Impact Program

A Program for Broadly Increasing Capacity for a Sustainable and Regenerative Environment

The purpose of this program is to:

Increase operational effectiveness at the largest possible scale for organizations focused on a sustainable and regenerative environment, through:

  • Process optimization, supported by
  • Increased shared understanding AND scalable process methods.

The shared understanding includes:

– the events within the systems and activities within the organizations, and

– people’s interests, concerns, ideas (referred to as “evaluations”) and plans with respect to those systems and activities.

– the physical, social, economic and political systems involved in achieving a sustainable regenerative environment.

Program Approach – Distribute Tools and Skills for ActionMap Online Workshops

The approach to achieving this goal is to establish a mechanism for broadly distributing tools and skills for conducting online and in-person workshops using a particular methodology (described below).

The purpose of the workshops is to create both:

1) strong shared understanding among the workshop participants and

2) high quality work products that can be used to:

a) extend the understanding to other people outside the workshops

b) support action planning and implementation, for purposes ranging from fundraising to community carbon-reduction to voter mobilization.

The work products include graphic models of the systems and activities along with goals, issues, ideas and plans that people have with respect to these systems and activities.


ActionMap Method and Software Overview

The primary tool for this approach is a software application from ActionMap Inc, called the ActionMap® Toolkit™ (or “ActionMap”, or “the Toolkit). The author, Jim Johnson, founder and CEO of ActionMap Inc. has developed and proven this software in extensive use.

The software is based on a flip chart/whiteboard-based method that is still effective without= the software. Compared to the manual versions, the software is faster and less work to “operate”, and easier to use in virtual meetings.

Features and benefits of the ActionMap approach are described in the top section of this page.

Examples of the work products produced by the proposed method are shown here.

Testimonials to the impact of the proposed method are provided here. 

Free training in the manual method is provided at actionmap.com/freetraining. 

The ActionMap® Toolkit™ method has been used in over 130 engagements, with organizations including these:


Software and Training Distribution – Starting Pro Bono

Currently, software subscriptions with free online self-training are $98 per person per year.

For a limited time, ActionMap has the capacity to provide free subscriptions and extended trainings for the software, on a pro bono basis, as part of getting the Program started.


High level phases of the Program

1. Validation of concept 

   a. Workshops conducted pro bono by Jim Johnson, principal consultant and founder, ActionMap Inc.

   b. With a core group of people committed to seeing if the Program can be made to work

   c. On both environmental systems and climate change organizations

First Step: Identify and conduct one such workshop. Then do a few more.

2. Initial trainings

  a. Free training an additional group of other software users, to conduct further workshops, by Jim Johnson

  b. Pro bono co-facilitation with Jim Johnson.

  c. Free use of an online community provided by ActionMap Inc. to support learning and knowledge sharing

3. Track impact

a. Survey workshop participants.

b. Follow up to see if action items are pursued.

c. Follow up to see if action items are being effective.

4. Ongoing Impact

a. Establish governance and processes for continuing operation

b. Solicit ongoing funding for training trainers and providing subscriptions more broadly.

Key Features of this Approach

There are several key features to this approach, including:

Speed: The clock is ticking respect to climate change. Increased impact needs to be achieved as quickly as possible. They ActionMap method, using the ActionMap® Toolkit™ software, produces within a few hours:
–  strong shared understanding,
–  along with supporting process maps, evaluations and action plans,
for a small organization or program within a larger organization.

Breadth of application: Any organization, initiative  or movement that is focused on a sustainable and regenerative environment. The ActionMap method can also be used to model environmental systems themselves, at a high level. 

Scale: The scale of impact in terms of large numbers of people acquiring the understanding; as broadly as possible within the criteria of quality (see image below).

Quality: The quality of the shared understanding among the parties involved; sufficiently detailed and integrated to motivate people to take action.

Call to Action

ActionMap is seeking clients, referrals and partners to expand and accelerate action toward a sustainable and regenerative environment. 

If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to me in one of these ways:

Connect or send me a message on LinkedIn:
Jim Johnson
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimjohnson/

Arrange a conversation at this link: 15 minute Zoom meeting

Email me at: 



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