Consulting

As a consultant, I can bring my experience into new settings to help redesign systems around people and support pathways to sustain the work. I will spark new ways to envision the work to reach the big goals we are all trying to achieve together.

People-Centered Strategy

Develop strategic plans and program models with people at the center.

I will use person-centered, sense-making engagements to help organizations and teams illuminate the current state of their work… and see what’s possible. Together, we will grapple with key question: What do I need to contribute my full self? What do we need to collaborate beyond our current state? How do our systems, policies, and structures need to change to sustain progress over time?

We ARE our systems. We can only change our systems if we change ourselves.
Michelle has an innate ability to step into societal and organization issues and gather critical information. Her assessment allows her to quickly and accurately interpret the current space with ease to brainstorm next steps. Her experience and expertise support her ability to help transform undecorated ideas into creative and effective solutions.
Calla Oftedahl, Dakota County Social Services Manager

Seek out and reset the everyday patterns of systemic racism.

Organizational Development

Build a thriving culture and dismantle systemic racism from programs and organizations.

As a consultant, I can help organizations illuminate the ways patterns of systemic racism unintentionally flow through their work culture and their programs. With an anti-racism approach, talk can lead to action. Feedback can lead to deeper understanding. And new insight can help leaders — both formal and everyday leaders — to shift day-to-day practices toward a more inclusive work environment and more effective, equitable programs. I will support teams to come together through the difficult conversations and coach leaders to grow and develop in their role.

As a co-leader and co-founder of two non-profit organizations, I know Michelle’s greatest strength to be her ability to visualize a new reality and then to develop effective strategies to bring it to fruition.
Sondra Samuels, Northside Achievement Zone

Resource Development

Seek and secure resources to get there.

As you reimagine your workflow and identify the investment into your people needed to move you toward your big vision, I can help you secure new resources. From targeting the right sources to capturing the powerful story of your organization, resource development will flow right from your strategy planning.

Dream the impossible….and then ask “how can we?”

How I've Seen Change Happen

In my work over the past decade, I noticed elements that are common to finding success in improving practices and creating change in the social sector (non-profits, schools, etc):

  1. Coming together with a resolve to try something different
  2. Intentionality to put people (families, students) at the center of the work
    with a shift in mindset from “service to” to “solutions with”
  3. Creating sacred space for adaptive, courageous work with self and each other around race, disparities and equity
  4. Asking questions and engaging with data to learn and improve the work
  5. Nurturing a new culture that emerges through practicing behaviors to get the work done differently.

These change elements can be intentionally nourished and developed. We need to get underneath the surface of the work and cultivate the soil so the programs, strategies, collaborations will truly take root.

Illuminate what’s beneath the surface of the work

As a consultant, I will help identify and support how these change elements are coming to life in your setting to create better outcomes within a program, organization, or system. Looking comprehensively at both the strategy and the culture–the structure and the people–leads to sustainable progress.

As a school leader working within the often challenging context of racialized poverty, I appreciate Michelle’s supportive approach to finding solutions that work. Launching a framework to cultivate a wellness culture, and helping illuminate and support concrete steps to help get there by working together was impactful.
Nicole Boardman, KIPP Minnesota, Former Executive Director


Minneapolis, MN
michelle@illuminateresults.com

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