FACILITATION FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

Building community, one meeting at a time

Client List

All Our Children

Arboretum Park Conservancy

Arlington Center for the Arts

Arts at the Armory

BNY Mellon Corporate Philanthropy

Boston After School for All Partnership

Boston Architectural College

Boston Arts Academy

Boston Ballet

Boston Beyond

Boston Center for the Arts

Boston Chamber Music Society

Boston Children's Museum

Boston Dance Alliance

The Boston Foundation Arts Sector Convening

Boston 2000 Millennium Commission

Boston History Collaborative

Boston Landmarks Orchestra

Boston Lyric Opera

Boston Management Consortium

Boston Philharmonic Orchestra

Boston Society of Architects

Boston Sports Museum

BU Inst. for Non-profit Mgmt & Leadership

NTL Founders' Circle

Business Volunteers for the Arts

Carving Studio and Sculpture Ctr (Vt.)

Citizen Schools

Cloud Foundation

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company

Community Music Center of Boston

Dance Complex

Discovering Justice

Dreams of Freedom Immigrant Museum

El Sistema USA

Emerald Necklace Conservancy

 

 

 

 

Emmanuel Music

Fenway Alliance

First Night

Friends of Bay Village Parks

Friends of the Public Garden

Genuine Voices

Green Street Studios

Historic Boston

Hunt Alternatives

Impulse Dance Company

Jeannie LIndheim's Hospital Clown Troupe

Josiah Quincy Upper School Senior Staff

Longwood Orchestra

Make-A-Wish Foundation

MassArt Alumni Leadership Council

MassArt Board of Trustees Retreat

MassArt Center for Arts & Community

MassArt Department for Inst. Advancement

MassArt Foundation Board

MA State College Council of Presidents

New England Conservatory Sistema Fellows

New England Creative Economy Council

New England Ethics Forum

New England Foundation for the Arts

New Urban Arts (Providence)

Paula Josa Jones Dance Company

Pine Street Inn

Playworks (Boston)

Project for School Innovation

Shelter Music Boston

Springstep

Tenacity

Topf Center for Dance Education

Urbanity Contemporary Dance

UU Environment Retreat

WriteBoston

 

Client Stories

 

Emmanuel Music

3/14/11

Meeting Purpose: Get the board focused on need for change and new strategic plan.

 

"Bill provided invaluable coaching for two key efforts. He coached the President, Executive Director, and Development Director on how to present to the Board a moment of truth and call to action. His suggestions helped us to strike the right balance between a sober and an optimistic message.  Bill also provided exceptional coaching for our strategic planning process.  He validated our approach, helped us prepare for meetings and keep our focus on the key issues, and provided feedback to help shape a strategic plan with substance and teeth.” Kate Kush, Board Chair.

 

Arlington Center for the Arts

1/23/10

Meeting Purpose: Give the board more ways to directly support the Center.

 

"Our board was distracted by some side issues.  Bill helped us formulate a way to put them in their place and move forward.  He helped us create focus for our annual retreat and presented tools to help us stay on track for the future.  He's a respectful listener and has a genuine desire to solve the problem at hand.”Nancy Barry, Coordinator, Retreat Planning Committee.

 

BNY Mellon Corporate Philanthropy

6/17/09

Meeting Purpose: Renew department focus following a merger; develop strategic framework and commitment to teamwork across sites

 

”Bill pushed us to think freshly and integrate diverse points of view.  In many engagements over the years, I’ve found that Bill offers new perspectives and brings out the best in us.”  Joanne Jaxtimer, Managing Director, Corporate Affairs.

 

 

MassArt Alumni Leadership Council

3/22/09

Meeting Purpose: Renew Alumni Leadership Council and develop concrete Workplan.

 

“MassArt has engaged Bill many times over the years.  The unusual degree of effort he put into our facilitations both before and after our sessions – as well as during them, of course – was truly remarkable.  All of us were inspired by his ability to penetrate to a clear understanding of what we wanted and how we could go about achieving it; we learned more about that from him than we would have thought possible.  We were also always impressed with the degree to which he invested himself in our mission, taking ownership of the outcome.”  Richard MacMillan, Vice President for Institutional Advancement.

 

Arts at the Armory

12/2/08

Meeting Purpose: to obtain expert input on a strategy to launch the Center (during a difficult economic time) and reach eventual sustainability.

 

"From the start, Bill was a champion of our efforts to launch Arts at the Armory.  His ability to help us articulate a vision to create a new community arts center, coupled with specific strategic operational steps, helped us succeed in creating programming to help realize the artist inside us all.  Debra McLaughlin, founding Board Chair.

 

 

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company

7/16/08

Meeting Purpose: Focus the board on new challenges related to independence.

 

"For many years I have appreciated Bill's advice and support.  When CSC needed to reorient itself toward long term growth and governance, he skillfully facilitated a crucial meeting of the board to agree on a strategy and chart the path forward.” Steven Maler, Artistic Director.

 

New Urban Arts

8/26/06

Meeting Purpose: Prepare for Executive Director transition.

 

"Bill worked with our Board at a critical moment.  We had just learned that our founder and executive director of ten years would be leaving to pursue new opportunities internationally.  Bill facilitated a retreat where the Board and staff identified critical characteristics for his successor and a path forward for the search.  Bill's sensitive facilitation moved us beyond our emotional reactions and toward a hiring profile with strong consensus.  That work provided a foundation for an extremely successful transition process."  Deborah Obalil, Board Chair.

 

 

Historic Boston

7/30/05  Meeting Purpose: Gain advice from Loeb Fellows on creation of Preservation Priorities Plan.

 

“At a time of leadership transition after 25 years of redeveloping historic buildings, we were eager to find ways to increase our scope and effectiveness. Bill helped us craft a day-long brainstorming session involving board members, friends, collaborators, and outsiders who knew next to nothing about us—a potentially unwieldy mix.  Bill facilitated the session with a combination of inclusiveness and focus on useful outcomes, to marvelous effect.  The lessons we learned helped set us on the course we are still following today.”  Matthew Kiefer, Board Chair.

 

 

Boston Center for the Arts

6/23/04

Meeting Purpose: launch new Board of Visitors at Annual Meeting

 

”Bill’s facilitation is a breath of fresh air.  Every meeting is focused and yields results.    His rigor to achieve clarity of purpose energizes and mobilizes group participation and action.  In a short period of time Bill sparked the creation of a new Board of Visitors, cultivated inspired leadership, and helped to launch it in a new-and-improved Annual Meeting format. Bill is an organizational alchemist!”  Libbie Shufro, CEO.

 

Cloud Foundation

1/23/2003

Meeting Purpose: Developed a strategy and scorecard for the Board to track mission outcomes for Teen Arts Center at Cloud Place.

 

"In the early days of Cloud Place, Bill played an important role in simplifying our operating strategy and developing consensus measurements to align the efforts of the board, staff and advisors.   He was a highly effective communicator of our mission, and introduced us to several people who made a big difference in the evolution of Cloud Place to the exciting and creative teen space that it is today." David Edwards, founder.

 

 

Boston Dance Alliance

Fall 2001

Meeting Purpose: Helped the board launch and implement market research.

 

"Bill worked with me and the BDA Board and identified a need for market research. He then recruited Roberta Chicos from the Monitor Group, who designed research that had a profound effect on the development of BDA.  Roberta subsequently joined the board, and with her help the member survey became a continuing conversation that added important feedback for ten years." Amy Zell Ellsworth, Founding BDA Board President.

 

 

Project for School Innovation

8/1/02

Meeting Purpose: Seeking best input from senior advisors, while increasing their understanding and commitment to the role.

 

"Bill helped to define exactly what I was looking for from my Advisory Group and to present the questions in a way that proved to be focused, thought-provoking, and productive."  Michael Rothman, Director.

 

Community Music Center of Boston

5/4/02

Meeting Purpose: A Board Retreat designed to increase Board leadership and effectiveness.

Objectives: renew Board focus and commitment following capital campaign, elicit thoughtful participation by all members of a diverse Board, and think big picture about the next ten years.

 

"You maintained everyone’s highest level of energy for the entire day and succeeded beyond my expectations in generating full participation. You gently led the board to consider what it could do better, particularly with respect to accountability and committee structure. You also did a terrific job of getting us to think strategically with an eye towards our 100th Anniversary. Five months later, I’m still impressed by the amount of leadership generated by that single day.”  David Lapin, Executive Director.

 

 

Topf Center for Dance Education

 2/13/02; 11/17/01

Meeting Purpose: A half-day board retreat to update the Strategic Plan followed by another half-day with the broader group it will take for implementation.

 

"Hats off to Bill Nigreen of Facilitation for Social Change who walked the Board through a very challenging agenda and helped the Board generate a list of important next steps in committee development! What a pleasure to have an expert facilitator like Bill to keep the tempo and content of our retreat right on target" (from the Topf newsletter).  Jari Poulin, Executive Director.

 

 

Boston Chamber Music Society

1/31/02

Meeting Purpose: Two hours to welcome a group of new Overseers and create plans for building the BCMS audience.

 

"Thank you for getting us started, keeping us focused, and sending us out on time and with concentrated tasks!”  Susan Werbe, Overseer.

 

 

New England Creative Economy Initiative

1/18/02

Meeting Purpose: A convening of design leaders from throughout New England to form a council to advocate for New England's design industry.

 

"In just two hours, 20 designers and design educators agreed on a clear set of outcomes and committed to next steps; everyone felt at ease and included in the discussion. Great work, Bill!"  Katherine Sloan, President, Mass. College of Art.

 

 

The Boston Foundation

12/12/01

Meeting Purpose: As part of the Boston Indicators project, measuring quality of life variables in the 16 neighborhoods of Boston, the Foundation convened 450 people for community meeting on a vision for Boston in 2030. I facilitated the small group focusing on "fostering the creative economy."

 

"We had to train over 25 facilitators and Bill stepped forward to demonstrate some natural ways for them to be effective with their small groups." Geeta Pradhan, Director of New Economy Initiative.

 

 

Boston Children’s Museum

10/29/01

Meeting Purpose: At annual board retreat, we brainstormed elements of a "case statement" for a new capital campaign, while at the same time building board member support. Then the Board broke into six groups to create pitches to different types of community leaders who had influence over funding or campaign success. Then the full board elaborated on each of the six presentations.

 

"Thank you so much for such a wonderful job last night. It is so important to engage and energize all the trustees at the beginning of the year (esp. this year), and you did just that."  Lou Casagrande, President.

 

 

Jeannie Lindheim's Hospital Clown Troupe

10/25/01

Meeting Purpose: Ten people, newly interested in the Troupe, met with the board to hear about a new fundraising plan.

 

“I couldn't believe it -- 40 minutes later we had 22 commitments and a plan for follow up and communication. Thank you for eliciting a powerful discussion that brought energy and synergy to our meeting."  Beth Regan, Executive Director.

 

 

First Night

10/25/01; 6/28/01

Meeting Purpose: After 25 years of spectacular New Years Eve celebrations, the board of First Night, along with key partners, imagined what the next 25 years should be like.

 

"Bill created an engaging, focused and motivated atmosphere that brought out the best from a diverse group of stakeholders. His enthusiasm was contagious as he successfully led the group to a shared vision for First Night's future." Geri Guardino, Executive Director.

 

 

Citizen Schools

 

10/19/01; 10/2/01; 9/11/01

Meeting Purpose: Task-oriented teambuilding over three half-day sessions for twelve members of the senior leadership team. We clarified mission and organizational roles, updated departmental goals, and developed clearer communication processes, while welcoming new members to the team.

 

"Bill did magical work with our Leadership Team: helping us clarify our vision, sharpen our goals, create a shared action plan, and get to know and trust each other more in the process. Six months later the results still shine through - our team works more efficiently than ever and we often credit Bill's work with helping us get on track."  Eric Schwarz, CEO.

 

 

Boston History Collaborative

10/8/01; 3/16/01

Meeting Purpose: Facilitated many brainstorming sessions of the Advisory Committee over several years. Topics included: increasing attendance at Dreams of Freedom museum, collaboration amongst history tourism organizations, and the impact of 9/11 on history tourism.

 

"Bill knows where the energy is in a diverse group of stakeholders, and unlocks it with his facilitation. In the process, he has helped us to create a new model for the way history organizations work together."  Bob Krim, Executive Director.

 

 

Creative Economy Initiative

10/3/01; 8/12/01

Meeting Purpose: Steering Committee retreat to develop an implementation plan for the Creative Economy Blueprint.

 

"Bill organized our meeting to focus on the most important issues, and made sure we left the meeting with specific plans and commitments. It was an exciting and productive morning!"  Michael Greco, Partner, Hill & Barlow; Chair, Creative Economy Initiative.

 

 

New England Foundation for the Arts

5/18/01

Meeting Purpose: Conducted focus groups of arts funders in New York and New Haven to aid in design of a NEFA conference on building community through culture.

 

"Bill worked with a diverse group of participants and complex material that got us to a really successful outcome. His work allowed us to build a consensus with this content without compromising its potential." Sam Miller, Executive Director.

 

 

Green Street Studios

Spring 1995

Meeting Purpose: Helped original partners renegotiate a second five year lease as well as their agreements with each other.

 

"Bill came to us through Business Volunteers for the Arts.  As a group of dancers, we had obtained great space, but as a management collective, we had reached an impasse.  Bill changed the dynamics by creating an atmosphere where challenges and issues could be discussed openly.  Within a few short meetings, we restructured the organization and management, and moved forward with an option to renew our lease.  Without Bill’s facilitation, it is difficult to imagine that that Green Street Studios would still be here 15 years later, serving so many in the dance community.”  Ruth Birnberg, Executive Director, Boston Dance Alliance.