February 2007 
 Leading Visions to Action
 Business and Organizational Development
In This Issue
Links: Be The Change
Links: Business and Personal Success
Recommended Reading

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Gung Hay Fat Choy! The Chinese New Year 4704 of the "Fire" Pig has begun. And if I might add, with quite a BANG!

Some Chinese astrologers refer to 2007 as an auspicious "golden year". I see this time as an accelerating opportunity to clarify our intentions, launch reinventions, and manifest our visions collaboratively.

"Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.?~ Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher

May you be happy and at peace. May you be healthy and free.

In heartfelt collaboration,

Sheryl R. Sever (Shera)

 Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools
 Change Comes from Within

Several years ago, having relocated to the East Bay from Marin County, my attention returned to the non-profit arena and the many community service groups and coalitions that are in this fertile ground for change.

Earlier this month, I joined a very passionate, dynamic and collaborative team of consultants and project managers in the Wave 2-3 Redesign of the Oakland Unified School District. The redesign, known as the Expect Success Initiative, constitutes one of the boldest and most innovative reform efforts in the country and has garnered $23 million dollars in public and private grants to support the work.

Much funding for Expect Success! has come from BAYCES, which harbors support from nearly 30 foundations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

I've always considered the CIty of Oakland an "Epicenter of Humanity", a socio-cultural model for urban centers throughout the USA. And now I have a wonderful opportunity to put this branding into action!

It takes TEAM WORK to make the DREAM WORK!


 Do You Know Your Audience?
 February Small Business Tip

sunflower "We can see our purpose in the lives and eyes of others."

The small business question I proposed last month ,"What do you and your business stand for? ", encouraged you to look at your vision and your values in order to develop a mission statement.

A mission statement defines the core purpose of an organization- the reason why your business exists. It is the guiding principle for decision-making, and it is the platform from which we launch our goals and objectives.

Another obviously critical element in the development of your business plan is to KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. Understanding your customers and clients (current and future) will assist you refining your branding and defining future marketing methods. How well do you know your customers, clients and business partners?

  1. WHO ARE THEY? (Demographics)
  2. WHERE ARE THEY? (Geographic)
  3. WHAT DO THEY VALUE? (Psychographics)
  4. WHAT ARE THEIR NEEDS? (Motivation)
  5. HOW CAN MY BUSINESS SERVE and FULFILL their needs?(Benefits & Features)
  6. WHAT ARE THE EXTRA STEPS and ACTIONS I can take to allow my audience to feel special and cared for? (Trust-Building)

WHAT'S BEAUTIFUL about these SIX QUESTIONS is their VERSATILITY. They can be used in a variety of initial planning situations, for example:
  • A Human Resources Director assessing training and development needs within her organization.
  • A Solopreneur starting her new business.
  • A Speaker compiling material to include in a presentation.
  • An Author writing an article for a publication.
  • A Grantwriter developing a funding proposal.
  • A Job-Seeker creating a cover letter and resume.
Currently, I am using these questions as a framework and guide to examine high-level organizational functions and processes in my initial analysis of the Wave 2-3 Redesign of OUSD. It has been a very effective process for efficiently gathering the "as is" situation along with the wins and challenges of key leadership and service areas.

Synthesizing complex concepts without losing the essence of your message takes expertise and practice. Do you speak the language of your audience: culturally, emotionally, and physically?

Clear, concise, potent messages that inspire your audience to take action, supported by a well-crafted strategic plan, will have a long-lasting, positive impact on building and sustaining strong client relationships.

Want to learn more about crafting a powerful message?

Click to schedule a complimentary consultation 

 The Great Work-Changing the Dream
 Hope Emanates from Having a Good Plan

Last month, Awakening the Dream, Changing the Dream Symposium facilitators held a weekend strategic planning summit to discuss next steps in "creating an environmentally sustainable, socially just, spiritually fulfilling presence on this planet as a guiding principle for our time."

Pictured above is Randy Hayes, President and Founder of the Rainforest Action Network, and Sheryl Sever, Executive Editor of the 2006 Sustainable World Sourcebook. Randy was the keynote speaker at the ATD Facilitators' Summit. His vision greatly influenced me and my team's work in creating the sourcebook which is available here as a free pdf download.

In the past 18 months,The Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium has been presented to audiences across the USA and in over six countries. This impactful symposium allows participants to gain a new insight into the very nature of our time, and the opportunity we have to shape and impact the direction of our world with our everyday choices and actions.

Curiously enough, it all boils down to, "Do we all win, or do we all lose?"

If you haven't yet attended an Awakening the Dreamer Symposium, please click on the link below to find out about an upcoming symposium in your area, or contact me at 510.336.9161 to discuss hosting one in your workplace or community.

Attend a symposium. Find out more... 

LOVE with ALL your HEART!