There is one critical factor that affects every single aspect of mission-driven organizations like yours:
We take a human-centered approach integrating strategy, evaluation, and leadership so you can thrive in times of change.
What does it mean to be human-centered? It means we lead with empathy. We measure with compassion AND hard data. And we strategize from a place that considers ALL of your stakeholders.
From facilitating your next board retreat to collaborating on a grant strategy, to measuring your impact and growth, we work to connect the people you work with (both inside and out) with the work you do so you can make a deep impact together.
We are experts in: Crafting Strategy, Lean Data, and Agile Transformation for nonprofits and mission-driven for-profit companies.
The lines between each of these areas are often fluid and interwoven and the work of social change isn’t linear. We’ll jump in wherever you’re at, and will equip you with the tools you need to move forward.
We are collaborators and capacity builders, partners and strategists.
We’ll start by immersing ourselves in your organization (at every level) to understand where you’re at and where you want to go. And then we’ll assemble the right team of people who can partner with you to meet your goals.
We do this by observing, connecting, and teaching.
We do not simply consult and advise. We teach.
We won’t just facilitate strategy development for you, we’ll teach you how to get out of the 3-5 year strategic planning cycle and into a cadence of strategy, learning, and action.
We don’t simply offer deliverables and then leave you to figure out what comes next. Instead, we first work to uncover your organization’s unique learning and growth patterns. Then, we partner with your leadership to move your whole organization into a new era of nimble, strategic thinking and growth.
The Olson Group is a collective of seasoned professionals who come together on a project-by-project basis dependant solely on the needs of the client. So you get an efficient and lean team that’s perfect for YOUR project.
The first step in actually implementing any strategic plan is usually to disrupt our widely accepted notion of what the strategic plan is and how it should function. Let’s not just plan for the future, let’s plan to remain flexible in the present. Let’s not simply hypothesize about what comes next, but instead develop tools for learning and experimentation so strategy becomes effective action.
Together we work to engage all of your stakeholders, from your board room to your volunteers and everyone in-between, so you have the trust needed to connect more deeply with the people you serve.
Strategy is never done, it’s not an annual event, it’s got to be ongoing. Agile strategy is the integration of strategy and execution–it’s how to be strategic and do strategy.
We love helping with:
- Craft your mission, vision, and values
- Build a social change playbook
- Create a visual theory of change and logic model
- Do strategic planning
- Identify measurable short, mid, and long-range outcomes
- Define objectives and key results (OKRs) to connect strategy to action
- Connect your strategy to practical action and meaningful data
- Facilitate interactive retreats, strategy sprints, and coaching workshops
LEAN DATA & PRACTICAL EVALUATION
Measuring social impact is incredibly complex. Traditional evaluation practices are time-consuming and costly. The alternative is lean measurement — an approach that emphasizes creating value through efficient data collection, practical analysis, and storytelling that makes sense. Lean evaluation favors efficiency and relevance while maintaining accuracy. We believe that the best metrics are the ones you’ll actually use.
Instead of more traditional approaches, we focus on practical evaluation, which exists at the intersection of information-gathering, analysis, and decision-making. We help you work WITH your data so that it becomes a functional and useful component in your decision-making and your storytelling. We create practical, lean data solutions that build trust, improve your impact, and prove your growth. We’ll equip you to spend more time on insights and less time on data management.
Above all, we put people at the center of your evaluation strategy to ensure that you are measuring what matters most.
We love helping with:
- Lean impact evaluation
- Human-centered design sprints
- Developing logic models
- Customer Insights
- Creating feedback loops
- Data maturity and readiness assessments
- Data process improvement
- Database selection and project management
- Survey design
- Making meaning out of the data you have
- Data visualization
- Designing data dashboards
- Facilitating interactive retreats and workshops
- Grant strategy and grant writing
When your organization begins your journey to transform to a more agile way of operating, we’ll begin wherever you are right now. An agile evolution is not one thing with a starting line and finishing point, it a process of continuous evolution and improvement to how you approach every aspect of your organization – both internal and external. Using the resources you already have, you’ll have a deeper impact, less burnout, and more forward motion.
Agile is a mindset, not a set of rules. We help you BE agile over ‘doing’ agile.
An agile organization believes that it’s not only possible, but preferred to thrive in times of change. We teach you the practices that make the values and mindset of agile a reality. This is about becoming a learning organization committed to continuous improvement, stakeholder feedback, and the ability to adapt and grow, no matter what lies ahead.
Agile teams get more done, in less time, with higher quality.
We love helping with:
- Discovering which agile practices are a good fit for your work
- Changing the way you do project management
- Launching a pilot agile team
- Developing the maturity of new and seasoned ScrumMasters and Product Owners
- Coaching leaders for agile management
- Designing a human-centered story map for your next product or service design
- Facilitating interactive agile/Scrum workshops
- Scaling agile across your organization