Sunday, March 20, 2022

Cultural Wellness Center

 In January, I started in a full time position as Knowledge Production Specialist for The Cultural Wellness Center in Minneapolis. Three months in, it still feels like a dream job. This is truly the work that the rest of my professional career has prepared me to take on.  

And so my Cultivate Consulting work will be on a back burner for the foreseeable future.  I have one or two clients who I will continue on an occasional basis, and I would still love to hear from you if you have a project you want to explore.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

What Will We Cultivate? 

The things we give our attention to are the things that will grow. In a time when we can no longer rely on past ways of getting things done, I work with groups to identify what is most most important, and what attention will encourage new ideas to thrive. Recent work includes:

  • Strategic planning and work plan Development (Logic models, Gantt Charts, capacity building)
  • Program or organization-wide evaluation
  • HR policy and office use policy revision 
  • Leadership coaching and team building 
  • Individual donor and major donor program planning
  • Program Design and Tracking

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Saint Paul Area Chamber on Working with Corrie

I have been working with St Paul Area Chamber (SPAC) to redesign a 2019 plan to connect artists rooted in St Paul's Cultural Destination Areas with downtown events. SPAC's Kim O'Brien says:

"Corrie is very thoughtful and strategic in his approach. Utilizing his experience in nonprofit leadership and development, he helped our team develop and communicate a new program that serves both immediate and long term goals of our organization. Corrie is a very careful listener. He picks out ideas within the conversation that feel meaningful, and helps build a strategy and narrative around them. He gently pushes to identify the goal and then keeps us focused on achieving it."

-Kim O'Brien, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, St Paul Area Chamber

Monday, June 28, 2021

On Working with Corrie

"Equity is always in the forefront for Corrie. Cultivate Consulting fills an important niche in the field of DEI consulting: support for organizations to see and acknowledge their whiteness, and then pursue real organizational transformation." 
- Allison Sharkey, Executive Director, Lake Street Council

Image from REACH Twin Cities, one of 
Lake Street Council's partners in imagining 
a more equitable future for Lake Street.

My biggest consulting client in 2020 and 2021 has been Lake Street Council in Minneapolis. It has been an honor and a pleasure to help this organization make the radical changes that were needed to respond to ongoing emergent change. In June 2021, Lake Street Council Executive Director Allison Sharkey agreed to write a description of what it has been like to work together:

After George Floyd's murder and the resulting civil unrest, the Lake Street Council needed to transform our organization very quickly. We had to increase our capacity dramatically to meet the huge need for services and invest an influx in donations in a professional, equitable, and transparent way. Corrie reached out to me right away to ask if we needed help. I said yes right away and am so glad I did. Corrie was willing and able to fill any staffing and management gaps, and more importantly, he brought a calming, insightful, optimistic presence to our team during a time of crisis. He helped transition our organization from 4 to 11 staff, creating the additional structure that we needed to support this growth. However, those additional structures (work plan, professional development plan, HR policies) have been designed with creativity and inclusivity of our staff and board. When asked for advice as a former executive director, his advice has been straightforward and supportive, cutting through the chaos with the wisdom of a real leader (who is not looking to steal the spotlight). 

Equity is always in the forefront for Corrie. Cultivate Consulting fills an important niche in the field of DEI consulting: support for organizations to see and acknowledge their whiteness, and then pursue real organizational transformation. 

Cultivate Consulting excels at executive coaching. After a year of working with Corrie, and as our staff grew and my responsibilities began to change, I wanted to make sure I was developing the right role for myself within the organization. After two sessions, I already have more clarity around my personal and professional strengths as well as areas for development. We are now planning to engage Cultivate Consulting to help our whole staff think about team dynamics and how each staff member can use their personal strengths to bring out the best in each other. 

- Allison Sharkey, Executive Director, Lake Street Council

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Lake Street Council Gratitude

This spring, I helped Lake Street Council to figure out how to make their annual meeting an online event.  I wrote and voiced over a Thank You message to businesses, neighbors, and people who pitched into help with Lake Street recovery efforts. Here is a full video of the event, where my message starts at 3:05. I also edited and voiced over a livability and safety message that starts at 31:10.

Getachew Teklu is the owner of Admas Travel (image by Tony Nelson). 
More of Mr Teklu's story here

What Now? Choose a Path and Get Started.

Minnesota Playlist invited submissions to answer the question of what happens now for Minnesota Theaters.  In my submission I suggest that the paths forward are pretty simple, and that we just need to choose one.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

First Day of School


I started a consulting practice over the summer. As of today, this is my full-time job. I want this work to overlay my desire to help others succeed with my experience in fundraising, organizing, planning, and making big shifts. This is a time when so many of our institutions can only continue if we find radical new ways to connect with one another and support one another, and alongside the pain of this shift I am genuinely excited for what we choose to grow next, and - where I can - to be part of that.

I invite you to:
  • Follow my new Facebook Page
  • Subscribe to updates from the blog page I just set up
  • Give me feedback on any of the content you see
Most importantly, though, I'd love to hear about how you are experiencing this institutional shift and what you would like to cultivate.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Checklist for Starting my New Consulting Practice

  • Pick a name? Check.
  • File an LLC? Check.
  • Register an overly complicated URL? Check.
  • Find someone with a fax machine because somehow that is the most efficient way to communicate with the IRS? Check.
  • Ask you to like my Facebook page? You, my dear friend, are next on my list.

    Nonprofit Transparency

    In January 2019, Steve Boland interviewed me for the Next in Nonprofits podcast. We talked about making the organizational choice to be transparent during difficult times.

    My Enneagram Type

    If you are familiar with the Enneagram system of personality typing, I identify as an Enneagram Type 2 with a 3 Wing. Enneatype 2w3 is also called “The Host”. When living out my 2w3-ness, I am ambitious, altruistic, and sociable. I thrive on building connections with others and helping to make a difference in the world. I have an optimistic world-view, I am adaptable in stressful situations, I communicate clearly and effectively, and I find passion in serving others.

    My Privilege

    I am a cisgendered, heterosexual, white male-bodied homeowner with a graduate degree. During five years in a chief executive role, I grew in my understanding that the only way to dismantle racist structures is to give decision-making power over those structures to the people most harmed by them. The best way for me to support that work was to step aside and let others lead. Rather than look for the next leadership role, I want to find work where I can be in a supporting role, using what I have learned about cultivating organizational shifts to make other leaders successful.