Breakout Sessions

Breakout Sessions

Tracks: | Leadership | Governance | Values & Culture | Advancement

Click on Session title to see the description.

Thursday, March 19

10:00am - 11:00am

The session will explore organizational mission and potential constraints limiting innovation and creativity. It will identify strategic components of mission and the impact on organizational sustainability; profile multiple aspects of an organization’s business model that may promote or prevent innovation and creativity in accomplishing mission. There will be a facilitated discussion around creativity of organizations in pursuit of mission and obstacles preventing organizations from pursuing new and innovative ventures.

While a crisis may be unexpected, it should never come as a surprise. Crises can be anticipated, and through effective planning and training, providers can limit, if not avoid, reputational risk. Those institutions most successful in weathering crises are those whose leadership recognizes the immediacy of today’s communications landscape. This session will provide attendees with discrete steps for building strong, actionable crisis-response programs with broad support. Through a self-assessment, attendees can authoritatively answer the question, “Am I ready?”

This is an interactive workshop that will explore the benefits of intercultural collaboration within the workplace using stories, visual illustrations, and case studies. Cultural competence — understanding cultural beliefs and differences within diverse populations is a useful approach that can improve overall outcomes within an organization.

Learn first-hand what your organization should know before developing an endowment. Hear stories from leaders of organizations who have endowments and who are in the process of creating one.

11:15am - 12:15pm

Understand how the stories that folks tell about your organization can be both good and bad. Learn how to tell your own story with positive experiences and testimonials!

For years, governing bodies have been told they should stay out of the weeds. Experts have been encouraging boards to utilize dashboard and trend reports, emphasizing strategic and generative discussions, and cautioning them to tread lightly around operations. As the government continues to emphasize the role of the board in monitoring quality of care, tension and confusion arise as to where and how to draw the line of oversight versus overstepping. In this session, the presenters will address both the board perspective of what they need to know to have an appropriate level of awareness, and the staff perspective of how to manage the process. What are the board’s obligations? How do they “operationalize” meeting those obligations? What policies and processes are recommended? What questions should they be asking? What should they be monitoring? What information should they be requesting from management, and what should management be providing whether they ask or not? The speakers will explain the new federal regulations governing long term care and how to interpret them in a way that demonstrates that a governing body has met its obligations without overstepping its bounds.

Non-profits are, by definition, mission driven. A clear and well-focused mission statement and organizational values can serve to guide all major decisions that a non-profit organization makes. A diverse panel of CEO’s will seek to answer: What are ways an organization may prevent mission drift? When is mission shift strategically advantageous? What strategies have been used to focus the organization’s mission and values? What key decisions has their organization made, what have they learned and how has that influenced their mission? Lastly, how has this affected their ability to meet their stake holders’ needs?

Google “why is storytelling powerful” and you get “Telling stories is one of the most powerful means that leaders have to influence, teach, and inspire." What makes storytelling so effective for learning? For starters, storytelling forges connections among people, and between people and ideas. Stories convey the culture, history, and values that unite people,” says a Harvard Business blog. Everyone has a story to tell. Based on that fundamental belief, Garden Spot Village introduced a storytelling communication style ten years ago. Over the years we’ve invested in storytelling training and workshops. We’ve learned through trial and error, had our ups and downs, big hits and false starts. Today we focus almost exclusively on story. During this workshop we’ll share our story and some of the things we’ve learned about visual storytelling, narrative storytelling, how to apply storytelling to marketing, sales, advertisements and the development of culture. Garden Spot Village’s Chief Marketing Officer Scott Miller and Storyteller Juanita Fox will share the ways we enhance the culture of the community by telling the stories of the people who live in the community. Join the session to learn more about the value of honoring and telling stories and the framework Garden Spot Village uses to share the many, many stories found on their campus. From website copy to Facebook posts to monthly videos to the most recent endeavor – podcasting – we strive to share the stories of the people who live and work at Garden Spot Village through new and innovative ways.

2:00pm - 3:00pm

Many leaders stress that their work is a calling and often credit their organization’s mission and/or faith for attracting them to aging services and their role in their communities. With health care growing in complexity and changing at a dramatic pace, much of our continuing education focuses on supporting organizations’ strategic planning, operations or financial strength. Equal attention must be given to ensure the viability of the missions that serve to guide members’ work and the quality of care and services they provide every day. For some, that means not shying away from faith in the conversation. In his book, Mission Drift, Peter Greer, shares that one of the deepest challenges of leaders today is to ensure an organization stays true to its mission. In this presentation, we will hear about the EAGLE Accreditation program, the only faith-based accreditation program in the country, and about organizations who have worked unabashedly to ensure that the faith, values and beliefs of their mission statement are incorporated in all aspects of their organizations through this process. EAGLE organization leader(s) to be determined.

Description Coming Soon.

FSA, the national association of values-aligned senior living organizations with roots in Quakerism, heard a call from members to devote time, attention, and energy to specifically talking about what it means to serve and support seniors in a way that is framed by Quaker values. From these conversations emerged the idea to hold a large-group “Values Summit.” In 2017, approximately seventy-five people from across the FSA membership, from all levels of staff, gathered for two days at a meeting to tackle this topic. Led by a facilitator, the group shared concrete examples of seeing “values in action,” discussed why “I do what I do” and connections to their own values. They spent time exploring the history of the evolving definition of Quaker values, distinguishing characteristics of Quaker organizations, and the context of the future. This Values Summit was a tremendous success, and those in attendance found their commitment to the values and how they inform their practices renewed. In this session, the speaker will discuss what led to the Values Summit, highlight the use of a collaborative process across FSA stakeholders to plan the summit, and follow up on information gathered during the two days. The presenter will show a video made during the summit that highlights a number of the activities and includes comments/interviews with attendees, as well as share a major outcome, the “Hallmarks of Quaker Values-Inspired Senior Living.” If time permits the session will include a brief review of how the Hallmarks are being used today, and provide an opportunity for participants to engage in small group discussions of how they might work in their organizations to clearly articulate their values, how the values show up in their day-to-day work, and what they do to keep these values alive in their organizations.

Everything I need to know about being real I learned by pretending to be other people. How can improv and theater improve our listening skills and make us better story tellers?

What makes a good story? What makes a good story great? All of us have a great story within us waiting to be expressed. Join Ted Swartz for an opportunity, through some simple exercises, to sharpen your listening and empathy skills to tell a story better, perhaps your own story.

Friday, March 20

10:00am - 11:00am

Healthcare organizations and their staff experience significant stressors in the delivery of high quality, affordable healthcare. In addition to patient care, staffing issues (such as scheduling, turnover and retention), organizational culture (related to identity and political and social divides), as well as limited financial resources and regulatory responsibilities can cause tensions to build into conflicts. The stories of these too often pit individuals, departments, leaders, and patients against one another in efforts to gain support, maintain control, provide equilibrium or simply save face. How do leaders in healthcare engage conflict in ways that encourage stories that respect the value, uniqueness and dignity of every individual and recognize and call forth the capability of every individual in working to address conflicts that affect them? At the same, how do we work at the structural and systemic issues that affect equity and fairness and can also contribute to conflicts in the organization? In order to meet the challenge of conflict and move toward constructive conflict transformation, leaders must not only have tools, processes and systems clearly defined and available, they must also listen to the stories of the past in order to engage with the present and move toward the future. Join us for a conversation about conflict, how it is transforming and being transformed in our organizations and workplaces. Come to share what tools you have for engaging conflict? What is needed from your perspective? And what are your stories of success? The presenters will bring a model of professional development for conflict competency and personal growth that stresses self-awareness in conflict, self-management (or self-regulation), self-assessment, and self-care in the midst of workplace conflicts.

With continuing pressures and changes in the environment in which organizations are operating, the need to have a clear path to follow is vital to success. Engagement in a strategic planning process is an important piece to creating that path. However, many leaders and boards are reluctant to undertake the strategic planning process. Concerns about time and cost are key factors in decisions to forgo the process. This session, based on current practice and experience working with organizations, will help to demystify the strategic planning process. Attendees will learn about key steps in the process and how the process can be tailored to meet the needs of the organization.

It’s one thing to know your employer’s stated values. It’s another thing to experience them. Hear from a panel of organizations on how they align employees’ experience and core values in their human resource policies and employee benefits

The senior living industry is struggling with a recruitment crisis. Staffing pressures can have effects on all aspects of the organization including patient care, sustainability, and also hinder growth. In order to overcome employment obstacles, organizations have to reanalyze the way they are approaching the hiring process. This session will illustrate a framework in which organizations can not only identify and keep talented employees, but identify key characteristics to ensure the right candidate joins the staff. This session will break down three key components of hiring; integrity, initiative, and intelligence, as well as the three components of retention; aspiration, achievement, and autonomy. It will also address employee engagement, which is vital in employee retention. Based on the current climate, it is important to understand the best methods in which organizations can not only recruit, but most importantly retain good employees. Utilizing stories through case studies, research, and industry experience, this session will leave participants with the insight to better create an environment in which employee engagement and satisfaction are integrated into their community’s story.

11:15am - 12:15pm

Every organization likely monitors various key metrics on an ongoing basis, whether daily, weekly, or monthly. Many organizations do a decent job of tracking these various metrics, but too often, the progress ends with the tracking and reporting. The real leadership and governance work begins with interpreting the data and using it to inform key decisions. Within this session, Ziegler would specifically like to address the scenario whereby organizations receive certain information from the data being collected and they choose to ignore what the numbers are saying or struggle to develop a game plan to remedy concerning data. While the “no margin, no mission” saying has been out there for some years and is commonly recited among not-for-profit boards, a portion of not-for-profit, mission-driven organizations still accept ongoing financial losses and operational challenges as the norm. In today’s marketplace, there is less room for weak financial performance and we know from the data that a number of organizations wait too long to make hard decisions. This is a failure at the leadership level as well as the board level. This session will aim to not only identify common measures for evaluating ongoing organizational performance, but will work to differentiate between occasional periods of less-than-ideal performance (which all organizations experience) and scenarios that suggest a more long-term indication of distress. How can leadership teams and board members be proactive and not get to the point of no return? What can we learn from organizations that have been through difficult times and have turned around their financial health? The goal is to address these items and more.

Serving in the Board Chair role can be a daunting experience, especially if there are organizational challenges and leadership transitions. With the highest level of responsibility for an organization, the Board Chair is expected to know how to address the issues that a Board and organization will encounter in its governance role. This session will provide tools, resources and advice for persons currently serving or expecting to serve in the Board Chair role. In this confidential setting, attendees can expect to receive input and guidance, along with open reflection, sharing and question/answer time.

In the 1500’s a renegade group of Christian leaders rebelled against their own religion. These dissenters called for the church to separate from the state and to reject all forms of violence. They waged their war with weapons of peace, and many died for their radical cause of calling Christians back to the way of Christ. Known as “Anabaptists”, they dared to think that Jesus should be taken seriously when he taught his followers to turn the other cheek, love their enemies, and do good to those who hate them. In the years since the sixteenth century, the Anabaptist tradition continues to represent a unique path. Whether you are new to Anabaptist life or you have been “born into the tribe,” join us as we provide a quick overview of Anabaptist distinctives and talk about how they can and should inform the life of our organizations.

Your faith-based sponsorship drives your mission. It connects your current culture with your past. It helped build your reputation in the community in decades past. It largely defines who sits on your board. But is it a blessing for your marketing efforts? Is it turning away the very people for whom your ministry is intended? Faith-based organizations face increasing dilemmas. Fewer Americans value a faith-based association, and a growing number of people avoid it. These trends have led a growing number of churches themselves to rename themselves and remove an overt denominational reference. Sometimes the strength of local churches remains untapped, and oftentimes local congregations no longer value the sponsorship of their own denomination. The answers to this growing public ambiguity towards faith-based sponsorship are not “either/or,” but involve matters of degree. This session will explore the key dilemmas and the key opportunities facing faith-based not-for-profit organizations and provide insights and strategies from a branding and marketing perspective that leadership teams and boards apply to their unique situations. In this session we will address issues, such as: The growing trend to consider name changes away from denominational and religious terms; the spectrum of branding approaches that communicate a faith-based community’s heritage and values in its marketing materials; sales team strategies for the front line that address faith-based sponsorship; dual marketing approaches that allow a community to market itself simultaneously to affinity and non-affinity markets through versioned messaging. This session will be highly interactive, as it will present a series of common scenarios, and the audience will be asked to provide real-time feedback regarding the challenges they face. Insights will be presented in a series of case studies, from our experience in regions around the country reflecting widely differing attitudes towards faith-based organizations.

1:45pm - 2:45pm

This will be an interactive session. We will be introducing participants to the process of building a performance-based emergency response program. This will include discussions on Active Shooter training and preparations, leading during conflict, command and control and why operations succeed.

Boards and CEOs often unwittingly assume a story narrative in how they approach their work. Some stories are intention, some unintentional; some shared, some disruptive; and some are helpful and others unhelpful to organizational health and effectiveness. This session will first explore frequent story narratives assumed by boards and CEOs. We will also share some lessons that boards and CEOs wish the other would learn from their story but don’t how make their point directly. We will end with some suggestions on how boards and CEOs can engage in creating a common story to strengthen their relationship and advance organizational health.

Mennonite Mission Network’s resource Shared Voices is a guideline for anti-racist and anti-oppression communication. Join this session to consider how your own organization might benefit from its principles and learn some of the practical steps of how to integrate them into your storytelling and creative processes.

Connecting culture to shared purpose is the difference between good and great companies. Every company has a culture and it is key to employee retention. Simply put, employees don’t want to leave a great culture. With declining unemployment rates, it has become increasingly difficult to find new talent. In this environment it is even more important to keep good employees. The panelists will share how their organizations have worked to help employees find purpose, mastery and empowerment in their roles and by doing so have made positive strides in employee retention.

Saturday, March 21

9:00am - 10:00am

Should your organization consider an affiliation or partnership as a strategy for growth? Would a growth strategy ensure the future of your organization’s mission and purpose? This session will provide insights from MHS members on their reasons for choosing to grow their ministries through affiliation and other growth strategies; from the initial decision to develop both a vision and strategy, through the decision-making processes involved, and lessons learned. Hear from a panel of experienced CEO’s regarding their unique experiences positioning for continued growth.

A proactive and consistent recruitment strategy is a key component for a high performing board. This session will offer tips for an effective board recruitment process, covering topics such as assigning responsibility, how to organize, developing a candidate pool, and positioning your board as an attractive service opportunity. Hear what other MHS organizations are doing to recruit board members.

As a professional storyteller, Rebecca will begin by giving a dramatic presentation of a true story in which God preserved a large group of Ethiopian Christians from a military threat on their lives, through their prayer and faith. So who was the hero of this story? Walking through the key elements of a story, Rebecca will draw on her skills as a professional copywriter to show how you can use these key elements to invite potential donors to be a part of your nonprofit's story. When you speak about your service, you as the service provider will step aside and allow the donor and the client to be the heroes of your story, with the confident framework that God is ultimately the one accomplishing the good work, and you're helping. This framework can revolutionize the way you present yourself on your website, in print, in speeches, and in the one-line summary of the answer to the question "What do you do?"

Effective governance is more critical than ever. Proactive efforts to build board capacity are essential. But what practical steps can you take to make your board even stronger? This workshop will explore characteristics of high functioning boards as well as strategies for strengthening your board’s functioning.