Tenacious Change offers a variety of engagement options for your organization. We prefer to tailor engagements to your needs. The list of engagements below is not exhaustive and each is just the starting point for creating an engagement that works best for you. For additional information, please email info@tenaciouschange.us. Also, to learn more about how we work work with clients, download Working With Tenacious Change, LLC.


Three Engagements from Tenacious Change and 1000 Feathers

For more than 20 years Tom Klaus (Tenacious Change) and Forrest Alton (1000 Feathers) have been friends and colleagues. In 2017/2018 they discovered a new relationship in consultancy partnership. Over past year-plus they have worked together to provide support to teen pregnancy prevention grantees who lost significant funding overnight. These efforts led them to update and/or develop three new engagement opportunities for to help nonprofit organizations become more resilient and able to adapt to disruption. The three engagements are:

  • Becoming Indispensable: Program Sustainability Training
  • Strategic Contingency Scenario Planning
  • Leading in Disruption

Each of these is more fully described in a downloadable PDF engagement flyer.


Tenacious Change Approach 101

Creating lasting community change through the integration of community development principles and collective impact

Anchored in original research by Tom Klaus, PhD and Ed Saunders, PhD, this training is designed to introduce groups to the Tenacious Change Approach (formerly the Roots to Fruit of Sustainable Community Change Model)The model offers a “measurable roadmap” to communities seeking to create positive tenacious change. As a roadmap, the Tenacious Change Approach offers a framework for organizing and moving forward to build support for community change. In addition, community groups can monitor and assess progress through the Tenacious Change Assessment and Monitoring (TCAM) tool. Research into the Tenacious Change Approach has also formed the framework for one of the first efforts in the United States to teach collective impact at the university level. Now, the R2F research and the practical experience in teaching Collective Impact has been brought together in a new training for practitioners of community change. The training examines the two key aspects of community change. First, the “roots” of community change in the structure and organizing for change. Community change agents will learn how to build an infrastructure that can effectively facilitate and drive change. Second, the “fruit” of community change through community engagement and mobilization. Training participants will come to understand how community change happens through the Stages of Community Transition. Finally, participants will learn how to monitor and assess progress in both establishing the “roots” and growing the “fruit” of community change.


The Community Engagement & Mobilization Game

The Community Engagement & Mobilization Game is a highly interactive, gently competitive, and fun simulation activity to teach common skills and strategies for effective community engagement and mobilization. The nature of the game requires a minimum of 50 participants and a half-day (3 to 4 hours) to complete. Participants in the game have given it very high marks. Here are just a few of their comments:

  • “I saw clearly how important it is to have TIME to build relationships. We don’t ‘recruit’ just to have numbers. Quality relationships matter.”
  • “It helped to make abstract concepts more concrete. It was nice to see all of things we have been discussing in this training put into action.”
  • “It is so, so important to seek the voices of those who typically don’t feel engaged or included.”

Teaming for Optimal Performance: Building Shared Leadership Teams that Get the Job Done on Time, with Humor, Grace, and Professionalism

This training and consultation is designed to strengthen the capacity of coalitions, collaborative groups, and teams to become high performance teams that regular meet their objective and goals. Group or team members participating in the training will be able to: 1) describe the stages of  group development and identify their group’s stage at any given moment; 2) utilize effective communication skills to achieve clarity and understanding between team members and between teams; 3) describe and utilize the principles of emotional intelligence; 4) identify their own “default” shared leadership approaches; 5) articulate the core competencies for working as a team during a period of crisis; and 6) effectively organize their group for effective action.


Strengthening Team Communication: A Group Exercise in Using Dialogue

How important is good communication in work teams? It may make the difference between team success and failure. This training focuses on building the capacity of individual team members to communicate more effectively with one another. Through a series of learning activities, participants learn the value of communication in healthy team functioning, the difference between debate and dialogue, and how to use dialogue in a variety of settings.


Beyond the Needs Assessment Survey: Developing a Deeper Understanding of Community Needs, Wants, and Will

The basic community needs assessment surveys that reveal the numbers behind an issue is an important, fundamental tool for informing the strategy of community change initiatives. The ability to look beyond the numbers, however, is particularly important when trying to engage difficult to reach populations. This training is designed to teach program staff and community change groups at least three simple qualitative strategies for gaining deeper understanding of a community. These strategies will not only illuminate the needs revealed by the numbers but also improve understanding of what the and has the will to do. Group or team members participating in this training will be able to: 1) describe the indicators of social disorganization that may be used to identify individuals most in need; 2) practice a basic eco-mapping strategy for understanding which services individuals are most likely to use; 3) practice an appreciative qualitative process to increase understanding of why individuals choose the services they do; and 4) consider changes that can be made to increase utilization of services by individuals and families.


Adaptive Strategy Planning: Going Beyond the Usual Strategic Plan to Create Something Groups Will Really Use

Nonprofit organizations trying to affect complex social issues need a strategy planning approach that considers the continuously changing context in which an organization functions. This means effective strategy planning needs to align an organization’s vision, mission, and strategic goals, yet pro-actively include a process by which the strategy plan can be adapted as the context changes. We specialize in helping organizations create an adaptive strategy plan that allows them to chart a clear course and yet, when needed, to nimbly and thoughtfully adapt the plan to remain competitive, relevant, and effective. Our strategy planning process utilizes several Appreciative Inquiry techniques.


Strategic Controversy Management: Managing Controversy and Transforming Conflict in Organizational and Community Change

Strategic controversy management is the art and science of anticipating and engaging controversy before it becomes outright conflict. Change triggers controversy and can lead to conflict. This is true whether it is organizational change, community change, or even broader social change. Many organizations and their leaders do not adequately anticipate and prepare for it. Failure to prepare for controversy and conflict put any gains already made at risk and undermines future efforts. Strategic Controversy Management is based on the research and work of Tom Klaus, PhD[i], consultant, trainer, and president of Tenacious Change. Tom’s peer-reviewed, published research draws upon years of experience and research with leaders engaged in high-stakes, high-pressure change efforts at the organizational and community level. The training is designed to teach leaders, board members, supervisors, program managers, and “front line” staff how to forecast controversy, work proactively to prevent it from becoming outright conflict, and transform conflict when it does occur. Change is never easy and is rarely welcome. Strategic Controversy Management can make the way forward less stressful and more productive for leaders, their organizations, and communities.

[i] Klaus, T. W. (2013). Leadership in an intractable conflict over public school sexuality education in the united states: A constructivist grounded theory study (Order No. 3665017). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection.


Tailored Engagements for Training & Workshops, Plenaries & Keynotes, and Consultations

If you do not see what you are looking for, talk to us. We are happy to talk with you about your specific needs. If we cannot help, then we will help you find someone who can.

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