Strategy, development & support for coalitions, associations, organizations and initiatives


Getting Comfortable with Discomfort, a Lifelong Practice

By Kelly Nichols | | 0 Comments

I was recently asked to write an essay on how my participation in an interdisciplinary poverty studies program and internship, the Shepherd Consortium, in college impacted my life and career. I’m sharing it here because I think it’s a good opportunity to express how my background and life experience informs the collective impact work that […]

Find Their Strengths; Maximize Your Potential!

By Carol Johnson | | 0 Comments

Have you wondered why teams of people do not work together well?  It may be due to misunderstandings or to ineffective allocation of tasks. Gallup’s StrengthsFinder is a tool that was developed not only to help individuals know themselves better, but to be used to maximize our work together in teams. Misunderstanding each other is a […]

Building Our Strengths-Based Toolbox

By Kelly Nichols | | 0 Comments

As you know if you’ve worked with us previously, we are big fans of tools that highlight the strengths of individuals and teams. We employ a strengths-based approach to strategic and community planning, and we often use appreciative inquiry as a tool for deepening connections to multiply impact with team members, boards, and coalitions. So […]

Building a Truly Authentic City

By Kelly Nichols | | 0 Comments

I am participating in the 2016 Leadership Austin Essentials class (#bestclassever!) and recently contributed a blog post about our first class day. I thought it would be relevant to share here as well.   I was drawn to Austin in the late 70’s because there was no ‘landed gentry’… there was a sense you could […]

Coffee with Colleagues: Q&A with Sandy Battise

By Kelly Nichols | | 0 Comments

One of WNA’s business goals is to create opportunities and platforms to connect with other skilled professionals through formal and informal partnerships. What’s really fun about this is that we get to connect with other like-minded professionals whose work aligns with our vision to create, grow and sustain initiatives that result in positive social outcomes. […]

Why Strategic Planning is Especially Important When You’re Swimming Upstream

By Kate Moore | | 0 Comments

We recently completed a Needs Assessment for the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department Community Services Block Grant Program. The report highlights what many social sector leaders in the region are experiencing first-hand:

Don’t Leaf for Summer Vacation Without Making Plans for the Fall!

By Andrea Torres | | 0 Comments

With the summer heat starting to bear down on us, it is hard to remember what it was like to put on a sweater or turn on the heater. But before we know it, fall will be here with its cooler temperatures and falling leaves. For many organizations and collaborations, fall means the beginning of […]

Meet our New Team Members (and a Love Letter to Bennu Coffee)

By Kelly Nichols | | 0 Comments

Here at WNA, we like coffee. We spend a significant amount of time at Austin coffee shops (our favorite is Bennu on E. MLK). In fact, if you’re reading this in Central Texas, it’s likely that you’ve had coffee with us at one time or another. Coffee fuels our work. Bennu also serves as a […]

What's a Backbone, Anyway?

By Kelly Nichols | | 0 Comments

I attended the Collective Impact Forum‘s Champions for Change workshop last month, and it got me thinking about how we structure collaborative social sector initiatives, especially here in Texas. Wait, buzzword alert. Surely you’ve heard this term, collective impact, right? Everyone’s throwing it around lately. John Kania and Mark Kramer with FSG wrote a landmark […]

The Zen of Creating a Common Agenda

By Kelly Nichols | | 0 Comments

We recently concluded a 9-month community planning process focusing on children’s mental health in Travis County in partnership with Austin Travis County Integral Care. It was quite a journey and truly a collective impact effort, and my hope is that it will serve as a case study for future community planning initiatives. Like the search […]