Excellence and Expertise Task Force

June 4, 2015


Present: [by teleconference] Richard Higgins, Lisa Laflin, Bonnie Bagley, Maryalice Crofton, Gordon Liu

Task Force Member application  
All the recommended updates have been done. Current members need to do one last review before it goes out to the public for use. The goal is to start recruiting members at the end of the month.

Municipal model work at United Way of TriValley Area - update.  
Lisa reported the staff person leading this work has moved on. UWTV has contracted with Pam Zeutenhorst to take on the project. Pam is only working for MCCS 20 hours a week so was able to start several weeks ago. There is some concern the timeline established in the Lerner grant proposal might be too tight. Lisa has apprised Lerner of the changes and challenges. There was a positive response from the program officer.

Increasing Service Enterprise trainers
The task force was informed of the grant from Maine Community Foundation to support training 6-8 teams of people as Service Enterprise process facilitators. Points of Light Institute staff will come to Maine to present the program which is 4 days. The trainer cost and travel expenses eat up the entire grant. We will need to find a nice but inexpensive site for the training.

Discussion moved to lessons learned from the first round of training. The small size of the first group impacted the energy as did the fact some participants attended as observers to learn about Service Enterprise. The language used by Service Enterprise - and, therefore, the trainers - is very conceptual and difficult to use with "people in the street" who are not well steeped in the research and theory. Some improvements in the training for trainers were also identified.

In tandem with replenishing trainers, MCCS needs to develop outreach and promotional tools that are more grounded in the language and concerns of community agencies. The tools need to tie the benefits of Service Enterprise to the priorities and challenges of local organizations.

Under this new effort, the trainers will work as teams and the Commission will retain coordination of the entire group. This will mean convening them after the training and developing a sense of "team" so people stay engaged in the work and follow through on their commitments. Another change is the recruitment will state qualifications for being a Service Enterprise trainer. The group developed this initial set:

  • Evidence of strong facilitation skills
  • Knowledge of volunteer management practices and principles
  • At least 5 years of experience in volunteer program management
  • Evidence of strong training skills
  • Experience in project or program management that engaged volunteers in operation
  • Ability to organize and carry out a training project
  • Prefer individuals with skills, knowledge, and experience in nonprofit operations, human resources, planning, and working with Boards. Experience as a coach for a work team or community group undertaking a change process is desirable as well.

The July E&E meeting (July 2) will need to address recruitment strategy, timing for event, and finalize qualifications.

Other priorities to put on agenda.
The task force was working on the process for accepting and handling applications to be regional Service Enterprise hubs. This was overlooked in the transition of staff support from Pam to Maryalice.

The meeting ended at 4:29 pm.