The Executive Director Forum: Peer Learning & Problem Solving

Larry Tucker

Author: Larry Tucker

Executive Coaches of Orange County

You may have seen the announcement that the Executive Coaches of Orange County (ECofOC) is initiating an Executive Director Forum.  This forum will be a venue for Executive Directors of nonprofit organizations to work through their issues and problems in a confidential setting of 10 to 15 peers, led by two coaches from ECofOC.

This concept came about because of the fortuitous coincidence of my personal involvement with both the CEO Forum Program under the Orange County Chapter of SCORE and the ECofOC which works exclusively with nonprofits. At SCORE, we initiated the CEO Forum program about two years ago and discovered its incredible value to business owners in helping them find solutions with the help of their peers

The concept is simple: Put several peers in a room together, use a fixed process to work through their issues and develop creative, practical solutions to any problem. Participants bring their issues to the table each month. These issues could be anywhere on the spectrum from very strategic (e.g., board development, mission and vision statements) or very tactical (e.g., human resources issues, grant-writing tips). The same group meets monthly, so they get to know and understand each other and their organizations.

To assure that the participants are truly peers, certain minimum criteria must be met to participate. The nonprofit must have:

  • A Board of Directors
  • At least two employees (ED +1)
  • An annual budget of at least $150,000
  • A commercial-based (not home-based) office

There will likely be a small fee to cover the cost of food.

If you are interested in attending a short informational session about this program to be held in central Orange County in January 2011, just email me ( with your name, email address and phone. We will send you the invitation.