Category Archives: Business Models

Is your organization ready for Telecommuting?

Dave Blankenhorn


A growing number of workers are looking for benefits that lead to a greater balance between and home life. Recent research from the staffing firm of Robert Half found 77% of professionals surveyed would be more likely to accept a job offer if there is a possibility of telecommuting at least part of the time.

53% of employees polled by Gallup say a role that allows them to have a greater work-life balance is “very important” when considering a new job with 37% indicating they would switch jobs if an opportunity arose with a telecommuting option at least part of the time.

An organization needs to decide if there are positions that would lend themselves to this model. It seems people who perform creative tasks can be 20% more effective but those with repetitive roles 10% less so. There is a proven cost savings factor in reduced turnover and absentee rates by allowing people to work from home.

The drawbacks according to the Half survey include people abusing the benefit (22%), and strained personal interpersonal relationships due to a lack of face time. Many people like to be around other “team” members and are more productive in that atmosphere.

When it comes to telecommuting there are no easy answers. However, as the job market tightens and more competitors move this way, it makes sense to evaluate it and see if this a time to take the step.

Author:  David Blankenhorn, Executive Coaches of Orange County,

Can Nonprofits Meet the Challenge of Social Change?

Adrianne Geiger Dumond



There is a movement afoot that supports “collective impact” by nonprofits. That is, for agencies serving similar (or the same) target populations, they should consider collaborative planning and actions with government, funders, and foundations, to better maximize resources. With trends that predict less government funding and an exponential need for services, proponents of this movement tend to minimize the effectiveness of individual organizations tackling a major social problem.

Perhaps the best example of this approach is the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force that unites the various services that respond to this need. There is law enforcement, rescuing agencies, housing agencies that all must play an important role in fulfilling the mission. I have written in a past article of the changing nature of governance in nonprofits because of similar opinions about how social change needs can be more effectively handled. And there are other national sources who are expanding on this theme.

There is UCLA and the Center for Civil society that has collaborated with consultants to espouse the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative. The Stanford Social Innovation Review has an article and movement titled “Collective Impact” which I highly recommend for any agency thinking about the shift.

The thesis for Collective Impact is that ‘large scale social change comes from better cross-coordination rather than from the isolated intervention of individual organizations.’ The article states five conditions of collective success:

  • Common agenda – a shared vision of change.
  • Shared measurement systems – claiming web-based technologies have enabled common systems for reporting performance and for measuring outcomes.
  • Mutually reinforcing activities – participants undertake activities for which they are best trained and accountable, but that support and coordinate with the actions of others.
  • Continuous communication
  • Backbone Support Organization – a separate organization and staff with a specific set of skills that provides the infrastructure that is required for the     collaboration to succeed.

I encourage you to be aware of these changing trends even if your organization is thriving. I believe that this knowledge should be part of a strategic planning process to help participants know the reality of what is in the nonprofit universe of thinking.

Author:  Adrianne Geiger DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County,

“Business Coaching & Mentoring for Dummies”

Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek



Book Review by Michael D. Kogutek

“ Business Coaching & Mentoring for Dummies” Marie Taylor & Steve Crabb, John Wiley & Sons,Inc. (2017)

The title of this book is a total misnomer. This is not a book for dummies but one for mentors and coaches who want to develop their professional skills. The authors spend time defining what coaching and mentoring are. They detail what the differences are. This is a comprehensive foundational overview for coaches and mentors. Resources and tools are explained to set up a coaching and mentoring engagement. The book is filled with business strategies, key concepts and effective techniques. There are written and verbal exercises are provided to help one take your client to the next level. What makes this book stand out from others is the detail spent on the psychological  dynamics that clients bring to the coaching and mentoring situation. I highly recommend it. You may want to consider purchasing this book as it would be an excellent reference book on your shelf.

Learning from Failure

Adrianne Geiger Dumond



Most of us have experienced failure at some point in our lives – lost a job we wanted, lost a promotion, lost a contract or grant. I recently read an article that put a different spin on failure – learning from the experience. After enduring the disappointment, what comes next? With a mindset to associate failure with improvement and growth, this can be a springboard to future success.


1.Failure can make us like a ‘scientist’ – like the research chemist that tries again and again, to achieve his chemical theory:

– What factors went into the outcome?

– Who do I know who could give me insight and advice on these factors?

– Should I return to the decision maker for some honest feedback?

– If so, what is my behavior like – appreciative, sincere, not defensive?


  1. Failure demands reflection. The point is to examine the failure to determine if the cause might be part of our own weaknesses. Hopefully we can acknowledge what weaknesses may be holding us back – job assessments or performance reviews. But don’t let this knowledge shield you from the strengths for which you are already recognized. Those strengths are what took you to the present state and will be needed as you go forward.


3.Failure must generate a ‘can-do’ attitude. Albert Einstein was famous for saying, “a person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”. The reaction to failure is a test of character. A winner is a loser who just tries one more time.

Author:  Adrianne Geiger DuMond. Executive Coaches of Orange County,


“Ethos of Change” by Stambouly, Amazon 2015

Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek

Book Review by Michael D. Kogutek

Ernest Stambouly is a colleague  and friend of mine at ECofOC. He is a dynamite coach who delivers passion, innovation and change in his coaching process.

If you are looking for a book discussing the conventional and traditional ideas of change in individuals and organizations, this book is not for you. “Ethos for Change” is an out of the box body of work that will challenge your current beliefs. In the first part of the book, Ernest writes about change. He talks about his philosophy and psychology regarding change. Self disclosure about his own journey of the subject is refreshing, engaging and connecting. He sets forth three specific conversations that one must use to transform the change process. Most importantly he openly discusses how resistance is the major obstacle in this process. Legitimizing and talking out loud about resistance is critical. In discussing the dynamics of change, Ernest mentions how language and discerning mood states is very helpful. The second part of the book is a road map full of applied and practical interventions to make the process come alive. Ernest is under no illusion that change is easy. It is a state that is uncomfortable and uncertain Keep in mind that what he is proposing will take courage, a leap of faith and the willingness to confront your old beliefs.  This book will have to be read several times to internalize the concepts.  Reading this book is an invitation to change and transformation.

Author:  Michael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County,

Modern Technologies Hold a Promising Outlook for the Nonprofit

Ernest Stambouly


Young entrepreneurs are exhibiting an affinity to businesses endowed with human qualities, the type that fuels the missions of non-profit organizations, qualities antithetical to cultures found in for-profit big business: sharing, cooperative, generous, transparent, ethical, open, collaborative, democratic, equitable and inclusive.

A growing sense of solidarity and consensus-forming amongst young entrepreneurs is giving rise to a worldwide wave of entrepreneurial drive to apply “radically advanced technologies” in the spirit of public obligation, the mainstay of the non-profit organization. What they’re doing is sort of weird to our common sense; it is almost as if they are automating these strictly human qualities to power their mission. The “radically advanced technologies” in question are completely foreign, or vaguely familiar, to most of us: Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and distributed collaborative organizations.

Here is an example. To see what fundraising might look like in the near future, watch Dana Max’ brief presentation of his External Revenue Service online business: (forward to time 01:02:30).

For those serving nonprofit arts organizations, ArtsPool might peek your interest. It’s a cooperative organization providing radically affordable financial management, workforce administration, and compliance.

Additional examples: GiveTrack from BitGive, and Helperbit.

We are looking at new ways to solve social problems, aided by radical technologies, and relying the power the “network effect”, which has already given rise to unprecedented breakthroughs, such as, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, Safecast, and Wikipedia.

This post is an invitation to support this type of socially groundbreaking efforts, and leapfrog into the 21st Century, because the marketplace is already looking very, very different than the way most of us are still administering our organizations and thinking about innovation.

We need to see these fresh social movements thrive, so we must grant them our attention and spread the word, because they represent higher possibilities for you, me, and for the non-profit sector in the upcoming years.

I’ve been in high technology and innovation all my career. There is a sprouting trend, I noticed, to utilize advanced technologies for serving public good. And it will lead to a global transformation that is predicted to mature by year 2020. Now is the time to participate, invest, and jump in.

Welcome to the 21st Century!

Ernest Stambouly is a Transition Coach, author, small-business owner, and member of the Executive Coaches of Orange County, bringing high technology to social enterprise. Email


The Impact of Social Change on Non Profits

Adrianne Geiger Dumond

  • “I would expect that more than one third of all men in the U.S. between the ages of 25 and 54 will be out of work at mid-century.”[1]
  • “The collapse of work for America’s men is arguably a crisis for our nation – but it is a largely invisible crisis.”[2]
  • “And the troubles posed by this male flight from work are by no means solely economic. It is also a social crisis.”[3]

This writer is neither an economist or a sociologist, but I feel compelled to pass on some critical information noted by economists. The staggering statistics will make the non profit world all the more important, and also stretch their work load to the extreme – if not already there.

John Mauldin, the economist in his weekly newsletters, has recently covered the findings of a book entitled Men Without Work, America’s Invisible Crisis by Nicholas Eberstadt. The findings portend the social change that will require ever more help from social agencies. The book claims that “…there are some 10 million men of prime working age (25-54) who have simply dropped out of the workforce, and the great majority of them have not only dropped out of the workforce, but they have also dropped out from any commitments or responsibilities to society.”

The trend is not recent. Manufacturing jobs have been waning for decades, Trade policies, technological advancements have also snuffed out jobs – especially for low skilled workers. “As economic life has become less secure, low skilled workers have tended towards unstable cohabiting relationships rather than marriages……The growing incapacity of grown men to function as breadwinners cannot help but undermine the American family.” The book also explains the drastically increased mortality rates ( e.g. up 190% since 1998 for white men, unskilled, ages 50-54) from alcohol drugs, depression and suicide.

I highly recommend the book. It is only 216 pages of serious warnings for the future.


[1] Thoughts from the Frontline, weekly newsletter by John Mauldin, March 28, 2017

[2] Ibid, Men without Work by Nicholas Eberstadt, a book referenced in the above article.

[3] Ibid

Author:  Adrianne Geiger DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County,

What is coaching? (Coaching Series: Part1)

Michael Kogutek

Michael Kogutek


I will be writing a series of blog posts in the coming months focusing on the many facets of coaching. The goal is to give you all the information possible so you can make an informed choice if coaching is for you.

Frequently I am asked to tell folks what coaching is about. This first blog post is an attempt to answer that question. I must warn you that there are many definitions of coaching.

The International Coaching Federation (ICF), founded in 1992, the most prominent credentialing and governing body of coaches says, “Coaching is an ongoing relationship which focuses on clients taking action toward the realization of their visions, goals and desires.” The key word here is relationship. It is a relationship totally focused on the agenda of the client.

Another way to define coaching is to state what it is not. Coaching is not therapy. It does not focus on the past or tries to fix. Coaching emphasizes the future, the gifts and talents of each client. It is not consulting. Consultants tell you the problem and the related solutions. They may even fix the problem for you. In coaching, the answers lie within the client. The client inherently knows the way. Also coaching differs from mentoring. Mentors give informal advice and are usually traveling farther on the same road. Curious questions and inquiry drive the coaching process.

The Blessing White (2009)* definition is, “Coaching is helping another person figure out the best way to achieve his or her goals, develop skill sets or expertise and produce the results the organization needs.” Coaching is not telling someone what to do. It is not stepping in to actually do the work.

The bottom line for me is that coaching is a dynamic ongoing relationship in which the client owns and directs the agenda. It is future oriented and demands accountability by the coach and client. It seeks to capitalize on the strengths, gifts and talents of the client.

I hope you will consider getting a coach. If you are a manager with a non-profit organization in Orange County, you can apply here at ECOC. The price is right; it is FREE! Our team of coaches are prepared to take you where you want and dream to go.

You may ask, “Why do I need a coach?” I think we all do. Ask LeBron James, Tiger Woods and Tom Brady. They all have one. They have one thing in common, they want to improve and fulfill their goals.

*BlessingWhite(2009) “The Coaching Conundrum”

The ‘NEW’ United Way of Orange County

Adrianne Geiger Dumond

Adrianne Geiger Dumond



I recently heard an excellent presentation by the United Way of Orange County that described their evolution over the past few years from ONLY funding agencies to mobilizing the community to change current conditions. The process they engaged in has been very well thought out with community leaders and includes specific measurement goals until the year 2024. They have been conducting community assessments and program outcomes to determine which areas on which to concentrate.

They have established goals in four (4) main areas after deciding these were the most critical – Education, Income, Health, Housing – with needs for long-term solutions.

I want to share some of their staggering statistics:

  • 22% of Orange County (OC) families live in poverty-$32,500/family of 6
  • 37% of OC neighborhoods lack financial stability
  • More well paid jobs today in OC than before the recession
  • Less than 1 in 5 OC jobs pay more than ‘well paid’ threshold – $81,000
  • Housing -hourly wage for a family to occupy a 1 bedroom unit – $25.46
  • 64% of OC jobs paying less than ‘housing’ wage of $25.46
  • Good news for high school drop out rate – United Way efforts have taken the rate from 9.5% (2011) to 6.7% (2013-14).

I recommend going to the United Way of Orange County website to clarify the source for any of these statistics used here. The website has much detail about their ‘collective impact’ process and also information about their many partners.

Author:  Adrianne Geiger DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County,

Improving the Strategic Planning Process


Adrianne Geiger Dumond

Adrianne Geiger Dumond



Nonprofits usually start their strategic planning process in the summer. An organization begins to evaluate successes and disappointments and starts to think about possible expansions or adjustments. In the many strategic planning sessions I have facilitated, there are often three roadblocks that surface. How to set the stage for a successful outcome is important, so here are the roadblocks.

  1. “I’m not sure what strategic means.” Many strong and successful managers are great at the operational level, but it may take them out of their comfort zone to think long term. For example, why should the department head of a self-funded school program, paid for by fees and tuition, worry about future thinking? The CFO works hard to balance the budget but sees no place for her thinking about future plans. She will manage it when it changes. The Executive Director/CEO or the process leader needs to spend planning time before the process begins, to probe these important contributors to the process on what they would like to accomplish in the future. Helping them to adjust their mindset is critical.  
  2. “This process is so abstract, and doesn’t really apply to my job”. Taking the time to do strategic planning must also include making sure all important players are included, Being a voice in the planning is important. The next step is making sure each player can put operational goals to the strategies. Hopefully this step can be at least started at the end of the session (at least 1 or 2 goals). But if time is limited, a follow on session should be scheduled immediately. I have seen some wonderful team building occur with this approach.
  3. “ All we did was talk about our successes”. It is very tempting to spend an inordinate amount of time on past performance – either a very successful year, or one with disappointments. While it is important to understand well the starting point and what was accomplished, it is also very important to keep everyone thinking strategically and long term. A working agenda with time slots may help the leader keep all players on point.

Author:  Adrianne Geiger DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County,