The decision to hire an external consultant to improve organizational equity practices is one that should not be taken lightly. Working with an external consultancy like Converge would allow your organization to shift in ways that are fundamentally different than how it has previously operated.
Converge prides itself on bringing a unique analysis rooted in Racial and Intersectional Equity (R.I.S.E.©) that will encourage organizations to examine its traditional ways of doing business. When considering whether to hire an external consultant, think about these advantages:
Working for an organization often means inheriting policies, practices, and procedures that might not serve your stakeholders equitability. You may have become entrenched in certain ways of doing things. An external consultant is able to bring a new perspective on the challenges of an organization. They may ask new questions that you have never thought about before. This is sometimes referred to as the “outsider’s advantage.”
By analyzing everyday practices with fresh eyes, an external consultant is able to raise suggestions that you have never considered before. Leaders often get enmeshed with the ongoing work without pausing to examine the effectiveness of each step. An independent equity audit is like holding a mirror to you so that you have a relatively more objective view of yourself.
Because external consultants work with different clients in similar industries, they accumulate industry-based knowledge about best practices and recent innovations. Some external consultants can even help you network with peers in the same space of work. They occupy a special hub of knowledge of relationships that can greatly benefit clients.
Through listening and trust building, external consultants are able to provide guidance on key decision-making. External consultants have the ability to combine the best of both worlds, and they bring outside expertise and the voice of the client into the decision-making process.
As a leader of your organization, you may be the expert of your programs and initiatives, but you may not have full visibility into each factor that affects the performance of these programs. In order to come up with effective strategies, you need to lean on the expertise of others outside the organization. For example, developing a well-functioning board requires expertise on group dynamics and organizational development. Sometimes you need to consider bringing these experts from the outside.
Every consulting agency brings its own level of expertise on certain subject matters. For example, some external consultants have decades of experience working in areas such as community organizing or reproductive rights. They embody vast knowledge about the key issue, public policies, and best practices. It is crucial that organizational leaders think thoroughly about the skills and best practices they wish to cultivate, but also about the experience they’d like to have with their consultant. External consultants are trained to provide insight into the best practices of a variety of fields and bring specialized training.
Many nonprofit leaders know that implementation of strategies, not planning, is the most challenging part of the work. An organization must be committed to change. Leadership and governance structures must be identified to sustain the changes. In order to hold ourselves accountable, leaders need the impartiality of external “enforcers” who help implement changes as planned.
Converge’s R.I.S.E.© approach excels in operationalization than other DEI models. An external consultant can create an additional accountability structure in the execution of equitable policies and practices. We follow a time-tested implementation and preview process to provide clients with ongoing technical assistance.
Converge approaches the needs of the client with expertise and an analysis rooted in Racial and Intersectional Equity (R.I.S.E.©). Converge centers the people most impacted in decision making processes, allowing organizations to make decisions that are more impactful. We specialize in topics such as DEI, board development, strategic planning, and coalition management. Converge approaches equity work with sustainability and accountability in mind. We work with clients to identify who will carry the work forward and how success will be measured.