Commonwealth Parenting: Starting With Alignment

Commonwealth Parenting asked me to drop by last week.It was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse – after all, I dedicate an entire sectionof Floricane’s monthly newsletter to lessons I’m learning from my daughter.

The two decade old organization that serves as a parenting resource was facing a challenge we see all-too-often these days: Managing organizational transition at a time when the economy and social changes have made everything tumultuous. It’s like changing kayaks in the middle of Class IV rapids.

Obviously, the past five years have created huge economic challenges for families across Central Virginia. And the composition and nature of families has changed more in the past several decades than many of us can imagine. For an organization like Commonwealth Parenting, the simplicity of mission – helping parents parent better – has never been more complex!

Add to the mix a new executive director, new board leadership and new approaches to funding, and you’ve got an opportunity for some new conversations.

So, last week, I sat down with a small group of staff and board members, and we walked through some of Commonwealth Parenting’s opportunities and strategic choices. It was a fast-paced discussion, but the team at the table seemed eager to wrestle with big questions about scope, direction and vision.

In the end, we reaffirmed the organization’s primary commitment to serving parents, explored ways to better execute on two core “products” and began mapping out a process to better engage a staff and board in the midst of continued change and transition.

Like good parenting, the strategic work of Commonwealth Parenting is starting by getting everyone on the same page.