Bob Bates masterfully facilitated a board’s strategic planning session for Apple Family Works, a nonprofit organization in Marin County. We chose Bob because we needed a strong facilitator, one that would help us come together to define our role and responsibilities, as well as create a succession plan.
It was obvious Bob did an enormous amount of preparation; he interviewed each board member and put together a comprehensive agenda based upon what he knew we needed rather than what we asked for. Starting off with somatic exercises, Bob quickly identified the trust issues in the room. We learned about how each of us operated as individuals, our resistance, and how we responded to stress. By using this approach, it helped us get more comfortable, especially when the discussions got difficult. When we got stuck, Bob circled back to those exercises helping to move us forward in a constructive way.
As a board, we struggled with our vision statement, which in actuality was a string of goals. Using an alternative concept – a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) – we were able to create a focal point, one that was easier for us to put our vision into words that inspired us.
Throughout this process, Bob kept the conversation on track to the outcomes we wanted. At his core, Bob is a resourceful and a sensitive listener. Because of his thorough and insightful approach, he guided us through some very difficult and stressful conversations. We made important decisions and created a foundation where trust could grow. As the Board President, I left the session feeling good about the work we accomplished.
President, Board of Directors
Apple Family Works