Lumen Impact Group
Lumen Impact Group

What’s in a Name? Why Meaningful Change Centers on Impact

Published: October 25, 2023

By Lisa Diaz, Lumen Impact Group, Founder 

It was 2009, and I had been on the board of a school in the community where I live for a number of years. My boys attended the school, and things were going well. The school was, for the most part, achieving good results, but there was something missing. Our school was not much different than the other local public schools. We were a sit-and-get, worksheet-driven, traditional education model. Though this approach yielded good results, did it really have a lasting impact on students? After much exploration and discussion, the board, in partnership with school staff, decided to change course.  

Today, this school is a vibrant project-based academy that centers around four defining practices:  

  • We value connection with students to inform our personalized practices at varying levels of complexity depending on the individual.  
  • We honor student voice and encourage student choice through self- directed, individual student selected projects.  
  • We use inquiry-based approaches to guide students through Project-Based Learning experiences as well as content deep dives.  
  • We believe in the power of ongoing, innovative, rigorous, professional growth.   

I will not lie to you: this change process took time, and in fact, we are still learning and evolving to make our educational model the most impactful for all types of learners. But, through the hard work of looking in the mirror and seeking a better way forward, we were able to redirect our course and begin working towards change that has already greatly enhanced our impact as an organization. 

This experience along with other client experiences helped solidify for me the name and, more importantly, the purpose of Lumen Impact Group. This school transformation would not have been possible if we, as a board, were not willing to turn the mirror around to examine ourselves and luminate (Lumen) our image.  

At Lumen, we believe that this practice of allowing organizations to examine where they are in their current state—their strengths, pain points, beliefs, and goals—can subsequently lead to a deeper understanding of their own practices and outcomes, and as a result, can generate meaningful growth, continuous improvement, and lasting impact. And this growth—the result of discussions, looking at data, and identifying a plan to meet goals, is where the IMPACT comes—the result of carefully and honestly thinking about where we are, where we want to be, and charting a course forward.  

So why does any of this matter? Just like at our community school, most organizations aren’t drowning. Our school wasn’t drowning. We were good, but we were not great. There was an opportunity for us to have a greater impact, but we only knew that because we did the hard work of looking at ourselves and seeing a better path forward. In breaking down walls and being honest about the foundations and outcomes of where schools, districts, or nonprofits are TODAY, they are able to envision and enact a far brighter and stronger future—one that makes powerful and lasting change on their students or clients.  

At Lumen Impact Group, we work with organizations that are doing good work—organizations that are already affecting change in communities, serving students, and or creating meaningful policy for cities or even states. But by looking in the mirror, we help our clients plot a course of action to greatness, a path that creates the greatest impact for constituents, partners, or their own clients. By no means is this work easy. Sometimes when we look in the mirror, we see things that are convenient to ignore. At Lumen, we can help you, as partners in this work, to see these things without judgement, but with a critical lens that helps to focus on improvement and the ultimate impact you want your employees, your organization, and ultimately, the people you serve, to be able to imprint on the world.  


"Lisa did a fantastic job with our entire strategic planning team. Her process was beyond organized. As a new administrator, I was able to lean on Lisa for her expertise and knowledge of strategic planning. She did everything from meeting organization and to facilitating subgroups, focus groups and staff culture surveys. Her work with the school board and administrative team was respectful, while also filled with appropriate advice and constructive feedback. I could not imagine going through this process without Lisa. She will continue to be a trusted resource for years to come."
Jamie DeWitt
School Leader, NexTech High School
"Lumen Impact Group has been critical in supporting Bluum’s efforts in Idaho to manage our $17.1 million federal Charter School Program grant. As one of the country’s first non-profit organizations to receive federal CSP funding, the stakes for our work are very high, and our efforts to help open, expand and replicate public charter schools face scrutiny. I sleep better knowing Lumen Impact Group has worked closely with us to build our processes, procedures and playbook for managing the responsibility of directing and overseeing a significant federal grant. I highly recommend them to others. They are true pros."
Terry Ryan
CEO, Bluum
"As a family-owned and operated company, we needed to preserve our culture and define our mission, vision and values better as we grew. Lumen Impact Group helped capture a variety of diverse perspectives and hopes for the future in a way that connected everyone involved. Lumen Impact Group helped us create a clear strategic focus and for our future stabilized our culture. Lisa also coached our leadership team in supporting implementation."
Mark Smith
President, Krapohl Ford & Lincoln
"Lisa Diaz and Lumen Impact provided invaluable support to Colorado Charter Facility Solutions during our start-up phase. I was the new non-profit organization’s executive director (and only employee at the time), and Lisa knew answers to questions that I did not even know to ask. She made sure the board of directors was set up correctly and that the organizational documents were in place. Lisa helped me establish the organization’s goals and ways to track progress. Lisa is organized, patient and kind, and worked quickly, thoroughly and collaboratively. She is a good listener and even acted as an executive coach/therapist at times. When necessary, Lisa can be direct, yet she is always focused on the goals of the organization and its success. I highly recommend Lisa Diaz and Lumen Impact Group. "
Jane Ellis
Executive Director, Colorado Charter Facility Solutions
"I have worked with Lumen Impact Group at both the individual and organizational level. As a coach, Lisa has a natural ability to get to the heart of the matter quickly and to ask questions that help her clients translate insight into action. Each team member who has worked with Lisa in a coaching capacity has demonstrated visible growth that has positively impacted individual and team performance. As an organization, we are trying to be purposeful about the culture we are creating, as a means of best fulfilling our mission. Lumen Impact Group has been a tremendous thought partner along the way and has facilitated critical steps in a collaborative yet efficient and fun way. Our team was in awe at how much we accomplished collectively in a short period of time. We are moving toward our ideal culture much more quickly than I thought possible, and I have no doubt it is because of Lumen Impact Group’s guidance. "
Kasey Miller
Chief of Staff, National Association of Charter School Authorizers