Lumen Impact Group
Lumen Impact Group

Blog

Strategic Planning: A Roadmap for When the Going Gets Tough

The old saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” This timeless phrase has encouraged sports teams, workers, and everyday folks facing seemingly impossible conditions. Dory in Finding Nemo has a similar proverb to live by: “Just keep swimming!” But how? And where? It seems that when people or organizations get bogged […]

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It’s Not Enough to Just Show Up: Encouraging Participation in Board Meetings

By: Amy Ruck Kagan, Senior Partner In my capacity on the charter school board, I’ve come to understand that our meetings are where the rubber meets the road. Whether due to busy schedules or competing priorities, the time we spend in these meetings is often the primary opportunity to move our work forward. Recognizing the […]

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Preparing for Meetings: How Planning Makes You a Team Player

By: Amy Ruck Kagan, Senior Partner Think back to that first school board meeting, the one that felt like a complete disaster. I remember mine and the feelings of fear and anxiety that took over. It was a mess—no structure, no direction, just a bunch of people talking in circles. I couldn’t help but wish […]

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Board Service: What I Wish I Knew as a First-Time School Board Member

By: Amy Ruck Kagan, Senior Partner As someone who works with school boards for a living, I thought that becoming a board member at my kids’ charter school would be pretty straightforward. After all, years of working in the field have made me acutely aware of all the challenges that come with board service, and […]

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When the Word “Feedback” Makes You Squirm: Tips and Tricks for Making the Giving of Feedback Accessible.

Leaders – what comes to mind when you hear the word “feedback?” Does it give you flashbacks to uncomfortable performance reviews, remind you of conversations you need to have but are trying to avoid, or bring to mind elements of your team performance that need a bit of a boost? The word “feedback” can strike […]

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Who Needs Professional Coaching? 

By Lisa Diaz and Dr. Laura Groth Welcome to a fresh new calendar year! At Lumen we believe one of the most powerful tools in each of our toolbox is looking forward – designing the vision of the work and life you want and then taking specific, actionable steps to make it real. If you […]

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Practicing What we Preach: A Case for In-Person Retreats 

By: Cori Egan, Junior Partner  You have heard nightmare stories of work retreats: failed trust falls; emotionally charged coal walks (any Office fans out there?); catastrophic personality clashes. Fortunately, at Lumen Impact Group, these problems have never been a part of our annual retreats, which take place in-person in the Fall each year. But, despite […]

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

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 […]

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Accessible, not Cringy, Self-Care

By: Dr. Laura Groth, Senior Partner Sometimes when I share that my company includes “self-care” as an official corporate value, the response is almost a cringe. At first, the idea feels a little too soft, a little too gooey, a little too warm and fuzzy and unicorns and sunshine to hang out with other corporate […]

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When the Load is Heavy and Hill is High: How to Use an Effective Change Process to Not Go It Alone 

By Lisa Diaz, Lumen Impact Group, Founder  Imagine I present you with two options:   Option 1: Drag a full wagon of rocks up a steep hill on your own.  Option 2: Same wagon full of rocks and same hill, but this time, you get a team of people to push from behind as you climb […]

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How to Listen to Your Teachers: Tips and Thoughts for School Leaders Who Want to Lean into Feedback 

By Lisa Diaz, Lumen Impact Group  97% of teachers “wish decision-makers would listen to teachers’ opinions and perspectives,” according to a recent poll of more than 1200 pre-k-12 teachers (Listen to Your Teacher!). Teachers are telling us loud and clear that in this time of unprecedented teacher shortages, they have feedback to give, and they […]

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What If There IS an “I” In Team? The Necessity of Diverse Styles in Teamwork

By: Cori Egan I was involved in sports when I was young, which means that, at a young age, the idea of a group of people working toward a collective goal was a big part of my life.  The teams I was on and the work that I put into them allowed me the opportunity […]

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Testimonials

"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