This report from CompassPoint Nonprofit Services summarizes lessons learned from an organizational cultural competency learning initiative with participation from eleven community-based non-profit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Using a conceptual model of multicultural organizational development developed by organizational consultant Laurin Mayeno, the initiative identified five building blocks for sustainable multicultural organizational change:

1) Alignment and investment of organizational players

2) Leadership development

3) Shifting cultural norms

4) Articulating and codifying assumptions and commitments

5) Clarifying responsibility and authority for moving the process forward

The report describes five lessons learned from the initiative:

1) Pay attention to the acknowledging and building upon the organization’s history with cultural competence

2) Balance the internal development and work with the team with the need to engage the whole staff and maintain transparency and momentum

3) Acknowledge that individuals will have different reactions and different levels of receptivity to the process

4) Don’t let the resisters set the pace for the process

5) Courageous conversations offer opportunities for learning and growth

Additional resources on this important topic are available from CompassPoint.

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