Turning Aspirations into Action
The messy work of change – that’s my passion! I partner with clients to design inclusive spaces and equitable processes for individual and group wisdom to emerge and meaningful change to occur.
Three big ideas guide my approach. Regardless of content or setting, I integrate and uniquely adapt these elements into each project:
Your goals. My tools and techniques. Together, success.
Andrea’s meeting facilitation skills ensure that all voices in the room are heard, people feel truly engaged in the process, time moves faster than seems possible, and the end result is rich information to inform next steps. She is a generous collaborator and has pushed me to think deeper and more strategically about the work we have done together.
As a self-professed hater of strategic planning processes, I was skeptical from the beginning that any outsider could come in and make meaning out of our work, let alone help us to envision our collective future. But Andrea made me a believer from the moment she began interacting with our highly diverse staff and creating processes for us to “step into” addressing long-standing and challenging issues. With her help, we have improved how our leadership functions and how people in different roles work together toward shared goals to have greater impact in the community.
Andrea has the ability to move between higher level concepts/systems level frames and “boots-on-the-ground” practitioner level application, while maintaining consistency throughout. She really gets that the big picture includes all the tiny details.
Andrea provides the most effective strategic planning consult of anybody that I have ever worked with. She can technically create the tools to hold the plan; is a master at getting staff, stakeholders, and clients to participate in the process; and has the ability to come in on budget and on time!
Andrea was simply fantastic to work with—my Board of Directors and staff couldn’t be happier as we are on a clear path for sustainability, inclusion and success! She took time to understand what we needed and designed a process that was the perfect mix of consultant-led and DIY, both leveraging the skills and time of our leadership and volunteers and keeping the project budget manageable.
Working with Andrea was a game changer for Camp Fire Minnesota. Andrea’s expertise, passion and visionary leadership has changed the trajectory of the quality of our programs and has had a positive impact on our entire organization. Working in partnership with Andrea has been filled with joy and ease. Her ability to take our best work and make it even better is outstanding!
I’m generally skeptical of consultants and of the belief that the people that know the work best are the people involved in it every day. AJB is different. In our work, she was able to do what I have seen no other consultant be able to do – take time to truly understand us, engage us in defining what we do well, help us clear a path to change, and lead us through a process to actualize this. We have experienced significant growth over the last 2 years, much of it set up by our work with AJB.
Andrea is a value add in terms of bringing creativity and vision to planning, and facilitating group processes that result in stronger community relationships and stakeholder buy-in.
I have known and worked with Andrea Jasken Baker over the past ten years as a consultant and coach on a number of projects I was involved with. Most recently, Andrea worked on a project to help transition the Blueline Coalition from start-up and volunteer led, into the next stage of coalition growth. As a member of the Coalition, I observed Andrea skillfully facilitate processes that made visible the intangible and connected our big future picture lens to our focused work on the ground. Andrea worked well under pressure navigating time, member needs and delivered on all objectives.
The work that Andrea has done to spark, capture and often co-create the rich and diverse learning experiences on youth program quality improvement is a stellar example of her artistry as a consultant. She is a consummate professional, a catalyst for action and plain good fun to work with each time.
I have worked with Andrea on some complicated projects. I appreciate and value her facilitation and strategic thinking skills and the sense of fun and caring she brings to her work. She respectfully, efficiently and inclusively keeps a meeting or listening session moving forward, while ensuring differing perspectives and communication styles have space. She has helped me produce better work because of her strategic/global thinking.
Andrea worked with my core team on a strategic redesign of the way we approach an incredibly ambiguous and challenging topic: our Healthy Eating strategy. We wanted someone who could take complex, warring viewpoints and hear the signal within the noise, creating a strategic melody. Andrea is prepared, poised, and pragmatic. She is able to jump seamlessly between the 10,000 foot level and the brass tacks. I would re-hire her in an instant!
Andrea is highly effective and extremely efficient—quality in all aspects. Successful management, implementation and completion of work is guaranteed!
Andrea knows when to push and when to pull!
Andrea provided an invaluable service on three fronts. First, she helped us find clarity in a complex, multi-stakeholder, cross-sector effort. Second, she successfully engaged a wide-range of stakeholders, building buy-in and creating consensus by making everyone feel valued and included in the process. Finally, Andrea’s firm yet friendly facilitation skills helped us stay focused and on-task so we could advance our work and build critical momentum.
At the beginning of our community of practice, Andrea helped us identify the objective or ‘north star’ and Andrea made sure we got to that north star by the end! Andrea’s communication skills and ability to help us unpack our thoughts were top notch, but her understanding of and behavior around equity is why I would recommend Andrea to anyone looking for a top notch facilitator. Andrea and her co-facilitators will always be at the top of my list!
Andrea makes complex work so easy! She will help you map out a path through the complexity to get to where you and your organization need to be.