Heather Gowdy

Heather Gowdy, MBA, brings experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors to her work as a Senior Manager with La Piana Consulting. As a consultant, her work has focused on organizational analysis and structure, business plan development, strategic planning, strategic restructuring, and training. She led the firm’s NonprofitNext research initiative and coauthored its landmark report, Convergence: How Five Trends Will Reshape the Social Sector (2009). More recently, she coauthored The Nonprofit Business Plan: A Leader's Guide to Creating a Successful Business Model (2012).

Which comes first: the partnership or the plan?

Our firm LaPiana Consulting works with dozens of organizations each year on planning: strategic planning, business planning, succession planning—you name it. We also specialize in strategic restructuring: mergers and other forms of partnership between and among nonprofit organizations. All nonprofits engage in the former, many in the latter. Our belief is an

Getting at real transformation: advice for aspiring change leaders

I recently asked a group of smart, experienced people what advice they would give others about managing change in an organizational context. The first response (after a short period of silence): “It takes time, and grit.” While subsequent suggestions may have been a bit more specific, the honesty and accuracy of that first response stole the show. It does take time, and leading change—particularly large-scale change—is not for the faint of heart.

Big changes start with small steps

It has been almost two years since the release of “Convergence: How Five Trends Will Reshape the Social Sector.”In that piece, my colleagues and I looked at how the combined effect of demographic shifts, technological advances,

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