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Wishnick & Associates
By Jonathan Eisler, Perspectives Ltd.I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Amy Wishnick to learn more about who she is, what she is passionate about, her perspectives on the nonprofit sector and how her experiences have contributed to the value she brings to her clients and the way in which she collaborates with them.
Excited about the diverse organizations that she encountered in her seven years in executive search as well as her volunteer and board activities, Amy established Wishnick & Associates, LLC in 2004 to serve as an external resource for the nonprofit sector. Her consulting focuses on strategic planning, organizational and board assessment and development, and other projects geared to ensuring that organizations can make sound decisions. Amy possesses a clear knack for asking high-impact questions based on her ability to ‘hear’ what was not being explicitly stated/asked, and I immediately saw the immense value for her clients in this approach.
Firm in the belief that “progress is incremental,” that organizational and individual successes are linked, and that trust must be present before openness to the “new” may be fostered, she approaches every client engagement from a relational perspective. A flexible, non-judgmental and realistic attitude has allowed Amy not only to build outstanding relationships with her clients, but also better ensure meaningful results.
I asked her to describe a recent project she worked on to hear more about her approach ‘in action.’ Eagerly, Amy described a recent strategic planning project she completed for a client with which she had previously worked to enhance the organization’s operational capacity. Her history with the client helped her to effectively support the organizational changes associated with early life-cycle growth. Amy leveraged their longstanding relationship by recalling organizational intricacies that allowed her client to achieve high-impact solutions. It was easy to be impressed by her ability to maintain attention to detail while ensuring alignment with their need, culture, and objectives.
With regard to the nonprofit environment, Amy mentioned that while organizations seem to understand the need for capacity building better than ever before, the funding for capacity building continues to ebb and flow. She added that the “sophistication” and “skill level” of leadership within the sector is strong and there is deep understanding of the importance for organizations to have sound infrastructures.
Because of the value and skill-set that Amy brings, I was not surprised to learn that through her innate ability to establish and nurture meaningful relationships with her clients, she not only helps them to manage the “nuances associated with all kinds of change”, but she also brings clarity to the true value of the needed change. Given the all-too-common overlap of organizational initiatives and the tightening of purse strings that the sector is experiencing, I knew right away why so many of Wishnick & Associates’ clients keep coming back for more!
Written by Jonathan Eisler, MBA, MAIOP, CPBA, Director of Organizational Consulting, Perspectives Ltd.
The Association of Consultants to Nonprofits | 400 E. Randolph St., #2305 | Chicago, IL 60601