RADIANCE BLOG

Category: Strategy & Tactics

Corona expands strategic planning services

Corona Insights is excited to announce the expansion of our strategic planning services. The complexities and uncertainties of 2020 call for increased innovation in the field of strategic planning. Corona is excelling in two vital ways.  

As many of you know, co-owner Karla Raines is a recognized thought leader in strategy. She spent the last 10 years mastering her craft, positively impacting clients, and mentoring staff. We are thrilled her efforts have yielded trademarked intellectual property–Differentiation Zone®–and a breakthrough approach to differentiation strategy. Her book and online strategy community will debut in 2021.

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A Fall Facilitation Special

Leo, Corona’s assistant virtual facilitator

Believe it or not, today marks the official start of fall. While our summer has vanished, we know your work has not stopped during all the change and upheaval of 2020. We know you still have important decisions to make for your teams right now to keep your organization and your communities afloat. With that in mind, we are offering a 50% off discount for facilitation engagements held between the 1st of October and February 2021.

Whether you need an hourlong session to action plan for your fall communications strategy or a half-day or full-day session to clarify strategic direction or set goals, we can help. Please reach out to us via the website or by email to see how we can help you today.

Our facilitation expertise includes…

  • Strategic planning
  • Action planning
  • Implementation planning
  • Goal setting
  • Mission and values clarification
  • Conceptual alignment and clarification
  • Visioning workshops  
  • And more!

The fine print (there always has to be fine print): This offer is for nonprofit organizations only. New and existing clients of Corona Insights are welcomed. Travel outside of the Denver area, if needed, is not included. Offer is based on availability of Corona’s facilitators.


Happy 20th Anniversary, Karla Raines!

Karla Raines of our company is fond of saying that you have to do something for 10,000 hours to become an expert at it.  We at Corona believe that she’s right, because as she celebrates her 20th year at Corona Insights this week we’ve seen the impact of her 40,000 hours of strategic planning experience.  We can confidently say that she’s an expert four times over.

As consultants, our presence and power tends to be diluted across a large number of clients.  From an individual client’s perspective, we come in, do our thing, and then we glide back out to the periphery until we’re needed again.  But in reality, we’re not just waiting in the wings for the next call – we’re working with other clients.  Over the years, Karla has illuminated strategic paths for hundreds of clients.

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10 tips for facilitating your next Zoom meeting

If you live in Colorado, especially Denver, it is likely you will still be conducting the majority, if not all, of your team meetings virtually, even as some states and municipalities begin to chart their gradual paths to recovery.  

As we adjust to the new reality of virtual meetings as the new norm, we’ve been gathering some tips, tricks, and resources for all of you who are having to adjust to conducting meetings online and to developing a new facilitation skill set you never knew you had or needed.

Photo by Allie on Unsplash

3 classic facilitation tips that will optimize your virtual meeting (in other words, these always apply):

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When the virus shares your name: An update on COVID-19 from the Corona Insights team

You’ve probably had your share of emails about COVID-19, its impacts, and what organizations are doing to cope (and to help you cope, too). As many are right now, we’re taking this seriously and doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

While Corona Insights is not typically a consumer-facing company, our work does bring us into contact with our community, from conducting in-person research, to community activities with our clients, and of course our clients themselves. It’s a rapidly evolving situation, but here is where we stand as of today.

Direct Impacts to Date

  • Research participation. Recruiting for in-person research (e.g., focus groups largely) has largely been postponed with few exceptions. Beyond just the challenges, we feel this is the right thing to do at this time as we want participants, clients, and staff to be safe and comfortable in their participation. We have not yet seen impacts via other research modes. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and current recommendations with our partners to assess additional needed changes.
  • Research impacts. Beyond just participation, we’re recommending assessing the impact, if any, on the project itself, such as the impact the current situation will likely have on some research topics.
  • Project timelines. Whether it’s due to a reason above, or clients themselves being swamped, we are helping mitigate potential delays as best we can. We’ve always been flexible for our clients’ needs and that’s true now more than ever.

What Corona is Doing

  • Proactively managing projects. Corona is advising clients about the impact COVID-19 is having, or will likely have, on our work together, as well as how we recommend addressing it.
  • Altering research modes. Corona’s has a breadth of research tools and we are working with our clients to determine if and when it is appropriate to either change how we’re collecting data (e.g., moving more research online) or delaying research if we think the current impacts can’t be mitigated enough.
  • Recognizing the increased possibility of response bias. With an unprecedented level of societal changes happening to tackle COVID-19, we want to do what we can to avoid collecting data in a non-normal state right now. For instance, we recommended delaying one project that has to do with transportation, including public transit. Due to transit being used less right now, we will wait until behaviors return to normal before continuing with the study. We’re happy to talk through this with any clients who might have questions.
  • Working from home. Remote offices are nothing new for Corona except now it’s mandated. Staff will only be in the office as needed for critical functions, and we will determine the need for in-person meetings on a per client basis (most, perhaps all, have already moved to virtual or been rescheduled).
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Displacement, Disruption, and Distortion: Three Forces Threatening Your Mission Delivery in 2020

The marketplace is more crowded than ever with issues, causes, and candidates vying for attention as the election cycle kicks into high gear. It’s never been more challenging to be heard among so many competing messages targeted at your customer. That’s why Differentiation Zone is the tool of our time—the customer era. Differentiation Zone leads you to discover your customer’s mindset and helps you accelerate strategic success.

What trends are affecting your mission delivery? I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, let’s bring these broad issues into view and explore what they mean for us today and the coming months. Welcome to Viewfinder 2020. Together we’ll explore the mega shifts impacting our lives across work, play, and home.

Read the full article published here.


Look beyond the financial transaction

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Younger association members know what they want, and they have specific preferences for membership associations. Millennials are generally a tech-savvy and frugal group who value work/life balance, personal fulfillment, and connection. They want a clear sense of the benefits of being a member, something they generally don’t feel they are getting now. Mission impact and community service are significant deciding factors for Millennials and Gen Z. Career-focused messaging, personalization, and á la carte pricing are the most effective ways to connect with young members. Gen X and Boomer members expect the same. 

Connection and fulfillment are universal desires for members today, from memberships in trade associations to cultural institutions.  According to trend tracker Colleen Dilenschneider, “Supporting the organization’s mission matters a lot – mission-motivated members are more likely to buy higher-level memberships, renew their memberships, and find greater value for cost in those higher memberships that they are purchasing. A problem, however, is that not all cultural organizations recognize the importance of highlighting these benefits and instead focus almost exclusively on transaction-based benefits.”

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What to join? Co-working space, meetup or traditional association?

Associations used to be the place to go for ongoing professional development and engaging conversations with colleagues in your field. That is no longer the case as members use free, open-source alternatives such as webinars, online courses, and LinkedIn video content. Co-working spaces and meetups are ever-present substitutes for busy people seeking connections on terms. Associations can distinguish themselves by focusing on the credibility and brand of their offerings and highlighting their high-touch, in-person interactions.

Your members have more options than ever. Engage in ways that are meaningful to them.

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Welcome to the future. Today’s 4-year-old will be the parent of 2040.

Photo by Giu Vicente on Unsplash

Karla Raines of Corona will be joined by her friend Gretchen Kerr, COO of the  Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus to chat about the power of a 20-year visioning horizon. The Museum’s new 2030 Master Plan used a long horizon to leap over the usual constraints of shorter-term thinking. Moon colonization? Autonomous vehicles? Yes and yes.

Using a case study approach, we will share the advantages of a longer horizon, discuss the essential topics to explore, and share how your scan can illuminate possibilities you hadn’t envisioned as you build buy-in for an exciting future.

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What’s your Story?

We all love a good story. There is increasing evidence that storytelling is one of the most effective ways to communicate information that will be retained by an audience. An analysis of the 500 most popular TED talks demonstrated that more than 65% of the content was storytelling. The ability to communicate a clear and emotionally resonant narrative of impact is essential for nonprofits and purpose driven organizations.

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

Three of Corona’s associates will take you past the buzzword of storytelling and breakdown what makes for an effective impact narrative. You will learn how tools of strategy, qualitative research, and quantitative analysis can help your organization share the story of why you matter.

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