What We Do
Areas of Expertise
VISIONS helps people gain tools and confidence to communicate and build relationships across cultural differences.
VISIONS' training and consultation goals are to support clients as they continue to create effective multicultural organizations where all members can learn, participate, and contribute as individuals and as part of a larger community. The learning objectives are to:
- increase people's awareness and abilities to recognize, understand, and
appreciate cultural differences and similarities;
- develop participants' skills for addressing and changing attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate bias, discrimination, and other obstacles to equity;
- provide opportunities for personal institutional growth and insight into the
positive impact this development can have on organizations and communities;
- enhance group work through team building, setting mutual expectations and
guidelines for participation, strengthening cross-cultural communication skills and developing effective action plans.
In 2009 Pyramid Communications conducted a research survey for VISIONS. 238 past clients from all sectors responded to the survey. Client responses indicated the following benefits from working with VISIONS:
- Employees who feel valued are more likely to contribute to their full potential, resulting in a host of benefits including higher productivity, stronger attendance and more efficient use of resources.
- Multicultural training and consultation gives people the tools and confidence to communicate across differences, resulting in stronger collaborations between employees.
- Businesses and organizations that learn to recognize, understand, appreciate, and leverage cultural differences become more productive and creative.
- As community demographics change and customers and clients become more diverse, multiculturalism provides an advantage to organizations that understand and value differences.
- Organizations that value multiculturalism attract, grow and retain more diverse and talented people.
- People say VISIONS helps them feel more connected, less isolated and contributes to their personal and professional growth
Our multicultural organizational development process incorporates a variety of approaches and techniques that address what people think, what they do, and how they feel about cultural differences and changes. The process addresses each of the following levels:
- personal - attitudes, beliefs, opinions
- interpersonal - behaviors, treatments, and relationships
- institutional - policies, practices, and systems
- cultural - values, norms, and expression.
Our work in organizations always incorporates the following elements:
- Climate assessment - to establish the starting point and later milestones
- Creating internal support groups or task forces - to generate commitment
- Workshops - for experiential learning
- Building internal capacity - to continue the work longer term .
VISIONS seeks to offer practical strategies with demonstrated efficacy garnered from years of experience in a variety of settings.
VISIONS' work with a variety of organizations demonstrates that the most effective way to provide multicultural consultation and training is to build upon existing organizational development efforts that the client already has put into place. This approach accelerates the rate at which participants feel valued, included and committed to the organization's diversity related objectives.
Working with participants, over a projected period of time, provides optimal results for long-lasting genuine change in any organization. In addition, working with a core group (and smaller task forces that might form) better supports people as they develop their own skills in providing leadership and direction to the overall group and to their individual organizations.
VISIONS customizes its services, workshop curricula, and consultation to address the specific needs of the individuals or organization with which it is working. The constant elements include:
- creating a safe, non-blaming environment for learning and growth;
- identifying questions, concerns, and issues;
- clarifying working assumptions and setting goals for change;
- using a combination of didactic ( interactive lecture ) and experiential techniques that incorporate participants' own experiences, views, and needs as the 'learning content';
- focusing on personal and institutional responses to the information presented;
- developing practical application strategies.