AT SORT SOL WE TAKE A SYSTEMS APPROACH to improving social impact by bringing the government, business, philanthropic, and social purpose sectors together to create real change. We facilitate collaboration between today’s thought leaders and influencers, and we develop leaders of tomorrow through education, conferences, workshops and events.

We help communities work better together to tackle their toughest problems. Through research-informed, practice-based learning we work with people and organizations to increase their collaboration skills and make change matter.

We bring years of expertise to all of our work but hang our hats on the following practice areas:


Our Service Areas

Collective impact is an effective framework for driving collaborative, multi-sector and community empowered change. Collective impact requires diverse leaders from different types and sizes of social sector organizations, government agencies, businesses, and the community to work together on a common agenda for change.

Strong organizations are necessary, but often not sufficient to make the changes we desire.  This is not a failure of the organization, but a factor of working on complex, systemic problems.

Collective impact is about mobilizing to create new solutions to complex problems, over the long term.

Is collective impact a good approach for your challenge or issue? The questions below are a good starting point for consideration.

Does meaningful change require action from across sectors working together?

Is the problem of adequate scale to invest in a collective impact approach?

Is the system broken? Signs of a broken system include silos, outdated policies, little innovation, inequity, or barriers to scale in the working environment.

We prefer to use La Piana’s definition of strategy: A coordinated set of actions designed to create and sustain a competitive advantage in achieving a nonprofit’s mission.

Strategy is about coordinating and directing all that we do to reach the community impact goals. The goal of strategy development is to answer two questions: “where are we going?” and “how are we getting there?”

We encourage reflection before action and seek to understand the present to inform future strategies. We bring tools, concepts, and conversations to help leaders, organizations, and collaboratives increase their effectiveness and impact.

We help organizations and collaboratives understand how they can improve their impact and sustainability through the lens of the business model. Business models describe the rationale for how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value. Value includes both the mission impact and the revenues derived from the work. We use a mission-impact oriented version of the Business Model Canvas to help leaders streamline consideration, design, and communication of how they make an impact, sustainably. This allows leaders to test, model, and shift assumptions quickly and reduce the uncertainty and risk involved in doing work differently.

Traditional planning often results in a well-written set of assumptions for why the effort will work, but does not often support the flexibility necessary to manage the risks and uncertainty involved in doing the work (part of the reason some people hate planning, but that is a story for another day).

Common questions we hear that drive this work:
PROGRAMS: We are starting a new program, and are not sure how it will operate,  sustain revenue, or make an impact.
PARTNERSHIPS: We are beginning a partnership to increase impact and effectiveness, and need to identify what and how to change.
ORGANIZATIONS: We are creating a new organization and have lots of big questions about how to get it going.
CHANGE: We are not operating sustainably and need to make a change. How? What will it look like?

We help boards establish a common understanding of their roles and responsibilities, as well as discover critical areas for improvement.

We often use the BoardSource Board Self-Assessment to help boards candidly reflect on how well they meet their governance responsibilities in conjunction with a framework that explores the nine areas of responsibility, including: Mission, Strategy, Funding and Public Image, Board Composition, Program Oversight, Financial Oversight, President Oversight, Board Structure and Meetings.

The BoardSource Board Self-Assessment has been used by thousands of boards with the following objectives: establish a common understanding of board roles and responsibilities; candidly assess how board members are doing; gather data that helps discover areas of strength and improvements needed; and demonstrate commitment to good governance.

We help organizations set priorities and motivate their board members – individually and collectively – to strengthen governance performance and impact.

We believe the purpose of good leadership is to make the world a better place. Leadership is not management. It is the purposeful use of collective wisdom, awareness, creativity, and human skill, to face difficult problems, drive change, and unlock unseen potential.

Leadership is not a position but something that we do – together. To succeed, we must see ourselves as part of our communities and workplaces, not above them.

Combining world’s best practice leadership thinking and techniques, we deliver practical, real-world change in the most challenging environments. We have a track record of success and are constantly inspired by the capability and vision of the individuals and organizations we work with in business, in philanthropy, in government and in the community.

Effective teams are more than a collection of talented individuals. The combination of individual experiences, intelligence, and energy creates a unique system. Successful teams have strong relationships, understand the connections between roles, and are engaged in moving forward together.

Through research-informed, practice-based learning we work with people and organizations to increase their collaboration skills.

We help individuals, teams, and organizations design partnerships, align skills, and understand their connections using a mix of individual coaching, process development, and systems thinking exercises.

The most important conversations require full attention and engagement. We are experienced facilitators that support leaders, teams, and organizations to create more value for their mission.

We co-develop the agendas, content, and conversations necessary to support our clients’ goals.

We facilitate learning through workshops for teams, organizations, collaboratives, and the community related to each of our practice areas.

Organizational development refers to the intentional, coordinated, and mission-driven efforts to improve capacity to make an impact.

Capacity encompasses a wide range of attributes, including the ability to adapt, lead, govern, deliver programs, and support necessary infrastructure.

We support organizations by guiding an assessment of current capacities and planning for future growth using assessment tools, interviews, focus groups, and facilitated conversations.

We represent a blend, a weaving of the best empirical, practical and theoretical approaches to relationship work to form a unified field theory of Relationship Systems Work. Some of the essential elements of this theoretical framework are derived from General Systems Theory, Process Work, Organizational Development, Appreciative Inquiry, Emotional Intelligence, Positive Psychology, empirical research, Interest Based Bargaining, and Co-active coaching.

We believe relationship systems have a natural drive toward evolution and/or resolution.

We have one primary job: to reveal the system to itself.

By helping the system to see itself — its strengths, its obstacles, its potential — together, we can create the ground conditions for the system to find its own answers.