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At what stage do you see them on this scale? 

Choose the circle that best fits your current location in relation to your "ask".

Remember “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”  Typically, you will want to plan a series of communications, each with an intention to advance them one step closer to your goal.   For example, if your audience has not yet reached “understanding” about your issue, the goal of your first communication may simply be to achieve shared agreement on a next meeting—that could be a real victory in itself.  


The benefit of any staged model is that it guides you to engage in a developmental relationship with your participants that will raise the likelihood of bringing them to your desired level of results.  

Staged models guide you to consider where your audience is now, so you can thoughtfully prepare what will be needed to move them to their next stage of potential.    


As you craft talking points (or curriculum) for each stage, ask yourself:


“When I’m finished speaking,                                             will do                                              .”  

                                                                (who)                                          (what)


The “what” is where we desire to take our audience next, moving them from passivity to action.

ENLIVEN:  Let’s practice together with a five-stage framework that we often recommend to develop marketing messages.  This tool can be used each time you prepare a communication.  


For practice, think of a request you want to make that will compel a particular person or group toward action. What do you know about your audience for this “ask”?  What do they know about your interests?  Where do they stand with regard to the request you are preparing to make?  

ENNOBLE:  Now it is your turn.  Pick an area of your work where higher levels of performance by team members, clients, partners, Board members, or financial supporters will advance your mission.  Picture your target individuals raising their game, in small but observable steps.  Make the early steps of your staged model relatively easy for participants to achieve.  Then push them as the steps advance.   Aim for four to ten steps.  


Are you gaining a sense of how your participants will benefit from developmental engagement using your model?   


DISCOVER:   Share your staged model application with other team members. Think together about ways to improve it.  Test is out in a low-risk context.  If it proves itself, try it out in a higher-stakes situation.  


Keep in mind you can also assign points for achievement at each stage of your model.  In this way you can quantify the gains being made by your targets over time and document progress.

Be sure to celebrate the increased impact you achieve using this model.


We would love to hear what you come up with and offer feedback (at no cost):  
Tell us what happens.    



SEED Stretch
SEED Enliven



SEED Ennoble
SEED Discover



STRETCHDevelopmental staging is one of the most widely used frameworks in social science and assessment.  Growth is described through a sequence of steps.   Achieving successively higher stages indicates positive, qualitative shifts in development.  A simple example is the progression from elementary to middle to high school; or from a bachelor’s to a master’s to a doctorate degree.  Or consider the advancing badges earned in scouts, and the progression of belts awarded in martial arts. 


Can you think of developmental stages involved in achieving your organization’s mission?

Tip of The Month – ARCHIVE


April 2017 – Are We Dancing Yet?

March 2017 – What Is Going On Here and How Can We Work With It?

February 2017 –  Are We Listening for What Is Trying to Happen?

January 2017  Designing Your Own Website, Without A Designer



December 2016 – Are We Facing Our Fears?

November 2016 – Have You Identified Your "Strategic Who?"

October 2016 – How Are You Watering Your Own Garden?

September 2016 – What Did You Do On Your Summer Vacation?

August 2016 – Shall We Dance?

July 2016 – Creating a Culture of Philanthropy

June 2016 – What Is Your Secret Sauce? 

May 2016 – Changing the World and Reporting It, One Butterfly at a Time

April 2016 – The Right Tool For The Right Job

March 2016 – Listening For What is Trying to Happen

February 2016 – How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?

January 2016 – New Year. New Possibilities. Get On It. 


December 2015 – Trust: A Gift that Keeps on Giving

November  2015 – A Team that Reflects Together ... Rocks

October 2015 – Are You Contributing from Your Sweet Spot?

September 2015 – What Did You Do on Your Summer Vacation?

August 2015 – Emptying the Page to Empty the Mind

July 2015 – Emptying the Mind for New Insights

June 2015 – What do we do when our beautiful plans get derailed?

May 2015 – Who will Bring Your Plans To Life?

April 2015 – Planning with the Magic of Kairos Time

March 2015 – Vision Infused-Planning

February 2015 – Bringing Our Visions to Life

January 2015 – Visioning: We'll See It When We Believe It



December 2014 – Busting Out of the Habit of Critique

November 2014 – Enrolling Allies

October 2014 – Achieve Your Mission

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