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Aimee Muirnin Dunne

Principal at The Coras Group

Management Consulting

Education: University of Iowa - University of Washington
St. Louis, MO, USA

Biography

Aimee is one of those people who believes a well-documented process is a thing of beauty. But words on a page don’t mean much if they’re not connected to the people who are supposed to follow them. Aimee excels at asking the right questions in order to identify gaps, create solutions and build affinity between people, projects and resources. Through engaging instruction, she can simplify complex ideas and help organizations implement new programs and operational strategies. Aimee has worked in corporate, educational and startup settings and has managed teams large and small in roles ranging from operations and marketing to program and technology management. She delights in making new initiatives accessible and bringing people on board in a way that allows individuals, organizations and teams to grow stronger together.

Passion

Helping individuals and organizations understand that their operations and their people MUST be connected in order to go further, faster!

When it comes to payments

I generally get paid for speaking but make exceptions

Topics

business strategy startups women entrepreneurship networking mentoring operations operations management storytelling nonprofit people impact coo nonprofit fundraising pitching connecting peer mentoring managing a peer advisor program

Best Story

I love working with young people. Last summer, I was working with an organization that mentors students in technology careers and was teaching them how to make the most of the program with good networking - asking questions, seizing opportunities, connecting with executives that can help their future path. One young man mentioned that he wanted to learn more about the business of creating video games, and mentioned the name of a gaming entrepreneur his mother had read about in the paper. When they took a pizza break, I called that gaming entrepreneur and was able to give the young man his email and an offer to come by the offices when he came back from lunch. He was floored! (And hopefully will always understand the power of good networking).

Example talks

Brass Tacks: Building your operational foundation.

You work hard to perfect the skill, develop the product and find the customer. But what about the processes that ensure you deliver what you’ve promised? It is tempting to skip the “operations part” because it seems time-consuming, over-complicated or simply not as much fun! But then something goes wrong, and you realize you need the processes you’ve been putting off building. Creating an effective operational foundation isn’t as difficult as it seems.

Participants will learn how to identify gaps and prioritize steps needed to reach their desired outcome and how just a few internal policies, processes and templates can help them serve customers better. We’ll talk about how to connect operational practices with the people responsible for implementing them, and how simple metrics can ensure continuous improvement (and even excitement about what will be possible next!)

Is Earned Revenue Right for You? Ask These 3 Questions.

Nonprofit organizations are exploring new opportunities for funding, especially as economic conditions change. Many are well positioned to earn additional income by charging a fee for products and services that they already provide (often called “earned revenue” or “fee for service”). While the right earned income strategy can result in increased sustainability and income in excess of programs costs, the wrong one can distract from your mission and drain your resources.

In this workshop, participants will learn the three questions that can guide them in their earned revenue decision-making. We’ll discuss the steps to building an effective strategy, including how to accurately assess your costs and resources. We’ll be honest about the prevalent obstacles to implementing a strategy effectively and address the most common concerns organizations have about adding an earned revenue program to their already full plates. By learning from the example of nonprofits who have implemented this strategy with great success, participants will be able to decide if it’s right for them.

Be Bold. Be Brave. Be Confident.

As leaders, we face plenty of external obstacles every day, but our biggest challenges can come from within. Women and people of color often suffer from "impostor syndrome", feeling as if we don't have the experience or qualifications to be an expert. We even tell on ourselves when we dodge a compliment or say we "don't know what we're doing". Leaders have to take risks and face failure, but this is tough when our self-confidence is low.

​Participants will learn what can get in the way of confidence, and how our ways of thinking can have a negative effect on our self-view. Through group discussion and individual exercises, you'll learn how to embrace your story, be proud of your skills, and own what you're good at. You'll leave with tools you can use daily to identify what's getting in the way of your own self-confidence and how to give yourself a short-term and ongoing confidence boost!

The Pitch Is Dead: Long live the pitch

From Shark Tank to pitch competitions, we’re all sick to death of hearing about the importance of the elevator pitch. But whether you’re a small business owner courting clients, a nonprofit organizer recruiting volunteers, or a corporate leader making sure your employees understand the values of your company, the pitch still matters. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be boring, isn’t hard to put together, and can still sound like YOU. Participants will be able to better identify, prioritize and communicate the most important details of what they do and how they do it. They’ll learn how to make their pitch modular, so that it can be easily adjusted for different audiences, and how to create an “ask” for every opportunity. And through a few simple exercises, they’ll leave with a pitch ready to go and the confidence to tell their story and connect to the resources they need.

Brace Your Core: What weightlifting can teach us about work and life.

As Aimee faced 40, a pending divorce and unexpected career change, she started lifting weights as much-needed exercise when yoga just wasn’t cutting it. After four years of learning the basics, she realized that the skills she had developed in the gym were unexpectedly guiding her through transitions in her career and personal life. Contrary to our conditioning, just pushing harder doesn’t bring better results. And rather than another certification or a fancier website, simply focusing on the basics is key to moving forward. Participants will start to think differently about how what strengthens us physically can also strengthen our capacity to face challenges and take small steps to success. Most important? Don’t forget to breathe.

The Power of Peers: Beyond one-on-one mentoring for group success.

We’ve been taught to seek mentoring and advice from those above us, but have lost sight of the opportunity to learn from the experience of those alongside us! While managing a one-on-one mentoring program is time-consuming and monthly “lunch and learns” go stale quickly, peer advisory groups offer a new way of connecting people to each other and to your organization. Learning from our peers allows us to uncover obstacles, overcome challenges and find innovative solutions that traditional hierarchical learning does not offer. Participants will learn about the peer advisory group model, how it is different from traditional mentoring programs, and how it can be successfully implemented within a variety of organizations, from universities to employee resource groups to nonprofit member associations. We’ll discuss best practices to follow and pitfalls to watch out for, so that you’ll be ready to harness the power of your peers.