IC TIG Week: Great (Master)minds Think Alike by Nina Sabarre

Hi, there! My name is Nina Sabarre and I am the Founder and Principal of Intention 2 Impact, LLC. Today’s post is about the importance of peer mentoring to advance evaluation business ventures, and a new mastermind initiative through the Independent Consulting TIG (IC TIG)!

I am currently pursuing my PhD in Evaluation and Applied Research at Claremont Graduate University and my dissertation focuses on the influence of entrepreneurship on the evaluation marketplace. Major caveat: just because I am researching evaluation entrepreneurship (#evalpreneurship), does not make me an expert in it!

After working as an independent consultant for several years, I officially launched my LLC in 2018 and I am learning the ropes as I go. Although my work experience and academic training equipped me with the knowledge and skills to conduct evaluations in diverse contexts, it did not prepare me well to start my own business. As discussed in the Winter 2018 issue of New Directions for Evaluation, evaluation is a commercial industry as much as it is an academic discipline. However, the literature and training supporting evaluation practice primarily focuses on how to conduct evaluation studies with little consideration of business processes.

Thankfully, I found a home within the Independent Consulting TIG. Everything I know about starting and growing a business has been through peers, resources, and workshops from the TIG. Are you in the same boat? Although being an independent consultant or entrepreneur can be lonely (and, at times, terrifying), I’ve learned there are way more benefits to being collaborative rather than competitive.

That’s why the IC TIG leadership team and I are spearheading a new initiative to foster peer mentorship around business practices in evaluation. This summer, we are launching an IC TIG Mastermind program! The purpose of a “mastermind” group is to navigate through challenges using the collective intelligence and support of like-minded peers. Our groups will be relatively small, ideally consisting of 6-8 members who are in similar growth stages of evaluation business. The IC TIG will provide an orientation to each group before their first meeting with suggestions for topics and structure. However, the meetings will be run by group members. Stay tuned to learn more about how you can join an IC TIG Mastermind. We are planning to launch the groups by August and host in-person meet-ups at the 2019 AEA Conference in Minneapolis.

In the meantime, check out these Rad Resources about the benefits of joining mastermind groups:

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating IC TIG Week with our colleagues in the Independent Consulting Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our IC TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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