Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Q A
What is PVI’s Mission? At PVI our ultimate “reason for being,” like that of our client agencies, is community, family and individual well-being.  We are here to help you build…new performance horizons!
PVI says it is a “process-oriented” consulting firm. What do you mean by “Process Consultation?” Process Consultation is the purposeful and structured facilitation of a client agency’s own expertise in clarifying its purpose, identifying its strengths and weaknesses, arranging for improvement actions, and tracking results. See Edgar Schein, Process Consultation: Its Role in Organization Development, Addison-Wesley. 1988.
What do you mean when you say “Organizational Learning?” Organizational Learning is the system-wide, continuous pursuit of knowledge and information about the organization’s performance and its future. See Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline, Doubleday. 1990.
What is the typical range of services you provide? At Performance Vistas we pride ourselves in providing services that meet the needs of our clients in a way that builds their capacity to operate without a continuing need for outside help.  Typically, our services include curriculum development and training, program development and program evaluation, problem identification and problem-solving, as well as a myriad of group facilitation processes.
What makes Performance Vistas a non-profit agency? Since its inception, on September 18, 1998, PVI has operated as a non-profit, and is registered as such with the Georgia Secretary of State. We operate exclusively for scientific and educational purposes… not for the benefit of any stakeholders or investors. We charge for the personnel costs and expenses of a project; there is no “fee” or profit margin above those costs.
Our purpose is to operate in the public’s interest, to reduce the burdens of government (often to expand the capacity of public sector organizations), by improving the effectiveness of government and other non-profit agencies. We do not, however, accept charitable donations as do many other non-profits.
Shouldn’t a public or non-profit agency purchase management consulting services commercially from for-profit firms? Some for-profit firms do offer services in the public sector, of course. But seldom are for-profit firms successful in the social services arena. No less an advisor than Peter Drucker suggests that the non-profit sector has unique dimensions that do not lend themselves to for-profit approaches. See Managing the Non-Profit Organization: Principles and Practices, HarperCollins 1990.  In fact, our Bibliography lists a number of leadership references that helped to form our foundation principles.
Why do for-profit consulting firms tend to miss the mark in public and non-profit agency consultation? Business-sector techniques often fail to grasp the unique challenge of managing for quality in a not-for-profit or government organization. Public sector consultants cannot help public sector agencies without factoring in to all work the  public sector notion of “profit.” When defining success, the public sector substitutes “client outcomes” for corporate profits.
Would you please describe the competitive bidding process Performance Vistas usually completes to win its engagements? Usually these projects’ Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are publicly advertised, and the proposal selection process is public and rigorous. Points are awarded for strength of understanding of the host agency’s needs, feasibility of the proposed approach, experience with similar projects, strength of the proposed project team, and reasonableness of the proposed budget.
How competitive are the rates Performance Vistas charges its client agencies? PVI offers agencies quality management consulting at or below the cost of typical management consulting services. We do so by keeping our rates at levels our clients can afford.  We are generally at the top of the federal hourly fee schedule, but we have not changed professional rates in over a decade.
What consulting rates does PVI charge for its consultants? Typically, our senior consultants perform the bulk of the work. Our normal daily rates are substantially lower than the rates these same consultants command in the private sector.
What rates does PVI charge for fees and overhead? PVI does not add a line item to its personnel budgets, as for-profit firms do, to collect a “fee” (i.e., often a 10% profit line) for services above the direct costs of its personnel. PVI’s management model allows us to control the costs of administrative overhead as a way of offering high quality services within state and local agency budgets. Performance Vistas’ administrative rate is between a third and one-half the rates of our competitors in universities and for-profit firms.
Does PVI perform any services for non-profits or governmental entities on a voluntary basis? PVI’s greatest form of voluntary work is in the extra, unbilled hours PVI’s associates bring to their tasks. PVI also contributes a portion of its professional fees and sometimes travel expenses can qualify as in-kind match. PVI does engage in a healthy practice of pro bono work with local, non-profit agencies such as shelters, treatment programs, advocacy groups and churches.
O lays claim to an ambitious record in Maryland

By John Fritze and Doug Donovan The Baltimore Sun contact the reporters

Environmental Science Martin O Same Sex Marriage Illinois General Assembly Anirban Basu Larry Hogan Can Martin O claim cheap jerseys free shipping credit for upward economic mobility in Maryland? Fact checking Martin O speech on the campaign trail.

WASHINGTON Former Gov. Martin O’Malley, who is considering a run for president next year, tried last cheap nhl jerseys week to put some distance between cheap jerseys outlet himself and rival Hillary Clinton.

A Clinton campaign aide had announced days earlier that the former Secretary of State and first lady, who once opposed gay marriage, now viewed it as a constitutional right.

“I’m glad Secretary Clinton’s come around to the right positions on these issues,” O’Malley told reporters, taking the latest in a series of shots at the presumptive front runner for the Democratic nomination. “Leadership is about making the right decision and the best decision before sometimes it becomes entirely popular.”

The zing made news another example of O’Malley attacking Clinton from the left. But it also glossed over the nuance of the former governor’s own record on gay marriage an issue on which he also evolved, and relatively recently.

Echos of 2008 campaign linger as Hillary take message to the people Christin Nance Lazerus

Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott was petrified when Bronko’s bartender Russ Panning pulled out a bottle of Crown Royal to give Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a shot alongside Crown Point Mayor Dave Uran and McDermott in April 2008.

Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott was petrified when Bronko’s bartender Russ Panning pulled out a bottle of Crown Royal to give Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a shot alongside Crown Point Mayor Dave Uran and McDermott in April 2008. ( Christin Nance Lazerus )

Yes, O’Malley ushered in same sex marriage in Maryland in 2012. But that was his sixth year as governor, and he had frustrated advocates by letting that issue founder in the General Assembly only a year before. Maryland became the eighth state to recognize same sex marriage at the time the bill was signed.

As he looks ahead to a possible presidential campaign, O’Malley is telling a cheap nhl jerseys china national audience that his record as mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland prepared him for the White House.

But campaign sound bites tell an incomplete story, and an examination of O’Malley’s stump speech shows that his words sometimes lack the shades of gray that are more common in governing than in politics. And since the depths of the recession, Maryland actually created jobs faster than our neighbors to the north or south of us.”

Governors, like presidents, get blamed when the economy tanks. So it’s natural for them to claim credit when times are good. For much of O’Malley’s tenure in Annapolis, the state’s economy was in good shape when compared with the rest of the nation.

An underlying question, though, is how much of the growth in Maryland had to do with O’Malley and how much was the result of federal money flowing from Washington, which had an outsized influence in the state. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Prior to those cuts, “Maryland’s performance was solid relative to the balance of the nation,” said economist Anirban Basu, who runs the Baltimore based consulting firm Sage Policy Group. “As soon as the federal dollars began to expand more slowly, Maryland’s poor economic diversification became apparent.”

Basu worked on Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s transition team this year, but he has also been hired by many Democrats including for O’Malley’s mayoral campaign.

O’Malley aides correctly note that Maryland’s gross state product grew faster than the national average since 2006. But that only underscores the role federal spending may have played here. From 2011 to 2013, as spending from Washington slowed, Maryland’s gross state product significantly under performed the national average.

It’s true that the Pew Charitable Trusts gave Maryland, New Jersey and New York high marks in 2012 for upward economic mobility, which is defined as the ease with which families can increase their earnings.

But Pew looked at decades of data up to and including 2007, O’Malley’s first year in office. In other words, most of the data in the study comes from before O’Malley was sworn in.

O’Malley aides point out that the state has performed well in other reports, such as a ranking of “economic opportunity” by the States Project. Putting aside that the report relies in part on the Pew study, it is a different measure than O’Malley’s specific claim.

O’Malley says the state “created jobs faster than our neighbors.” It is true that Maryland’s employment grew by 4.6 percent between June 2009 and December of last year, compared with 4 percent for Virginia and 3.9 percent for Pennsylvania. (O’Malley considers February 2010 the trough of the recession, which makes the contrast with other states look even better).

But here’s a metric O’Malley doesn’t tout: The state has higher unemployment than most other states in the region: Maryland has 5.5 percent unemployment, compared with 5.2 percent in Pennsylvania and 4.7 percent in Virginia.

As a city councilman running for mayor in 1999, O’Malley promised to instill zero tolerance crime fighting. Today he compares the city’s efforts against crime under his leadership to the way Baltimoreans rallied to beat back the British during the War of 1812.

As mayor from December 1999 through January 2007, he did lead the charge to revise policing techniques.Articles Connexes:

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