Meet Steve Hickman
Clinical psychologist and the Executive Director of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (CMSC).
CSMC is a nonprofit organization devoted to making a more compassionate and self-compassionate world. The focus of CMSC has been sharing an eight-week program called Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC – developed by Chris Germer and Kristin Neff), providing the program to teachers from all over the world and supporting those teachers in offering it to thousands of other people. But together we created and launched something new… Read here his testimonial
Together we created an entirely new 30-week long cohort-based-program together with CMSC.
We needed to bring CMSC’s work to another level so that the program could be provided online in a practical, thoughtful way. Not only just to develop the program, but also to find ways on how to bring people in, have them learn about the program, be motivated to sign up, to participate in a long training program that was relatively expensive as well.
CSMC needed expertise beyond what the organization had in-house to find ways to do this technically and from the marketing perspective and strategic perspectives.
Together we created for SCIP!
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Managing the Change
CMSC is not a huge organization; it is a nonprofit having existed for about eight or nine years. Relative to the size of the organization, SCIP was a vast project. There is always a bit of fear when an external person or team is brought in for consultancy.
There is always a fear of losing some autonomy or becoming dependent upon an external expert coming in and setting up something new. In this project, CMSC has been reassured that what was built together remains entirely CMSC’s with broad flexibility to manage things and make things even better down the road. This proved to be an excellent combination so that CMSC’s team did not feel dependent on Bujoo as an external partner, but also resulted in a feeling that the organization can rely upon the expertise that Bujoo brings.
Strategic and Marketing Planning
That’s where CSMC found Bujoo to be incredibly valuable to help CMSC to go to the next level.
It was beneficial to have Bujoo involved in the strategic and marketing planning, thinking about designing a journey for people to go from not having ever heard about SCIP to sign up and participate.
Bujoo’s expertise allowed CMSC to craft a customer journey that suited, informed, and guided people in the process of exploring the program and ultimately leading them to feel an incentive to join the SCIP program.
More than just an education platform.
The second phase (that was quite remarkable and getting rave reviews as CMSC observed) is the virtual online learning platform that the participants reside in during these 30 weeks.
The platform was the beautiful home for the SCIP program that supports people in their learning process. The platform went well beyond just the presenters or the faculty of the SCIP program to a whole environment in which people could learn, connect, discuss, explore and collaborate. The platform was considered a remarkable gift to the participants who may join the program thinking that it is a series of webinars they’d be attending.
The participants realized it is a whole new learning experience. Something that is not just a topic; it’s not just education about self-compassion and psychotherapy but is a feel of sense. It’s a part of the personal practice of each of the therapists and each of the trainees. “The platform that Bujoo put together is just remarkable in the way that it supports people in that journey and deepens their experience”.
Bujoo blew us away!
“The whole idea of a platform has new meaning in this case…”
The platform that Bujoo created for our online training is astonishing. Who knew that soft objectives such as personal and professional development, connection, and community could have such an accessible, integrated, user-friendly technical backbone. André has the technical chops and artistic sensibility to make your online vision come to life. Amazing, really.
Dr. Chris Germer – clinical psychologist and co-creator of the Mindful Self-Compassion program.
Working with Bujoo
There must be smiles and laughter all along the way. CMSC and Bujoo had the opportunity to have this collaboration be an enjoyable experience working together.
Working with skilled, wise, technically oriented people can sometimes be a cold and tricky situation, as CMSC observed. What the CMSC team appreciated about the working arrangement is the collaboration that the Bujoo team related to CMSC. Personally, it’s a very informal but structured way of working together so that things are done and that there is a strong focus. The collaboration was not cold and distant but warm and engaging, and collaborative so that all participants can bring their expertise to the table.
Together something unique was made without a lot of formality or rigidness about things learned from the experience. It was not always easy, and sometimes there were challenges, but they were weathered quite beautifully. In the end, the collaboration came out as not only colleagues working on a project but much more as friends. That remained important for CMSC, especially as a compassion-based organization.
“What was thought that the SCIP program might be when the project started, it ended up and became much different and so much better”.
Why CMSC decided to work with Bujoo?
Nonprofit or charitable organizations are susceptible to not becoming overly commercialized,
turned into a commercial, for-profit type of business, or have that sort of image.
When organizations of this type approach, organizations often find very talented people. They understand how commercial enterprises work and often don’t appreciate the culture of nonprofits and social enterprises. These professionals often think they can apply their commercial knowledge to the nonprofit sector.
What was a significant factor when partnering with Bujoo was Bujoo’s understanding of what CMSC is doing from the inside, understanding mindful self-compassion, and understanding the philosophy that CMSC has and how CMSC wants to be in the world, which is much different from a commercial enterprise or a corporate entity. The turning point for CMSC was to partner with an incredible range of expertise in all areas around technology and strategic planning, all of the rest and Bujoo’s understanding of CMSC’s vision and mission as a nonprofit organization.
That made the difference between a commercial venture applied to a nonprofit framework and the genuine understanding of “getting the picture” from the inside.
“That makes a difference for us to have people who get what we’re trying to accomplish in the world. And it’s not always about profit and sales, but also about people and compassion and relieving suffering”.
The Biggest Change
The most significant change that CMSC observed is that the organization is now in a new phase as many things have been happening at the same time.
“A lot of things have evolved for CMSC as an organization, and the experience with the SCIP program has opened our eyes to new possibilities and brought the organization to a place of doing things in a much more professional and efficient and effective manner”.
CMSC is no longer the “mom and pop shop “, or the business that runs out of the garage observes Steve Hickman. CMSC is now actually like a legitimate organization, doing things in a way that one would expect a professional organization to do them. And that’s been achieved mainly through the support of the Bujoo team and the work created.
“I would have to say that now that we have this amazing, beautiful platform for SCIP, the pressure is on us to live up to that image as an organization to back it up. We have something to shoot for in terms of, well, with a platform like this, we have to be able to provide the right kind of support and the right kind of content that is worthy of this platform”.
The challenges at first were the natural adjustment of processes of balancing Bujoo to a certain speed and way of doing business and helping Bujoo learn CMSC’s culture. This was not particularly difficult, but it’s just a natural process of adjustment that has to take place.
“So I think it’s, there’s a lot of just getting to know you kind of process that was challenging at times to find a way to work comfortably together so that we could dance smoothly, rather than, you know, stepping on each other’s toes”
Happiest about working with Bujoo?
CMSC was surprised with the breadth of knowledge brought to the conversation, in the sense of deep expertise in all areas together. The whole other side of thinking about the project, not from a narrow perspective but the entire extended system’s perspective.
“I can pinpoint a moment when I was most happy in this process, which was when Bujoo rolled out the platform demonstration for our team and to see the looks and the comments from the rest of our team”.