The Philadelphia Sixers recently established a nonprofit foundation because they wanted to invest in the communities where their fans live, work, and play. Amy Hever was recruited from the Smithsonian Institution to operate the foundation, define its purpose and impact, and implement initiatives in the community that are consistent with the Sixers values. Amy discovered that the landscape is incredibly complex, especially for a high-profile national sports team. Over the last two years she has been negotiating sometimes treacherous shoals as she navigates the young foundation into a position where it can be most helpful, while listening and responding to an array of stakeholders who hold distinctively different points of view.
— Amy Hever
Former Executive Director
Sixers Youth Foundation
Sixers Community Engagement Program
The greatest benefit of working with Jim and his team is to have a strategic thought partner. I can’t overemphasize how important that is in an organization that moves as quickly as ours. Jim’s perspective provides a lens, or one might say, a unique window into how we should be talking to our communities and internal stakeholders.
In addition to serving as a thought partner, the Mueller & Associates team has helped us in three overlapping areas: organizational alignment, leadership development, and managing change. I came from the nonprofit world and took on a role in corporate sports philanthropy. The Sixers is an organization with a commitment to helping their communities, but it had relied solely on community relations to achieve this outcome. Jim’s team has helped me craft the language and approach for our organization’s leadership —in ways that are most meaningful to them— regarding the tremendous community impact and productive change we can make through our Foundation.
When you are part of an organization with a powerful brand like the Sixers, in order to effectively manage change, you really need to hone your leadership and relationship skills. You need to figure out your strategy and approach to help communities when they are asking for things you can’t always provide. Conversations with Jim have had a tremendous impact on how I am able to negotiate this challenge.
Today, we have the respect of the communities we serve because we have strategically built relationships and engaged them authentically. When crises arise, and in the high profile game we play they always do, we can negotiate a productive way forward because we have built trust. I can honestly say that the Mueller & Associates team has been an integral part of us getting here.”
James Mueller & Associates helps organizations build plans that are rooted in the values, vision, mission, and brand position of the organization, are action oriented, and contain measures of success. See how we can help you.