The Thrive Toolbox

Collective impact is an approach to community-based problem solving and opportunity finding that encourages volunteer, civic, and organizational leaders to examine big picture community issues. It’s one thing to develop programs and services to address specific needs, quite another to dig deep to the root causes that create those needs.

When Thrive’s cross-sector action teams come together to confront complex social issues, they use team leadership skills and process tools designed to turn existing resources into efficient service systems.

The Thrive Toolbox includes:

1. Effective Team Management Skills

  • Using a group memory
  • Developing meeting outcomes and process agenda
  • Reaching agreement by consensus
  • Dealing with dysfunction

2. Tools for Problem Solving/Opportunity Finding


Finding the right problem

  • Problem as given/Problem as understood
  • Six questions
  • Five whys
  • Fishbone diagrams

Problem analysis

  • Actor mapping/System mapping
  • Backwards mapping

Developing possibilities

  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Brainstorming
  • Crawford slip method
  • Nominal group technique
  • Questions that inspire innovation

Selecting and Troubleshooting Decisions

  • Consensus vs. voting
  • Preferential voting
  • Setting criteria
  • Decision matrices
  • Force field analysis


From time to time, Thrive offers training in the Thrive Toolbox. These three-day workshops give participants background information on collective impact, Appreciative Inquiry, Baldrige Performance Excellence, and continuous improvement. Most importantly, participants receive hands-on training in team management and practice with complex problem-solving and opportunity-finding tools.

About the Trainer

Candy HansonCandy Hanson is president of Sioux Falls Thrive and the immediate past-president of the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation. She transitioned to those positions from a 15-year consulting practice where her principal focus was nonprofit management. During that time, she led strategic planning processes for scores of nonprofit organizations in the region and spent six years with Peace Corps in Washington, D.C., managing projects that redesigned the medical and healthcare delivery system for volunteers in 90 countries.

Hanson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas. Post-college, she completed a third major in secondary education at Augustana College and student taught at Washington HS. She is a graduate of the Advanced Facilitator Institute, Interaction Associates, San Francisco. A Bush Leadership Fellow, Hanson earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, MA.