DISSERTATION ABSTRACT Indigenous Educational Policy Development with Tribal Governments: A Case Study

Nicole R. Bowman-Farrell (Mohican/Munsee)

PhD Oral Defense

Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis Department, University of WI-Madison

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Western public education research rarely includes empirical information about or formal consultation with sovereign Tribal governments and Indigenous stakeholders.  This lack has led to gaps in services, poor resource allocation, inappropriate programming, and a chronic systemic failure of the public educational system to meet the needs of American Indian learners.  To address these issues and gaps, Indigenous scholars and advocates work towards operationalizing Indian civil rights.  The purpose of this “indigenized” descriptive single case study was to document the educational policy-making process of one Tribe by exploring the following research questions:

  • How does the Stockbridge-Munsee (S-M) government develop educational policy?
  • What influences the Stockbridge-Munsee government’s policy making process?

Guiding frameworks of the study included Critical Race and Tribal Critical Theory. Additionally the methodological constructs of community-based participatory research (CBPR), Tribally-based participatory research (TDPR), and an understanding of the multi-jurisdictional legal framework of American Indian research informed the study design and ensured cultural responsiveness, scientific rigor, and adherence to ethical, professional, and legal standards.  Self-assessment surveys and interviews were conducted with 27 participants (unduplicated count) representing Tribal government, local and state education agencies, and the Tribal community.  Key documents were collected from participants, online, and from Tribal, local, state and federal agency records. Constant comparative analysis and triangulating data allowed emerging themes to be confirmed through multiple data sources.  This study had three major findings:

  1. Developing Tribal educational policy is a contextualized and multiple step process. The S-M educational policy system is series of intra-Tribal interactions. Policy is created in multiple steps involving the Tribal government, Tribal Education Board, and Tribal Education Department. Each of these Tribal educational policy stakeholder groups has distinct roles in the policy process.
  2. Multiple factors influence Tribal education policy development. These include “cross-cutting” influences as well as community, cultural/traditional and public/western education influences.
  3. Tribal and public educational policy activities vary across educational agencies and affect the policy environment, inter-agency relations, and perceptions of educational stakeholders.

Findings from the study suggest that multi-jurisdictional policy structures and activities that explicitly foster intergovernmental relations across local, state, federal, and Tribal government agencies will best support public school education of Native-American students. Key study/findings discussion points:

  1. First and one-of-a kind multi-jurisdictional study that views Tribal and public governments/agencies (local, state, and federal) as part of a larger policy system (via tri-lateral model)
  2. Use of a multi-jurisdictional model, Indigenous theories, and Indigenous research methods/tools can inform future public educational policy research studies and educational policy activities between Tribal and public education agencies
  3. Fills a gap in the western and Indigenous literature, documents what is working (strengths-based approach) and builds empirical data for supporting a multi-jurisdictional or tri-lateral model for educational policy and practice collaborations between Tribal and non-Tribal government agencies
  4. TCT used for asserting sovereign rights of Tribes which is legal, culturally responsive, and ethical
  5. CRT gives counter-narrative to marginalized voices to document strengths, gaps, challenges, and solutions

Limitations of study include sample size and the need to replicate more case studies to build the literature base.  Given this is the first study of its kind, it is challenging to “build on the literature base” and consider what else is out there in terms of a comprehensive and multi-jurisdictional study.  Policy studies with programs or agencies (not comprehensively across governments) were utilized to anchor and inform the study.

Future areas of study include:

  1. Replication: more multi-jurisdictional (i.e. tri-lateral) educational policy studies are needed to fill a gap in the western and Indigenous literature bases.  Replicating this study will provide more empirical information about how Tribes develop educational policies (and what those policies include) and will also document strengths/successful educational policy development, a strengths-based and Tribal-centric approach to education.
  2. Systemic educational policy studies are needed to generate more empirical data for further developing, applying, and testing the tri-lateral model in different Tribal/public contexts.
  3. Studying the similarities and differences in Tribal and public educational policy development is important to understanding the policy environment and educational leadership behaviors that strengthen public education for AI students.  This information also would provide a deeper and broader perspective into what resources and capacities Tribal governments need to strengthen Tribal educational policy development.
  4. Correlating or connecting the educational outcomes of AI students in schools with strong Tribal/public policies, policy activities, and policy resources, capacities, and supports is important to understanding the educational experiences and achievement of AI students in K-12 public schools.
  5. Studying how stronger or weaker levels of direct funding and other resources impact Tribal and public educational policy development, implementation, fidelity, and impacts of policies for AI attending K-12 schools can inform leadership, governance, economic, and educational stakeholders and contexts.

POSOH – Tribal School Educators’ Institute

POSOH Project leadership from CMN, CESA 8, and UW-Madison are pleased to announce our upcoming Tribal School Educators’ Institute that is supported by our partnership project. Our work is a service for school districts and community members in tribal communities.

We invite you to take advantage of this engaging, one-time opportunity for teachers working with elementary, middle, and/or high school students to earn a stipend and collaborate in learning two innovative new science units designed specifically for students from Native American backgrounds.

POSOH’s professional development is designed to provide time and support for teachers to work together and learn Netaenawemakanak, our project’s Biodiversity & Sustainability Science Unit and Pīcekan pemēh, our Energy Transformation & Sustainability Unit. POSOH’s science materials teach sustainability and ecology concepts in the context of the Menominee Forest and surrounding areas, engaging students in:

  • active learning and critical thinking skills through scientific inquiry
  • place-based, cultural learning and culturally relevant pedagogy
  • deep understanding of standards-based science concepts
  • teaching and learning through story and perspective-taking


Which Grant Is For You?

Nicole Bowman presents an overview of which grant types are available.


Dr. Nicole R. Bowman-Farrell Professional Biography

NICOLE BOWMAN (Mohican/Munsee), PhD

Nicole Bowman (Mohican/Munsee) is the President/Founder of the nationally award winning Bowman Performance Consulting (BPC) in Shawano, WI. Nicole has a PhD in Leadership & Policy Analysis from the University of WI-Madison. The WI Governor’s Excellence in Small Business is her most recent award which was given in fall 2014 and is the highest award for a minority business in WI. Through Nicole’s academic and professional projects she’s known nationally as a leader in “multi-jurisdictional” research, evaluation, and policy studies that include projects with Native American communities (rural, Reservation, and urban) across the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Her consulting work extends into economic development, education, justice, health, culture/language, and human services projects.

As BPC’s President, Nicole has provided nearly two decades of culturally responsive and multi-jurisdictional evaluation, research, training and technical assistance services for national and local projects to hundreds of Native and non-Native clients from all sectors (public, private, and non-profit). BPC strongly values working “with” people and not “on” them. This practice has helped BPC to grow a loyal Native and non-Native client base and a trusted reputation for providing respectful, responsive, and relevant services that build capacity and are performance based. Nicole currently is a State Board Member for WI’s State Small Business Development Board and has served nearly a decade under two WI Governors as a current Board Appointee on the WI Women’s Council. Both Boards are instrumental in shaping WI economic policy, programming and opportunities for business. Nicole is the only Native American to currently serve on these Boards where she represents rural and Native community voices. BPC is often locally called to partner on projects with the American Indian Chamber of Commerce, WI Procurement Institute, WI Small Business Administration/Development Centers, WI Tribal Governments, Chambers of Commerce, and Tribal technical assistance centers, governments, and non-profits to assist with comprehensive economic and community development initiatives.

Nicole is the current international Indigenous Co-Chair (2014-2017) for Indigenous people from around the world within the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and the AEA’s global ambassador for Indigenous representation through advocacy, participation, and leadership in the EvalPartners/United Nations global evaluation initiative. In 2012 Nicole was a co-creator and founding Board Member of the WI American Evaluation Association (AE) Board, the State’s only certified national evaluation affiliate of the AEA, and served as Vice President on the Board. In Nicole’s role as the iMilwaukee! AEA State Board Vice-President she’s committed to building the next generation of evaluators and researchers of color with particular emphasis on Indigenous evaluation for educational and economic policy studies. She has provided key leadership support to strategic planning, development of business operations structures, and conference planning for the WI AEA Board. Since 2001, Nicole has served nationally on behalf of the AEA President and elected Board leadership to plan conferences, support diversity/inclusion, present evidence-based practices, deliver webinars/professional development sessions, and contribute to policy/programming discussions and documents for the inclusion of Tribal Governments and Tribal Colleges in the larger academic discussions held nationally and internationally. Nicole’s professional and academic projects, publications, and activities continue to move forward a Tribal-centric model for research, evaluation, policy, and capacity building that includes and meets the legal requirements of sovereignty and Federal protection laws for Indigenous projects, people, communities, organizations, and Tribal governments. This multi-jurisdictional service delivery and scientific design model has facilitated BPC’s position as a trusted and highly impactful partner with Native and non-Native stakeholders.

BPC currently provides or has recently provided training, technical assistance, and/or scientific and policy studies for client projects in partnership with: American Institutes for Research, US Department of Agriculture, State Departments of Education (MN, MT, WI), the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation & Assessment at the University of Illinois-Urbana, the American Evaluation Association, the Eastern Evaluation & Research Society, IMPAQ International, and many Tribal Colleges and public “research one” Universities across the nation. Her new book chapter, “Culturally Responsive Indigenous Evaluation for Multi-Jurisdictional Projects”, is currently available by Information Age Publishing (2015).

Nicole Bowman Resume

*View Complete Resume as PDF

Nicole R. Bowman-Farrell (Munsee-Mohican)
Owner, Bowman Performance Consulting, LLC
Ph.D. Candidate, University of WI-Madison

Educational Attainment:

  • 2015: Ph.D., Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • 1996: M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction, Lesley College, Cambridge, MA
  • 1993: B.A., Early Childhood & Elementary Education, St. Norbert College, DePere, WI

Present Responsibilities:

  • 2001-present: President/Owner, Bowman Performance Consulting, LLC: Business and Educational Consulting Service.       Professional services include: Research, development, technical assistance, and evaluation for educational and business organizations. Clientele includes local, tribal, state, and national organizations from the public and private sector. For more complete information and to view our current projects see: www.bpcwi.com

Significant Projects Include:

  • Co-PI for the Tribal Food & Nutrition Service Congressional Study, U.S. Food and Nutrition Services Programs, with 566 Tribal Governments & IMPAQ International funded by the US Department of Agriculture (Aug 2014-present )
  • Culturally Responsive, Indigenous, and Multi-Jurisdictional Evaluation Training and Technical Assistance Provider (in person and online) to the national Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation & Assessment and the American Evaluation Association (2013 – present)
  • Policy & Content Technical Assistance Expert, K-12 & Indian Education, Midwest Comprehensive Center with the American Institutes for Research and State Departments of Education in IA, IL, MN, & WI, funded by the US Department of Education (October 2012-present)
  • External Evaluator for the Montana Office of Public Instruction, Systems of Care Grant Project, to evaluate multijurisdictional programming between state and tribes in Montana, funded by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2012-2014)
  • External Evaluator for the POSOH Sustainability & Culturally Based Science Education Curricular & Professional Development Project, University of Wisconsin Madison – College of Agricultural and Life Sciences – College of Menominee Nation – Sustainable Development Institute funded by the US Department of Agriculture (January 2011-present)

Professional Certifications/Credentials:

  • 8A Certified Federal Firm (Minority and Disadvantaged), Small Business Administration
  • Certified Business Service Provider, Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Network
  • Certified Federal Evaluator, What Works Clearinghouse of Evaluators, Institute of Educational Sciences
  • Certified Limited Liability Corporation, WI Department of Administration
  • Certified Minority Business Enterprise, WI Department of Administration
  • Certified Minority Firm, Dane County, Milwaukee County, City of Milwaukee, and City of Madison
  • Certified No Child Left Behind Service Provider, WI Dept. of Public Instruction
  • Certified Reading First National Service Provider, U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Certified State Minority Firm, WI Department of Commerce
  • Certified Tribal Vendor for Indian Preference Program, Yurok Tribe, Ho-Chunk Tribe, and numerous other U.S. tribes
  • Certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise, WI Department of Administration
  • IRB Human Subjects Certified (CITI-UW-Madison)
  • Working Effectively with Tribal Governments Certificate (Tribal Go Learn Portal)

Specialized Training:

  • Using Census Data to your Advantage, Eastern Region Training and Technical Assistance Center (Dec 2014)
  • Getting Started: Introductory Consulting Skills for Evaluators, American Evaluation Association (Jul 2014)
  • Small Business Webinar: Market Research, U.S. Administration for Native Americans Department (Jul 2014)
  • Evaluating in Virtual Contexts, American Evaluation Association, (Jun 2014)
  • Logic Models Made Easy: Using the Education Logic Model Application in Program Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation, Regional Education Laboratory – Mid Continent Research and Evaluation Laboratory (Jun 2014)
  • Co-Creating a Strategic Roadmap for Collaborative and Effective Evaluation to Improve Child Welfare Programs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Child’s Bureau (Feb 2014)
  • Social Entrepreneurship Training, First Nations OWEESTA (Feb 2014)
  • Research and Philanthropy in Indian Country, Native Americans in Philanthropy (Jan 2014)
  • National ATODA Prevention Strategies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Feb 2013)
  • Surveys of Enacted Curriculum Online Instruments, Data Viewers, and Analysis Training; University of Wisconsin-Madison – Wisconsin Center for Education Research (ongoing 2012-2015)
  • Survey of Concerned Questionnaire Online Instruments, Data Viewers, and Analysis Training; SEDL (2012-2014)

Current Professional Committees, Boards, & Memberships:

  • Appointed Member, American Evaluation Association, Presidential Environmental Audit Work Group (Feb 2015-present)
  • Chair, American Evaluation Association, Indigenous Peoples in Evaluation Topical Interest Group (Jan 2015-present)
  • Social Media Committee, Wisconsin Women’s Council (Dec 2014-present)
  • Member, American Evaluation Association, Independent Consulting Topical Interest Group-Strategic Planning Work Group (Oct 2014-present)
  • Member, American Evaluation Association, Chicago, IL 2015 Local Planning Conference Work Group (Oct 2014-present)
  • Member, American Evaluation Association, Multiethnic Issues in Evaluation Communication Work Group (Oct 2014-present)
  • Member, Small Business Development Center Board of Wisconsin (Apr 2013-present)
  • Appointed Member, National Education Diabetes Program Evaluation Task Force (2010-present)
  • Member, Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce (2009-present)
  • Member, Gedakina Advisory Board (Feb 2008-present)
  • Registered Consultant, W.K. Kellogg Foundation Lab College of Consultants (Jan 2008-present)
  • Founding Member, Menominee Chamber of Commerce (2007-present)
  • Appointee, Governor’s WI Women’s Council, State of WI (Jan 2005-present)
  • Board Member, Presidential Advisory Committee, Northeast WI Technical College (Aug 2004-present)

Past Professional Committees, Boards, & Memberships:

  • Co-Founder and Vice President, American Evaluation Association Board-Milwaukee Affiliate (2012-2014)
  • Member, American Evaluation Association’s Presidential Task Force for 2012 Conference Planning (Dec 2011-Oct 2012)
  • Member, WI Department of Transportation 41 Project Advisory Committee (Dec 2008-Jan 2012)
  • Peer Reviewer, American Indian Alaska Native Crime and Justice Research and Criminal Justice Technology Assessment Project (Feb 2008-Feb 2009)
  • Agenda Sub-Committee Member, Wisconsin Indian Business Conference (July 2007-Jan 2012)
  • Member, Editorial Board Member, New Directions in Evaluation (Nov 2006-Jan 2013)
  • Secretary, American Evaluation Association’s Indigenous Peoples in Evaluation Special Interest Group (Nov 2006-Nov 2009)
  • Leadership Recruitment Task Force, American Evaluation Association’s Nominations and Elections Committee (Sept 2006-Mar 2008)
  • Art/Media Reviewer, Indian Summer Festival (July 2006-July 2008)
  • Journal Review Board Member, American Journal of Evaluation (June 2006-2012)
  • Member, Title VII Indian Advisory Group, Green Bay Public Schools (Jan 2006-Dec 2008)
  • Technical/Scientific Reviewer, WI Advisory Board, Institute of Women’s Policy Research (Oct 2005-Dec 2007)
  • Leadership Advisory Board, East-West University, Keshena, WI (Sept 2005-Dec 2007)
  • Journal Review Board Member, Editorial Board, Journal of American Indian Education (June 2005-2011)
  • Book Reviewer, Center for Indigenous Nations Studies, University of Kansas (July 2005-Dec 2009)
  • Project Advisor, Center for Indigenous Nations Studies, University of Kansas (May 2005-Dec 2009)
  • Project Advisor, Menominee Language and Culture Commission, Menominee Indian Tribe of WI (Jan 2005-Sept 2008)
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Multidisciplinary Evaluation (Nov 2004-2013)
  • Chair, Quality Assurance, WI Interagency Collaborative Council (Aug 2004-Oct 2008)
  • Appointee, Governor’s Interagency Collaborative Council, State of WI (May 2004-Dec 2009)
  • Secretary, American Educational Research Association, Indigenous People of the Americas (Apr 2003-Apr 2006) and (Apr 2007-Apr 2008)
  • Member, Lt. Gov’s Educational Achievement Task Force, State of WI (Dec 2003-Dec 2004)
  • Advisor, WI Minority Business Opportunity Council, U.S. Department of Commerce (Nov 2003-Dec 2004)
  • Advisory Committee Member, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (Oct 2003-Sept 2007)
  • Board Member and Chair, Indigenous Education Committee, WI American Indian Chamber of Commerce (May 2003-May 2006)

Selected Publications & Presentations:

  • Publication, Bowman, N. R., Dodge Francis, C., & Tyndall, M. Responsive Indigenous Evaluation: A Cultural & Contextual Framework for Indian Country. Information Age Publishing. (2015)
  • Presentation, Responsive Indigenous Evaluation: A Cultural & Contextual Framework to Use in Indian Country, American Evaluation Association Conference (Oct 2014)
  • Presentation, Doing Business With Tribal Government & Other Tribal Enterprises, Governor’s Conference on Minority Business Development (Sept 2014)
  • Presentation, Culturally Responsive Indigenous Evaluation, Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment Conference (Sept 2014)
  • Presentation, Responsive Indigenous Evaluation – A Cultural & Contextual Framework for Indian Country, Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment Conference (Sept 2014)
  • Presentation: Promising Pathways for Entrepreneurs: Selling to Tribal Entities & Finding Corporate Funding, Shawano County Economic Progress, Inc. Small Business Association Training (July 2014)
  • National Report, American Indian Education Policy Scan: PK-12 Education Policies Impacting American Indian Students in Wisconsin, American Institutes for Research (Jan 2014)
  • Report, WI Indian Country Demand Study for Business Development & Technical Assistance Services, American Indian Chamber of Commerce of WI: First American Capital Corporation (Jan 2014)
  • Presentation, Connect! Local Information for Starting and Growing Business, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (Fall 2013)
  • Presentation, Start Right the First Time: A Business Start-up Workshop, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (Fall 2013)
  • National Report, American Indian Education in Minnesota: Analytic Review of Key State and National Documents, American Institutes for Research (June 2013)
  • Webinar, Developing a Project Concept & Pre-Proposal Preparation Strategies, American Evaluation Association (June 2013)
  • National Report, Career and Technical Education Teacher Licensure Requirements: 50 States and the District of Columbia, American Institutes for Research (June 2013)
  • Webinar, Understanding Requests for Proposals (RFPs) as a Foundation to Developing a Funding Strategy, American Evaluation Association (Jan 2013)
  • Presentation, Grant Researching & Proposal Writing in Indian Country Workshop, Seminole Tribe of Florida Native Learning Center (Dec 2012)
  • Presentation, Utilizing Tribal Certifications & Strategies to Leverage NEW Business Opportunities, Menominee Casino & Convention Center (Oct 2011)
  • Presentation, Valuing Indigenous Rights: Implications of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for Evaluation, American Evaluation Association (Fall 2011)
  • Presentation, Grant Writing Certificate Series, Shawano Community Education (2011-2014)
  • Presentation, Certifications, Proven Strategies, & Resources for Tribal Businesses, Economic Development Summit at College of Menominee Nation (June 2010)
  • Presentation, Strategies, Policy, and Resource Development to Maximize Indian Economic Development, Economic Development Summit at College of Menominee Nation (June 2010)
  • Keynote, Using Traditional Teachings in Contemporary Business Practices, Economic Development Summit at College of Menominee Nation (June 2010)
  • Presentation, After the Grant: Evaluation and Reporting, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (Apr 2010)
  • Presentation, Grant Writing 101, National At-Risk Education Network-Wisconsin Chapter Conference (Mar 2010)
  • Presentation, Prescription Drug Abuse: Trends, Evidence Based Solutions, and Resources, National At-Risk Education Network-Wisconsin Chapter Conference (Mar 2010)
  • Presentation, Smart Business Strategies to Survive and Thrive in Any Economy, Menominee Business Center (Mar 2010)
  • Presentation, Taking the Mystery Out of Grant Writing and Winning, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (Mar 2010)
  • Presentation, Keeping the Commitment to American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians, National American Indian Conference (Oct 2009)
  • Presentation, Practical Educational Strategies for Implementing a Tribally based Curriculum, National American Indian Conference (Oct 2009)
  • Presentation, Prescription Drug Use in Tribal Communities: Trends, Evidence Based Solutions, and Resources, United South and East Tribes Annual Meeting (Oct 2009)
  • Presentation, Underage Drinking and Alcohol Use in Tribal Communities: Trends, Evidence Based Solutions, and Resources, United South and East Tribes Annual Meeting (Oct 2009)
  • Publication, Indigenous Leadership Practices at Tribal Colleges and Universities, Tribal College Journal (Summer 2009)
  • Presentation, Empowering Evaluation Strategies for Creating Opportunities of Shared Responsibility for Student Achievement in Diverse Contexts, National At-Risk Education Network-Wisconsin Chapter Conference (Mar 2009)
  • Presentation, Professionals of Color Leadership Panel, Northeast Wisconsin High School Diversity Conference (Mar 2009)
  • Presentation, Taking the Mystery Out of Grant Writing, National At-Risk Education Network-Wisconsin Chapter Conference (Mar 2009)
  • Testimony, Violence Against Women in Indian Country Researchers’ Workshop, Washington D.C. (Mar 2009)
  • Presentation, Promoting Native Entrepreneurship within Tribal Communities: Policies & Implementation-Entrepreneurship and Tribal Government Discussion, Wisconsin Indian Business Association Conference (Feb 2009)
  • Presentation and Discussant, Measuring Cultural Issues in Multiethnic Evaluation, American Evaluation Association (Nov 2008)
  • Presentation, The Role of the Leadership Recruitment Task Force to Foster Organizational Learning Within the American Evaluation Association, American Evaluation Association (Nov 2008)
  • Presentation, Using Traditional Knowledge to Promote Health and Reduce Diabetes in Indigenous Communities & Schools, National Indian Education Association (Oct 2008)
  • Presentation, Hocak Language I Assessment Survey Report, Ho-Chunk Nation of WI (Sept 2008)
  • Publication, Modeling Self-Sufficiency, Winds of Change Magazine (Spring 2008)
  • Presentation, Grant Writing Certificate Series, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (2008-2010)
  • Presentation, Intergovernmental Intersections: How Indian Government and the Power of Tribal Sovereignty is Impacting Educational Research, Policy and Practice, National Indian Education Association (Oct 2007)
  • Presentation, Indigenizing Evaluation: New Tools and Techniques Grounded in Time Honored Traditions, Native American Studies University of Oklahoma (May 2007)
  • Presentation, Mapping ‘Common Ground’ Through Interactive Dialogue: Fostering Cross-Cultural Research Collaborations Between Native Educational Research and Research in the Larger Field of Education, American Educational Research Association (Apr 2007)
  • Presentation, Preliminary Results and Discussion on the Minnesota Mapping Project, Native Philanthropy Institute & Emerging leaders Summit (Apr 2007)
  • Publication, Cultural Validity Creates Sovereignty and Self-Determination, Winds of Change Magazine (Spring 2007)
  • Presentation, Culture, Context and Evaluation with Real Impact, Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee Winter 2007 training program (Mar 2007)
  • Presentation, Demystifying Accountability: Empowering Evaluation Strategies to Create Shared Responsibility for Student Achievement, Wisconsin Association of School Boards (Jan 2007)
  • Presentation, Indigenizing Evaluation: New Tools and Techniques Grounded in Time Honored Traditions,American Evaluation Association (Nov 2006)
  • Workshop Panelist, Basic Elements of Program Evaluation, Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee Annual Conference (Oct 2006)
  • Presentation, Disproportionate Minority Contact: Native American Data Collection Project, WI Office of Justice Assistance Conference (Oct 2006)
  • Presentation, Tribal Sovereignty and Self-Determination through Evaluation, NCAI Mid-Year Session: Tribal Leader/Scholar Forum (June 2006)
  • Keynote, “All City Graduation” Event at Indian Community School, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee American Indian Student Services (May 2006)
  • Presentation, Indigenizing Education & Publishing Strategies for Educators, University of WI Milwaukee (Apr 2006)
  • Presentation, Philanthropy as a Tool for Sovereignty & Self-Determination, Native Philanthropy Institute Evaluation (Apr 2006)
  • Book Review, James W. Oberly, A Nation of Statesman: The Political Culture of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohicans, 1815-1972 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2005) in the Double Issue of Journal of Indigenous Nations Studies, vol 5, no. 2/vol 6, no. 1 (Fall 2005/Spring 2006)
  • Publication, Many Trails to Entrepreneurship, Winds of Change Magazine (Fall 2005)
  • Presentation, A Critical, Cultural, and Contextual Analysis of No Child Left Behind: What are the Impacts on Indian Country?, National Indian Education Association (Oct 2005)
  • Presentation, Government to Government Evaluation: Issues and Strategies for Conducting Evaluation with Tribal Governments, American Evaluation Association (Oct 2005)
  • Presentation, On the Inside: Building a Profile of Women Inmates in Wisconsin State Prisons, 20th Annual Women & Poverty Conference: Sharing Experiences…Building a Future (Oct 2005)
  • Presentation, Utilizing Program Evaluation to Build Local Assets in Indian Communities, American Evaluation Association (Oct 2005)
  • Report, Using Community Needs Assessments Within & Across Native American Contexts to Evaluate the Effectiveness of a Collegiate Tribal Education Model, Nicolet Area Technical College (Sept 2005)
  • Commissioned Paper and Keynote, Federal Initiatives: No Child Left Behind and American Indian Early Childhood, National Center for Early Childhood, MS State University & U.S. Department of Education/HHS, Clinton National Library, Little Rock, AR (July 2005)
  • Congressional Testimony, No Child Left Behind, National Congress of the American Indians (June 2005)
  • Presentation, Case Studies of Evaluation in American Indian Contexts, American Educational Research Association Convention (Apr 2005)
  • Presentation, Empirical Evidence of WI’s Best Indian Programs, WI Indian Education Association (Apr 2005)
  • Keynote, Entrepreneurial “Injinuity”: Successful Business Principles for Native American Entrepreneurs, Wolf River Chamber of Commerce, Menominee Indian Nation (Feb 2005)
  • Presentation, Culturally Relevant Research & Evaluation: Leaving No Child Behind in Indian Country, National Indian Education Association (Oct 2004)
  • Keynote, Youth Entrepreneurship, Education, and Empowerment, College of Menominee Nation (Aug 2004)
  • Publication, Cultural Differences of Teaching & Learning: A Native American Perspective on Participating in Educational Systems & Organizations, American Indian Quarterly, Volume 27, Number 1 & 2 (Apr 2004)
  • Presentation, Effective Strategies for Meeting the Requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 in Indian Country, National Indian Education Association (Nov 2003)
  • Presentation, Ethnomathmatics: Culturally Relevant Research & Evaluation, American Indian Science & Engineering Society (Nov 2003)
  • Presentation, Funding Opportunities & Evaluation Considerations in Diverse Contexts, National Multi-Jurisdictional Conference for Law Enforcement and Community Leaders (Nov 2003)
  • Presentation, Research Findings of Native American Achievement in WI Educational Systems, WI Indian Education Association (Apr 2003)
  • Publication, “Leaving No Child Behind”: Examining the Need to Redefine K-12 Research Strategies, Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (Spring 2003) & American Educational Research Association, Wholistic Newsletter (Winter 2003)
  • Presentation, The Impact of Cultural difference in Western Education Systems on Native American Communities and Learners, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (Feb 2003) & WI Indian Educational Association’s Annual Conference (Apr 2003)
  • Publication, Native American Achievement in WI Public Schools: Much More Than Just Meeting the Requirements of No Child Left Behind, WI School News and Association of School Boards (Jan 2003)
  • Publication, Support or Fix? Conceptualizing and Implementing Effective Remediation Strategies, WI Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (Fall 2001)

Professional & Academic Honors:

  • Elected International Co-Chair, Indigenous People in Evaluation, American Evaluation Association (Oct 2014-present)
  • Multi-Ethnic International Evaluation Work Group (Communications), American Evaluation Association (Oct 2014-present)
  • Independent Consulting International Evaluation Work Group (Strategic Planning), American Evaluation Association (Oct 2014-present)
  • Local International Conference Planning Committee, American Evaluation Association, 2015 International Conference (Oct 2014-Oct 2015)
  • State Awardee, WI Excellence in Small Minority Business, State Department of Administration—Governor’s Awardee (Sept 2014)
  • Presidential Planning Committee, American Evaluation Association, 2012 International Conference in Minneapolis, MN (Oct 2012-Oct 2013)
  • Recognized and published in the D.C. Everest Area Schools Oral History Program, Wisconsin Women: Celebrating Their Contributions (June 2011)
  • Arkansas Traveler Award, Governor’s Office, State of Arkansas (July 2005)
  • Technical Advisor for WI State/Tribal Relations Board, Intergovernmental Division (Jan 2005-2007)
  • National Rising Star Award, Women’s Business Network (Oct 2004)
  • National Contextually/Culturally Responsive Evaluation Institute Advisor, National Science Foundation & Howard University, Washington D.C., (June 2004)
  • National Emerging Business Leader (Top 50 in USA), U.S. Department of Commerce (Sept 2003)
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year, U.S. Department of Commerce (Sept 2003)
  • National Evaluators Institute Scholarship, National Science Foundation (July 2003)
  • American Educational Research Association Mentor Internship for Culturally Relevant Research Strategies for Native Americans, Dr. Sharon Lewis, Council of Great City Schools (Apr 2003)
  • Mid-Continent Regional Educational Laboratory (McRel) Research Internship for National Math/Native American Pilot Program working with Dr. Helen Apthorp (PI) funded by OERI and NSF (Feb 2003)
  • Ph.D. Fellow University of Wisconsin-Madison, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis Department (1998-2001)

Grant Reviewer Experience:

  • S. Department of Education
    • Office of English and Language Acquisition
    • Office of Postsecondary Education, Higher Education Programs, Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program
  • S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs’ Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: Coordinated Tribal Assistance
  • Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings, Discovery Research K-12 Program
  • WI Department of Children and Families, Transitional Jobs Demonstration Project
  • Bureau of Justice Assistance
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • Office of Juvenile Justice Department
  • Office of Juvenile Justice Department Tribal Youth Field Initiated Research and Evaluation (FIRE) Programs
  • Department of Justice
  • Administration for Native Americans, National Technical Assistance Provider and Grant Reviewer

Other Professional Experience:

  • 2012-2013: Green Bay Packers Mentor-Protégé Program
  • 2009-2010: Tribal College workshop/podcast Instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, WI
  • 2008-2010: Corporate/Collegiate Workshop Instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, WI
  • 2005-2010: Online Course Instructor/Facilitator at Educational Options, Incorporated (VA)
  • 2002-2003: Academic Year: Adjunct Professor at the University of WI-Green Bay in the Humanistic Studies Department
  • 2000-2002: Adjunct Professor at Viterbo University in the Educational Outreach Department
  • 1999-2001: Administrator of the Professional Development Department in the WI regional education office (Cooperative Educational Service Agency #8) which provided professional development training, grant administration, and school improvement planning for 26 school districts in WI
  • 1996-1998: Administrator of the Multicultural Pre-College Program at the University of WI-Oshkosh
  • 1992-1996: Educator at Oneida Nation Tribal School and Little Chute Elementary School in WI


  • Mr. Craig Anderson, Executive Director, American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, 10809 W. Lincoln Avenue, Suite 102 West Allis, WI 53227, (414) 604-2044, craiga@aiccw.org
  • Dr. Anne Chamberlain, Senior Research Associate, IMPAQ International LLC, 10420 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 110 Columbia, MD 21044, (443) 259-5215, achamberlain@impaqint.com
  • Dr. Fiona Cram, Owner, Katoa, Ltd. PO Box 105611, Auckland City 1143, New Zealand, (011) 642-177-4690, fionac@katoa.net.nz
  • Dr. Lemyra Debruyn, Senior Research & Evaluation Associate, Center for Disease Control, 1720 Louisiana Blvd. NE       Suite 208 Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110, (505) 232-9906, ldd5@CDC.GOV
  • Dr. Carolee Dodge-Francis (Oneida), Executive Director, American Indian Research and Education Center, University of Nevada Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway Box 453063 Las Vegas, NV 89154-3060, (702) 895-5586, carolee.dodgefrancis@unlv.edu
  • Dr. Steve Garasky, Vice President, IMPAQ International, 10420 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 310 Columbia, MD       21044, (443) 259-5142, sgarasky@impaqint.com
  • Dr. Stafford Hood, Dean/Associate Professor and Executive Director, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1310 S. 6th Street MC 708 Champaign, IL 61820,(217) 244-8286, slhood@illinois.edu
  • Dr. Rodney Hopson, Professor, Center for Education & Evaluation, George Mason University, 4400 University Dr. MS 6D2 Fairfax, VA 22030, (703) 993-4178, rhopson@gmu.edu
  • Dr. Stephen Maack, REAP Change Consultants, 2872 Nicada Drive Los Angeles, CA 90077, (310) 384-9717, consultant@reapchange.com
  • Dennis Puzz, Esq., Forest County Potawatomi Community, (414) 847-7750, Dennis.Puzz@fcpotawatomi-nsn.gov
  • Dr. Martin Reinhardt, Assistant Professor of Native American Studies, Northern Michigan University, 1401 Presque Isle Ave Marquette MI 49855, (906) 227-1397, mreinhar@nmu.edu
  • Ms. Stephanie Iron Shooter, Director of Caring Schools, P.O. Box 202501 Helena, Montana 59620-2501, (406)530-4364, SIronShooter@mt.gov
  • Mrs. Bonney Hartley-Tsepak, (former) Director of Development & Programs (Urban/Indigenous Health), Seva Foundation, (518) 888-6641, bonney.hartley@gmail.com
  • Dr. Sarah Wraight, Director, Midwest Comprehensive Center, American Institutes for Research, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1231 Chicago, IL 60606, (312)-283-2311, swraight@air.org
  • Ms. Aina Vilumsons, Director of the Wisconsin Procurement Institute, 10437 Innovation Dr. Suite 320 Milwaukee, WI 53226, (414) 270-3600, AinaV@wispro.org




Lunch and Learn 2015

Very successful Lunch and Learn on “Grant Writing at  a Glance: An Overview and Beginning a Conversation About Grants for Non-Profits”

Low Anxiety and 2015 Goals and Action Plan

leaders journeyHabits of Low Anxiety/Anxiety Free People—An Example to Put this in Action!! (Part III)

By Nicole Bowman, President, Bowman Performance Consulting

*read Part I

*read Part II

Over the last three months I’ve internally made a short list of the top 10 organizations that I have been (and will continue) reaching out to for creating collaborative, long-term, and impactful organizational partnerships. I’ve used the criteria from my previous posts for selection but also have based it on past (the last 15 years) or current work experience with targeted organization, current market trends for needs in industry areas that BPC can serve, and market research on new organizations that meet the criteria, but who BPC has not worked with in the past.

By building organizational partnerships with medium to large scale agencies, I increase my chances to be considered for nationally impactful projects as these organizations are typically given the contract award by funding agencies. I’ve changed my strategy from individual competitor to leveraging past and current relationship to make a bigger future impact on collaborative projects with these larger agencies. My theory is that as more key partnerships and projects are solidified, BPC will have a broader/deeper impact through national projects and can increase capacity, networks, and professional recognition as projects are collaboratively completed, reports are co-authored, and/or presentations or publications are shared activities of BPC’s long-term partners and clients.

So how’s that been working for BPC? It has had some mixed results with securing new long-term partners for various projects (some paid, some volunteer); production of key industry publications and documents; and also some projects that have gotten my hopes up only to be dashed or dropped at the 11th hour for some reason or another beyond my professional control.

Hence, I’m searching for inspiration, processing, and changes in behaviors to increase the positive results of my efforts for 2015. That’s what led me to the “10 Habits of Anxiety Free People” article and this blog. Here are Dan Bischoff’s (Nature’s Sunshine Blogger) 10 habits alongside with BPC’s local application:

10 Habits of Anxiety Free People BPC’s Local Application
1.      Goal Setting In 2015 BPC will identify and reach out to up to 10 key organizational partners to create long-term collaborative opportunities. Of the 10 key organizations BPC will secure and confirm at least 5 new projects in 2015.     2 of these projects will be multi-year projects.
2.      Focus on the Good When an event happens I will not vent to more than one person. Upon venting I will recite at least four positive aspects of my professional life and/or coming from the challenge to reframe. They are: You’ve already identified six organizations you are actively reaching out too.   Since 4th quarter of 2014 you’ve had meetings with four of them and you’ve put in bids with two of them.   You have meetings set up with two new organizations for 1st quarter 2015. You’ve begun to identify at least three new bidding opportunities for new partnerships and are signed up for several procurement databases/list serves so you can review new potential projects daily to share with partners. You’ve updated your subject matter expertise marketing material and you’ve begun to “ask” directly for wanting to partner…moving beyond passive to active. The reasons several bids failed were not due to partnership issues, they were due to highly competitive and more experienced bidding firms. We’ve learned how to do better market research, make our bids more impactful, and have addressed weaknesses for future bids.
3.      Taking Action See above; also new “ask” marketing techniques will be used by asking for testimonials, creating new blogs, creating new vlogs, and following up within the first month and quarter of 2015 with potential partnerships developed in fourth quarter 2014. At last 1 day per week by the BPC President and 1 day per week by BPC org staff will be dedicated to sales, marketing, and follow up with potential new organizational partners. Databases for direct emails will be developed and assigned to 1 key staff at BPC.
4.      Focus on the Present When worrying about the future, I will ask myself what can BPC do today? What is most important to do today? Meditation and walks before or after work or at lunch will help me focus on the present. Use of mantras for being present or mindful will be used when anxiety creeps into my mind. Checking in with BPC staff regularly throughout the day will keep me focused on present day tasks and activities. Working on the low hanging fruit to develop partnerships naturally is the best way and where I’ll focus my energies. I will recognize and be present so I’m not forcing relationships, collaborative bid-work, and/or other opportunities that are not there or have low chances to work out. I’ll ask BPC staff to keep me honest on these “present” activities.
5.      Practice Perspective Determine what is the best and worst case scenario of the situation. Weigh the pros and cons. Consider if the worst is really that bad and get to what scares me (Will I run out of projects/contracts? Is BPC seen as a valuable and credible industry partner?).   If this project didn’t move forward, did I cause it or can I control any of it?   Are there realistic ways to suggest and help it come to fruition? If it is not meant to be, did I respond and handle myself accordingly to look forward to another day/opportunity? How can I communicate effectively that although disappointed I understand and accept? What could BPC do differently next time? I understand that ordinance and governance constraints for procurement, having the right fit organizationally to a potential bid, knowing the market/how competitive it is, and having the right timing, experience and credentials all are very large factors in going for and winning a bid with a collaborative partner. Graciousness in accepting and communicating this will be the key as I continue to look for more opportunities. I’ll also “ask” potential collaborating partner specifically about the types of opportunities they look for when going for a new project. Then I’ll keep my eyes open for it.
6.      Identify Why They Worry Ask myself why am I worried? I’m worried because I want to be engaged on nationally impactful projects with strong partners that have credibility, cultural responsiveness, and large impacts. I want BPC to be seen as a critical subject matter expert as well as a compassionate and collaborative partner to clients/participants. I want to move beyond the stereotypes of a small business so that funders and key partners more regularly look to BPC as an important partner in an initiative. See also #5.
7.      Focus on Solutions See 1-5. Also using immediate past or current projects or products to help promote BPC. These can leverage into new partners or projects as well as being able to share resources through social or other networks. This helps BPC be seen as someone who cares and shares resources on various educational, economic development, and Native American topics. Continuing to focus on today and having faith as the challenges, opportunities, or other activities/contacts that come up EACH DAY are chances to reach out and move 2015 goals forward. Understanding that faith/intention makes this happen as equal partners to planning/execution/hard work.
8.      Practice Confidence When I’m in challenging situations, I know that I can practice self-confidence and trying new things. All action items noted above show new things BPC is trying in 2015. I’m also working on self-confidence away from the office too by taming my inner critic (replace negative self-talk with a positive mantra), reading self-health materials (like the Body-Mind Connection), and seeking out self-confident and positive people at the workplace, socially, at home, and as colleagues.
9.      Take Risks In 2015 I’ve been working on the “ask” part of my sales. I’ve put my guard down more, taken riskier moves (like bold “asking”) but focused on the potential for reward. By asking more with a sincere request, noting where potential partnering organizations are similar in vision to BPC, and doing reflective listening I’ve received better information and invitations to move deeper into four organizational collaborations already in 2015. Additionally by producing an evaluation book chapter that was published by an international publishing agency and through co-PI of a Congressional study or several national reports with larger organizational partners I’ve found my voice a bit more and have increased confidence a little in claiming my subject matter expertise and BPC’s need to find synergistic partners.   By taking the risk to communicate confidently and accurately (not bragging) what BPC brings to the table and that BPC has choices and is looking for similar collaborators has opened several new doors in 2015.
10.  Service, Compassion, & Gratitude BPC provides service by working with and not on people during projects. BPC has given time, resources, and staffing to serve on key initiatives and work groups or boards as needed. BPC writes thank you cards and just because cards to show humility and that we value relationships. BPC has two new initiatives targeted for 2015 to assist community-based projects locally in WI and on one of the Reservations near to BPC’s office. BPC is also committed to mentoring new Indigenous evaluators for 2015-2017 through Nicole’s new American Evaluation Association Indigenous TIG Leadership role as co-Chair of this international Indigenous evaluation group.
Ø  Bonus: Exercise Regularly BPC started a monthly focus for all staff in 2015. In January it is teambuilding through after work yoga classes one time per week.   Each month will be a new focus and the BPC staff will share finding new themes to show collaborative leadership and ownership of healthy initiatives being carried out with the BPC workforce.


CALL FOR PAPERS “Middle West Review Special Issue: The Indigenous Midwest”

The Middle West Review, a new interdisciplinary journal about the American Midwest published by the University of Nebraska Press, will be publishing a special issue focused on the Indigenous Midwest. The journal aims to generate interest in critical study of the Midwest as a distinctive region and to provide space for scholarship that moves beyond the homogeneous narratives of settler patriarchy that dominate popular perceptions of the Midwest. The special issue seeks scholarly essays that work at the intersection of Native American and Indigenous Studies and Midwestern Studies.


The editors are particularly interested in essays that emphasize the U.S. Midwest as Indigenous homelands, as a series of historically contested borderlands, as a region that continues to be structured by settler colonialism in the present, and as a site of Indigenous endurance and resurgence within and beyond both reservation and urban communities. The editors are also interested in submissions that explore Indigenous experiences in the Midwest as they intersect with issues of multiraciality, class, gender, and sexual orientation. Analyses of environmental problems affecting Indigenous communities are also welcome. The temporal focus is open across all time periods and submissions are invited across all scholarly disciplines.


Article submissions should run between 6,000 and 10,000 words (including footnotes) and must follow the Chicago Manual of Style. Review essays that engage multiple books that have recently been published in the field, exhibitions, events, or multimedia should run between 2,500 and 5,000 words. Photo essays with accompanying artist statements are also welcome.


Submit manuscripts by September 1, 2015, via email to the co-editors, James F. Brooks (jbrooks@history.ucsb.edu) at the University of California-Santa Barbara and Doug Kiel (doug.kiel@williams.edu) at Williams College.

CFP Indigenous Midwest

The Struggle to Apply Advice A.K.A. Low Anxiety

nicole bowman bowman performance consultingHabits of Low Anxiety/Anxiety Free People—An Example to Put this in Action!! (Part II)

By Nicole Bowman, President, Bowman Performance Consulting

*read Part I

Small business owners are always weighing opportunities with risk, profit margins with reinvestment back into the business, and exploring ways to leverage opportunities, sustain professional relationships, and to strengthen business networks for expanding collaborative partnerships for future initiatives.

The continuous thought and behavior processes of a small business owner got me interested in clicking the link and fully reading a recent Nature’s Sunshine blog (http://blog.naturessunshine.com/) written by a blogger named Dan Bischoff. The article was called, “10 Habits of Anxiety Free People” (http://blog.naturessunshine.com/10-habits-of-anxiety-free-people/). It focuses on ten general suggestions that are good but could be applied to many situations.

Taking from my recent business experience, I thought I would give it a shot and try to address his suggestions with a local application. Hopefully my applied example and business context provided here will give others inspiration to take a few more of the articles you read in 2015 and try to apply them locally. I’m going to try to do this quarterly for 2015 so I am not overwhelming myself or my capacities. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

That being said, I understand and believe that some worry is good and that nobody lives a life totally free of worry and anxiety. As many before me have more eloquently stated that it’s not the challenge, worry, or anxiety itself… but what you do with it. Once a challenge, anxiety, or worry (plural or singular, larger or smaller) plops itself right smack in the middle of your day or life, how will you handle it?

Here’s my real-life situation: I want to build more collaborative client relationships by building key organizational networks and project opportunities vs. simply responding in an individual manner to bidding, networking, or other marketing opportunities.

I recognize that BPC is a very impactful (but small) organization with subject matter expertise in culturally responsive evaluation, education, business, and capacities to work with (or help others work with) Tribal governments, Indigenous communities (rural, urban, or Reservation), and Tribal people/children on nearly any topic.   To leverage BPC’s subject matter expertise for a larger impact I must find medium to large organizations that have:

  1. Larger capacity than BPC does but may have an organizational or market need to address the areas that BPC happens to be a subject matter expert in
  2. Share a common mission/vision components with BPC
  3. Have an organizational culture/philosophy that demonstrates they value small business partnerships
  4. Is a recognized and respected leader in the appropriate field or industry based on past performance.

The tradeoff here is moving to a business philosophy of having fewer, but more meaningful relationships with long-term projects, partners, and clients instead of having many projects with partners and client relationships that end when the funding stream runs out.

This is a hard sell in my mind and emotionally because practically it shouldn’t be as tough to do as it feels, especially when you’re used to having 12-15 clients and are down to 5-7 clients. Most of these are long-term partners with high potential to continue working and collaboratively searching for the next opportunity together. And we all know 5-7 good projects can be much more manageable and profitable than 12-15 projects. Fortunately that has been the case for BPC. But it’s just getting over that number and age old question of “how many projects or clients do you have?” It’s really a mental shift and an emotional shift as you make your way through the natural day-to-day ups and downs of a business.

*Stop by next week for Part III and what BPC is doing to reach our goals.

BPC President Shares Struggle in Application of Good Advice

New Year's Resolution: Bonding and Lowering Stress with Coworkers

New Year’s Resolution: Bonding and Lowering Stress with Coworkers

Habits of Low Anxiety/Anxiety Free People—An Example to Put this in Action!!

By Nicole Bowman, President, Bowman Performance Consulting

I’m the President and Founder of Bowman Performance Consulting (BPC) in Shawano WI. BPC is a scientific research, evaluation, and business consulting firm offering services to public, private, Tribal, and non-profit clients nationally. As part of my work being the leader of BPC (www.bpcwi.com) I often scan online and print articles, newsfeeds, social media postings, and other online sources of information to keep on the pulse of what’s happening in my industry.

My social media newsfeeds are filled with business, academic and other self-help articles that put the daily challenges we have as humans and professionals into perspective. Articles range from philosophical to theoretical to spiritual and at times, practical. We feel good in the moment, reflect on what we read, and say, “Ahhh I’ll have to remember this the next time XXX happens or when I’m feeling XXX.”

The problem is we rarely get back to these articles when a situation or circumstance calls for it. We don’t put the article to the test by moving the suggestions into locally applied action. This gap from reading to local application may be due to: resource constraints (time, money, human, etc.); the urgency of the situation we’re currently going through (real or perceived); and/or lowered capacities of a small business to go back and find – or – actually do what the article or resource suggests we do.

We may use these articles as a self-analysis tool and reflect to make ourselves feel better. “Well I’m doing most of these so why do I still feel so rough or uneasy?” Well folks, I’ve been guilty of this—for nearly 20 years! Often the article serves as a feel-good inspiration in the moment, helps us reflect for a minute to reframe our current situation, or can be shared and reposted with others (thus reflecting the perception I might really be doing this so I wanted to take the time and pass it along to others).

These are not necessarily negative things but certainly information can (and should) more frequently be taken to the next level: local application (even if in small or partial doses). Today, soon after the start of 2015 when goal setting is abundant, I’m addressing how to put more action into a noteworthy (but general) blog that I just came across.

Stay tuned for more!