About Adaptive Capacity

What We Do and Why We Do It

We’re here to help solve problems. We’ve seen many great ideas fail to flourish not because of a lack of passion, but for want of strategic process. We started Adaptive Capacity to help teams build project management process and get things done!

Our approach to project management improves project success through these values:

  • Developing clarity about projects and responsibilities
  • Building employee buy-in
  • Understanding and valuing what each client and each employee brings to the table
  • Creating, managing, and maintaining effective process
  • Fostering adaptivity for effective response in an ever-changing world
Group brainstorming

Adaptive Capacity: the ability of a system to adapt in a changing environment with minimal loss of function. This ability is determined by the existence of a flexible process, creative problem solving, and an awareness of the needs of all stakeholders.

The Adaptive Capacity Story

Idealists in love set out to change the world

Shannon and Charlie both got jobs right out of college with a nonprofit – Shannon as a writer and editor, and Charlie in the IT department. Shannon’s computer kept breaking, resulting in an unusually high volume of helpdesk calls. We were married a year later. We were drawn to each other’s passion for making the world a better place, sharing inspiration for nonprofits and organizations dedicated to living out their mission.

There’s gotta be a better way

Fast forward to several happy years later, Shannon engaged in editorial work and Charlie immersed in technology and operations. Independently, we each began to experience frustration at work about the many interesting and powerful ideas that never bore fruit. Our conclusion: many organizations suffer from systemic problems that prevent projects from successful completion.

Kids, they ruin… er, I mean change everything!

Adding kids to our family changed our view of “work” and “life.” We were frustrated by the idea that one parent should miss out on professional fulfillment while the other missed out on deep and meaningful engagement with the family. So, Shannon took the opportunity to complete her graduate degree and got a part-time job. Meanwhile, Charlie began our first family business. Charlie primarily operated the business, and Shannon was a supportive (yet silent) partner.

Those without vision do everything

Running his own business, Charlie was able to work from home and spend more time with Gabe. Though we both knew that without a specific vision, it’s easy to try to do “everything,” the family business took on jobs related to IT, programming, design, strategy and marketing in order to get the business off the ground. We figured we’d get to the mission and vision stuff later. (We also had another baby boy born.)

Finding our passion: maximizing success through process

Many late night conversations later, we realized that at the root of everything we were doing was an opportunity to improve process. (Shannon had to be convinced. The word “process” sounded too boring!) We restarted the business as Adaptive Capacity, this time, as partners. And we started the same way we recommend our clients begin any new project: with a compelling vision, a clear purpose, and a desire to make the world a better place.

Meet the Adaptive Capacity Founders

Shannon White
Shannon began her career as a writer and editor, working in nonprofit organizations and children’s book publishing. Her love of words is only matched by her love of people, which inspired her to broaden her expertise into marketing and communication. After earning her Master’s in Communication, she began a personal journey toward holistic health, and found work that combined her passion for people, wellness, and communication. Through communication strategy and content marketing, Shannon thrives when she can foster personal connections and help people people better reach and engage their customers.
Charlie White
In 2012, after a 14-year career in nonprofit technology and governance, Charlie began consulting with visionary organizations. His interests are simultaneously varied and focused. He brings his liberal arts background, technical skillset, and theological training to myriad disciplines, including leadership consultation, IT management, creative writing, and data integrations. Charlie's favorite job is a tossup between "husband" and "parent," both of which offer ample opportunity for further creative applications of his background.

Let’s Get Things Done!

We'd love to hear about the projects you are working on, and share our expertise to support your goals. Contact us today to get started--one of our consultants will be in touch within 2 business days.

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