Champion Spotlight: Sitting Down with Dolan Research International, An Interview

"The reality is that the greatest challenge we face is self-doubt and fear. "

- Johanna M. Dolan, Founder & CEO



I almost said that the biggest challenge we face today is money and time. You know, it makes sense that greater financial resources would give us the ability to pay for staff and space, which will create more ability for capacity. While that’s a challenge, it’s not the biggest.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you face today?

A: I almost said that the biggest challenge we face today is money and time. You know, it makes sense that greater financial resources would give us the ability to pay for staff and space, which will create more ability for capacity. While that’s a challenge, it’s not the biggest.  The reality is that the greatest challenge we face is self-doubt and fear.  Which means that my greatest task as the CEO of Dolan is to build a culture that eradicates those mental blocks for Team Dolan and the people we serve.


Q: What are goals in the next year you’re looking to achieve?

A: Our goals for the next year is to build capacity to be able to train 5000 recovery care team members a year; develop our case management and recovery coach services; and build out the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Value in Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Demonstration Project within the Partners In Care Network at the Medical Home Development Group.


Q: What do you see as necessary to solve your challenge and achieve your goals?

A: We need to make constant and never ending improvements by reminding everybody on the team, both internally and externally, that this is a team effort and we're not alone. No one on this team is alone, including me, and we are going to win the day if we stay consistent, persistent and keep our goals in front of us. That is how we take our dream and give it legs. Streamlining our communication amongst the team, our clients, and trainees is key to supporting us in this.


Q: What first excited you to work with Gloo and become a pilot partner on our Engagement Solution, which includes three applications, Assessments, Journey Studio, and Spaces?

A: The thing that most excited me was, I could see how it would automate a lot of the things that were taking us hours to do. I could also see that it would help our participants to engage more in our new virtual world, because they were struggling too. Just like everybody else in the world, we had to do a hard pivot into online training and recovery support services when COVID started. That meant there was a lot of stuff that people were not picking up on that they would normally pick up on an in-person class. Having the structure of a product like what Gloo offers supports us in making certain that everybody gets what they come to us for. Everybody gets a community based engagement experience where they walk away with knowledge; a firm sense of, “yes, I'm so glad I did that”; and a community that grows with them that they can engage easily. I also love the team at Gloo. I love working with Jori and Steve, they're amazing



Q: Do you see Gloo’s Engagement Solution helping to take part in solving your biggest challenge?

A: Absolutely, I do.  It gives us back our time in multiple, massive ways. It reminds us that there is always a solution - those solutions conquer self-doubt and fear. 

We no longer have to play telephone or email tag with our clients. When a client uses the growth plans, they have access to a dashboard which they can use from the moment they join a program.  At any point - even after a program ends - they can reacquaint themselves with any training material at any given time. So, let's say that they want to revisit or brush up on a concept from Recovery Coach Academy, or there is something from a psychoeducation program that they want to be able to access, but it's midnight and they can’t locate their manual.  With the Growth Plans they go to their dashboard and they download the material they want. That is life changing for us and for our clients. This component also has a ripple effect. By putting this information in the hands of our clients they can access and utilize this necessary information in real time while working with their clients or members of the recovery care team. And that changes lives! 


Q: What successes have you seen so far?

A: We do a lot of recovery coach training and direct patient care. One immediate success is when conducting CCAR training.  CCAR uses an online classroom management software, called Protraxx.  We were playing tag with people to get them to complete their Protraxx registration. It was a fruitless activity for us to spend time on. By adding it to the Growth Plan, trainees just do it. Trainees also have to complete quizzes and assessments after every training session, and we were playing tag with that too. We don't have to do that anymore. The checklist feature is very effective. The Growth Plan with Journey Studios provides them with the resources that they need for completing each step along the way in any class, whether it's a positive psych class; a motivational interviewing class; or psychodynamic group coaching they have everything they need in one location. 

Q: What about engagement? Have you seen improvement?

A: Yes!  Our clients are no longer frustrated, which means they are engaging with us and each other (when appropriate) more. They no longer have to keep track of multiple links to accomplish their goals. Engagement is much higher for all the classes, training, and groups we offer. We hold a monthly mastermind with Dolan Academy participants. We’ve found the same to be true with that meeting as with our other offerings.  


Q: As a pilot partner, what changes to Gloo’s Engagement Solution have you influenced?

A: Possibly the addition of the AI text program, Climb?  We were seeking a solution for engagement between events that Climb has the ability to offer us.  The ability to automate information via text reduces information fatigue for both us and our participants. 

The Gloo Assessments, the way that they are right now, we're not able to use them because they do not gather information per person. We need that individual information for clients to assist us in supporting them - no matter why they engage with us. That one change is going to help us in massive ways. 


Q: Where do you see Gloo innovating the most?

A: The addiction recovery space is very fractured.  People have gotten used to it - Gloo can change that.  

I think what’s  innovative about Gloo is that they're taking successful things that are done in the church space, especially the mega church space, where they're used to working with 4000 to 6000 people and maybe even multiples of that - taking what they've learned there and applying it to the addiction recovery space. I think that in itself is innovative, because we're talking about a multiple million person problem that Gloo is working to solve by making the information and resource sharing simple and accessible. 

I've heard statistics that there are 23 million people in recovery. Well, that means that there's at least two or three times that who are seeking recovery but are not able to get it. Gloo can change that. SAMHSA, I believe, has said that there are 1.1 million counselors that are going to be needed and there are 1.4 million recovery support specialists and recovery coaches that are going to be needed. That is the equivalent of these mega churches where Gloo is already functioning. We need to be able to broadcast information in the same way without bits and pieces of the message getting lost. The Gloo platform, using the learnings that have been gathered from the church space, can completely make that happen. 


Q: What would you tell other programs considering working with Gloo?

A: I would say, give these folks a chance. Give them a call and see what happens. It's the best decision that we've made. Even if  we only use 1% of what Gloo gives us, it's worth it. It's already changed the way that we do business, the way that we connect with people, and it has saved us money and time which enables us as a small organization to reach the most people and help change lives because really, that's what this is about. 

About Dolan Research International

Dolan Research International exists to provide innovative, personal and diverse training to organizations and individuals around the world. Our highly trained coaches work to inspire and support people so that they can move, and help others move, from barely surviving into the thriving life they dream of.

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