Open Door Advisors

Propel your vision forward. We get you there.

New approaches to persistent challenges at the leader,
group and organization level.

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Great work transforms people and organizations.

Our distinct brand of consulting empowers people to grow, build
and lead highly effective organizations.

Organizational effectiveness
starts here.

Organizational Development

Our premise is that no organization is quite like another. We meet you and your team at the moment and in that space where you need a trusted, external advisor to make sense of it all. We work side-by-side with you to empower you and your team with pragmatic and thoughtful solutions. Our approach is grounded in validated research and innovative practice. Our end-game is your organizational effectiveness.

We advise social impact champions.

Social Entrepreneurship

We are not new to this work. Our expertise is deep and long-standing at each phase of an organization’s lifecycle. Leaders of some of the most iconic social entrepreneurship brands depend on Open Door Advisors to help them navigate the strategic and operational challenges inherent in double and triple bottom line companies. Our clients measure results in economic, social and sustainability terms and we understand what it takes for them to do their best work.

Our services

What we can do for you.

When you want more—more performance, more impact, more revenue, more outcomes—we get you there. Learn how.

  • Achieve growth and scale

  • Assess impact and performance

  • Maximize and retain talent

  • Lifelong learning and development

  • Secure the future

  • Informed social impact

Achieve growth and scale

Big ideas need impeccable execution. We move ideas into action. From feasibility analyses to business plans, we have the know-how and the tools to design, build and scale your organization and its— impact.

  • Strategy development and alignment
  • Executive coaching
  • Feasibility assessments
  • Business and strategic plans
  • Organizational design and redesign
  • Team effectiveness
  • Conflict management
  • Crisis management
  • Turnaround management

Assess impact and performance

We are experts at assessing performance so you can achieve impressive growth at all stages of your organization’s lifecycle.

  • Assessment of organizational practices
  • Business performance
  • Social impact
  • Talent management
  • Conflict competencies

Maximize and retain talent

The most successful organizations align each facet of talent management with strategy. We guide you through any or all of the steps. Talent management practices make or break your organizational success.

  • Talent management systems development
  • Board development and relations
  • Conflict management
  • Executive coaching

Lifelong learning and development

We are ardent believers in the power of lifelong learning. We catalyze leadership and potential through learning, development and training programs, which promote new knowledge and problem-solving for your organization’s most important goals.

  • Executive coaching
  • Leadership, board and team meeting facilitation
  • Leadership, staff and team training on key organizational effectiveness topics:
  • Board development
  • Conflict management
  • Financial sustainability
  • Innovation and “next” practices
  • Social enterprise
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Strategic management
  • Succession planning
  • Talent management practices
  • Team effectiveness
  • Workforce development

Secure the future

With our proven brand of financial sustainability planning that emphasizes workable solutions, your investment and social impact will be viable for the long haul.

  • Diversifying revenue, revenue mix optimization
  • Financial sustainability planning
  • Management strategies for long-term viability

Informed social impact

When you are ready to realize your potential for transformative social impact, we open doors for you. For corporations, associations or individuals looking to leverage their time and talent with a new social impact platform, we advise you from concept to launch.

  • Strategy development
  • Impact assessment
  • Identification of high impact opportunities for investment

A Fresh Approach

Our clients.

Our clients are high impact companies and organizations. Our subject matter expertise spans multiple private and nonprofit industry sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, food, higher education, social impact and social justice, environmental sustainability, research, government, and associations. We are based in Chicago and work throughout the U.S.

Current or recent clients include:

7 Knots Spirits
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
Alternatives for Youth
ChiCAT - Chicago Center for the Arts and Technology
Chicago Foundation for Women
Chicago Institue for Psychoanalysis
Chicago Women’s Health Center
Dade Legal Aid
Delta Institute
Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse
Ford Next Generation Learning
Girls in the Game
Greater West Town Community Development Project
Hispanic Housing Development Corporation
Housing Action Illinois
Illinois Community Action Development Corporation
Inspiration Corporation
Investing In Communities
Jane Addams Resource Corporation
League of Chicago Theatres
Links Hall
Pierce Family Foundation
Purple Asparagus
ReBuilding Exchange
State of Illinois, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
Street Level Youth Media
University of Illinois at Chicago
UJA Federation of New York
Voice of the City
Illinois Collaboration on Youth
Corporation for National and Community Service
Hot Bread Kitchen
Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine
U.S. Department of Labor

Our Capability

A trusted alternative.

We are independent advisors who value uniqueness and diversity. We leverage our deep experience in tandem with validated research to accelerate our clients’ growth, impact and effectiveness.

Lauri Alpern, PhD


Cody Engle


Lauri Alpern, PhD is a leading organizational development and social entrepreneurship strategist and advisor. She is president of Open Door Advisors, which she founded in 2009 to help high impact organizations achieve organizational effectiveness. Throughout her career, Lauri has led numerous companies through growth strategies, resulting in new levels of efficiency, revenue and social impact. Lauri is a national expert in the social entrepreneurship field working with clients to plan and manage the triple bottom line of mission, money, and sustainability.

Lauri is a problem-solver and her clients rely on her for trusted advice and guidance at pivotal moments in their growth trajectory. Lauri is recognized for her integrity and enthusiasm for positive change. Open Door Advisors’ client list includes iconic social enterprises Inspiration Corporation’s Inspiration Kitchens, Hot Bread Kitchen and the ReBuilding Exchange as well as numerous government agencies, associations and a range of high impact companies.

Earlier in her career, Lauri served with distinction as assistant commissioner for the City of Chicago Department of Economic Development in the administration of Mayor Harold Washington with a portfolio centered on jobs and neighborhood-based industrial development.

Lauri is currently a Ph.D. candidate in business psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology where she is specializing in organizational development strategies (completion 2016). She has a master’s degree in urban planning with a specialization in economic development from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is certified in Lean Six Sigma and Conflict Dynamics Profile, a conflict management tool. A lifelong Chicagoan with a passion for travel, Lauri serves as a member of the board (and former board president) of Growing Home, Inc., a nonprofit social enterprise, and Chicago’s first urban organic production farm.

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S. Cody Engle has been an agent for positive change in corporate and not-for-profit organizations for more than four decades. As a founding member of Sam Zell’s Equity Financial Group, Cody was responsible for the acquisition, redevelopment, remarketing and disposition of all manner of real estate and non-real estate properties. His agility in grasping the structure and dynamics of enterprises as diverse as shopping malls, cruise lines and nursing homes enabled him to provide significant returns on investment throughout his commercial career.

Since the mid-90s, Cody has consulted nationally and internationally in organizational development, financial restructuring and growth for not-for-profit and entrepreneurial enterprises. With his exceptionally broad experience as a CEO of public and private companies, he brings a clear-eyed understanding of what is required to structure for sustainability and growth.

As a principal with Open Door Advisors, Cody brought his analytical and creative talents to bear primarily for social enterprises, organizations that employ and train individuals who seek to enter or re-enter the workforce.

As a an activist board member and philanthropist, Cody has served as Chair, Board of Visitors, University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities; Board of Trustees, Chicago Humanities Festival, Treasurer; Board of Directors, Victory Gardens Theater, and The ReBuilding Exchange.

He currently serves as a Director for the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis; Laguna Playhouse and Laguna Beach Live! (Treasurer), presenters of live musical performances.

Having earned both a degree in Economics and a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan, Cody is able to bring a broad perspective to organizations facing organizational, financial and communications challenges.

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We are proud members

Our social capital.

These organizations are committed to making a positive impact in the world and we are proud members.

Division of Consulting Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 13
Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 14
Social Enterprise Alliance

Ready to take the next step? We’re here to make it work.

770 North Halsted Street, Suite 105, Chicago, IL 60642