Participants

The route to creative and sustainable enterprise is as unique (and in some ways as similar) as the clients we serve. So our offering must be highly customized. One way of describing our work is to describe our typical participant groups. There are four…

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Senior teams

This is most often 6 to 10 executives, offsite for a day or two, directly focused on the business and its needs – perhaps creating a new preferred future, aligning the resources required to make that future real, and making decisions collectively. This is outside the day-to-day, working on the business rather than in the business. Sometimes the biggest need is simply time.

The session design is co-created, often informed by our individual participant research. During the session we shift in real time, responsive to what happens and what needs to happen. We facilitate dialogue, ask difficult questions, push the conversation, and upload tools where needed. We lead in two-person teams, and we are not passive facilitators. Where appropriate, we bring our experience forward, share leading practices, offer strategic advice, and collaborate in tactical solution design.

The most successful senior teams have made this a habit. It is part of the business cycle and a leadership routine, meeting two or three times a year in facilitated collaboration. The process is dynamic, intensive, and rich with breakthroughs.

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Pivotal leaders

This is most often 20 to 35 leaders from various points in the enterprise, offsite for a two-day learning experience. It may be one-time, or the cohort may participate in a series of three or four leader development experiences over the course of a year. The content is designed in collaboration with the HR team, based on our enterprise research, and entirely focused on what is it time for. Content ideas can be found here. Our design principles are here.

We lead in two-person teams. All our work is powerpoint-free and binder-free. The learning is experiential: participants will demo, practice, reflect, sense-make, and action plan. The learning is applied: new leadership tools are demonstrated using real-life examples and current business issues. Peer learning is crucial: dyads, triads, and small group interactions are designed into the flow. Creative process, improv, physical movement, and contemplative practice are used to create memorable experience and develop whole brain leaders.

Learning experiences are rich in skill development and designed for behavioural change. Leaders take new tools to work the next day. The cohort learning group becomes a strong alliance, particularly over a series of learning experiences, becoming beacons and champions of change.

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Conference learning

This is most often 100 to 500 enterprise leaders and key contributors, offsite (sometimes at a resort), at an annual or special-event conference. We design and deliver high-energy, deeply memorable, produced learning experiences. It’s about learning and fun. All participants engage in the same catalyzing experience, with a shared message and connection.

Anything can happen – boxers in a ring demonstrate the importance of coaching, 200 leaders as a choir experience the path to collaboration, martial arts provide a feedback method to demonstrate mastery. We have deployed playback theatre, improv, music and voice, top-performer video, and Santa. When the enterprise wants to drive real change, this is a great opportunity to show-don’t-tell. The organization and its senior leaders demonstrate openness to new ways of thinking/ doing/ being.

This is also the most cost-effective leader development, and an elegant solution for organizations that are geographically dispersed. A learning upload leverages conference expense. The event might kick-start a new direction, drive key messages, or make the story real in minds and hearts. Leaders are engaged and energized, with a renewed sense of purpose and deeper connection to the enterprise.

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Executive coaching

This is most often a senior leader (or a high-potential) in strategic dialogue with one of our team. The conversation is somewhere between an hour and a day, and continues at regular intervals over time. Occasionally the work is 2-on-1: two coaches working with a leader, or two leaders whose relationship needs focused attention. We work in person, by phone, and sometimes in real time during a team session. We coach only as part of a larger engagement with an enterprise.

We come to understand a lot about what is and isn’t going well in an organization. That inside knowledge is invaluable in coaching. We see a leader in action with peers and direct reports. Feedback and assessment tools also help to clarify strengths and development needs. Sometimes the leader is underperforming, and will improve or decide it is best to leave. Other times the leader is preparing for succession, or at a high-leverage point in the enterprise, or struggling to align with team or strategy.

The methodology is more than appreciative inquiry – we apply leadership and business experience, tell the truth, problem-solve, connect the dots, and break up logjams. The work raises individual leadership capability, driving business results and the greater good of the enterprise.

Note on impact

We are most effective in partnership, working over time in all of these places within an enterprise.

Note on facilitators/ learning leaders/ coaches

All of this is led by our core team. Over the years, we have attracted, vetted, and curated a wide range of industry talent. We seek whole-brain learning leaders with first-hand experience of best practices. We use feedback and coaching to continuously develop. All team members bring extensive experience in business or creative fields, excellence in adult learning and development, and the x-factor essential to those who seek to affect change in others. For an introduction, see our team.