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Our Approach

All our work is led by our core team. Over the years, we have attracted, vetted, and curated a wide range of top industry talent. We seek whole-brain learning leaders with first-hand experience of best practices. We use feedback and coaching to continuously develop ourselves. 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.

Senior Teams – Consulting

This is most often 8 to 12 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 quality time to have deep and skillful conversations to align teams around issues strategically critical to the business.

A collaborative and co-created consulting approach to session design, 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 practical solution design in real time.

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.

Key Leaders – Programs

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

The learning is 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 highly interactive and applied: new leadership tools are demonstrated using real-life examples and current business issues. Peer learning is crucial, we believe much of the knowledge leaders hold is resident within the network in which they operate. The use of 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 are specifically 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.

Conference Learning – Produced Learning Events 

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 more. 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 and 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.

 

Futureshop Conference in Atlanta:

Executive Coaching – 1 on 1 Leader Development

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.

Over time, 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 are often used to help 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. Preparing leaders for executive and C-Suite leadership is often a consideration for one-on-one work. This gives the individuals a smoother on-ramp into the role and can often enhance their speed to contribution.

Our executive coaches are seasoned leaders themselves. 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.