One must embrace the chaos within
to give birth to a dancing star.
-Nietzche
Call for a consultation (no obligation), US: 617-275-5706; UK: 0203 295-2051
Call for a consultation (no obligation),
US: 617-275-5706; UK: 0203 295-2051

Building a Business?

 

If you are building a business or an organization – of any size – then you know how lonely it can be to make all the decisions and carry all the responsibility.  Or perhaps you and your partner(s) never quite make time for more than the most critical conversations, and it's time to engage in longer-range planning. Or maybe you're ready to take what you've been doing to the next level.  Or you could have been at it a couple of years, proven the concept, gone past survival mode, and now need to start putting systems in place, thinking about staff development, establishing a culture, and a growth path.  This is one of the places having an executive coach and team facilitator has proven so valuable to so many.

 

Executive Coaching

Coaching is a vehicle to take you from where you are to where you want to be. It is not therapy, counseling, or a course of instruction. It is a process of identifying – with a professional ally – who and where you are now, who and where you want to become, and the steps to take to reach your destination, with an agreed accountability model to help you make and keep your commitments to yourself.

I tailor my services to each client.  Components typically include 1:1 or team coaching; assessments (the ISPI™ or a customized 360); consulting services (Marketing, Strategy, Business Development, Operations, and Communications, either delivered myself or in conjunction with my colleagues); the Bigger Game®, Shadow or Body-Centered Coaching, career coaching.  Once it is clear we have achieved your goals, a completion session and on-going support as needed.

Once you've completed the Coaching Self Test, we first have a complimentary chat, so I can understand what would be useful to  you.  Depending on your circumstances and needs, I might then suggest an assessment, you might want to dip your toe in for three months (my minimum), or it may be clear that a year of executive coaching will serve you best.

As your coach, I ask tough questions, in service of you achieving your goals. I become your "thinking partner", committed ally, sounding board, and cheerleader.  Together we design an alliance for how we work in partnership, brainstorm new ideas, create a plan for achieving your goals, and I keep you accountable for those pieces for which we agree it would be useful.

 

Team Facilitation 

I present both pre-packaged programs, as well as "bespoke" programs developed for a particular team or to address a specific issue. Both types of workshops can be held in person or, where cost-effective and appropriate, by phone.

Pre-Packaged Programs

ISPI™ for Teams or Groups  The ISPI (www.innovating.com/innovation-strengths-preference-indicator/) helps a team understand who they have on it, what kind of people resources they need on it, and where the gaps are.  It starts with an on-line test that surfaces in 20 minutes (measuring a person’s cognitive, affective, and conative preferences) what it used to take numerous tests and a day's worth of debriefing to compile.  I typically debrief each person on a team in a one-hour session per person, after which there is a minimum of a one- to two-hour session, depending on the size of the team or group and the complexity of the challenge they are facing). We look together at the team's profile, and use it to begin discussions about what is working, what is not, and how to address the gaps.

Bigger Game®  The Bigger Game (www.thebiggergame.com) is inspirational, aspirational, and powerful.  It helps a team focus by identifying their compelling purpose or vision, then breaking that vision down to identify the elements of what it will take them to achieve it. It basically gives people a roadmap to follow, a game board to use as a metaphor for the on-going work that it takes to make big and lasting change happen.  We might run an internal Bigger Game process for your executive team, and/or for a few teams with which you and yours interact.  The Bigger Game is a powerful approach to innovation and change which has been used by Fortune 500 companies and individuals around the world.   Where useful, I can provide follow-on coaching to be sure the changes have fully landed and embedded with the participants.

Dimensions of Leading  This brief, experiential look at leadership uses partner dance as a metaphor for leading and following. It is one of my most popular workshops, ideal for groups in academic as well as business settings, to stimulate energy and inspiration when groups have become lethargic or stuck. Dimensions of Leading stimulates conversation and new learning, and works well across cultures – some of my most enthusiastic participants have been in China and in Poland, where each time it was offered in translation.

The Mastery of Self-Expression This program is performance-oriented, experiential, and ideally done over a weekend with a group of 8 or more.  It is intensive, a deep-dive into emotions and their expression, and the energy which can be generated from them, as well as how to channel that energy in positive ways; very invigorating and freeing.  I watched someone literally jump for joy once during a Mastery, and have over and over seen (and had myself) powerfully transformative experiences come out of it.

Power at Work  This is a three-day experiential investigation into power and spirituality in the workplace. Where does your power derive from, and how clean is that source?  I once offered this at a management college, where it was a catalyst for tutors and staff to bridge the differences in their roles and forge new understandings.

Bespoke Programs

A sample bespoke program was for a US healthcare organization whose priorities had grown unclear amidst rapid growth. The team lacked cohesiveness. The founder wanted increased commitment to the organization's founding values and principles. Her vision for the workshop included helping new team members learn the organization's history, and enabling all team members to identify lessons learned in their three years of working together.

During a series of half-day "on-site retreats", we identified top-of-list tasks necessary to achieve the next stage of expansion, and clarified the organization's historical roots. Once the management team all had the same information, it became clear that the rest of the organization also had gaps in historical awareness. The team created a program that conveyed where the organization came from, the values it was built upon, and where it is headed.

We also gathered feedback from the management team around a series of matrices - e.g. inclusivity, organization and structure, openness to change and new ideas from within - which formed the basis for new initiatives and an action plan to be implemented over the next quarter.

 

Executive Retreats

My executive retreats reflect my overall approach to leadership development. They are experiential, reflective, and paced by the individual participant and group with which I work. Catalysts for Change is my flagship retreat. I also create customized retreats on request.

Catalysts for Change Busy executives find it difficult to make time for reflection, continual growth, and development. Catalysts for Change is a five-day experiential retreat for senior-level international executives to explore issues of power, leadership, and vision with like-minded peers. We video-tape role-playing of current work challenges, then "sculpt" what change might look like, having done various exploratory exercises to expand participant's thinking about their options. We complete with a visioning exercise to identify "next steps".

The first time I offered this retreat, I had a few participants who were experienced facilitators. One told me four months later that rather than "disintegration on re-entry" as he and his colleagues termed their oft-repeated experience, he found the impact of our work together growing stronger, to the point that it was remarked upon by colleagues and family.

(Note:  Attendance at Catalysts for Change is by invitation only)

These are some of the services I offer at this time – I am continually adding new ones, and I always tailor what I do for the engagement, so it will look different for each client, organization, and set of challenges or opportunities.