How We Work

We enter each engagement with curiosity and openness, so no two engagements are the same.
However, there are some predictable steps to most engagements:

Entry and Contracting

Typically, we are called in by an executive who has an opportunity to explore or a problem to solve. We propose a variety of methodologies and options for proceeding, some guidelines for how to make the decision, clarify expectations about desired outcomes, negotiate an appropriate role for the executive and leadership team, and identify additional resources and collaborators within the organization.

Data Collection and Diagnosis

Typically, we interview the members of the leadership team to get to know them and to understand their perspective on the problem or opportunity, and then feed back to the leadership a summary of the data and our findings. Many times, we'll work with the leadership team or a subset of it to sharpen up the organization's understanding of the problem or opportunity. If needed, we reach out to other organizations which have addressed similar concerns and conduct benchmarking interviews or site visits.

Develop Options and Recommendations

Thinking techniques, we work with project teams to find the outer edges of the "envelope of possibility." In the first stages, no ideas are bad or too wild, as we try to invent solutions and opportunities never imagined before. Sometimes, we work with project team members to solicit "reality check" feedback on emerging options. Then, working explicitly with the executive and leadership team, we develop criteria for evaluating possible solutions, apply the criteria to the options, and agree recommendations.

The Decision to Act and Implementation

Many times, we will work with project team leaders and members to plan a process of presenting recommendations to key people within the organization and stakeholders, and a detailed implementation and communication plan. The options and recommendations are reviewed with the executive and the leadership team and considered in a well designed decision meeting. Once there is agreement about the desired option, then the implementation plan is developed, including roles and accountabilities of key players.

Evaluations

As the implementation plan proceeds, we work with the project team in developing measures and milestones to monitor their progress. As mid-course corrections are needed, we work with the project team to reformulate the implementation plan, paying particular attention to performance measures and implementation accountabilities.

Our Tools Include:

  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Action Research
  • Whole System Methodology
  • Future Search
  • Open Space
  • Group Decision Support System