WE ARE COMMITTED TO ENSURING THAT THE UNIQUE NEEDS OF EACH CLIENT ARE MET. FOR THIS REASON, WE DON'T OFFER "ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL" APPROACHES TO OUR WORK. LET US KNOW WHAT IT IS YOU SENSE YOU NEED, AND WE CAN TALK ABout the best approach for you.
The organizations leading the way today recognize that leadership is best distributed throughout an organization, not centralized at the top. This means offering leadership development opportunities to nearly everyone, which we believe creates a more meaningful work experience. After all, everyone has lives to lead and all the better if we can support good leadership in work and life. Connection Works supports the creation and implementation of robust, holistic, and impactful leadership programs in a number of ways.
Often reserved for executives, we have found that coaching at any level of an organization can help individuals get “unstuck” and find more meaning and engagement in their work, unlock their leadership potential, understand their next steps, and contribute more in their role. We view coaching as a highly personalized process that values the journey as well as the destination. We work with individuals who are:
In the middle of a significant transition that is impacting how they are showing up (in their work role, or in their lives);
Trying to understand what is newly needed in how they show up as a leader – those times when what “used to work” no longer seems to;
Navigating a challenging situation with another individual, and who are trying to understand what they can do themselves to show up differently.
And much more.
The most relevant leadership simply isn't taught through traditional training methods. We support organizations in building leadership development programs that are unique to their own needs, in service to organizational culture they want, and integrated with people’s day-to-day work experiences.
Our approach to leadership development is built upon what is known as the “3 E’s of Learning."
Education– Working with your organization’s training department to ensure it is helping you deliver on your business strategy, foster the culture you want, and helps people understand their path to growth.
Exposure– Looking for opportunities across your organization and/or external networks to cultivate social learning through special projects and peer-to-peer forums for discussing work challenges.
Experience– Crafting on-the-job experiences, such as job shadowing, job rotation, stretch assignments or interim positions, that intentionally support the learning and immediate application of new leadership behaviors.
We work with you to design a leadership development program that is agile, relevant, and capable of supporting your organization’s most critical needs.
Teams matter – probably more than we can imagine, and certainly more than we’re currently attending to them in organizations.
Teams are where people make sense of and respond to the challenges they face. They’re where people create community and metabolize change (or not). They’re crucibles of trust and conflict, grounded by purpose and fed by aspirations of how great things could be. They’re where identity is co-created and meaning is made. They’re vibrant little ecosystems where value is created and organizational goals are brought to life.
It’s curious, then, that we mostly neglect them. That we primarily focus on the “parts” through individual personality assessments. That we invest so disproportionately in the team leader rather than the team itself.
Using the Team Elements™ model, app, and methodology, Connection Works helps teams have the conversations that they need to have now in order to take their team effectiveness to the next level. Team Elements gives teams an engaging and reliable way to rise to their ever-changing challenges in ways that keep the team productively focused on both interpersonal and operational realities. It equips teams with the tools, data, and capabilities necessary to integrate conversations and actions about team effectiveness into everyday work and while staying focused on business results.
Team Elements is data-driven, which allows a team to see how their profile of team strengths and weaknesses changes in response to their challenges, shapes their experience, and impacts their results. Seeing their team data change over time allows teams to see their progress – and to stay focused on what matters as their work together unfolds.
It really doesn’t matter if your team is falling apart, or excelling in just about every way – there is almost always a conversation that the team can have to reveal new possibilities.
Culture is not something big that's made small – rather its something small that's made big. Instead of approaching culture change as a huge initiative that is driven or cascaded down from the top that is complete when we come to the end of the "change management plan," we approach culture change as a series of small shifts in the interactions and conversations that happen every day, everywhere, between everyone. Small things matter.
Like we are learning from the complex patterns that occur in nature, "simple rules" of interaction can reliably produce aligned yet emergent systems. Consider the starlings pictured here – researchers discovered that individuals following 3 simple rules produced beautiful, complex systems – called murmurations – that could collectively respond to its environment within moments. Imagine having your own set of organizational simple rules that supported the creation of a resilient and responsive organization.
We help leaders bring people together to talk about the culture they desire, identify the patterns of interaction - the simple rules – that will cultivate that culture and the patterns that will get in the way. We then partner with you over time to help build people's capabilities to practice, assess, and adjust to what emerges along the way – from your learning to your marketplace.
Facilitation is much more than ensuring a meeting stays on track and is productive. Ultimately, facilitation is ensuring that the group in the room has the right conversation for the moment – a conversation that only they can have. We do a lot of work with clients that on the surface looks like creating a meeting (or series of meetings), ensuring that they happen smoothly, and reporting back the results. However, this work is really about creating conditions in which people engage with each other, develop new habits of connection and communication, and generate results that can only come from talking together. We particularly love working with groups around things such as:
Strategic planning: If we're being honest, a strategic plan is really just a "functional fantasy of the future," but that doesn't mean we shouldn't make them. We can help you create a process to engage in strategic planning that will be useful in a VUCA world so that you can wisely respond (not react) to the change and surprise you are sure to encounter. For a sneak peak of how we approach strategy, check out this article from friend and colleague, Keith McCandless, describing how strategic planning is liberated from old ways of thinking. We’ve had great success with this approach and the 6 Questions To Generate A Shared Strategic Narrative.
Purpose, Vision, and Values: Simon Sinek said it best – "Start With Why". At the heart of our work is a need to know why what we do is important, where we are headed, and what matters along the way. We can help you design and facilitate the conversations that get at the heart of the matter at your next workshop or off-site.
Problem solving: These days the problems we face tend to be wicked, requiring us to get in a room and think together. However, if we think (and talk) in the same old ways, we'll get nowhere fast – except frustrated and stuck, likely rushing to familiar actions just to do something, anything (though sometimes this can work!). We can help you think together about your wicked or not-so-wicked problems in new ways so you can pretty quickly get to a set of new, next wise actions.