A set of simple revelations led to a revolutionary approach
Founding members come from diverse backgrounds: consulting, entrepreneurship, technology, education, corporate training. In talking about our experiences across these contexts a common theme emerged: the most important lessons happened on the ground, not in the classroom.
Throughout our careers, we recognized that leadership inside organizations is like going on an arduous hike. We looked for answers everywhere from an executive coach to a consultant to a professional development session to our neighbor – but the truth was, we needed each of these people depending on the circumstance, because what we actually needed was a Guide.
When extraordinary leaders are interviewed at the end of their career, people often ask them what they are most proud of. The most common response is the leadership, opportunities and growth that they enables for others. We agree that this is the largest legacy any leader can hope for, and not just at the end of their career. Here’s why: change isn’t real until the student becomes the teacher.
We have a different way of working with individuals and organizations. So what does that look like?
We use the power of process to help teams create the environment for healthy organizational behavior. Group behavior is taught via personal experience, so our process-based content is meant to be used regularly. As you do you'll build shared language, drive shared understanding and ultimately teach people how to behave effectively inside the organization.
Expect to be asked to follow-through on, apply, or practice what you learn immediately. There will almost always be pre-work or homework, and it will always be applicable to your real life (at home or at work, usually both).
We are not consultants, and we do not sit in ivory towers. We don't simply offer advice. We teach, we coach, and when necessary we model. We love to help you predict what's around the next bend, because that's what good Guides do.
We don't coach, facilitate or train in silos. We strategically and methodically introduce a new method, process or focus to the organization, and work with the team to integrate that concept throughout the entire organization at the same time. As a result, we only coach entire layers of management or leadership at a time and need all managers to engage in the content simultaneously.
SYSTEMS CHANGE TAKES A SYSTEM-WIDE APPROACH
The Guiding Model℠ works across an entire layer of leadership, which means that all leaders use the same language and implement the same system across all departments at the same time. This level of alignment across the organization is what creates systemic change.
APPLIED LEARNING BUILDS STRONGER MUSCLE MEMORY
The Guiding Model℠ gives each leader a dedicated coach that helps guide them to mastery of the new practice by doing instead of listening or watching others do. This 1:1 personalized support drastically improves both how quickly individuals master the skills required and builds deeper understanding of the nuance within the practice.
STUDENT BECOMES TEACHER
To ensure that the new practice is sustainable and owned by the organization, the last phase of each cycle is intended to embed the practice into the DNA of the organization by having the executive co-train and co-coach all managers across the department on the new practice. The organization now owns the ability to onboard new managers and team members to the practice area indefinitely.
Like everything we do, developing The Guiding Model℠ has been an applied learning process over many years. We continuously tweak it to improve it’s application to specific modules, specific industries and specific types of organizations. But in short, it is the collective experience, research and best thinking of our organization on how to help people and companies grow quickly, effectively and sustainably.
We work directly with executive leadership and what we call Layer 2 Leaders (basically anyone who has formal authority to lead a team). We indirectly work with everyone in the organization, because every practice we help those in authority master opens up communication, collaboration, and full-team engagement.
This is the beauty in The Guiding Model℠. Leadership picks a module, which is designed to integrate a new practice within the entire organization over a 12-week period.
We start with the executive team, introduce the model or practice or system, train them, then provide 1:1 coaching to each executive until they have mastered the concept. We then help them train up those in formal leadership within their department, and coach those folks 1:1 to master the same concept.
Lastly, once all managers have the skills they need to run the model, we help the team embed the model into their DNA so they don’t lose the practice as people shift, new managers come onboard, etc. Then we move on to the next module. Over what usually is ~2 years, the organization is transformed into a living, breathing, Organization of the Future!
Yes. Definitely, yes.
In fact, the larger the organization, the more transformational this work can be. It is so difficult to create systems-level changes in larger organizations, and our model is designed to do just that, with precision and guidance.
Our Organizations of the Future is customized for each organization we work with, and fees are based on the size of your organization, the number of people who the organization selects to be coached 1:1, and how many modules they’d like to run at a time inside the organization.
We work with organizations for a minimum of 1 year, though we offer a full refund for any organization who isn’t decidedly a fan after the first 12-week module.