What Clients Say

At the end of a recent engagement, one of the participants walked up and, after exchanging pleasantries, told me that “you really sell yourselves short on your web site.” The outcome he witnessed was so much more than what he expected from “another workshop, another facilitator.”

I asked him, “Had I told you in advance that we would come this far in 36 hours, would you have believed me?”

His reply – “No.”

Typically, client groups will, if they can measure by time, tell me that they did six months to two years worth of work in the course of a couple days workshop with us – that’s typical, not exceptional. The exceptional group (made up almost entirely of executives) told me that they had done seven and a half years (and a half??) worth of work in a day and a half.

But you’re just visiting – so there’s no way you’re gonna believe that. That sounds too much like the M word.

So…to give you some flavour of what it’s like to work with us, I offer up this page. For context, at the end of most engagements, I will ask three questions of the participants, and I will pass the talking stick around. Anyone can speak or pass, and can say whatever they like when they are holding the stick, whether they’re the new intern or the CEO. Following is a fairly representative sample of what people say while holding the stick, cobbled together from books of proceedings throughout the years.

What Happened? 

  • An incredible amount of work was done.
  • When I showed up, I expected no outcomes. I figured this was just another workshop; just another waste of two days. But something fundamentally different happened. I can report back on an unexpected success. There is an impetus across the nation to make this happen now. Something actually shifted in the last two days – something mattered, for a change.
  • We’re actually aligned – and we were all along. We have different perspectives, and we use different language, but we have the same issues, the same cares, and we want the same outcomes.
  • We had a very straight-forward, honest dialogue.
  • We developed a rational framework. And we all agree on it. I didn’t think that was possible.
  • It became obvious, at a point, that we could no longer see one another as “the enemy”. We shared exactly the same cares, the same goals. We couldn’t pretend any longer.
  • This was a day and a half of structured chaos. I didn’t see the structure when we started, but looking back now – my god, it’s brilliant.
  • We actually accomplished something here. This wasn’t just a meeting – this was a watershed. We will be able to look back on these two days for years – we will be able to tell our children and grandchildren about them. Something ACTUALLY CHANGED here.

What’s Different?

  • This is the first time I’ve actually heard your side of the story.
  • There was no silent faction.
  • It was fascinating to watch the amount of useful work that was done here. Everyone – I speak for myself but I’m looking at the rest of you – is exhausted. We did an amazing amount of useful work.
  • I expected to listen to a bunch of “blah, blah, blah” bullshit. Your focus on a shared intention made it real, encouraged us to collaborate. You asked us a question about something we actually gave a shit about.
  • For once – we didn’t get caught in the weeds.
  • Full respect – I’ll say it. For once, there was full respect – everyone, to everyone, from everyone. There was full respect in this room. That was different.
  • We finally have an answer to the question that is NOT ABSTRACT.
  • We did much more detailed work than I ever would have expected.
  • I’m very impressed with the leadership and responsibility in this room.
  • A Working Group with a deliverable – who would have thought!
  • Practicality. Honesty. Respect. Passion. We need more of that. What we just had for the past two days; we need more of that.
  • We’re a LOT closer together in our points of view than I had thought.
  • Such convergence!
  • I was quite pleasantly surprised. We actually achieved something tangible. This was very, very useful.
  • I witnessed a fundamental adjustment in the understanding of the situation on behalf of everyone in the room.
  • I’m excited – I’ve finally seen the potential that is possible when our group is allowed to work in a way that is actually human.
  • I’m amazed how much honest communications took place.
  • The degree of clarity and direction – it’s amazing.
  • I have a much broader perspective than I did before.

What’s Next?

  • We did a damned good job and I have something concrete to take back to my Ministry. I’m proud of all of us, and I’m proud of what I can take home.
  • We have clarity, we have alignment, and we have common goals. We even have agreed-upon action plans. There’s nothing left to do except “git ‘er done!”
  • We have work to do – let’s go.
  • The negative water cooler chatter – it ended here. It ended today. Enough whinging – we have work to do. Let’s go.

Other thoughts

  • Face to face was essential. There’s no way we could have teased through these issues electronically. NO WAY.
  • Coming together was invaluable. It would be impossible – simply impossible – to do this work remotely.
  • This…was…awesome.
  • I’m kind of “old school”, so some of Phil’s campfire approach – come and go as you wish – sort of stuff really didn’t sit well with me at first. But it’s obviously of value. We couldn’t have done anything remotely near this if we hadn’t let it run exactly as it did.
  • We didn’t do the work that was prepared; instead, we did the work that needed to be done. I respect a facilitator who can turn a workshop on its head to meet the needs of the participants.