Wisdom Councils: Make Extraordinary Leadership Your Competitive Advantage - Management Training, Executive Coaching, Change Management

Teams Services

Strengthening the Bonds of Leadership: The Call to Council

Providing on-going Organizational Development Consulting

1. Reshaping the Way We Work: Boards of Directors

To meet the challenges of the economic crisis, corporate boards must change the way they work. The attitudes and dynamics that characterize how boards are use to working tend to reinforce, rather than challenge, current thinking and behavior. Boards must challenge themselves to think things through in fundamentally different ways.

Boards need to jolt themselves awake by trying something different. They need to develop new, authentic experiences that test their presumptions and help them let go of old thinking, behaviors and patterns of working together. This leads to wiser decision making to meet today’s challenges.
Wisdom Councils works with board members to explicitly change the way they interact and stay involved. Changes in practices include:

  • Encouraging members to have the confidence to speak openly when they have a thought, if they have not had the confidence in the past to express it.
  • Finding the courage to relentlessly drive the conversations that may take members into discomfort, where long-held assumptions, existing plans and personal agendas must be discarded.
  • Guiding members into new conversations with new approaches and techniques for addressing challenges which will improve communications and creativity.
  • Expecting members to reach beyond the board to attend gatherings of key stakeholder groups and talk with middle managers.
    Challenging and redefining some fundamental assumptions and expectations of the roles, practices and protocols for engagement and contribution.

2. Reshaping the Way We Work: Executive Committees and Leadership Teams


Leadership teams are being challenged in ways that are unprecedented in the recent past. Now is the time for leadership teams to pause and take stock of their current leadership practices and determine what is working well and what needs to shift.

“Another meeting, with the same people,
in the same room, doing the same thing,
just won’t cut it.”

The world needs leaders who are in touch with changes in their industry and in the global economy. They must be farsighted, and also must be prepared to immediately implement any number of possible scenarios.
Leaders must be aware of the pulse of the people in their organizations and know how to connect with them in ways that keep everyone focused, committed and productive.

Wisdom Councils works with Executive Committees and Leadership Teams to:

  • Create opportunities to increase awareness and effective response to the ever changing landscape.
  • Develop ways to attract and strengthen connection with, and retention of, key talent.
  • Identify avenues to tap the knowledge and contributions of employees to solve problems and keep abreast of looming challenges and issues.
  • Implement practices to keep everyone at the highest possible levels of optimism, vibrancy, and productivity.

3. Using Collective Genius to Shape the Future: Strategic Planning and Goal Setting

Team WorkDespite the challenging times, the strategic planning and goal-setting process does not need to be an exercise in anxiety or futility. Developing scenarios in greater depth, creating strategies that are more dynamic and shorter in focus, monitoring those strategies more rigorously, and remaining focused on the long term will help boost the odds of creating plans that can lead companies through the turbulence.
Scenario planning, intensive monitoring and looking beyond the crisis are three strategic planning tips McKinsey Company advised in their April 2009 quarterly.

Wisdom Councils uses the Council Process and the Four Shields of Leadership to ensure:

  • Leaders think through plans using all of the needed filters.
  • Plans that reflect both far-sighted and shorter term focuses.
  • Stakeholders contribute their knowledge and expertise fully in the scenario-building process.
  • Integrated thinking is used to identify all possible impacts of actions.
  • Individuals feel supported enough to be courageous in speaking candidly when they have a dissenting perspective or position.
  • People come together to stand behind and fully support what they help create.

4. Meeting Old Challenges in New Ways: Problem Solving for Specific Challenges

Some organizational problems just seem too complicated to address and don’t seem to be the responsibility of anyone in particular. Some problems are addressed, but then reappear at some later date. Some problems need the focus of multiple stakeholders, who never seem to be in the same place at the same time. And some problems just don’t seem like a big deal, until they become a big deal.

Unresolved problems impact customer satisfaction, cause drops in enrollment or employee retention, hurt company reputation, create grievances, lessens productivity and damage relationships.New and powerful ways of solving problems provide effective solutions, while empowering and energizing those most affected and involved.

Wisdom Councils develops customized problem solving processes that:

  • Identify and acknowledge those that have the specific gifts and talents to address the problems successfully.
  • Bring people together with different pieces of the puzzle to share knowledge and expertise in open and complete ways.
  • Encourage creative out-of-the-box thinking.
  • Ensure an integrated, effective plan.
  • Support successful partnering between the problem solvers and key decision makers.

5. Conflict Resolution Processes, Strategies and Coaching

Despite the fact that conflict is a normal and inevitable fact of life, few people have training in effective conflict management. Thus, conflicts preoccupy individuals at all levels of an organization. The results of conflict include lowered focus and motivation, emotional and physical stress that can lead to mental health problems, absenteeism, sabotage, tension in work groups, inefficient information sharing and ineffective decision making.

"Listen to the whispers and you don't have to hear the screams."
Cherokee Proverb

The negative results of these dynamics can include lower productivity and performance, less retention of employees, costly litigation, decrease in the quality of services and reduced profitability.
The ways individuals and teams proactively plan and prepare for dealing with contentious and adversarial issues can greatly impact the outcome for all. Good intentions to participate in productive decision making can evaporate quickly when personal agendas and egos are involved. People often have no way to articulate strong emotions such as fear of losing position or power. Anger can arise when a personal value, belief or boundary is crossed.

Wisdom Councils partners with you to provide:

  • Collaboration and conflict coaching for leaders and managers.
  • Team building within and across groups.
  • Conflict management processes and strategies to address, prevent, and resolve conflict.
  • Meeting facilitation to create more effective dialogue, make decisions efficiently and manage difficult conversations.
  • Mediation for organization members in conflict.
  • Organizational assessments that identify the root cause of conflict and its impact on individual, team and company effectiveness.
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Wisdom Councils: Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Retreats, Leadership Development,Orlando, FL, Sedona, AZ and Boulder, CO