We approach standard training courses and educational programs both with a method bias toward experiential learning, and with a content paradigm of co-creative leadership. Whether we are covering the fundamentals of motivation or leadership or marketing, we teach the basics in a context of collaboration and building influence.
We also have a strong bias toward the participant learning to understand the ethical and value based issues of any topic area we cover and discover in their own values the basis for their actions and decision making.
As technical professionals rise in organizations, they find that there are two things which just don't make sense: people and money. They just don't behave in the rational patterns that technical professionals have learned. Our basic level of education in this area is to overview basic business topics with special focus on the aspects of that field that most confuse and frustrate technical experts. So, we overview accounting and finance as a data management process taking time to explain things like the time value of money and cost allocation in a way that makes sense to engineers. We overview economics seeking to break them of the conviction that something is worth what it costs. We introduce marketing and explain how design and production choices can strongly influence marketing dynamics. Basically, we prepare participants to collaborate more effectively with other departments. When necessary, we can utilize other associates to deliver advanced topics in any of these areas.
These sessions generally review classic tools and concepts of strategic thinking such as Michael Porter's Five Factors and SWOT analysis. The courses often include discussion of a preferred strategy approach or book, such as Jim Collins' Good to Great or Clayton M. Christensen's disruptive technologies in The Innovator's Dilemma. We balance coverage of the routes to excellence in various functional areas with a strong paradigm that illogical and disjoint gimmicks tend to be the core of organizational success, so we drive participants to discover and invent synergistic dynamics among functions. Critical to discovering such "gimmicks" is effective collaboration among people whose expertise only partially overlaps. When possible, the course is built around strategic issues of the client organization for immediate real world impact.
Broad based strategic and business knowledge can greatly improve the ability of organization members to achieve strategic and tactical success, but people live and act in a broader context, and need to be able to handle the resulting conflicts and confusions. While it is somewhat helpful to review morality based ethics cases, managers operate in a far more confusing context. Law, morality, ethics, economics, and company goals often conflict. It gets even more confusing as decisions are subject to multiple legal jurisdictions, the conflicting moralities of different cultures, and the conflicting ethics of different professions. Effective decisions can only be made when managers and professionals are not only aware of the conflicting criteria, but have a solid understanding of their own personal values and beliefs. These courses are designed to give people a solid understanding of themselves, their life goals, and their values, so that they can make decisions and take actions they will be proud of.