Jim Conlon, CEO, Elyssian Energy
Robert Feeney, CEO, Vergence, Inc.
Colonel Soo Lee Davis, U.S. Army Medical Command, Ret
David Scronce, Organization Developent Consultant, Univ. of California, San Francisco Medical Center
What Others Are Saying
Steven DelRosso, Business Leader, W.L. Gore & Associates — “Every year the Enterprise administers an anonymous culture survey to all global Associates. Through this survey we were able to identify that not all Associates were experiencing the positive benefits of Gore’s culture. Numeric scores and written answers indicated that some were struggling getting the feedback they needed, felt they weren’t being heard, were afraid to bring their real self to work and in general were not as engaged as they could be. Working with our Enterprise Human Relations team, I was introduced to Dr. Michael Broom as someone who could help us get to the root of our issues.
He put together a customized version of his program for the plant leadership team and a wide range of Associates – all functions, broad personal diversity and opinion leaders – totaling approximately 40 Associates broken into three teams. We then embarked on 12 day, 10 month learning journey.
A one paragraph summary of the program cannot do it justice, so instead I will focus on a few key results and impacts:
- Increased openness and trust – Through this process the teams became much closer and really learned about each other as unique people, not just as a co-worker. Michael has a great style that creates a safe environment such that all topics can be discussed. He also holds people accountable to themselves and to each other. No one gets away with being a bully or a victim!
- Individual “ah-ha” moments – Many people go through life thinking that treating everyone the same is the meaning of fairness. It’s not until you take the time to think about your personal beliefs and behaviors that you understand that you are looking at the world through a unique lens – the ah-ha moment! Through Michael’s theory of conscious use of self, Associates now better understand why they believe and react the way they do – and why others think and act they way they do. This leads to increased curiosity and a desire to seek to understand before jumping to conclusions.
- Human Systems – For an engineering company such as Gore, it is easy for us to understand that if a small gear fails in a large machine, the whole machine fails. Michael brought his Human Systems analogy to bear looking at our teams, meaning that a team will not succeed unless all members of the team succeed. Thinking this way puts our focus on preventive maintenance in terms of team health, communications, contracting and feedback, rather than assuming everything on a team is fine and only working on performance issues when they arise.
In the year since the program, we have cascaded the principles back into our teams on a global basis. Critical mass has been reached and Associates are now integrating portions of the program in their team meetings and starting their own initiative groups. We have implemented a monthly engagement score to get faster, real time feedback that is presented on monthly scorecards along with sales, profits, safety and quality – elevating its importance for everyone. Our culture survey this year showed marked improvements in scores as well as many positive and appreciative comments for investing so much time and effort into the program. From a business standpoint, I believe the program has made us more efficient through the elimination of team conflict when project stress increases because we take the time to focus on the Associates and teams in the begining, not just the task. We set out to make the Culture real for a small group of Associates, and ended up making it better for all.
I highly recommend Dr. Broom’s program for any team or business that wishes to increase employee engagement, improve team dynamics and grow leadership skills leading to increased business results.”
Willa Gaitanis, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Lead for Change Management “Leading a diverse group to pursue their respective goals is a tall order. Edie Seashore and Michael Broom have discovered that one of the best ways is to achieve this is to “know thyself”– another tall order. Edie and Michael have successfully put together a “Practitioners’ Program” which relies on the ancient practice of conversation. Under the watchful eyes of these two experienced professionals, the group has learned the answers to their individual and group questions lie within each and every person participating. In an atmosphere of understanding and trust, Edie and Michael have instilled the value of “sound and current data”, “feedback,” “appreciative inquiry,” and “systemic thinking”. This course is more than academic instruction. It is an opportunity to internalize and apply principles, to gain insight and knowledge on “how things work”, and to practice, practice, practice.”
Gail Sacconey Townsend, W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc“The Practitioners Program provides an in-depth opportunity to focus and practice on the core values and best practices in the field of Organization Development. The nine-month process focuses on how we influence changes both within ourselves and within organizations.Some specific benefits I have gained as a result of my participation are: • Increased self-awareness about my inter-personal style• Enhanced ability to see more at the systems level• Shared experiences from experienced practitioners• Increased network of capable people in the field
One more very important benefit is: The material we learned can be immediately applied to back to work situations. I found immediate return on my investment of time. We built new friendships and had some fun as well!!”
Mary Kinnard-Brown, Ph.D., Booz Allen Hamilton“Michael Broom is a practitioner’s scholar. His depth of knowledge in the area of Organization Development and systems has significantly contributed to my professional and personal development. Meeting Michael in the Practitioner’s Program has placed me on the road to being the kind of consultant that I want to be… one filled with INFINITE possibilities!
Edie Seashore is a practitioner’s dream! Her extensive knowledge and experience in the field of Organization Development has heightened my passion for the work that I was trained to do. She combines her intuitive gift with her expertise to create a learning environment rich with possibilities for growth and development. She is truly committed to meaningful change in today’s systems.” —
Tony Bennae Richard, CEO, The Bennae Group LLC “Having attended many courses and led many teams (Retired Naval Officer), I found myself looking for training that would further my knowledge of Organizational Development and would allow me to blend my international experiences into a success consulting practice. What I found was the Practitioners Program!! Michael and Edie have joined forces and created a powerful system for those that are serious about consulting (internal and external), have a desire to master the skills of executive level human resources, and want to harness the power that comes with change. Totally sharing themselves, you not only have the benefit of personally learning from two seasoned OD academics and practitioners, you also participate with and co-create a learning support system for life. Practice doesn’t make perfect….practice makes permanent. This program allows you to practice perfecting your skills as you move to the top of your chosen field.
Peter Aron, Facilitator of Adventure-Based Experiential Education“My experience with The Practitioners Program has been profound and generative. Every class focuses on the group’s truth as well as each participant’s truth. We choose the extent to which we will be present. We get to see the result of this choice. Each class is a living laboratory to explore the process of change and the conscious use of self in becoming an ally and agent of change, in ourselves and others. Edie Seashore and Michael Broom are astute observers of human behavior and skillful, caring facilitators. I leave each session stretched, intellectually, practically, and emotionally. Even when I am inclined to “play it safe,” it is difficult to do so, as the program offers me the chance to leap for the ring. The Practitioners Program has a way of both centering us and throwing us off balance, with the result that ideas are clarified, space is opened for new insights and personal awareness, and our consciousness is rearranged.”
Nina Kern, OD Consultant and Project Manager, JBS International, Inc“The Practitioners’ Program is a true learning cohort – a group of us has continued to meet as a community of practice. We’ve built relationships with one another that allow us to challenge one another’s thinking, let our hair down and talk about the un-discussables and what worries us. You can’t do that in an OD “classroom.”
Michael and Edie are tremendous guides, and “show up” as practitioners with you. I think that’s the most unique feature of the program. I learned a lot from being able to ask them, “do you ever get into a pickle?” thinking of course they never do. But their stories about the pickles they have found themselves in and how they managed themselves through those situations were powerful and important to me. Their own quests as practitioners, and those of others in the cohort, opened up new ways of thinking about myself in OD. The Practitioners’ Program isn’t just skill-building. It’s a place where I could build confidence and see that there isn’t just one way “to do OD” and that there was room in OD for me to “use myself” uniquely.
The great thing about the Practitioner’s Program is you learn there are no formulas. There’s nothing like “once you got it down you’re home free.” There is no litany except learning Use of Self Skills. And I’d say that the Practitioners’ Program is all about Use of Self Skills.”
Dorel Shanon, Independent Consultant “The Practitioners Program was an ideal way for me to reflect more deeply on my role as a facilitator and coach. The sessions focused my thinking on particular themes, enabling me to gain a much richer perspective on my work and on my vision for my practice. The personal reflection and group dialogue gave me insights that helped shape my practice in ways that have benefited my clients and me.”