Services: Executives

Improve your bottom line while making a meaningful impact on the lives of your customers and employees.

You get it. Business results are critical, but doing that in a way that improves the lives of your customers and employees is just as important. And it can feel like a lonely quest sometimes. The good news is that you’re not alone.

We work with executives across industries to help them unlock the creative potential of their people. Not only because that inevitably improves business results, but because it helps people thrive.

Our mission is to make work more fit for humans, and humans more capable of doing great work. We help you shape the systems, structures, and culture of your company to better align with what we know about complexity and human psychology. This, in turn, increases engagement and creativity, enabling your people to do their best work. And an engaged, creative workforce delivers better products and services to your customers, resulting in better business performance:

Click to see what our executive clients have done with Humanizing Work’s help

Theraspecs, Hart Shafer, CEO and Annette Zinky, COO
Firstroot, Luke Hohmann, CEO
Pharmavite, Vivian Rhoads, BU President, Women's Health
Travelers Insurance, Nicole Forsythe, Associate VP

We offer five key services for executives:

Leading Organizational Transformation (LOT)

It is a massive undertaking to change the systems, structures, and culture of an organization. We’re dealing with human behavior and psychology at scale here. Our Leading Organizational Transformation (LOT) workshop is structured in five 1/2 day sections that can be delivered back to back over two and a half days, or spread through a week to allow leaders to take a more bite-sized approach to learning while freeing up half days to not be away from work for an extended period. The 1/2 day sections introduce the five key ideas and their related skills used by the most effective executives we’ve worked with. Each idea is like a different lens on leading transformation.

    1. ComplexityThe first 1/2 day introduces the Cynefin model for understanding the different problem domains faced by each organization and the different strategies and work styles they imply. We link the principles from the Agile movement to the Cynefin model to understand where it fits and why.
    2. Three Jobs of ManagementUsing a set of inspiring case studies, we introduce the Three Jobs of Management model, which answers the question: “In organizations that empower their people, what do the managers do?” This section contains the same content as the introduction to the full Three Jobs model described below.
    3. Leading ChangeThis section introduces three key ideas related to change. First, that we can use resistance to change as a resource, rather than fighting it. Second, that resistance comes in three layers. And third, that change in complex systems cannot be analyzed and planned, it must take a test and learn approach. In this section, leaders work in small groups to propose a specific change in the organization and take it all the way through the content, resulting in immediate change experiments to run after the workshop.
    4. Leader as CoachOne of the Three Jobs of Management is to increase capability in the organization. This half day teaches leaders the basic skills needed to coach well by mindfully moving between six roles:
      • Partner, which involves agreeing how to work together with those you’re coaching
      • Investigator, where you ask powerful questions that neither of you know the answer to ahead of time to help the person discover new options
      • Reflector, where you share things you notice about the person that they may be unaware of
      • Teacher, where you offer to share mental models or distinctions that you know that the person doesn’t
      • Guide, where you help the person explore the possible actions they might take
      • Contractor, where you help the person commit to a specific action, and agree how you can help them follow through
    5. Personal Leadership Development

      In this final section, we shift the lens from outward (focusing on the organization), to inward (focusing on the self). In order to change the organization, we frequently need to consider how it is simply a reflection of our own beliefs and behaviors. We introduce the Leadership Circle Model and learn how moving from a Problem-Reactive stance to an Outcome-Creative one shifts the culture of organizations.

The LOT workshop qualifies participants for the Scrum Alliance Certified Agile Leadership Essentials (CAL-E) and Organization (CAL-O) credentials. Scrum Alliance is a widely recognized membership organization with the mission of transforming the world of work. Check out our interview with former Scrum Alliance CEO Melissa Boggs below.

Leadership Team Launch Retreat

Leadership teams are teams. But they’re also different from a typical product development team. As such, they require special attention to design, launch, and sustain.

Our 2-day Leadership Team Launch Retreat is designed to get a leadership team going in the right direction. We support leadership and team development by facilitating the building of relationships within the team, aligning on the team charter, identifying what the leadership team hopes to accomplish together—and separately— and maximizing the collective horsepower of the team while maintaining focus.

We draw on complexity science, the research on team effectiveness, Agile principles and practices, our own Three Jobs of Management model, and various other sources. And we adapt these to inform our approach to the unique challenges of leadership teams.

The Leadership Team Launch Retreat is divided into 4 parts:

      • Part 1: Cynefin, Complexity, Leadership Team collaboration vs. Leadership Team member coordination
      • Part 2: Clarifying the Team’s Purpose, Vision, and/or Strategy
      • Part 3: Building a Leadership Team Working Agreement
      • Part 4: Events, practices, and tools to collaborate & coordinate effectively

The Leadership Circle

The Leadership Circle Profile is the most powerful model we’ve seen for helping individual leaders understand their current leadership strengths and weaknesses, and importantly, where they should focus for their individual leadership development. The Leadership Circle Profile (LCP) is a 360° assessment tool helps executives collect feedback on how their leadership is impacting the organization. Using the LCP 360° as input, we debrief the results with each individual to help them pick the “One Big Thing” they will focus on in their personal development over the coming months. When a group of leaders takes the 360° at the same time, we love doing a team debrief of the “One Big Thing” goals, helping the team create shared accountability and creating shared language around what type of leadership we want to create collectively.

Executive Coaching

The LOT workshop and the Leadership Circle Profile introduce key mental models for how to lead effectively. But like any skill, it takes practice to gain mastery. We provide ongoing executive coaching for a select group of leaders with two primary focus areas:

      1. ongoing leadership development, to work on your “one big thing,” and
      2. organizational improvement, to help you get unstuck as the new ideas bump into the ongoing challenges of your day-to-day work.

Contact us to inquire about availability.

The Three Jobs of Management Series

Our Three Jobs of Management series goes deep into the key jobs and skills of effective management. Designed as a series of workshops with practice in between, each workshop introduces a new key skill in effective management for empowered organizations.