Strategy is just a hypothesis until it works. We get you to the working part sooner.
Right. But how?
So glad you asked.
We teach leaders and teams who want to deliver on their outcomes how to respond better to change, solve complex problems, and get more done.
Whether you are just learning about agility or are ready to more deeply integrate agile values across your entire organization, we will teach you how to get real work done by doing real work.
My name is Brandi Olson. And after a decade of working with leaders and teams at organizations from Fortune 500 companies, universities, and nonprofits, the most important thing I’ve learned is that a good strategy is only as good as the real work it generates.
This is why leaders hire strategists like me. It’s why they spend small fortunes on education and consulting and team building and conferences, and…and…and…
But again and again one theme runs through: At the end of an engagement, it’s still hard to make change. Why? Because leaders can barely tune-in. They miss pieces of great info, because they’re simply busy and the work doesn’t stop just because they decided to do some training with their teams. Then they wind up heading back to work even farther behind than they were when they started.
But what if you could learn, get real work done AND come out AHEAD?
What if you could build skills and solve problems AT THE SAME TIME?
This is what we do in Real Work Done Sprints (click to learn more about this).
Real Work Done Sprint are short, multi-day engagements (offered virtually and/or in-person) where we do learning, strategy, and doing. Bring a problem, solve a problem. Put agile principles into action. Get the real work done. They are offered both privately in your organization, or publicly with leaders from other organizations.
EXPLORE OUR THINKING
escape the productivity trap
“We had record breakthroughs in operational efficiency last year, but our client complaints went up.” Margaret, director of client services at a workforce training center, went on to tell me that the chair of the board was thrilled with the cost savings while still being able to serve more clients. “I think we are missing the point,” she sighed.
Margaret’s not wrong. There is an invisible and powerful cultural message that more with less is always better and that productivity is a goal unto itself. This is the Productivity Trap. The Productivity Trap mindset was at work in Margaret’s company and the costs were growing, but none of it was showing up on the quarterly balance sheet.
Edwards Deming called these kinds of costs “heavy losses.” They are hard to evaluate and measure, but devastating all the same to the good work we are trying to do and the people at the center of it.
As an organizational designer and agile coach, I teach this, consult on it, and even write about it. And I still get sucked into the Big Productivity trap (you know, that productivity industrial complex peddling products and advice that only benefit the companies selling productivity)….
EXPLORE OUR THINKING
Servant Leadership In Action: The Language of Outcomes
“But really, what does that look like in action?”
Joyce, a newly promoted marketing director, posed this question at our very first leadership coaching session. We had been exploring the power of servant leadership–leading from a place of confidence, empathy, and service to others. The look on her face revealed that she was intrigued, but still baffled by how servant leadership shows up in real life.
In her new role, Joyce was asked to give monthly updates to her executive vice president. Every month, Joyce prepared a few slides and offered a 10 minute presentation of her department’s progress.
These monthly updates presented Joyce with a fantastic opportunity to practice servant leadership, by flipping the expected script of a status update.
The updates that Joyce’s executive leaders were used to focused on tactical to do lists:
What’s the scope?
What’s the budget?
Are we on time?
Scope, budget, and timeline give limited information, and it’s all focused on action. Action is good, but those details give us approximately zero data points about the results….
“My whole company fell in love with Brandi because of her energy and expertise. I’m still in awe about how so many of us shifted our thinking in such a short time.”
“I learned more from my time with you than any other professional training I have ever done. Thanks for bringing fun and clear understanding to our Agile journey.”
“I thought it would be good, but it turned out to be EXCELLENT! Everyone was engaged and learned so much from the interaction. So many great things that came from our sprint with you. THANK YOU!!!!!!!”
“It’s hard to find workshops where you leave with tangible tools. Brandi taught my team a super easy-to-use tool that we can use on our own now. Brandi is able to take complex ideas and challenging questions and put it into something that is easy to understand and take action on.”
“Working with Brandi rejuvinated our board and leaders. Personally, my eyes were opened in a totally new way. We walked away with action done and many more tools to enable our agility.”
We have done real work with some really great clients:
Ready to bring a Real Work Done sprint to your organization?