When working with the leaders of an organization – of a department, a business unit, or a whole company – Kenning starts by taking a close look.

Leaders articulate their top culture concern – a lack of resiliency, for example; teams not working well together; or top performers leaving. Using a diagnostic, we canvass a cross-section of employees at all levels to create a collective picture of the challenge. What’s working and what isn’t? What ideas are out there for making things better? What mindsets are preventing change?

Synthesizing the results, we work with executives to map the whole system – the current culture and the overall business strategy. We guide them to define a culture that would better support the strategy – a learning culture, a collaborative culture, or a culture of innovation.  With this aspiration to align around, executives have a clear leadership declaration and can point the way forward to an effective change program.

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After a full diagnostic – and with a leadership aspiration in place – we supply supports to start shifting the culture.

  • Team-based efforts. Through iterative exploration, we help teams pinpoint the barriers and counter productive behaviors that need to be addressed to reach the aspiration; through team coaching and peer-facilitated working groups (the Prodromos approach), we ensure that individuals are empowered to shift policies, procedures, and systems as needed. To be effective in this effort, teams often need to build skills in collaborative conversations, or find new ways to problem solve together, and we foster that learning.
  • One-on-one support. For individuals facing a challenge, we offer coaching to help them navigate their unique options, examine what degrees of freedom they have, and find ways to unlock personal capacity. Team members who find that they need to change longstanding habits and operate differently with colleagues receive coaching to help them make a real shift.
  • Leadership contributions.  For senior leaders invested in fostering change, we offer coaching and advisory support.  We coach executives to show up in ways that support the effort and can develop key communications as part of a full change communications strategy.

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Kenning offers workshops that encourage team members – and team leaders – to step back and explore what’s going on with the team.

Our interactive, experiential programs explore team culture and the contributions made by each member – boosting self-awareness and fostering appreciation for how people differ. We introduce approaches that deepen collaboration, increase the speed and quality of outcomes, and create a more satisfying work environment.

Depending on the need, we can lead sessions based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Birkman Method, and the Immunity to Change methodology.  Our Kenning-developed Team Effectiveness programs include:

  • Balcony Conversations Workshop
    Drawing on 30 years of applied research, this workshop inspires leaders and others to make a fundamental shift in their interpersonal communication. Role-plays and video recording help participants find better ways to listen, increase transparency, build trust, lead joint problem solving, and, ultimately, make better decisions.
  • Systems Thinking Workshop
    The actions of individuals impact the work of others in complex, sometimes surprising ways. This workshop shares a methodology for mapping the systems within organizations and then looking for points of leverage to improve them. Participants discover a powerful way to work better together for stronger performance.
  • Coaching for Results, Mastery, and Growth Workshop
    Managers know they should help the members of their team develop, but few make it a priority or do it systematically. This workshop addresses the barriers to coaching as a manager and gives practical, step-by-step approaches for establishing and maintaining a meaningful coaching relationship with direct reports.

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Role-specific skills are only the beginning of what organizations require from their people.

Employees at all levels need to derive insights and communicate effectively inside and outside the organization. They need to plan and lead effective meetings. And they need to engage in problem solving to answer critical business questions.

Kenning teaches the techniques that leading consultants and top performers use to achieve high-impact results. Our Business Skills workshops are interactive and hands-on. We minimize lecture and maximize experience. And while we have tried and true approaches, we prefer to tailor programs in collaboration with clients to make sure the investment delivers the maximum return.

Kennings’s core Business Skills programs include:

  • Strategic Communications Workshop
    This workshop goes after the pain points of PowerPoint-driven communication: too many pages, too many words, too hard to find the point. We show participants how to synthesize insights from raw information, create pyramid-style storylines that target audience needs, and develop more visually effective communications that focus on what matters.
  • Executive Presence Workshop
    For us, having presence means showing up with a clear message, a collaborative mindset, and a physical embodiment – including voice – that instills confidence. Through video recording and immediate feedback, workshop participants understand their current strengths and set goals for further growth toward a stronger, more authentic executive presence.
  • Facilitation Workshop
    Not getting value for time spent in meetings? This workshop offers proven frameworks for facilitating effective meetings, whether live, virtual, or a combo of both.  Our comprehensive approach covers pre-meeting preparation, running the meeting from open to close, and best practices for post-meeting follow-up.
  • Consultative Problem Solving Workshop
    We take teams through the analytical process – including the frameworks, skills, and mindsets – used by the world’s leading management consulting firms to tackle strategic problems.  This multi-day workshop is light on lecture; participants do most of the learning in small groups, working through an off-the-shelf case, or one tailored for you.
  • Operational Problem Solving Workshop
    In this multi-day program, we introduce mindsets, tools, and approaches for understanding operational challenges and achieving operational excellence. Participants practice using sense making and systems thinking to learn from and influence stakeholders with different priorities. They leave prepared to jumpstart a problem solving effort tackling a real operational opportunity.

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Kenning leadership coaching clients reinvent themselves, their organizations, and their industries.

Drawing on decades of training and experience, our coaches forge deep partnerships with the people they coach, tailoring each engagement to specific needs. We deploy customized learning disciplines – including adult development theory, sense making, and perspective taking, as well as interpersonal skills. Our focus is developing both the inner game (mindsets, reflections) and the outer game (behaviors, skills) of leadership.

Our leadership coaching clients stand out in three ways: 1) They grow as individuals through transformational self-discovery that empowers them to build authentic and intentional leadership styles; 2) They become great people leaders and build organization capacity by developing and inspiring others to reach their full potential; 3) They perform at the highest levels, leading and managing effectively to realize the mission and vision of their organizations and achieve business objectives.

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Executives and emerging leaders turn to Kenning to enhance the core communication skills that can make or break a career.

Kenning communications coaches take a pragmatic approach, drawing on expressive techniques field-tested in management consulting and theater training. They identify specific goals and coach through a series of sessions to build capacity for self-awareness and self-correction.  Coaches measure improvement by collecting feedback and comparing baseline to recent performance. Our goal is to enable every executive to bring her or his best self to work.

Clients we have coached on communications effectiveness project enhanced presence and gravitas.  They have greater confidence when delivering formal presentations and are more effective when answering questions in any setting.  They tell compelling stories that enable more rapid decision making and craft logical, well-structured written documents.  We help clients break the grip of longstanding habits and unlock new potential.

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