The 10 Engagement Challenges

To go deeper, leaders will gather in small groups where they will customize a package around the key engagement challenges that post-pandemic leaders face. With ten options, these two-hour long sessions are facilitated by experienced subject matter experts, skilled in guiding groups toward unguarded exchange. Our proven, award-winning methodology offers a powerful peer learning experience that builds on the insights from the 1-Day Accelerator and translates them into actions that increase productivity and value. This methodology has contributed to a client organization receiving the Governor General’s Order of Excellence, the highest national award for organizational excellence, as well as a social innovation partnership with Harvard University. Organizations should note that:

  • Each session is a two-hour commitment

  • Groups can include up to ten leaders per group

  • Coaching circles can be done in as few as three sessions, or all ten of the challenges

  • We will help you customize a package just right for your organization

The Format

Leaders work through the following format in each small group coaching circle: 

  • Personalize: we begin group relating as people, first, sharing key experiences and pain points

  • Assessment: we will complete a metric to measure our current understanding of the topic

  • Conceptualize & Discuss: groups will be offered current, evidence-based thought leadership on the topic at hand

  • Actualize: the introduction of tools and skills that lift the leaders’ abilities and create growth

  • Plan: leaders leave group with new behaviours codified and ready to try in the weeks ahead with their accountability partner

Leadership Development
#1: The (New) Leadership Challenge

What did you think you were signing up for when you first took up your leadership mantle? What about now, in light of the pandemic? Many leaders spend years trying to settle their role before they truly understand the true mandate of a leader. It takes skill to integrate operational leadership with complex people leadership, especially when people are trying to recover from hardship. In this kickoff challenge, we’ll get oriented to the new model of  leadership, and we'll re-define leadership competency for a post-pandemic age. 

Virtual Team Meeting
#3: The Belonging Challenge

What is the difference between diversity, equity and inclusion? What are the costs that come when leaders cannot walk comfortably into these waters? In every workplace, there are those whose talent is at the fringe, whose contributions have been pushed to the margins, and who simply don’t feel like they belong to the teams they find themselves in. What is the business case for addressing these issues in the post-pandemic workplace?  In this challenge, we’ll learn how to address this tough social issue in the organizational context. 

Leadership Development
#5: The Wellness Challenge

What happens when workers are put through a massive stress response cycle, all at the same time? Our collective experience of the pandemic ranged anywhere from a frequent burst of stress hormones for some, to wide-reaching trauma for others. Employees are spread across a continuum of wellness. How do we sustain our teams when they face these things? What should a leader not do? This challenge will be a time to integrate important concepts about psychological health, to leadership realities.  

Leadership Development
#7: The Adaptability Challenge

How quick are you to shift gears? What are the early indicators, versus the lagging ones, that signal to a leader that it is time to pivot? How do we appraise both threats and opportunities with accuracy? Adaptable leadership is about sensing, diagnosing and responding to change quickly.  Leaders must be able to sense change early on, and then resist hesitation that can come with the fear of failing. In this challenge, we’ll do some deep coaching on how to push through and make great decisions at great speeds, keeping tandem with the disruption that the pandemic has brought. 

Leadership Development
#9: The Burnout Challenge

Burnout is an "organizational problem, that requires organizational solutions," says Jennifer Moss, burnout expert. Though the language is new, a growing pervasiveness of stress leaves and employee burnout has become more real than ever. Workers are dealing with new and more compounded stressors than ever, dependent on leaders who, themselves, are feeling on the verge of burnout. In this session we talk about what leaders can do to become more aware of this tough issue to prevent and address burnout at work. Click here to see a video overview. 

Leadership Development
#2: The Trust Challenge

Trust within organizations is like a valuably traded currency. When trust is present, leaders have more latitude to take risks or to hold high expectations, and their teams will follow. But, when trust is absent, leaders are forever second-guessed, and their actions viewed with suspicion. We may find it difficult to describe when trust is present, but when it is missing, employees can sense it.  How do we create cultures of trust? How are trust levels in your organization affecting result? That is the focus of Challenge #2.

Leadership Development
#4: The Performance Challenge

On one hand, there are deliverables that the organization requires in order to fulfill the business mandate. On the other hand are real, heartfelt struggles of the worker to getting work done without live time with their team, or while juggling a toddler in the background. In the post-pandemic leadership reality, leaders stand in the middle of these two realities, trying desperately to find a way forward. In this challenge, we will tackle the topic of how leaders can juggle these tensions. 

Leadership Development
#6: The Empowerment Challenge

What's the best way to manage employees in high change environments? The instinct to micromanage and control can be a strong pull. Professionals today require agility to get to the outcome in their own creative way, without being handcuffed by rigid protocols or by inflexible managers. How can leaders help their teams reach their desired outcomes effectively? What kind of mindset is needed to establish true “catch and release” tasks to our teams, shifting actions without making messes? That is the focus of this challenge. 

Leadership Development
#8: The Generational Challenge

Even before the pandemic, there were five generations in the workplace at one time. That’s five distinct value sets, five sets of attitudes toward employment, and five very different sets of expectations. Now, there are five sets of responses to the pandemic. In this challenge, we’ll do some action-based learning about working with mixed expectations, and leading across generations that must work well together.  Leaders will leave with a broad understanding of what motivates these diverse cohorts, and how to "speak their language" in ways that achieve more effective alignment

Leadership Development
#10: The Coaching Challenge

Coaching is the new management. A new essential skill for the toolbox, post-pandemic leaders at all levels now need to coach like never before. How can this be done in a way that helps you manage your team? It is easy to give someone their marching orders. What's much harder is to advance the skills of an employee by asking powerful questions that unlock learning and inspire insights.  One approach limits growth, while the other fosters growth.  How do we unlock learning and accelerate growth? In this challenge, we'll find out.