Services and Tools

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Partnering Workshops and Partnering Programs
Partnering is an approach that supports people from different organizations in working together more effectively.  Partnering is widely used in the construction industry, environmental remediation programs, and in important projects that require sound government/contractor relationships.  The Laurel Co. has over twenty years experience designing and leading partnering workshops and partnering programs.  This link Construction Partnering Workshops & Programs.pdf provides additional information for construction partnering workshops and programs.  More information is also provided in the section "Construction Partnering" on this website.  This link Environmental Remediation Partnering Workshops & Programs.pdf provides additional information for environmental remediation partnering workshops and programs.    

Concept Design Workshops and Design Charrettes 
For design-build construction projects, Concept Design Workshops (CDWs) bring together the designer, the end-users, the construction contractor, and the construction oversight agent to produce a conceptual design within days rather than months.  Design charrettes are similar with the exception that the construction contractor is not a part of the process.  These approaches have multiple advantages over the design-bid-build approach and typically results in a better product with less surprises and re-work.  CDWs and design charrettes designed and led by The Laurel Co. are highly productive, give participants full opportunity to be hands-on and engage in the design development, and are enjoyable.

Independent Interview Surveys and Assessments
Many management teams want to know what employees really think and feel.  For example, many employee satisfaction surveys provide numerical results but no real "human data" behind the numbers, and managers lack the human stories to help inform their decision-making.  Or, when different organizations "partner" with one another, they may want to know what those in their partner organization really think and feel.  In the normal course of business, this information is not readily available.  Interview surveys are one method to acquire this information.  See this link Interview Surveys.pdf for additional information.

Conflict Resolution - Programs to Revive Weakened Business Relationships
It's not unusual that misunderstandings and conflicts arise In the course of conducting business, especially business between two or more organizations.  The Laurel Co. has helped groups move through some of the most difficult conflicts, including Tier III level disputes.  Not only are conflicts resolved, but the parties become highly productive working together.

Communication Workshops

I incorporate training and coaching in various areas of communication throughout many of the services listed above, but these also can be provided as separate, stand-alone workshops.  These include:  

  • Communicating effectively in situations in which emotions run high (Active Listening) 
  • Understanding our/others preferred conflict management styles (Thomas-Kilman Conflict Mode Instrument)
  • Understanding different personalities, both individual and organizational (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator)

Other topics include:

  • The Johari Window
  • Learning vs judgmental questions
  • Stages of team development
  • Collaborative problem-solving methods 
  • Moving up the emotional scale

These workshops are led using a facilitative style of instruction and participation.

The Halifax Strength Indicator
‚Äč"Knowledge is power.  Information is liberating." -- Kofi Annan
The Halifax Strength Indicator (HSI) is a tool to help people understand and therefore influence the specific areas that make their project vulnerable to non-productive conflict.  It analyzes 20 key characteristics.  The HSI is useful as a predictor tool at the beginning of a project to identify areas that can be strengthened, as an identification tool during a project when conflicts arise, or as a lessons-learned tool at the end of a project .  Strengthening areas vulnerable to conflict helps preserve profits, relationships and reputations.  The HSI is especially useful in situations such as:  large-scale construction projects, programs that cross organizational or agency boundaries, and highly technical projects.  See the following link for additional information (The Halifax Strength Indicator.pdf).

Annual Planning Meetings - Inside One's Organization or with Partner Organizations  
Many organizations spend time reacting to rather than preventing challenges.  Annual planning helps prevent this.  Besides giving managers the personal satisfaction of having greater influence on their organization's future, annual planning helps managers and their teams focus on the right objectives.  Annual planning is an important "communication event" at which time participants become aware of what others really think and feel, and with that knowledge they can be more effective in their decision-making.  And annual planning is a tool to increase accountability.  The Laurel Co. helps business teams conduct positive and productive annual planning.  Ms. Boucher's clients routinely comment they accomplish more in a period of one or two days than they could ever imagined.  The in-depth discussion of issues, the high level of participant engagement, and the written report that documents the team's work mark these planning meetings as exceptional.  See this link Productive, Focused, Energizing Off-Site Meetings.pdf for more information.