NeXtwork Partners

What's Next?

NeXtwork Partners, LLC is a michigan-based hybrid consulting company founded as a container for the next work of Lisa Connors, a bit of a hybrid herself. Lisa and her partner clients and colleagues create a culture of care wherever they work, and from this ground assess, design, facilitate, ideate, co-create the answers to what's next?

To explore Where You Are Now, What is Possible, and What's Next with Lisa or one of her partners, please connect with us by e-mail or phone. Or begin with the Get Clear Form


This is a sampling of stories from the client work I, Lisa Connors, have done in partnership with others. Please CONNECT with me if you would like more details.

Worldwide Leadership 1 at a Time, ROBERT BOSCH, LLC

Leadership & Professional Development

Designer & Facilitator: Lisa Connors

Colleague/Client Partner: MetaDynamics, Inc.

Client Partner: Portfolio Leads, Robert Bosch, LLC 

Focus: Leadership Competency Development; Change Management; Project Management; Communication; Hiring Practices; Professional Effectiveness; Values & Culture Alignment

Methods: Experiential Learning in Classroom Setting

Robert Bosch, LLC

Robert Bosch, LLC

ROBERT BOSCH, LLC is an extraordinary global force. From a recent press release: "Bosch has been named the world’s “most admired motor vehicle parts supplier” by the U.S. business magazine Fortune in their 2013 list. The company ranked first on all nine of Fortune’s reputation criteria within this category. The criteria include innovation, people management, use of assets, social responsibility, management quality, financial soundness, long-term investment, quality of products and service, and global competitiveness." Of course automotive is only one of the industries in which they are a powerful presence. In partnership with MetaDynamics I have had the privilege to co-design and facilitate professional associate and leadership learning in diverse and dynamic classroom experiences for over ten years for Robert Bosch, North America, and in one memorable spring, in South Africa.

Hired precisely because MetaDynamics and it's associates are not trainers, but seasoned, experienced leadership and organization development practitioners, we engage Bosch's intelligent, discerning and committed professionals, team leaders, project managers and line managers in learning, experimenting, and applying what I believe are some of the best thinking, models and tools in the realm of leadership skills and competencies available today. As a part of a talented team at MetaDynamics, I have served as instructional designer, facilitator and strategic thinking partner in their LeaD, StART and Project Management curriculums, helping Bosch to answer, "How do we continue to support our leaders to be the best and Be Bosch every day in every Bosch facility worldwide?"


ReAuthoring Leadership, LEADERSHIP NOW FLINT

Leadership Development

Designer & Facilitator: Lisa Connors

Client Partners: Jenni Dones, United Way Genesee and Michelle Hill, Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce

Focus: Name and claim next level leadership with cross-sector leaders in Flint

Method: ReAuthoring Leadership


LEADERSHIP NOW is a joint leadership development program offered by the United Way and Chamber that serve the Flint region. Since 2011 (formerly BLI) I have had the privilege of facilitating the ReAuthoring process with cohorts of leaders who want to contribute their gifts to their organizations for the betterment of the community. Everyone had a story to tell . . . a narrative that was holding them back from their best leadership. With creative writing, group work, and intuitive collage, each leader is now able to name, and live into, an alternative narrative. These new stories are supported with follow-up action plans and one-on-one coaching provided by the NOW program. 

What if the entire community of Flint was able to ReAuthor the problematic narratives from these past few, tough years and together name and claim the alternative story they deserve and desire? If you are interested in helping us support Flint in this endeavor, CONNECT and let us know what you have to offer!


Leadership & Organization Development Process

Designer, Facilitator & Thinking Partner: Lisa Connors

Client Partner: Alyssa Martina, CEO & Publisher, MetroParent Publishing

Focus: Build Strategic and Innovative Thinking Capacity; Strengthen Management Team Community; Name Core Strategic Elements for the Future; Envision and Plan for Next Level Success

Methods: Monthly Day Retreats; Open Forum; Stratevation

A MetroParent Publication

A MetroParent Publication

METROPARENT PUBLISHING was founded by Alyssa Martina in her basement in 1986. Coming up on their 25 year anniversary, the organization's success meant they had trouble taking time out to think strategically and envision innovative What's Next possibilities as a team. The company was also at a Breakpoint in their growth, experiencing the joys and the pains of shifting from an entrepreunerial model, with the future determined primarily by partners Alyssa and Alexis Bourkoulas, to a managed model. Initially asked to facilitate one strategy meeting with the staff, I initiated conversations with Alyssa and Alexis to establish where they were at now what they both wanted for themselves and the organization in the future. In partnership, we decided to take a longer path.

Over the course of two years, moving at the pace that was right for them, we engaged the management team in a series of almost-monthly half-day retreats that started with establishing a common understanding of where the company was in their growth cycle, and how Alyssa and Alexis wanted to move forward. Alyssa and I co-designed an approach we later formalized and named Stratevation, a process and set of methods and tools that marry Strategy and Innovation, which provided the path for the work. Each meeting was co-designed, often with the help of other management team members, always asking What Next?

At the end of the official engagement with me, the MetroParent Publishing managers had come together as a unified team; articulated the company's vision, mission, values, core competence, value propositions and had a shared understanding of not only the current strategic analysis of the group in their marketplace, but an on-going mindset and methodology to think strategically day-to-day. In addition they ideated hundreds of exciting possibilities for future innovations, from improving processes to the next BIG product to take to market. With a rigorous and fun approach, the team learned how to filter, research and test the ideas they generate, now as part of their management model. METROPARENT now has the mindset, the language, the tools and the shared commitment to always ask and answer, What's Next?


Plans for the People, TRINITY HEALTH

System-wide Change Integration

Change Integration Specialist: Lisa Connors

Colleague/Client Partners: Susan Marshall & Rox Pals, TH

Focus: Supporting Personal Transitions through Organizational Change; Planning & Implementing Integrated System-wide Change across Technology, Process, People and Culture; Change Leader Training & Coaching

Methods: Open Forum; Circle; Dialogue; Stakeholder Analysis; Appreciative Interviewing; Change Readiness & Impact Assessments; New Leader Assimilation

Trinity Health, 2012

Trinity Health, 2012

TRINITY HEALTH, at the time of my work with them, was the fourth largest Catholic Healthcare System in the United States. They have since consolidated with Catholic Health East in the on-going pursuit of serving their mission. Like every other healthcare system in the country the changes driven both by internal and external pressures truly do impact 'life and death' situations, and HOW to integrate constant changes in technology, process, practice, policy, structure and culture across every part, and often every person, in the system can truly feel as complicated and risky as brain surgery.  

For three years I served as a Change Integration Specialist out of the Unified Revenue Organization of Trinity Health. Partnered with Susan Marshall and Rox Pals, we assessed, planned, facilitated, coached and advocated the best ways to meet the people where they were at, and support them as they walked, sometimes reluctantly, down the 'path to commitment' from awareness of a change that impacts their lives and their work, to understanding the what and why, hopefully still in one piece, to either belief that it truly is the right thing and on to full hearted commitment, or temporarily we hoped, to compliance - which can work but we all know is just not the way to live our lives or run a business.

For the better part of 2011 and 2012 I worked side by side with Rox Pals to strategize and build an integrated Change plan amongst legions of teams, experts and project management professionals for an industry-wide change in standard for health record documentation called ICD-10. The wild west. 

While at Trinity Health I was also pleased to be a part of the on-going effort to use Circle as a core operational methodology to shift the culture more fully into alignment with the stated vision, mission, values and guiding behaviors. I hold Trinity Health out to you all as a model for this kind of effort.



Team Coaching

Team Coach: Lisa Connors

Client Partner: Mike Shriberg, Ph.D. University of Michigan

Focus: Team Development; Project Management; Stakeholder Engagement; Innovation; Effective Meetings; Dialogue; Feedback; Conflict Resolution; Consulting Capacity Building

Methods: Experiential Learning on Real 13-Week Team Projects

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN and the GRAHAM SUSTAINABILITY INSTITUTE co-sponsor a fascinating and rigorous capstone course ENV/RC 391: Sustainability and the Campus.  Student teams work with sponsors across the University and surrounding City of Ann Arbor to impact sustainability by taking on specific projects in areas such as composting, sustainable transportation, restorative landscapes, permaculture, and reusable food container programs. Consulting colleague Carol Anderson and Professor Mike Shriberg, assisted by a series of incredible Graduate Assistants, had co-designed and facilitated the team project portion of the class for a number of years. Carol moved on to other work and asked me to step in.

In addition to coaching the team to work together as effectively as possible, we aim to increase their 'marketable skills' including the ability to think and act like real world consultants; set-up and manage projects using Project Management Institute aligned practices; and engage stakeholders across differences and difficulties. Basically, I coach them and teach them the mindset, methods and tools I share with my very experienced corporate and non-profit leaders and teams! The incredible gift of working with these students is to immerse myself in their passion and commitment for relentlessly and creatively tackling the multi-faceted, multi-layered and deeply mired issues of sustainability we face globally. And they work on these projects for just a very few credits; no pay; in incredibly short timeframes with very limited resources and people they generally don't know and sometimes don't like. May they continue down this path with all of the support we can give.

Building Community for the Future, JOURNEYS International

Staff Retreat

Designers & Facilitators: Lisa Connors & Robin Pollak

Client Partner: Robin Pollak, President JOURNEYS International

Focus: Strengthen Staff Community; Unified Understanding of Strategy; New Leader Transitions; Ideation; Teambuilding; Living Values

Methods: Story Circles; Open Forum; World Cafe; Transitions Ritual; DiSC Assessment

JOURNEYS International was founded 35 years ago by Robin's parents, Joan and Will Weber. They pioneered eco-travel to exotic locations. The founders stepped down from day-to-day leadership recently, and Robin assumed the Presidency in 2012. She leads a team of nine, most of whom have been with the company for many years. The organization faces the complex task of reaching for the next level of strategic growth in a time of both internal shifts in people and technology, and external shifts as competition expands, the world economy wobbles and new destinations open to travelers.

A skilled group facilitator herself, Robin envisioned an all staff retreat that both feels like summer camp, and gets important conversations and work for the future done. Together we designed a two-day experience that engaged every member of the staff in establishing the key information that they need to gather, discuss and process together; learning more about Robin's vision and leadership and about one another; naming the elements of the past to leave behind and take forward; agreeing on how to operate with one another more effectively; listening and sharing with one another respectfully in difficult conversation; generating ideas to implement core business strategies; and clarifying and committing to clear next action steps. They had fun too.

copyright 2015 | NeXtwork Partners, LLC