Workshops & Retreats

Refresh and reset: spend a day or an afternoon in conversation and teamwork!

An Enemy of the People, a play written in 1882 by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, is far from being a dated work. Recently, it has seen a resurgence as productions explore the complicated relationships of governance, environment and science, media, small business interests, community interests, and even women’s issues. A film of the play, produced in 1971 by Steve McQueen, presents a community’s potentially ruinous financial problem and how various interests deal with the situation. Each character is right and up-right; at the same time, each character is flawed. Clearly, over one-hundred-and-thirty years shows this to be a timeless situation that provides a playground for ideas, insights, communications, and problem-solving, as well as being a team-building exercise.

This workshop in creative thinking is a platform for a discussion of community dynamics. Ibsen pits five institutions against one another: business, government, influencers, media, and science, and in doing so, creates a fascinating critical thinking experience. Unless the representatives collaborate, the town will not survive.

The workshop helps participants develop broad in-sights, creative thinking, and problem solving skills that apply to their complicated professional roles. In working through situations from the perspective of others, participants also gain alacrity in working with communities as a whole made up of many parts.

Skill Development:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Empathy Enhancement
  • Critical Listening
  • Insight into working with difficult people
  • Negotiating for better outcomes

Our Clients include: Business, Health Care, and Public Servants

  • Wisconsin Municipal Clerk Conference
  • Social Service Managers of Northeast Wisconsin
  • Certified Municipal Manager Program
  • Municipal Clerk Annual Conference – University of Eastern Illinois, Springfield
  • Regional Conference of the International Conference of Municipal Clerks – University of Missouri Minnesota Continuing Education
  • IIMC – St. Cloud University, Minneapolis
  • Municipal Water Utility

Half-Day Workshops

Our 4-hour guided discussions explore principles of management, leadership, team-building, and diversity that emerge through engaging stories.

Would the Chaos Please Come to Order:
Opening the Door to Innovation

In the first two decades of the 21st Century the business conversation has turned to second phase capitalism, as seen in Thomas Piketty’s economic treatise Capital in the 21st Century, in Richard Florida’s The Creative Class on how to attract creative business and employees to a city, and John Mackey of Whole Food’s book Conscious Capitalism. Add to this mix the up-and-coming workforce — the Millennials, and we are projecting a different kind of workplace.

How do we cope, or better, how do we flourish and the answer comes back through empathy and critical thinking. Daniel H. Pink’s book A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brained Thinkers Will Rule the Future, provides a foundation for a transformative dialogue yielding immediate, powerful results.

Every act of creation begins with an act of destruction.
—Pablo Picasso

Photo of Edith Maude Eaton, who wrote under the psudonym of Sui Sin Far

Mrs. Spring Fragrance Offers Tips on Diversity and Negotiation

Mrs. Spring Fragrance, a short story written by Sui Sin Far, is a journey into what it is to become an American citizen as she works hard to not only acclimate to American society, but to teach her peers how to “be a real American”. Situated at the turn of the last century, this door to understanding the process of changing nationalities, is rich in lessons. What does that take? Better yet, how is our society interpreted by an outsider attempting to become accepted? Seeing ourselves through this double lens is food for thought in a time when we are again seeing a wave of immigration. In this story, we explore navigating and negotiating cultures, a lesson that translates to customer service, management, and community interaction.

Reading: Mrs. Spring Fragrance — Sui Sin Far (Edith Maude Eaton) Short story, approx. 11 pages

What they are saying:

I believe all of my managers will benefit from the additional experiences to address issues within our business lives.

This was the highest rating we’ve gotten for a workshop!