GrowthWorks Inc.

Facilitation   |   Strategic Planning   |   Change & Innovation Management   |   Coaching

Sample Projects and Relationships

We have worked with Seward Co-op since 2005. We’ve been helping

the leadership team create and implement strategies to grow the operation –

without losing sight of its guiding goals and principles. We have worked with

the leadership team, coached key managers, and engaged numerous

stakeholder groups – staff members, co-op owner-members, community

members, operations teams – in strategic planning processes, long-term

visioning, operations planning, organizational design, team building, staff

development, growth planning, and process improvement. In the time we

have worked with Seward, the co-op has built two new stores and a restaurant,

increased sales fivefold, tripled staff size, and earned numerous awards for its

business practices and quality of work life. We created and facilitated a process to engage staff members in developing a Scorecard for measuring financial, environmental, community, workplace, and customer experience goals that define the co-op’s success factors. We also have worked with the co-op’s Board of Directors. We have also provided leadership coaching and development to dozens of managers and supervisors (at Seward and with other client organizations). Much of that work helps leaders align their leadership style and skills with the co-op’s vision and mission, engage and develop the people they lead, improve department operations, and set and hold people accountable to fair, clear, and consistent performance expectations.

This work has led to additional co-op projects with Willy Street Co-op, Linden Hills Co-op, Lakewinds Food Co-op, The Wedge, Eastside Food Co-op, Valley Natural Foods Co-op, Mississippi Market Co-op, the North American Fair-Trade Stakeholder Council, Twin Cities Natural Food Co-ops GMs, National Co-op Grocers, CoMinnesota, Just Food, Sacramento Natural Foods, and Cooperative Development Services.

We started working with the Allina Health Mother Baby Center at United Hospital in January 2018. We’ve been facilitating quarterly meetings and coaching with the Center’s executive director and leadership team. The focus is on creating and implementing a vision and strategy for improving patient safety and satisfaction, building a supportive and engaging workplace experience, and building cohesion in the leadership team. The work has included brainstorming, decision-making, and action planning for creating clarity, alignment, and ownership about where the Center is headed and why, including processes related to teambuilding, trust-building, setting individual and team expectations, and getting buy-in and commitment within the leadership and between the leadership team and staff.

We have done numerous projects with the University of Minnesota since 2005 with...

  • Clinical Sciences Translation Institute to clarify and align the roles of a senior management team with the executive leadership team. The work focused on creating clarity about the senior leadership team’s purpose, scope of responsibility, and individual priorities related to the Center’s five core programmatic areas and the Center’s overall collaborative mission. Deliverables included: A team charter outlining the senior leadership team’s purpose; its members and stakeholders; the team’s roles, responsibilities, and its decision-making authority. A plan for operationalizing the team based on its new charter. Recommendations about strategic priorities and top issues to be addressed by leadership. A clearer sense of the role of the Chief of Staff in leading and supporting the work of the team. We conducted confidential interviews with each of the team members, and other senior leaders and stakeholders to get input about the perceived effectiveness of the team, insights about the team’s purpose, strategic priorities that would serve the core areas and the Center overall, ideas and concerns about improving team functionality, insights about team dynamics and issues that could influence the success of this work and the agendas for group meetings. We designed and facilitated two short meetings of the senior leadership team, and a full-day retreat to work on the outcomes and deliverables.
  • College of Pharmacy on a project to engage the leadership team, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders in a process to help recruit and select a new department head. The work focused on helping the outgoing department head, two associate department heads, and the Dean define a process and timeline for selecting a new department head for the first time in 17 years. To that end, we: Created a Straw Model – a draft plan and timeline to review and revise with the department head and two department associate heads. Conducted Confidential Interviews with the department head and two associate department heads. Facilitated a Planning Meeting with the Dean, the department head, and two associate department heads to finalize a plan and timeline for recruiting and selecting a new department head. We facilitated five additional meetings – three with faculty, one with staff, and one with the central leadership group to determine what should be shared about the current situation in the department to entice great candidates; what to share about opportunities for growth and change to entice great candidates; and the must-have traits, characteristics, and credentials for the person who would be best-suited to lead the department into the future.
  • Office of Education in the Academic Health Center (AHC). The AHC is the administrative operation that coordinates six of the University’s health schools – Medical, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dental, Public Health, and Veterinary Medicine. Much of the work promoted greater collaboration in the health systems based on improving and implementing interprofessional education of health professionals. One project brought together leaders from Minnesota health systems (hospitals, clinics, etc.) and education leaders from within the University to jointly develop strategies and tools for achieving the overarching objectives. As a first step in that work, we designed and facilitated a two-day meeting to engage 100 health professionals and University leaders. The strategic outcome was the identification and definition of traits and skills most vital for successful collaboration among the various health professions. We designed and facilitated a follow-up full-day meeting with 50 health systems leaders and University educators to collaborate on identifying and prioritizing key opportunities for improving interprofessional education in the AHC.
  • Board of Regents to update strategic plans.
  • Futures Committee of the School of Public Health to develop long-term education strategies. 
  • Academic Health Center facilitating a partnership with the University and Mayo Clinic to find a breakthrough strategy for the Minnesota Partnership on Biotechnology and Medical Genomics.

We worked ADC Telecommunications to design and facilitate a tailored workshop, Leading Innovation, for the company’s top 400 leaders. We worked with leaders in Singapore, the U.K., Australia, German, Mexico, and throughout the United States.

We worked with the American Lung Association of Virginia to design and facilitate a first-ever Tuberculosis Summit in that state. The Summit brought together health professionals, legislators, educators and leaders from the State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to generate innovative and collaborative solutions to fight the high incidence rate of Tuberculosis in the state.

The YMCA of the USA asked us to create a training program on executive coaching to help launch an innovative program to match retired YMCA CEOS with new executives. We delivered the pilot course, conducted a follow-up evaluation with that first group, conducted training for a second group of coaches, and then created a set of facilitator guides and student materials so the program could be continued internally.

We worked with the Minnesota Chapter of Meeting Professionals International, helping numerous chapter presidents and their Boards of Directors develop its first-ever and ongoing strategic plans, and helping build strategies for increasing marketing and partnership opportunities between supplier and planner members of the organization.

Our client list has also included Medtronic, Coca Cola, US Bank, Aon Affinity, the Universities of Kentucky and Wisconsin, Mayo Clinic, RBC Dain, Boston Scientific, Mall of America, Givens Foundation for African American Literature, Caterpillar, Sons of Norway, Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau, BI Worldwide, Episcopal Homes Minnesota, Cooperative Care, Cooperative Development Services, Ear, Nose, and Throat Clinic, and others.