Frontier Academy Workshops
Every organization faces unique challenges, so we also develop custom programs to address specific needs and help clients attain their growth and development goals. Contact us to learn more about building a custom program for your organization.
The act of listening is vital in business. Listening is one of the most basic and fundamental skills, but we fail sometimes to understand the difference between hearing and listening. When people listen actively, amazing things can happen; leaders create open and collaborative environments, employees connect with customers and colleagues on a deeper level, and everyone feels valued.
Our two-hour Active Listening workshop focuses on how to become a more effective listener through several exercises. You’ll learn the specific techniques of active listening, which act as a tool to encourage others to be more open in conversations. You’ll also learn how to remain present and focused on the people you’re communicating with.
Building a Business Case
A strong business case can make your stakeholders’ lives a lot easier. By analyzing and evaluating risks and rewards that, left unknown and unaccounted for, would otherwise slow your stakeholders down, a business case begins to build the confidence they need to move forward. A strong business case also reveals the sound judgment, critical thinking and business acumen of the presenter, making this a must-have skill for anyone who wishes to move up in their organization.
This program will guide participants through the process of building a business case from inception to completion. The end goal is to arm participants with the essential pieces of information they need to have in order to sell their ideas within the organization and recommend the best use of their company’s capital. This program is perfect for those trying to develop an ROI mindset and will help participants expand their perspectives to consider the needs of all stakeholders directly or indirectly impacted by their recommendations.
Building a Customer-Centric Team
Every business exists to address the acute needs of their customer, but the more removed our teams are from the end user or the more focused they are on production and numbers, the more difficult it is for them to keep the customer top of mind. Further, taking ownership of a customer's situation and providing seamless experiences are near impossible without a shared understanding of what “excellent” looks like.
This workshop is designed to help team leaders and managers build a customer-centric culture by challenging the way their teams fundamentally view and interact with customers, starting with the employees themselves and meeting them where they are today. To help teams better empathize with and maintain a sense of urgency around customer needs, we teach how to coach new habits around ownership and emotional intelligence. Participants will also learn how to establish shared team norms that enable employees to embrace both successes and failures as opportunities to learn and improve.
Let’s face it — the concept of networking is often associated with awkward coffees, power lunches, and glad-handing...things that make a lot of us squirm. But building a diverse network is crucial for anyone looking to be more innovative, effective, and relevant in a fast-paced global marketplace.
During this high-energy working session, we’ll help reframe your thinking about networking — the whys and the hows — to help you build interesting and helpful connections inside and outside of your organization. We’ll give you the tools you need to think beyond LinkedIn and the power-lunch to build useful and meaningful connections.
Building Your Network
In an ever-changing business world, many people find themselves doing work they weren’t hired to do or advancing into roles where their decisions affect other parts of the business. That’s why gaining a deeper understanding of how businesses work and learning strategies for strengthening the bottom line can help. In our Business Acumen half-day and full-day workshops, we’ve created a hands-on, interactive simulation where you get to run a business, make decisions in the moment, and learn from the consequences.
HOW IT WORKS:
OPTION 1 (1/2 day simulation)
Participants break into teams to run a sandwich shop. Sexy? No. Hard to make money? Yes. Your group will be given information about your business and kick-off the morning working with your teammates to make financial, operational, and marketing decisions. Throughout the course of the exercise, the facilitator challenges the teams with a few curveballs that force you to make quick decisions. At the conclusion of the simulation, your team will find out how they stacked up against the competition (the other teams) and facilitators will lead a conversation about the experience.
After, you’ll learn how the simulation can be applied to your company and tie that experience back into your individual role.
OPTION 2 (1 day simulation + facilitated session)
In our full-day workshop, you participate in the Option 1 business simulation in the morning, and then leaders from your organization join the afternoon session.
Your team will be paired with a leader from your organization, and you’ll learn about that leader’s role within the company through a guided interview process. Afterwards, you and the other participants reconvene and present your findings to the other groups. At the end of the session, you gain knowledge of how different business units can work together to maximize profitability and growth.
As many organizations become more streamlined, they are being forced to do more with much, much less. There are two ways this can affect customer relationships: 1) it can lead to an increased level of dissatisfaction as your organization offers less and less, or 2) an increased level of satisfaction because your organization is focused on the right things—those that customers truly value. We’re obviously interested in helping you with the latter.
Whether they are internal or external customers, your organization must be keenly focused on not only meeting their needs but also proactively providing them with new products or services even before they realize they want them. Our program will help your team identify business and partnership opportunities, gain an understanding of the key issues and drivers affecting your customers, and quickly establish trust to enable productive working relationships. Participants will also learn how to communicate value and successfully negotiate project scopes and deliverables.
This workshop will move participants from a reactive, order-taking mindset to a proactive, consultative mindset that focuses on anticipating and meeting client needs.
Exceptional customer service is key in attracting and retaining customers in today’s competitive business environment. In our one-day Customer Service workshop, you will learn how to interact with customers from diverse backgrounds and organizations to increase the quality of your customer interactions. The workshop is focused on the following components:
- Effective Communication: Building rapport with customers
- Corporate Communication: Learning to speak the business language
- Reflective Listening: Learning to decipher what you hear, so you can respond appropriately to customers
- Phone & Email Skills: Improving communication with customers
In this fast-paced, interactive workshop, we will teach you many techniques that when brought together create a superior customer service experience.
Dynamic leadership is about creating a compelling and inclusive vision that lasts beyond quarterly goals and gives your team clarity in times of uncertainty. To that end, this workshop teaches leaders how to paint a picture that’s both concrete and inspirational, then effectively communicate their vision throughout the organization so that it gets buy-in and is consistently reinforced. But communicating the vision isn’t enough. To support execution, we equip leaders with tools to create strong team dynamics and set clear goals that keep individuals motivated and accountable.
Effective communication is a hallmark of all successful businesses. However, many of us aren't comfortable (or confident) in our ability to communicate, because we never learned the basics or we're fearful of the backlash that we predict will come from speaking up. Others of us may think our way of communicating works just fine, unaware our skills could be improved.
This workshop is designed to give you a crash course in communicating using all mediums available, choosing the right medium for the right message, and connecting with and motivating your audience. In addition to the basics, we also help you with some of the trickier forms of communication, like understanding your own emotional reactions, filtering your biases, offering constructive feedback, and diffusing conflict.
From first impressions to lasting business relationships, personal presence plays a major role in your success. Whether you are negotiating an agreement, closing a deal or wowing your audience with a powerful presentation, the way you present yourself can make all the difference.
In our Executive Presence workshop, we offer you a highly coached program that can assist you in creating presentations that demand attention and help you guide an audience to the decision you want. Our facilitators will guide you through communication and influence theories, then apply them to help you develop a personal presence style as unique as you.
This two-day program is taught in a small-group setting and covers a variety of topics: presentation skills, proxemics, speech tone, physical environment, emotional decision-making and biases. To get the most out of this workshop, be prepared to jump in with enthusiasm and an open mind.
Executive Presence + Storytelling
From the first impression you make in a room to closing arguments for a business case, executive presence and storytelling are the one-two punch you need to reach the hearts and minds of your audience to motivate them to action—something data reports and PowerPoints have yet to do on their own.
This highly-coached two-day workshop grounds participants in the neuroscience behind communication and storytelling, and then helps them apply those principles as they develop personal presence style that reflects their individual personality and values. Next, we define what makes a great story and teach participants how to create one that will influence the action they want their audience to take. Finally, we share slide/visual best practices to help participants enhance and support their message. Along the way, we give participants time to pull out their laptops and apply these learnings to a current project or presentation they’re working on.
Improvisation for Innovation
Innovation is beyond a buzzword by now, but that doesn’t make it any less necessary or valuable. In today’s economy, it’s a company’s most basic survival tactic, yet it’s so often the most misunderstood and misused in practice. Innovation isn’t just for Research & Development teams or the city with the most tech startups anymore – it’s a mindset and a practice that every 21st century organization needs to stay viable in a world with technology changing as rapidly as ours.
Unfortunately, our brains are hardwired against it – they’d much rather conserve energy, maintain efficiency, and hold fast to a comfortable, certain status quo. All things that stifle the curiosity, creativity, and openness that innovation requires. Here’s where improvisation comes in. In this half-day, highly interactive workshop, we use this theatrical tool grounded in neuroscience to expose your team to new ways of receiving and generating ideas, so that they can truly open themselves up to what’s possible and what the others are capable of. The result? A team of curious open-minded innovators who, through their sensitivity and positivity, are able to refine ideas and ultimately push beyond what's known and sure.
Improvisation for Interpersonal Dynamics
You’d be hard pressed to find an organization today that doesn’t tout a collaborative environment, reliant on project teams for success. We assume that more brains means more and better ideas, so we do everything we can to get the right ones in a room with a white board and a great leader. In reality, research shows how the team works together is much more important than who comprises it. Every team has its own interpersonal dynamics and often unspoken norms that shape its interactions, and, as a result, its work product. Outwardly, a team may share company values and goals, but in practice, they’re not working together to make the kind of progress you know they’re capable of.
The break down is in the team’s norms. To create the psychological safety it takes for a team to flourish, we have to replace the mental and emotional habits that break down interpersonal connection – the habits that tell us to hold fast to our own protection, safety, and certainty. This is where improvisation comes in. In this half-day, highly interactive workshop, we use this theatrical tool grounded in neuroscience to expose your team to new ways of receiving and interpreting information, so that they can truly empathize with and understand their teammates on a deeper, more meaningful level. The result? A team of curious open-minded listeners who gel more deeply and ultimately become more than the sum of their parts.
Pick up any executive training catalog, and you’ll see listings for “selling,” “persuasion,” and “winning.” These courses rely on hard-and-fast rules and frameworks to be successful. As a result, they’re often a poor choice for leaders working in complex, fast-paced environments where one size never fits all. Instead, leaders need flexibility and a universal, practical approach to getting things done. That’s where influencing comes in.
We teach participants how to identify key stakeholders, understand what drives them, and communicate with them in a way that’s compelling and personally relevant. Participants will learn how to structure and frame discussions, choose a delivery method, and project authentic authority to influence decisions and behaviors.
Pulling on real scenarios participants face within your organization, this program is designed to stretch high-caliber individuals to develop a powerful influence style that’s authentic and aligned with their roles and personality.
Idea Creation + Practical Execution = Innovation
A good idea executed is much more powerful than an excellent idea that never leaves the whiteboard. Innovation is more than just creativity, brainstorming, and coming up with new ideas. Innovation must be grounded in business principles, be actionable and executable, and ultimately help to bridge the gap between the current state and future of the business.
Our Innovation Mindset workshop focuses on the two most important facets of innovation: idea generation and practical execution. Participants will learn a process through which they can look at issues from different perspectives to generate new ideas and solutions. They will also get practical tools to help them assess the viability of their ideas and how to pitch their innovations to win stakeholder approval.
Over a decade ago, The Wall Street Journal reported on the demise of the cold call. Why? People don’t like unsolicited calls, and salespeople are tired of making them. In today’s business environment, clients don’t want to be sold, and salespeople want to know they have a real shot at winning the business, especially if they spend so much time researching, preparing, and developing a proposal. In our Insight Selling workshop, we offer a partnership approach to sales that cuts wasted time and energy out of outdated sales systems. You will learn how to identify prospects that truly need your products and services, as well as techniques to help share your solutions with them.
By developing valuable and in-depth insight into your prospects you can anticipate the needs of your customers and solve their problems. This approach creates ongoing partners and takes the pain out of the sales process – for both sides. Insight selling is the ultimate win-win.
Most workshops on change management promise that if you follow their steps, you’re guaranteed to lead a successful change initiative in your organization. We agree there’s a process, but we also know from experience how crucial it is to address the emotional aspects of navigating change.
Our Leading Change workshop covers three tenets of change: logic, emotion, and environment. Knowing all three require attention, we provide practical, actionable tools that participants can utilize personally and with their teams to lead them through the various change initiatives for which they are accountable.
In today’s business landscape, the ability to effectively lead and facilitate a meeting is a must-have skill. We’ve all been in a meeting where the conversation gets bogged down in details and side conversations, where people struggle to identify a purpose, a plan, or a desired outcome. In our Leading Effective Meetings workshop, we will help you understand your role as meeting facilitator and help you identify techniques that motivate, engage and lead people towards action. Our gifted facilitators will address the following topics in your one-day session:
- How to chair a meeting
- How to properly structure a meeting and choose a location
- How to ensure all opinions are heard
- How to drive towards actionable outcomes
- How to follow-up to ensure follow-through
Leading Effective Meetings
Successful diversity and inclusion initiatives are based on a very simple premise — that all people desire and expect to be valued for the contribution they make to the organization. When employees experience this, we’ve witnessed a real business impact: improved decision-making capability, reduction in business and project risks, increased innovative thinking, enhanced customer service, and reduction in turnover. Yet recent studies show that few companies (from Silicon Valley to the Fortune 500) have successful D&I programs in place. Instead, many are failing by actually strengthening biases and reducing inclusion. What gives?
This workshop explores what’s working and what’s not when it comes to boosting and leveraging diversity in organizational cultures today. From there we present methods and tools to help leaders identify unconscious bias, create the conditions for true inclusion, and draw out diverse perspectives to meet shared goals. Participants should walk away from this program ready to help their teams engage differently and use their diversity as a strategic asset.
Listening with Empathy
Would you like to get more accomplished in less time? Becoming a better listener is an under-appreciated way to achieve that goal. Being able to truly understand someone else’s perspective helps you not only establish constructive business relationships, but it also allows you to build the necessary rapport to work efficiently with your team. No more guessing about where someone is coming from. No more trying to understand why they reacted that way. No more questioning why that decision was made. You will have the knowledge and understanding to cut through the "crap" and get to the heart of the matter. People will feel heard and valued, and you will get more done because of it.
Our two-hour Listening with Empathy Workshop focuses on what happens if we become empathetic listeners, basic listening skills, how to boost those skills with the addition of empathy, and how to make sure we get out of our own way to do it effectively.
Millennials have already surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living population in the U.S., and post-millennials (aka Gen Z) aren't far behind them. With the oldest millennials in their mid-30s and Gen Z entering the workforce over the next several years, these generations are making waves in our corporate environments because their values, worldviews, experiences drive a different set of expectations for work and their managers than generations before them. While courting and adapting to generational differences is nothing new, there is no doubt it’s been a struggle for many workplaces to meaningfully engage these employees at the rapid pace they’re accustomed to.
Our Managing Millennials + Beyond workshop gives you a keen insight into the perspective of the typical millennial employee and reveals what we already know about Gen Z and their hopes for work. From there, it provides practical tools to adapt your coaching and management to the ways these employees want (and demand) to engage with their work. Specifically, we’ll teach you how the purpose economy, authenticity, personal growth, autonomy, and wellbeing all converge as the key to motivating, connecting to, and retaining employees in these generations.
Managing Millennials + Beyond
What would you do if you had more time? Turns out there are some very practical, healthy ways to get the most out of your days, and as a result, your years. This workshop focuses on time management, prioritization, and anticipating change in today’s fast-paced environment. Participants will be challenged to think about the impact their current methods of time management have on the overall stress and productivity in their daily life. From there, they’ll learn how our brains work so they understand how to maximize their energy and focus. Throughout the day we give participants tools and techniques to rebuild their schedules in real time, aligning their tasks and time to their goals. This workshop will provide the group valuable insights into the practices of how successful leaders structure their days while proactively preparing for the unknown.
Managing Your Day
We believe every employee wants to make a meaningful contribution to their organization. The trick is tapping into that desire on a consistent basis to get the best out of people. To do that well, managers need to connect with each of their employees on an individual basis to understand what motivates them personally. For many managers this can be the most difficult part of their role. This workshop focuses on helping managers rethink their approach to work and the way they coach in order to increase employee engagement and build an overall high-performing team.
At the conclusion of this one-day workshop, managers will have the skills to identify the underlying drivers for each employee so they can then create a development plan that supports autonomy, mastery, and purpose. While motivating employees takes practice, this workshop will give managers increased confidence in their ability to create opportunities for their team to thrive.
Technological change continues to outpace human adaptability, forcing us to learn faster and work smarter if we want to keep up, let alone lead, in the marketplace. Most organizations, however, are not set up to navigate this rapid, ongoing change. While the pace alone is daunting, making any change (even a positive one) can also provoke emotional reactions ranging from discomfort to stress to full-blown anxiety. In a constantly shifting, global marketplace where we are more interdependent and interconnected than ever, coping with ongoing change in a healthy, productive way is becoming an increasingly important professional skill.
While traditional change management focuses on leading one calculated initiative, today’s companies need employees that can navigate ongoing change with an agile learning mindset. Our one-day workshop covers three tenets of change – logic, emotion, and environment – and provides practical, actionable tools that participants can utilize personally and with their teams to lead them through ambiguity and uncertainty. We also tackle how to adopt and instill an adaptable learning mindset so teams are able to ride the wave of ongoing change rather than fight it.
What’s the difference between influence and negotiation? Influence involves one person attempting to sway a decision or outcome. Negotiation involves two or more (typically conflicting) parties coming to the table to hammer out a solution. Done poorly, negotiation can be a contentious win-lose (or worse, a lose-lose) situation. Done well, both parties can walk away genuinely satisfied with the outcome, and that’s our focus in this workshop.
By taking a principled approach to negotiation, participants learn to identify their intent for the relationship involved, as well as how to understand the other negotiator, find mutual interest, and ultimately reach agreement. We also teach how to build trust and create a constructive working environment in order to elicit important information to reach a positive outcome. Finally, through several simulations, we give participants practice so they can discover what works and what doesn’t.
The employee performance review can be a dreaded annual tradition, where the reviewer and employee both feel pressure to cram a year’s worth of observation, evaluation, and coaching into an hour. In our Performance Management workshop, we go beyond this once-a-year process and help you manage employee performance throughout the year. Our facilitators will help you assess an employee’s overall performance more effectively and identify what employees are qualified to do in order to steer them in the right direction. In addition, we also discuss employee motivation and how to provide timely and constructive feedback. And of course, we’ll address the aspects of the annual performance review that make us all feel uneasy so you can feel confident, authentic, and present during those important conversations.
There are tons of project management courses out there, most of which teach the same things: project scoping, project planning, execution, etc. We’re more interested in why some project managers outshine their counterparts time after time. Their secret? Understanding the human element of project management. Sure, they’re organized and know how to manage tasks, but the really strong project managers also possess soft skills that balance out the technical. With these skills they’re able to motivate their teams, drive effective communication, and manage stakeholders while simultaneously anticipating needs and delivering strong customer service.
This workshop will cover the basics necessary to ensure all project manager’s have the fundamental skills, as well as focus on the best practices that set exceptional project managers apart.
Intro to Project Management
A recent article by Deborah Rowland in Harvard Business Review cites research that finds “leaders need to work on the quality of their inner game, or their capacity to tune into and regulate their emotional and mental states, before they can hope to develop their outer game, or what it is they need to actually do.” In order to have a constructive feedback conversation or confidently help their team navigate the changes that come with rapid growth, a leader must first be able to regulate their own emotions and develop their own capacity to see opportunity amidst what often looks like chaos.
Self-leadership is first a mindset that drives self-awareness and self-management, as well as an appreciation for feedback that promotes continuous personal and professional growth. This workshop gives leaders time and space to reflect and apply self-leadership practices to their day-to-day lives.
In today’s fast-paced environment, strategic plans can become as obsolete as yesterday’s iPhone, so developing strategic agility can be a competitive advantage and ensure you’re adding value to your organization. We understand being agile doesn’t mean you retreat from core business objectives; rather it means you are able to rapidly adjust and adapt to market forces. In our Strategic Agility workshop, we teach you how to innovate in the delivery of new products and services, respond quickly to market pressures and stay ahead of competition.
With advances in communication technologies, many people are working virtually without being bound to specific locations and traditional office environments. As such, leaders face a new set of challenges in managing people virtually. In our Success in a Virtual Workplace workshop, you’ll learn how to build trust, manage relationships and hold team members accountable, even though you may never meet face-to-face.
Our facilitators will lead you through best practices in managing team members in multiple locations, and help determine the appropriate level and methods of communications. You’ll also learn the techniques of highly productive virtual managers and how to attract, retain and keep your virtual talent engaged.
Success in a Virtual Workplace
With younger workers projected to make up half of the U.S. workforce by 2020, businesses across the country are dealing with different expectations among younger and veteran team members. Many organizations now recognize these generational preferences could potentially inhibit growth and create conflict in the work environment. In our Working Across Generations workshop, you will spend a half-day identifying personal preferences based on generational dynamics and learn the tools and techniques that can create a cohesive and productive work environment. Whether you are new to the workforce, or a more seasoned leader, this workshop will help you work seamlessly with colleagues and bridge the generational gaps.