Together to Create Exceptional Results
Building on Our Best Selves
Dealing With the World As It Is" top
Please use the quick links below for the following;
True North pgs, Inc. helps all the members of a
project community -- executives, project sponsors, project leaders, customers, suppliers,
teams, as well as individual project workers -- achieve exceptional results by building
their capacity to resolve their challenges themselves.
Adults learn best what they discover
for themselves. This is the foundation of True North's training and consulting. Help
people catch themselves being themselves, and most feel impelled to immediately address
the often profound discovery and begin adapting more successfully. Propose the possibility
of a more generous interpretation for a puzzling experience and people almost
instinctively invent more useful explanations for the curious behaviors they see in
themselves and in others. Help them acknowledge their real challenges of working in
ambiguous contexts, and most begin redesigning their projects to better deal with their
The Difference That Makes a
Rather than trying to engineer 90- or 180- degree
shifts, True Norths project guidance strategies focus upon the small adjustments
that can make a big difference. Few individuals need more than a 1- or 2- degree change in
course. The most lasting change follows significant minor adjustments, and individuals,
teams, and communities are capable of successfully adapting to almost any difficulty they
encounter if they are awake and moving. The key lies in helping them discover for
themselves how to cope with the barriers that seem to be blocking their own, natural
True Norths products include Training, Brief Consulting, Mentoring and Coaching, and Books by David Schmaltz -- The Blind Men and the
Elephant: Mastering Project Work,and This
Isnt a Cookbook: Elements of Project Style.
True North provides training that helps participants
learn how to teach themselves to reach their objectives. Instead of the usual
methods of telling or showing participants what we think they need to learn, we invite
participants to experience for themselves the lessons they most need for themselves by
catching themselves being themselves.
How does this work? Our simulations engage
participants in observing themselves at play in situations that simulate
project work. By becoming observers as well as participants, they are then better able to
reflect and experience for themselves their most needed lessons. Having seen for
themselves what was not apparent before, participants gain access to a broader range of
choices in future situations -- at the moment they most need these options.
For more details, including the dates, locations, and
registration for open enrollment workshops, click on the name of each product.
True Norths Mastering Projects approach introduces
proven strategies for effectively coping with the real world of projects where the
rules of the game are distinctly different than regular operations.
Our Mastering Projects offerings include the Mastering Project Workshop and Mastering Project Work.
- The Mastering
Project Work workshop helps each member of a project community, especially the
project workers, find their own power and authority to make the project work.
is an experiential leadership development program intended to evoke the deep learning,
lasting insights, and profound lessons upon which an authentic leadership practice is
True Norths Brief
Consulting is designed to produce significant change from remarkably short
interventions by focusing on what to do next rather than what's already done,
True Norths Coaching
and Mentoring supports teams and individuals through the chaos and awkwardness of
True North also offers custom training and
facilitation in adaptive project guidance strategies, leadership, and related areas
for executives, sponsors, project managers, teams, and project workers. Whether team
building, facilitating a project start-up, or post-project retrospective, our masterful
facilitation can add the difference that makes a real difference. For more
information on our customized offerings, contact us.
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The Difference That Makes a
"The problem is not the problem. Coping with
the problem is the problem."
-- Virginia Satir
What do we mean by Brief Consulting?
Brief Consulting interventions are remarkably
short. Most of our interventions last less than a week. Meaningful change often occurs
after a day. Because we focus upon what's next, change is inevitable and resistance is
rarely an issue.
How can this be?
True North's Brief Consulting is
intervention-based. It focuses upon observable phenomenon rather than identifying root
causes because no one can fix the past or the future, only the present. Furthermore, we
believe that it is not anyone's job to fix anyone else. Attempting to fix others is the
most common cause of working poorly together.
Our Brief Consulting is resolution-focused. We
identify resolutions rather than "solve" problems. Here's an example of a
masterful Brief Consulting intervention:
A Japanese coastal village was once threatened by a
tidal wave. A lone farmer in the rice fields high on the hillside above the village
spotted the tidal wave far out on the horizon. At once, he set fire to the fields. The
villagers, who came swarming up the hillside to save their crops, saved themselves from
--Japanese Folktale For more
information on how Brief Consulting could benefit your organization, contact us.
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Doing well isn't the same thing
as feeling good about the result.
We rarely experience difference as better or good.
It's weird first. When communities begin changing the way they work, they need some help
identifying what better looks like, because it first feels worse than what they are used
to. Under these conditions, many communities simply flee back into a comfortable old
status quo, stiff-arming rather than embracing inevitable changes. Such is the process of
"learning to unlearn" what might have worked in the past but no longer serves us
True North provides on-site Coaching and Mentoring
to those actively engaged in changing their approaches. By helping translate theory into
practice and helping the community catch themselves in the process of doing it better than
they think they are doing, coaching provides people with the support needed to learn from
their experience and persist through the chaos and awkwardness of real change.
Coaching can provide a much-needed outside perspective, reminding people of where they
started, how far theyve come, and helping them focus on their real purpose for the
For more information on how Consulting and
Mentoring might support your organizations change efforts, contact us.
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Books by David
The Blind Men
and the Elephant: Mastering Project Work --
How to Transform Fuzzy Responsibilities into Meaningful Results
We are pleased to announce Davids latest book, The
Blind Men and the Elephant: Mastering Project Work, published by Berrett-Koehler
From the back cover:
If you work, you probably manage projects every day -- even if project
manager isnt in your official title -- and you know how frustrating the
experience can be. Using as a metaphor the familiar story of six blind men failing
to describe an elephant to each other, David Schmaltz, identifies the true root cause of
the difficulties in project work: incoherence (the inability of a group of
people to make common meaning from their common experience).
Schmaltz exposes such oft-cited difficulties as poor
planning, weak leadership, and fickle customers, as poor excuses for project failure,
providing a set of simple, project coherence building techniques that anyone can use to
achieve success. He explains how wickedness develops when a team
over-relies on their leader for guidance rather than tapping their true source of power
and authority -- the individual.
Using real world stories, Schmaltz explores just how
much influence is completely within each individuals control and undermines the
excuses that maybe keeping you trapped in meaningless work. Most importantly, he
offers practical guidance for overcoming the inevitable difficulties of project
Those attending the Mastering Project Work workshop will receive a
copy of The Blind Men and the Elephant: Mastering Project Work.
here to order your own copy.
The Elements of Project Style
This Isnt a Cookbook: The Elements of
Project Style highlights the important principles of project style that can help a
project leader cope with their real world projects. This little book is subtitled
The Elements of Project Style in homage to William Strunk Jr. and E.B.
Whites [authors of The Elements of Style] understanding that we dont
need to understand all the rules, just the more troublesome ones. "Even if we could
somehow catalogue all the rules," the book's introduction continues, "we'd
probably only create a cadre of rule rememberers, who could quote the chapter and verse
without really understanding the underlying principles. Let's instead highlight the
important principles of style that, when combined with specific context, can help a
project leader and their projects survive.
Those attending the Mastering
Projects Workshop will receive a copy of This Isnt A Cookbook.
Click here to download an order form for an updated
edition of This Isnt A Cookbook: The Elements of Project Style.
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