More Details about Our Work.


Like any other business, we have a set of operating principles which guide our activities.  We want you to know what we stand for in terms of our interactions with you, our partners.


The head and the heart.

In our efforts to help people improve their performance and thus the performance of their organizations, we must pay attention to both the intellectual side of things and the emotional/spiritual side of things.  The best efforts in organizations come from people who can bring both passion and intellect to bear on the organization's problems and opportunities. 

Systemic efforts.

We steer clear of quick fixes -- efforts which seem attractive in the short run but ultimately do not endure.  We prefer sustainable, long-term, non-addictive alternatives that integrate the best of multiple perspectives, avoiding the  ‘bullet-point’ approach.


What this means to us:  We will not try to fix things for your organization.  We have as our goal providing support in the short run so that you can succeed on your own in the long run.  We want to engage our clients in creating structures and relationships that foster growth and maturity.

Shared risk.

We expect to be paid fairly for value delivered.  We have seen our approach work in the business (for-profit) sector, the nonprofit sector, and the public sector (e.g., public education).  We don't submit an invoice for payment until an organization is satisfied with the product / service delivered.
The goal remains always to increase, not the data or information or even knowledge, but rather the wisdom within the organization.


We base our work on a systemic view of organizations and individuals.  For more about that perspective, please look at the explanation of our logo.

In addition, we believe that our ability to deliver genuine value to your organization depends on the relationship we establish at the outset.  We have found that setting clear expectations and a definite scope up front is fundamental.  Having said that, however, we recognize that as we get involved both you and we will learn more about the situation ... and that adjustments to the expectations and scope are nearly inevitable. 
We  follow this general outline in entering into an agreement:

Engage in initial entry and contracting


Formulate a diagnosis based on dialogue and shared discovery


Offer preliminary feedback and determine whether to act


Implement / deploy our services


Extend or terminate the intervention

Again, our overall intent is to create a sustainable environment which promotes learning, whether that depends on one-on-one coaching, teaching or consulting with a group, or facilitating a workshop.
We do not offer a one-size-fits-all approach.  We believe we have identified an integrated collection of best practices and draw on those as the situation indicates.  We happily draw on the best historical and contemporary thinking, the best practices based on the most durable theory.
We share the views of Ralph Barton Perry and John Warfield:  Education, broadly understood, requires a willingness to

inherit from the past,


participate in the present,


contribute to the future, and


integrate the best we can find.


The Commonwealth Practice, LLC. has as its primary goal fostering the development of high quality leaders within effective organizations.  If your organization wants to develop leaders well-equipped to deal effectively with dynamic change, we have high confidence that our Discovering Leadership learning experience will help.   We have proven its effectiveness in business and educational environments.  We call it Discovering Leadership because in our view leadership development involves a personal journey that must meet each individual at the right place and at the right time.  Thus our learning experience extends over a three month period with approximately fifty hours of interactive time in blocks of at least four hours.

The Leadership Model explains the breadth and depth of the learning experience.  The overlapping ovals reflect our perspective on the development of personal and organizational capacity.  The ovals represent the need to deal with issues of

  • communications and dialogue;
  • personal values and beliefs; trust;
  • influence and power;
  • change and transition;
  • complexity and uncertainty;
  • leadership and followership;
  • individual intentions and organizational expectations;
  • all within the context of the prevailing culture.

You can download a printer-friendly document (.pdf 96k) containing a recap of much of the information which follows.

High-Level Flyers
We offer downloadable (pdf), high-level descriptions of several of our services:

These one-page documents make most sense in the context of a conversation (email, phone, face-to-face).  Even as standalone documents, however, they offer a flavor of our unique approach to improving organizational effectiveness.

You can look at a few representative testimonials from satisfied participants

We invite you to contact us for inquiries about our services from any of three directions: 

  • By topic
  • By intended audience
  • By delivery approach

We also employ products from Lominger Limited, Inc. where they complement our portfolio.   We are certified to use nearly all of their products including specifically their 360-degree feedback instrument, Voices® .  We are also certified to use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®).

As an additional service, we make available as resources various publications we've created.  These include white papers, articles, and book reviews.  And we offer two primers related to two of our most powerful techniques:  Systems Thinking and Scenario Planning

Individual, Team, Oranization

We provide a range of development services which we broadly frame as oriented toward the individual, the team, and the organization.  We recognize, however, that many of these services operate at many levels within the organization.  For instance, while we position change management within the Team segment, we understand that in some cases an entire organization might seek assistance with change management.


At the individual level, we feature leadership development and coaching.  That is, we concentrate on those Competencies* related to superior performance in leadership.   Although the work here focuses on the individual, our experience suggests that the organization realizes the greatest gain when a group of individuals undertakes this learning as a group.  Not only does this offer a richer learning environment but those involved have the chance to develop a much more robust and resilient interpersonal relationship.

Our flagship offering consists of an intensive, highly interactive experience which we call the Discovering Leadership.  This offering (typically one four-hour session per week over the course of twelve weeks) has as its goal the development of a cadre of leaders distributed throughout the organization irrespective of functional or hierarchic boundaries.  We believe that effective organizations need leaders distributed throughout the organization, in the spirit of Kouzes and Posner's contention that 'Leadership is Everybody's Business.'


At the team level, we feature change management and transition management.  We include in this segment issues such as identifying and addressing resistance to change.   In addition, we offer workshops on the most effective communications tools we have encountered in our search for effective tools.  That set of tools comes from the work of Sherrod and Phyllis Miller at Interpersonal Communications.  It consists of this trio:  Information Wheel, Speaking Styles, and Listening Cycle.


At the organizational level, our services focus in two primary areas.  The first of these is strategy development, and depends on our experience with Scenario Planning and Systems Thinking.  The second is the broad arena of Workforce Management, including Recruiting/Selection, Individual Development Planning, Performance Appraisal, Retention, and Succession Planning.  In this area, we make extensive use of our certification to use the comprehensive suite of tools from Lominger Ltd., Inc.

* * *
*When we speak of competencies, we use the definition offered by Lucia and Lepsinger:

"... a cluster of related knowledge, skills, and attitudes that affects a major part of one's job (a role or responsibility), that correlates with performance on the job, that can be measured against well-accepted standards, and that can be improved via training and development."

Description: C:\Users\Michael\Documents\My Web Sites\commonwealthpr\Competency.jpg

In addition, we depend on the catalog of competencies defined by Lominger, Ltd., Inc.


This logo presents the TCWP leadership model. For a full explanation, click here.

© MMXII The Commonwealth Practice LLC. To contact us, please send us a note.