Fisher Associates | Management Consulting & Design  

Results They Enjoyed

This was the best program I have been through at this company (perhaps ever). Both consultants work so well in tandem with each other. Again, thanks for enrolling me in this course (in a timely fashion). I appreciated David’s energy, insight, and wisdom!

Sr. Executive, Eli Lilly Corp.

After we worked with Fisher Associates, I think people increased their level of respect for each other, their trust in one another’s accountability, and their commitment to the work and projects. They knew they were being encouraged to think on their own, to be more creative, to be more innovative.

President, Mattel-Fisher Price, Canada

Fisher Associates is extremely effective and results oriented. I have never seen them interject their goals and objectives into a client’s goals and objectives. That’s something that we rarely see. Fisher Associates consultants are very flexible, and committed to honoring a client’s beliefs and value systems. They can listen from the perspective of “organizational hard”…things that touch areas as engineering, cause and effect, action/reaction, structure, organization. They can also listen from “organization which is relationship, who people are being and process. They can unlock the door that is needed towards achieving particular goals or objectives.

Director, IBM


A Case Study

The Business of Leadership...Executives learn new tricks


Our executive team has been working on its leadership skill through a program we call "The Business of Leadership." The whole purpose of the program is for us to enhance our effectiveness as leaders of the organization by specific work on leadership techniques. We have been meeting off-site every five to six weeks for a full day intensive session on various aspects of leadership. David Fisher of Fisher Associates, who I have worked with over the last eight years, facilitates the program.


The results we are trying to achieve are:

  • Strengthening our working relationships with each other and establishing commitments to each other's success as leaders,
  • Implementing a process for collaborative design of our vision, mission and objectives,
  • Learning how to create and implement a process for committed communications, founded in committed listening and committed speaking,
  • Practicing how to provide positive acknowledgement of successes and of failures
  • Practicing techniques on how to deal with breakdowns in the execution of our operating plans and
  • Learning how to be effective coaches of each other, so that we can be better coaches of our organizations.


One of the first things we did together was to establish a set of commitments to each other, basically defining that we are and the way we want to be with each other. This set of commitments is the core of what we stand for as a team. If you go to our offices, you will likely find the following framed document, signed by all of us.


We pledge to use the following commitments to each other as the basis for our working relationships:


  • give unqualified trust to each other,
  • maintain open and non-threatening communications,
  • conduct ourselves with candor, honesty and integrity,
  • practice committed listening and committed speaking,
  • make thoughtful and qualified commitments,
  • follow through on our commitments,
  • actively support decisions we make,
  • stand for each other,
  • work out issues directly with each other,
  • join together in escalations of issues,
  • establish common messages and use of vocabulary,
  • ask for commitment through complete and qualified requests,
  • assume the best intentions of others,
  • attend, start and end our meetings on time,
  • be respectful of each others time and personal commitments,
  • use professional language and
  • compassionately coach each other when we have a lapse in meeting these commitments.


This year we have taken this program to its next phase, by involving more of the organization in the program. The way we are doing this is to actually work on some of our most pressing business issues with teams of people made of the organizations that are lead by the executive team member. In proceeding this way, we will be spending time solving real problems, while at the same time work on leadership skill building. So, the people on the teams, led by our executives, will be going through the same program that the executive team has experienced since last March. This phase of the program basically involves most of the direct reports of the BMG members.


So, why are we doing this? We are at a major transition point in the history of this organization. We have grown to be a large and successful organization and we now have to make the next step in our evolution to that of being a supplier of building blocks for computer telephony server solutions. The Internet is remaking the nation's economy around people to people, business to business and people to business interaction. Intel will be a big part of this New World by participating in many of the opportunities to supply components and systems that are the foundation of this changing economic picture. Intel certainly will supply computer and network processor chips for everything from hand-held devices to major computer systems. In addition, we will be part of supplying server level systems that make the networks over which all this communications occurs.


So, we are expanding our reach as a supplier of CT boards to a supplier of server level components and systems, with our boards, software and services. This, quite frankly, has been our vision. We are now part of Intel, and the possibilities for making this vision come true are now even greater with Intel's assistance in technology, marketing and sales channels. To say the least, this is a very large challenge for us, to make both a transition to new business opportunities and to make the transition to a new company culture, in being part of the Intel team. Having strong leadership skill and having a leadership organization that is really running well as a team is even more important than it has ever been. So, we have decided to spend time, not only on our business and product strategy, but also on making ourselves the most effective leadership team as possible. Put simply, we need this leadership strength in order to succeed.


The results we have achieved so far are very positive. I believe that the executive team has become a much closer knit group that has a heightened regard for each other. I have grown as a leader and have established a much more effective relationship with the folks that report to me. We really do stand for each other. I have seen numerous examples of us being able to openly deal with problems in a positive and constructive way.


The Technical Leadership Program, which has also been underway since early last year, is closely tied to this program in that the same leadership concepts are being practiced. It is focused on the day-to-day management issues that managers have to deal with, and gives managers practical training on how to perform management tasks. That program is available for all managers and is strengthening the leadership abilities of the overall management team. The next step is now to expand the Business of Leadership program to the next level of management in the organization.


Having an effective leadership team is really a key part of being a successful business organization. It's something we need to spend time on and to practice every day.