When I first met Chip Neidigh he had been brought in by our CEO to conduct a yearlong exercise of building trust with the Indianapolis Art Center’s Leadership Team. I must admit that I was very skeptical given my limited yet disappointing experience with team-building consultants.
What happened over the next year not only showed me that I was wrong but introduced me to a powerful, culture-shifting tool Chip calls Run to the Fire.
By teaching us to address real workplace issues head-on instead of avoiding them and hoping they will go away Chip moved a divisive group to an honest team. He did this one meeting at a time, with clear tools to use and expectations for the next. Most importantly, he held us accountable and kept directing us back to building trust and addressing real issues.
Nine months into this training I took over as the Executive Director of the Indianapolis Art Center. The Leadership Team continued in stride and with Chip completed our training. I must add that by this point we were all at a relatively high trust level so the transition was relatively smooth. I also had the benefit of six one-on-one coaching sessions with Chip after taking this new role allowing me his leadership insight and coaching.
Four months isn’t a long time. But in the four months since we have completed Chip’s Run to the Fire coaching I have made it a priority and begun to take action to instill his practices into our workplace culture.
I have seen individuals who would not speak to one another six months ago become active teammates working together with a healthy balance of offers and requests.
I have seen individuals in leadership roles exhibit managerial courage for the first time and grow from the experience.
I have seen this process work and would recommend it for any team looking to build trust and reap the benefits increased productivity brings.
Patrick Flaherty Executive Director Indianapolis Art Center