"The individuals comprising New Context Consulting are superb. Their amazing ability to assess the dynamics of a complex situation and slice through to the core of a problem makes them invaluable partners. With their help, insoluble problems become manageable opportunities."
"We have been most pleased with the work which New Context Consulting has performed for us. They have truly operated as an extension of our company, with concern, caring, and dedication. There has been a continuity to this work that has modified our culture slowly but steadfastly in a positive way."
"Michael, we were very happy with last year's retreat, so let me again thank you for the important role you played....We acted tangibly on the work we did at the retreat. Funding has increased; we launched a program envisioned at the retreat; we have renovated space based on our discussions there; we have successfully recruited new colleagues; and we are making progress on the articulation of a new structure for the organization."
The International Association for Product Development (IAPD) was organized in 1990 and for the past 13 years has led a program of discovery and leaning in world class product development. Over this time, 400 major corporations have participated in sharing and benchmarking best practices in new product development and have shared their experiences implementing change. The IAPD utilized advanced learning methodologies installed by Michael Sales of New Context Consulting.
One of my projects at the Center for Medical Simulation was to develop a series of workshops for educators and leaders who are working in the field of medical simulation. No one else in the country, or the world for that matter, is positioned to develop and deliver that kind of offering. Michael Sales was instrumental in making it work! He helped conceptualize the delivery model. He developed the leadership courses. As an "outsider", Dr. Sales quickly affiliated with us and made our goals paramount. Although he is capable of seeing and conveying the big picture, he also works the details. For instance, he provided us a model of how to think about and schedule a day's educational activities. I can't say enough about his involvement except to emphasize that he was a key player in starting up this new, and very successful endeavor. And here is one of the amazing things: he made it all so doable that he worked his way out of a job. Now we are able to do what he taught us to do. Thank you Dr. Sales.
Michael Sales has consulted with me over the course of for a number of years on business strategy and leadership skills for my accounting firm. Michael always brings a wide range of business ideas and good communications skills to our coaching sessions, as well as suggestions to improve my communication skills. In addition to all that, I really appreciate it that it's clear that Michael is "in my corner" as a consultant. He is genuinely committed to me and to the success of my firm. His contributions are very timely, and it's been great to know that I can count on his experience and insight.
The notion of "company" is that the coordinated skills and work of its members leads to a better outcome for each member compared to any solitary effort. It is accepted by most that collaboration among members of any organization is essential for its success and, thereby, the success of the membership. At the same time it is an unfortunate reality that a sufficient awareness of what collaboration entails and sufficient collaboration skills require continuous bolstering. Many organizational development consultants have provided excellent 'short courses' in collaboration awareness and skills, the more effective of which have as a key component a way to actually experience the difference between insufficient and sufficient collaboration, for example, the Power and Systems Workshop (Oshry). But sustainable enactment of such training requires, in my experience, follow-up, especially individual coaching of key managers. In my thirty years of management experience at different levels and in several companies, large and small, I have found one coach who has been superior for this need, and that coach is Dr. Michael Sales. Deeply dedicated to healthy organizational life, Dr. Sales is extraordinarily skilled at bringing sound principles of sustainable collaboration to life in everyday individual experiences.
Michael Sales has been a wonderful coach for me over many years. As the leader of a non-profit organization with limited resources, Michael's coaching has helped me make decisions. He is a quick study. He has provided me with straight-forward advice that consistently guided me toward making better decisions. When I need to be analytical, he formulates a framework for the analysis. When I need to trust my instincts, he has the experience to know when that works. He is available. Sometimes all I need is a quick phone conversation. He knows how to listen, cut to the chase and provide real value.
Michael Sales is also a terrific trainer. I have seen him in action with a wide range of people over twenty years: engineers, students, union leaders, business professionals, volunteer Board members and others. He tunes into people's feelings. He keeps his sense of humor. He stays on his toes and connects to the people he is training. He gets the information across in a way that values people's experience. I have hired him a number of times to lead the Power and Systems' Organization Workshop. He does a great job. When you hire Michael, you get a seasoned professional you can rely on to do an excellent job - no matter who the audience is. I have seen him work with engineers and social justice activists. He knows how to communicate with a wide range of people. He does not have a cookie cutter approach. He does his work with integrity, skill, and attention to needs of the specific group.
When promoted to manage a 1000 manufacturing operation, I had a clear agenda for changing the culture. My plans however, stalled given the surprising resistance I encountered from my middle management team. Michael Sales helped me sort through the resistance and see the systemic issues middle managers were facing. Caught between managing work teams that had to make the "numbers" each week and carrying out the change agenda calling for disrupting the traditional work practices of the teams, they balked. Pressures from those they managed and pressures from me put them in an untenable position. When Michael surfaced the systemic dilemma, it facilitated a productive dialogue towards resolution of the impasse.