One of my teachers, the late W. Edwards Deming, shared some of his profound knowledge with me when he said, “Organizations don’t change, people do.” In other words, if people don’t change the way they think and behave, nothing will change.
I have seen so many organizations attempt to change business models, organizational structures, strategies, culture, and many other aspects of their business, only to fail because they did not engage the spirit and minds of the people necessary to make the changes happen. I’ll bet you have seen similar examples.
In the last 25 years, I have partnered with leaders in 39 organizations to revitalize cultures and set up the conditions for successful change. I do not have a “one-size-fits-all” program, but I do use a structure, my Transformation Framework, to guide the process as we design change together.
The crucial starting point for any organizational change is at the top of the organization, with senior leadership. It is essential that senior leaders have a commitment to self-examination and are willing to be vulnerable, transparent, and courageous in becoming self-aware and sharing their awareness and developmental process with the entire organization. What senior leaders think, say, and do has an exponential impact on the organization.
My transformation process utilizes feedback instruments designed to help people appreciate their strengths and limitations. The feedback helps people understand the underlying beliefs and assumptions that lead to limiting behavior, which enables them to work on their limitations at the point of origin, where real improvement is possible.
Coaching is a critical part of the transformation process, and we do this in both one-on-one and group settings. Typically, clients form small teams that meet monthly to support each other in a developmental process, and the feedback instruments offer a way of measuring progress over time.
As people get into their development, various needs for capability-building training arises, and these are brought in as-needed, at the appropriate time.
Typical training includes…
- How to have courageous conversations
- Taking responsibility – from victim to creator
- Developing the capacity for thinking strategically and innovatively
Research suggests that 86% of employees do not know the strategic direction of their organization. So, frequently my process involves organization-wide engagement in crafting foundational principles (mission, vision, values) and strategy. The impact of involvement by employees and stakeholders in a robust and rigorous planning process is compelling. Every individual knows where to focus because the principles and strategies are in their bones!
While the developmental work mentioned above is taking place, we are simultaneously developing the capabilities to continue the cultivation of an inspiring culture within your organization. Your people will learn how to make sure your culture remains vibrant without my help. My goal is to develop your independence, not dependence on me.
Weaving a built-to-suit message into the fabric of his craft!
If you are a leader in business and you haven't yet checked out Andrew Bennett, you don't know what you're missing. As a magician, Andrew is best in class. What sets him apart, however, is his expertise in opening his audience to the realm of possibility by weaving a built-to-suit message into the fabric of his craft. One of Andrew's sweet spots is the design of wonderment to target his audience where they stand, and bring them along a path of discovery and connection using magic and message as the vehicle. His work with both our internal group of leaders as well as our clients has been an absolute success. I can't wait to hire him again.
Achieved all-time best client retention!
I was fortunate to have participated in a presentation of Andrew’s at our annual leadership conference for Paychex last summer. He certainly got my attention with his magic but the message of the power of Abracadabra resonated with me the most. “What I speak is what I create” hit home. I returned to my team and we decided this message of Abracadabra would be our theme for the year.
We’re going through some changes and wanted our results to really stand out this year. Our area of expertise is client retention and we said we would be the best. We spoke it time and again. We incorporated Abracadabra into our stationary and created a banner for our goal board. We handed out fun reminders at events- magic wands and cards, top hats and Andrews orange bracelets! We celebrated our annual party at the Magic Castle.
I am happy to say that we finished our year and achieved an all-time best client retention result. In addition to our local best, we took top honors for this performance in our category.
Profound and lasting impact!
I found Andrew to be an extremely motivating and uplifting spirit. He provided a sense of possibilities about our future and presented his information in a way that uplifted our entire organization. His experience and insights helped us clarify both our strategies and our tactics in our organizational search for culture and vision. I found Andrew to be able to relate to people at all levels of the organization and to speak to people in a way that they could understand and appreciate.
Andrew’s efforts with our organization had a profound and lasting impact.
Additionally, as a consultant, Andrew was able to come across as someone more interested in the best interests of our organization rather than in creating a relationship in which we would be dependent upon him and his consulting for our future success. His ability to make us better and more self-sufficient is something I find to be a rare combination in consulting.
You must truly experience him to appreciate what he brings to those he serves!
Amazing, heartfelt, and incredibly powerful. Andrew's unique combination of talents is so impactful that you must truly experience him to appreciate what he brings to those he serves. His message comes from his heart and soul as he uses magic to communicate the power of possibility for others. He is both powerful and vulnerable, sharing his own story openly while inspiring others to open to theirs.
As one of the top magicians in the world, Andrew could have easily stopped at pure entertainment. But he chose a different path - one that focuses in on what matters most today and how to combine the message of hope and vision in a much more powerful way. This is clearly not the easiest path, but it is the right one for Andrew and for all who have had the privilege to know him and to experience him in person.
I highly recommend Andrew to any organization that wants to create a more powerful message about their future. Without a doubt, he will create what you want and need - and well beyond.
His ability to creatively and uniquely share the message of inspirational leadership to others is a true gift!
I had the great pleasure of meeting Andrew over 10 years ago when he was hired to do strategic planning and leadership development work for Sun Microsystems. Andrew inspired me then and continues to do so today.
His personal stories of triumph and tragedy demonstrate the remarkable person he is and his ability to creatively and uniquely share the message of inspirational leadership to others is a true gift. I appreciate many things about Andrew--his humility, perseverance, and genuine care for others. I also admire his drive and commitment to constantly improving himself and his work.
I feel lucky to have met Andrew so many years ago and have hired him to do work in every organization that I have been a part of since then. Andrew has been a great thought partner, mentor, and friend.
very grateful to Andrew for his contributions to business and humanity
I met Andrew Bennett 23 years ago at Sun Microsystems. At that time, the leadership of Sun's support organization, SunService, had embarked on a large initiative, which challenged many people's existing (and limiting) paradigms about how to define and fulfill their job role. SunService needed enlightened guidance. Andrew helped SunService navigate that change in very positive and fruitful ways. Andrew has had an immensely positive impact on not only SunService, but my own career. I am very grateful to Andrew Bennett for his contributions to business and humanity.
A world class human being and talent!
Andrew Bennett is a world class human being and talent. He has combined the masterful gifts of slight of hand, cutting-edge magic, and humor to create engaging, relevant and entertaining shows that profoundly impact those of us leading in the face of unprecedented complexity and change. My life has been powerfully impacted by one simple but compelling story Andrew shared about an animal on his grandpa's farm and an elm tree. I will never complain about hardship again thanks to Andrew's amazing performance and his profound wisdom.
If your organization is facing overwhelming forces of change, uncertainty and increasing complexity, I strongly encourage you to hire Andrew to lift your spirits with some great laughter, pique your curiosity with his entertaining magic and most importantly walk away with several pearls of wisdom that will guide you and your team through any challenges you encounter.
A valuable investment in our leaders and our company
Your presentation on transformational leadership at Paychex’s 2014 Leadership Conference provided our management team with valuable insight on how they create a culture that embraces changes and, in turn, how they can enable their teams to think about the positive possibilities that come with change.
The way that you integrated your thirty years of business experience with your talent as a magician created an engaging forum for learning for our company’s top leaders. Your presentation clearly supported our culture and demonstrated a perspective that I believe was meaningful and relevant to our business.
I believe that engaging you in our ongoing leadership development efforts was a valuable investment in our leaders and our company. Thank you for sharing your great story and expertise.
Andrew Bennett is an organization development genius.
A new slant on innovation
Andrew Bennett provided our members with a new slant on innovation. One can deconstruct the process of innovation constantly, but until one experiences Andrew’s three tenants of transformation (Appear, Disappear, and Restore) in a visceral way, one does not have a full understanding.
My members asked for another 30 minutes with Andrew and this required some on-the-spot shifting of gears, but the effort made the learning of the AMI members even more satisfying, the ultimate goal of a real learning community.
Works with a kind of passion and energy that you do not see in many people!
Andrew works with a kind of passion and energy that you do not see in many people. He can bring together diverse groups, manage quality conversation and then help members create a lasting solution. The great benefit of working with Andrew is his ability to foster creative thinking to problems facing organizations while at the same time getting the buy-in of key stakeholders. I would highly recommend Andrew for any organization.
A special talent for delivering information!
Andrew works with both small and large groups with the company – anywhere from roughly twenty to six hundred employees – and every time he develops a quick rapport with his audiences. He livens up the room and he has a knack for putting people at ease. By encouraging an atmosphere of openness, Andrew has helped to build trust among our employees, a mainstay of our company culture.
His innate business savvy and charismatic personal style perfectly complement his passionate commitment to professional excellence and make him a pleasure to be around. Each of the managers who has worked with him greatly appreciates his unique and very effective contributions.
Andrew is an innovative persona with a special talent for delivering information in a way that managers and others from a broad range of backgrounds can understand and use. He possesses a natural gift for relating to people, and, as a result, our employees feel a greater personal connection to the company and know they work around people who care about the company and one another.
A unique and extremely powerful way of relaying information that truly captures attention!
Andrew has a unique and extremely powerful way of relaying information that truly captures attention.
Not long after taking over a new department I asked Andrew to speak with our team. Our focus was team building, not just within our team but also within the company. After Andrew spoke one person said they had attended hundreds of seminars over their career but this was the best by far. Our team started using an "Abracadabra" mindset (Andrew let us make copies of his system, which everyone has posted in their cubes.) and combined with hard work the positive energy started to become visible.
A few months later I heard that another exec who attended Andrew's seminar referenced his key learnings with the kickoff of a new project. These examples are proof to me that Andrew's messages really resonate, and can make a difference.