All Touchstones Executive Programs are tailored to each organization’s needs and requirements. Below are examples of Touchstones’ flexibility and diversity in providing individualized, bespoke programs.
Client: National Security Agency
Building Collaboration Across Diverse Professional Arenas
Touchstones was asked to create a program to build cross-disciplinary collaboration with the Agency’s senior professionals. Within the organization there were challenges and untapped opportunities for more effective communication and collaboration. Each of the various professional backgrounds represented within the group brought its own methodology, and consequently its unique perspective, on assessing and evaluating information. Touchstones created and implemented a 20-session program to provide program participants with practice in developing shared language and more effective methodologies related to collaborative examination of issues and information. The participants learned to evaluate their individual and group outcomes while fostering an environment of trust and enhanced appreciation for respective expertise and viewpoints.
Client: CEO Roundtable of Tanzania and the Office of the President of the Republic of Tanzania
Enhanced Public Service and Leadership Program: Forging Collaborative Relationships across Ideological Divides
Touchstones created an intensive and replicable week-long program in which senior leaders from the government and private corporations worked together to discuss and develop a shared vision for their country. The participants from the two sectors represented historically deeply different ideologies. Professionals dedicated to public service and those immersed in successful free enterprise needed to build trust and a common understanding of the role of the individual and the community in the national vision. The program ran for two weeks for two years and included dozens of representatives from various sectors in government and private industry. During each week together, leaders spent more than 10 hours each day learning and applying new modes of leadership, sharing expertise, and defining specific outcomes and a plan to achieve those for the 2025 national plan.
Client: Central Intelligence Agency
Examining and Redefining Assumptions and Extrapolations
Touchstones was hired to design and implement a program to support senior analysts seeking to integrate intelligence information. Essential to the groups’ work is the ability to be aware of existing presuppositions. These invisible patterns can adversely and undetectably affect decision-making, precluding a more complete assessment of evidence. By exploring and comparing assumptions across diverse groups, cultures, and systems, risk assessment can broaden to include previously unrecognized patterns. This 13-session program utilized strategically selected texts that provided the participants with practice identifying, analyzing, and modifying assumptions.
Client: The Maryland Vehicle Administration
Revealing Hidden Talents and Potentials
Some organizations are already highly successful. Under the directorship of Anne Ferro, the MVA contacted Touchstones for help in refining their already successful management structure. Although the departmental chiefs and the director of the organization were already collaborative and highly reflective, they were unaware of the diverse talents each of them possessed that might further advance their work in the Administration. Over a two year period, this weekly discussion and leadership program placed participants outside their traditional perspectives within their fields of expertise. They learned to explore unfamiliar areas and broadened their mission and responsibilities. Using texts from the humanities, sciences, arts, and diverse cultures offered a platform around which issues of creative and strategic problem solving were explored more effectively. Beyond the evolution of a highly skilled discussion group, the participants deepened their respective professional approaches to evolve new and more collaborative organizational goals.