Our Services

Whether you want to develop as an individual leader, want to improve your organization, or want to support a community effort or a network, we can help you. Here's how. 

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The best way to get a comprehensive understanding of our approach is to come to a 2.5-day training we call a Public Innovators Lab. During this Lab we'll teach you the fundamentals of our approach by using real-world examples and helping you apply what you learn to your local challenges. You'll leave with an action plan and concrete ways to improve your work as soon as you get home.

There are two ways to be part of a Lab:

  • Purchase a Lab for 50-100 people in your organization, network or community, and we'll come to you; or
  • Join one of our two national Labs. One is open to everyone and one is specifically for library professionals in the U.S. that we co-host with the American Library Association.

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The Virtual Lab is an interactive 8-week online course, currently offered three times a year. Eight 90-minute sessions from your own computer covering the same material as our in-person Lab with discussions and application exercises in between. You get the same quality at a reduced cost with more flexibility and more time to absorb and apply what you're learning. You can train as an individual or with a team.

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Training & Coaching initiatives

Do you want to create deep change that sticks? If so, we want to partner with you. We can support your organization, members of your network or a cohort from your community over 18 to 24 months.

We will train you in our approach, then coach you and support you through monthly phone calls, 2-3 additional one-day meetings and supplemental training webinars so that we are actively helping you apply what we teach you to your individual, organizational and community challenges.

Our training and coaching process has been used in countless communities and national, state and local networks over 30 years. It works and will leave you with greater capacity, a stronger culture and the ability to get better results in your programs and strategies. 

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: 'Public voice' Projects

Before you do another survey, or focus groups, "needs assessment," or community visioning process, stop and consider this: What if we told you there was a better way to understand your community even more deeply, in a way that actually builds relationships, implicates the whole community in solving problems - and doesn't require an army of experts? There is! 

We help organizations and groups listen to and understand their community and share that learning in a way that makes a positive difference. Our approach doesn't require you to be expert facilitators or researchers, doesn't require expensive, big town hall events and best of all, the process itself helps you bring your community together. We can train and coach you and your team to do the listening and write a report on what you learn, or we can be more deeply involved. We've done this work in dozens of communities of all shapes and sizes.

helping communities tackle tough issues

We help communities work through complex challenges where answers don't come easily, the stakes are high, and the trade-offs are real. Recently, for example, Rich Harwood led a group of community leaders in Newtown, Connecticut, through a process to determine what to do with the Sandy Hook School following the 2012 mass shooting of 20 children and six adults. We've helped Goodwill Industries International address issues related to employment of people with disabilities, brought people together to address the complexities of healthcare reform and jumpstarted long-stalled education reform efforts, just to name a few examples. These efforts vary in size and scope and are customized with our partner.