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Ensuring Our Clients’ Success

When our clients are successful, we know we’ve done our job right. Take time to read some of our case studies to see how we can help make a positive impact on your organization.

Institute for Creative Leadership was invited to help Applied Industrial Technologies (AIT), a nationally recognized industrial products distributor, launch a 10-month annual management training COMET (Career Opportunity and Management Employment Training) sequence. This training trained and integrated 15 new associates each year from across the country to fast track their involvement and performance on AIT’s team.

Marcia Mauter, ICL Director, explains “From a business standpoint, AIT knows that ICL’s  learning experience quickly accelerates the get-to-know-you process, and helps the new hires meld into a team that sets its own bar for high performance.”

AIT Leadership, says “When our associates become a part of the COMET program, they are not fully prepared for the human side of our organization. The Institute for Creative Leadership’s leadership and team development training make it clear that our organization values individual contributions as well as team success”.

For  30 consecutive years, Institute for Creative Leadership  has facilitated the first day of the opening retreat for 70 members of each year’s LEADERSHIP CLEVELAND class.    Throughout the training,  ICL challenged the leaders, among other things, to push boundaries….to view the world from other ways in order to operate from a more informed viewpoint… make sure that others don’t suffer because of  ego’s or blind spots… create movement, not motions. The annual sessions also reinforce — through interpretive action and dialogue — the value of the different learning style types, and how each style contributes to solving problems, working in teams, managing conflicts and negotiating relationships and so much more.   When introducing iCL, here is what one former director had to say “Our work with ICL always takes our leadership team to the highest possible experience of understanding and effectiveness, raising our awareness and leadership bar as class members deepen their commitment to our city.”

Institute for Creative Leadership was invited by NASA Glenn Research Center’s Ultra Efficient Engine Technology (UEET) Program to facilitate a retreat for 35 project managers and support personnel.  Goals included 1)  expansion of communication and teaming skills necessary for shared leadership , 2) to buiding consensus around behavioral norms that are important as the team works to shapes its future desires and directions, and 3) to idenity future areas of growth.  A surprise birthday party for the team’s  program manager was  creatively incorporated into the training.

UEET Leadership says:  “This type of training is as critical to the success of the UEET program as ‘traditional’ training since the focus is on our people…people are the most important asset we have. Typically, training for NASA engineers and project managers takes place in a classroom setting with numerous books and viewgraphs presented. ICL provided a unique setting which aided our group in actually experiencing what they were being ‘taught’.  It was good to get away from the normal work environment and participate in activities that helped us get to know one another better as well as identify some key issues and concerns.  This retreat has directly contributed to the continued success or our program and our people. Also, we would be remiss if we did not give tons of kudos to the ICL facilitators .   The excellent quality of the session was directly attributed to them.”

For  over 30 years, Institute for Creative Leadership has helped Diversity Center  of NEO advance their aim of promoting understanding and respect among all races, religions and cultures.  Participants  engage in activities that surface issues of prejudice, stereotyping, inclusion, exclusion, discrimination, and peer pressure.  More recently, ICL facilitates LeadDIVERSITY bookend sessions to the 9 month curriculum.  The focus of ICL’s first session is inclusive leadership, as all participants are convened for the first time;  the focus  of ICL’s second session is ethical leadership awareness.

Attendee reflections include “I gained a great deal of insight on how listening and working together yield greater results”…”ICL facilitators were excellent, inspirational, and highly supportive”….. “You cannot teach what you do not know, and you cannot lead where you will not go.”

OAI’s leadership says “”We are in the business of building teams. Through our  relationship with Institute for Creative Leadership we continue to fine tune our internal team efforts to the benefit of our external customers”.  Over the years, ICL has provided a number of  organizational retreats that address the balance between learning and doing….the opportunity to get to know, connect and appreciate each other at different levels….new strategies and techniques for communication and negotiations….the atmosphere created for sharing issues and concerns…. and more.     The Ohio Aerospace Institute is a private, non-profit consortium that facilitates collaboration (between industry, government, and universities) in aerospace technology, research, and education.

70 administrators and faculty of the PARMA CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT participated in “Unlock the Block” – Releasing the Potential and Power of Leadership and Positive Change. The interactive training was designed as an experiential learning process to help all “think and plan…. ways to execute roles, responsibilities, and contributions in new ways” as leaders in the District and in the field of education. The overall process provided for deeper insights about the requirements and obligations of a leader’s work, and characteristics of effective leaders. A very gratifying experience for all is reflected in just a few of hundreds of comments shared:

“The ICL facilitators modeled the concepts presented, kept us doing, and reinforced important educational strategies”.

“A most positive and stimulating start to our new year. We need to ‘let go’ to grow – there is little growth in holding on to the past.”

” ‘Words create worlds’ is right on target. By paying attention to what we say and how we say it, we can have greater impact.”

For over 15 years, ICL augments the MBA curriculum through the use of outdoor leadership programming.  Self awareness and self examination of leadership skills and style while promoting group interaction and problem the focus.  Students not only identify those skills needed to shape emerging leaders, but they identify their own areas of growth needed to be successful.

John Carroll leadership says  “I appreciate working with the folks at the ICL. They take my input seriously and tailor the activities and debriefing sessions to focus on the skills for which we seek to develop group communication skills, build relationship, and increase student awareness, confidence and competence”

ICL was invited by KeyCorp to facilitate a leadership session for the Key Assets Management group.   Auspiciously scheduled on the same day as Key’s “Neighbors make a Difference Day”, an obvious question in the design of the session emerged: Could the Institute design a small portion of the session that would facilitate the building of good leadership/teambuilding skills and at the same time build a project that would be of benefit to the community?

After an already full day of immersion in teambuilding activities, the last challenge of the training was presented: You want a end of day picnic, then you build the tables. One hour and thirty minutes remain to build two tables. Here are some of the tools, equipment, directions needed….your group will have to come up with the rest.

KeyCorp rose to the challenge in fine form. “The group was extremely resourceful, innovative and responsive to each other and whatever challenge was at hand”. And KeyCorp generously donated the tables for the benefit of other ICL clients to use and enjoy.

Director’s Note: Several years ago, TRW gave ICL the green light to integrate building projects into the framework of ICL experiential teambuilding programs. Since that time, over several hundred tables, bookshelves, rocking horses and chairs have been constructed and donated to nonprofit organizations in our locale.

ICL’s work with the lodging and food distribution industry paved the way for a unusual training event. For the very first time, independent and chain foodservice operators met with food distribution drivers, inside sales and customer service personnel, and distributor sales representatives of the food distribution industry to examine and dialogue around today and tomorrows foodservice operators and foodservice distribution industry opportunities and challenges… a team.

The goal of the retreat  was to examine and develop a new organizational model for a team whose members had never met. “Foodservice operators, food distribution drivers, customer service-inside sales, and distributor sales representatives collective futures are inexorably entwined,” stated ID’s leadership consultant “and yet this team has never been brought together to discuss the real operating and food distribution issues facing them individually and collectively.”


This event, sponsored by ID Magazine, a food distribution industry trade journal publication, began with a powerful presentation by the Chairman of the Board of the National Restaurant Association. The balance of the day was spent in dialogue and testing of the new teams’ model .  Executive Editor of ID Magazine, characterized the event with the comment “Participants quickly targeted the necessity for understanding individual contributions and team potential.”

“The people of DaimlerChrysler are proud of the reputation we have for creativity and innovation. We have been change agents for years, and actually enjoy getting out of our comfort zones”, says the manager of training.    As a result, DaimlerChrysler involved 200+ management and supervisory employees in two rounds of training: teambuilding (shared leadership and communication skills focus) and problem solving (utilizing creative methods to increase familiarity with problem solving tools such as pareto charts, histograms, fishbone diagrams, etc.) A third round of training, the high ropes course, was offered as an elective (personal initiative and mastery focus).

“The Institute staff is well versed and knowledgeable in the business arena. They understood our needs and tailored programs specifically around them. Our people benefited greatly as they came together to find common ground, work well together as a team, communicate and problem solve effectively, and step up to leadership roles.  We’ll be back.”

“Our company strongly believes in the benefits of ICL’s think-do-learn  leadership learning opportunities for employees.  We first began to utilize such training efforts in the United Kingdom. We were fortunate to have been referred to your outstanding organization.  Now we only have to get our people across the Cuyahoga River  instead of halfway across the globe!

Our company has utilized ICL, on a near monthly basis, for both day and multiple day leadership and team development training sessions for 100+ employees, for both management and work force teams. The feedback from the attendees, together with our management’s on-site observations, is that the sessions go a long way in raising our collective consciousness around process improvement issues as they relate to productivity and quality improvement. Both the competence and confidence levels of the workforce are elevated, which are critical to effective leadership within our printing industry.

The Institute for Creative Leadership has been an avenue that has helped us get closer to out goals and remain healthy in an ever-changing marketplace. Obviously, as our business fluctuates, so do our training needs. We place a premium on the fact that  ICL can identify those needs and specially tailor, from a program and process standpoint, training to meet those needs. This type of service is unique in a training provider, and ICL facilitators are to be commended for the skill, effort, and sensitivity they put into making each training event a successful one. ‘Intelligent and respectful’,  ‘soft-spoken yet highly effective’, ‘provide the appropriate mix of hands-on activities with a debriefing as it relates to our issues’, ‘observant and focused’, ‘ maginative’ are reoccurring feedback responses about the ICL facilitators that we have come to expect. We appreciate ICL’s integrity and commitment in supporting our employee development goals and commitment to shared leadership. “

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