Jennifer Wilson, MA
Executive Coach, Senior Consultant, Facilitator
Jennifer has 25 years of experience facilitating transformational change in people, teams and organizations. She works collaboratively and systematically to design customized solutions that are rooted in values, mission and vision in order to achieve each client’s unique goals. By applying a transformational approach, Jennifer is able to elevate people’s ability to work well together while they design effective ways to achieve outstanding results.
Jennifer is skilled at deeply listening and synthesizing what she hears into workable ideas that reflect the input of all constituents. Her facilitation style helps surface innovative ideas that challenge current conditions to re-energize organizational culture and the way teams function. Jennifer allows people the space to boldly innovate and stretch, creating opportunities for real change to happen.
Jennifer has consulted across the US in diverse settings, from wilderness backcountry to urban boardrooms. A partial list of organizations she has served includes: The Obama Foundation, Sierra Club, NRDC, League of Conservation Voters, Environmental Defense Fund, UNIDOS, Open Society Foundations, ioby, Esperanza Unida, Wisconsin Public Radio, and UW-Madison.
Jennifer has firsthand experience with managing teams as they bring transformational projects from inception through completion. She developed a number of projects for Milwaukee Public Schools, including design and delivery of staff training during a district-wide student information system changeover, and co-creating an online professional development system and an online new teacher mentoring program. Jennifer went on to co-found two urban high schools dedicated to serving marginalized youth.
Jennifer earned her MA in Counseling and Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis and has completed training in coaching, transformational consulting, experiential leadership, and studied Immunity to Change with Keegan and Lahey at Harvard University. She earned her B.S. in psychology at Carroll University. Her diverse training and education helps her bring a unique perspective and fresh ideas to each new client. She takes much of her inspiration from nature, where lessons and metaphors for creating dynamic change abound.
The Science Behind Our Practice
Our work is grounded in established methodologies and models of human and organizational behavior, including, but not limited to the following:
The competencies of emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management) account for an individual’s ability to understand their own and others’ emotions and use that information to guide decision-making and action. Research has shown that leaders who master the competencies of emotional intelligence have a distinct advantage.
Positivity & Resilience
The incredible developments in neuroscience research over the last several decades have enabled a greater understanding of how practices that promote positivity and resilience—both individually and organizationally—have a significant and lasting impact on our capacity for creative thinking, productivity, efficiency, empathy, focus and more.
Developed by Richard Boyatzis, the Intentional Change Model underpins successful leadership development programs by supporting an individual or group in intentionally moving through five stages of change that close the gap between a current “real” self and a clearly articulated “ideal” self.
Appreciative Inquiry, developed by David Cooper Rider, is a strengths-based model of analysis, decision-making and strategic change that clarifies the assets and motivations that are an organization’s strengths in order to build or rebuild an organization based on what is working rather than trying to fix what doesn’t.
Resistance and Cycle of Change
People are at their most creative in their resistance. The Gestalt cycle of change maps the critical stages of change that all members of a group must experience in order to optimize success and minimize resistance. Disruption of the cycle manifests in very specific levels of resistance that can be effectively mitigated through intentional responses.
Mindfulness is the awareness that one develops through paying attention to the present moment through your five senses without judgment. In addition to relieving stress and building resilience, even a simple mindfulness practice can significantly expand your range of options in any given moment. Incorporating mindfulness into any process of change or development supports an individual or group by rewiring the brain for more intentional responses and behaviors.
Dynamic Inquiry, developed by Annie McKee and the Teleos Leadership Institute, is a method of discovery that uncovers an organization’s emotional reality–what people care about, what is working well, and what’s getting in the way. The purpose of the inquiry is twofold: 1) to identify underlying issues related to culture and leadership that are helping or hindering implementation of a strategy; and 2) to build ownership and commitment to the mission, vision, strategy, ideal culture and leadership framework among key stakeholders.