Our Discipline

Watershed’s approach to organizational development is unique and embraces the following.

Believing in organizational and personal development

We passionately believe that people, teams and organizations can — and want to — grow and develop. We appreciate that people sometimes slip into unproductive, and even destructive, habits, but we have come to see that given the right mix of support, safety and challenge, people will change and flourish. We have resilient optimism regarding organizational development, and we’ve seen its contagion again and again.

Being intentional

We help people understand how crucial purpose and vision are to the successes of their organizational development and their own leadership. We ask people to step outside their day-to-day actions and look for the “why” in what they do. We ask people to be more accountable and purposeful, ask them to lead from the inside-out, and help them see how they have permission to inspire, no matter what their role in the organization is.

Appreciating risk

We believe risk-taking is a crucial strength of the most successful leaders. Though risk itself is not the leader’s intent, the highest performing leaders are willing to take risks — and fail — in order to learn, clarify their business, challenge their limitations and grow. We help leaders understand the risk tolerance they have, help them see how they underestimate — or overestimate — their capacities, and help them become more intentional with the risks they take and ask their teams to take.

Meeting learners on their terms

We have a core belief that people have different styles of learning, and that they know how they learn best — so all of our programs combine a range of different learning modalities. We combine classroom theory with hands-on experiential learning activities, deep dialogue with opportunities for quiet reflection, small groups and large group work, written and visual materials. We work at all levels of an organization and understand how that commitment requires different ways of talking and listening.

Communication, communication, communication

We get people talking. We create spaces where people are comfortable sharing opinions, thoughts, convictions and feelings, and we help them create those same spaces for their teams back at home. We believe, in fact, that organizations are simply collections of conversations and stories, and we help our program participants more clearly lead those conversations and write those stories.


We too have grown over the course of our careers, and one of the areas of our own development that we’re most excited about is our work helping organizations create a culture that supports sustainability on their terms. Our partners in the U.S., Miller Consultants Inc., are leaders in organizational sustainability, and we’ve been working with them to develop ground-level programs to help organizations like yours make sustainability a core commitment of business practice.

Learn more about how Watershed can support the development of your organization.