Our large, unwieldy, cross-sector stakeholder group had been struggling for several months to form a cohesive group culture and move forward with our work. There was historical, deeply held distrust between several factions, made worse by the fact that our meetings were facilitated by one of the stakeholders; as an interested party, his motives were questioned. A group of us realized we needed a skilled outside facilitator who had no stake in the outcome. We needed someone who could focus on helping us build group trust and design good decision-making processes, so we advocated for that and got the group’s permission.
We interviewed several consultants, and Leigh Marz and her co-facilitator were absolutely head and shoulders above the rest. Leigh is deeply experienced in working within complex group systems. She brought an incredible toolkit to help us redesign our group process, create deeper levels of trust, gain clarity about our objectives, and design ways to resolve conflict and make sound decisions.
Thanks to Leigh’s skilled facilitation, our group has morphed from a collection of distrustful people operating in silos, to a cohesive group of stakeholders facing in the same direction. We’ve collectively learned to understand and deeply appreciate the value of every person who’s with us at the table. We often still disagree, but we’ve learned how to more skillfully state our concerns and work through them, and to fully leverage the wisdom at the table. It’s truly been a transformative process, and the positive effects will resonate far beyond this particular project.
I would highly recommend Marz Consulting to anyone who is facing a complicated, daunting group project and needs help navigating through the complexity. It makes an amazing difference to have someone as skilled as Leigh Marz serving as facilitator and guide. She and her colleagues at Marz Consulting allow everyone in the group to focus on the content of the work, secure in the knowledge that a committed, caring and incredibly capable facilitator will help them navigate the process every step of the way.
- Stakeholder Member, Bay Area County Coalition
When we began working with Marz Consulting, our project was at a particularly sticky impasse. We agreed on the vision and spirit of what we were trying to do but had difficulty translating our ideas into a solid, sustainable reality. The biggest surprise in this work is how attentive and thoughtful Leigh and her team have approached the work. I never felt like a cookie-cutter off-the-shelf approach to our issues, rather Leigh and her team have been thoughtful and have thoroughly examined the project from multiple angles in order to tailor the solutions and processes to our specific needs.
For us the largest difference has been moving from a stuck place to a place of great momentum- but most importantly, we are aligned- from dream to vision and now reality.
The future is full of potential and, I'm sure, full of different and interesting challenges. That we are talking about a future is amazing, there were times I doubted that our project would continue; now we're developing long range plans to increase the coordination and capacity of multiple systems to support the needs of victims of interpersonal and family violence for many years to come.
I would absolutely recommend Marz Consulting to others.
- Multidisciplinary Team Lead, Violence Prevention Coalition
We began working with Marz Consulting to identify a strong governance structure based on important principles and values embodied by our multi-stakeholder project. We were looking for a consultant who could develop a process that allowed all voices to be heard, which included community advocates, survivors of violence, government staff, and elected officials, and strengthen the working relationships in the process.
With the support of Marz Consulting we succeeded in agreeing on a governance structure and set the right tone and tasks for moving the project forward.
Leigh and her team were attentive, creative and highly effective throughout the process – paying attention to challenging issues, moving us forward, and focusing on our strengths.
- Founding Member, Violence Prevention Coalitionback to top
On our work with Organizations
Our company needed structure, management skills, and motivation. We needed honest, frank, and open discussion about where we were, where we were headed and how to get there.
The professionalism and candor of Marz Consulting is refreshing and helped us as a team refocus and get on the same page. This was no easy undertaking given our business has over 70+ employees.
Since working with Marz Consulting, we have seen a full refocus and restructuring of our company and executed it to perfection. Solid management was our focus and we have been rewarded 100 fold for our investment in our people. It took time and effort and we're still self-improving which is why we continue to work with Marz Consulting.
The future for us is brighter than ever. We continue to see our company grow and we want to continue to invest in our people so that we can replicate our successful teams as we expand into other markets as new business opportunities arise.
Marz Consulting has been there for us, they have the tools and experience to handle some of THE most difficult business situations. With us they've been through the fire and helped us come through it better than ever. I would recommend Marz Consulting for any team looking to adjust their sights from being a good company to becoming a great company.
- Board Member and Owner, B Corporation
It was the growth—the rapid growth—of our organization that created a need for external expertise to advise us on how to navigate the transition and improve our communication. In short, we outgrew the old way of doing business…we needed a different way of being together at three times the size and a new office on the other side of the globe [Beijing].
We’ve done three full staff retreats with Marz Consulting, the first really gelled the newly expanded team—I remember in the first retreat really feeling a sense of connection that we didn’t have prior to that retreat. Working together a second year helped the staff to have trust in the facilitation. We started to deepen the work and name the challenges we face honestly. At the most recent retreat, I appreciated the creative approach used to encourage the group to experience and embody the learning—specifically on our phases of development as an organization.
One of the many concrete results we got in working with Marz Consulting was a customized training on how to give and receive constructive feedback (as a follow-up to one of our full staff retreats). There is definitely now traction around the new skill of having constructive feedback conversations. Our organization is addressing some of the previously unspoken issues. It is definitely “in the water” now. We have permission to talk about issues, to address our issues directly, and DO something about them. We were stuck and our work with Marz Consulting really got things moving again...I am re-inspired, hopeful, and optimistic.
- Manager of Professional Development, International Foundation
“Mil gracias for creating such an amazing space for our staff and board to reflect, embrace each other and share our dreams, hopes, and struggles. You inspired us to move our visions for a more just world forward”
- Manager, Reproductive Rights Organizationback to top
On our work with Teams
I believe it is their deep commitment to values of social justice and meaningful change that makes the work of Marz Consulting so effective.
- Executive Director, LGBT Health Organization
When I worked with Leigh, I was on a team that had an inexperienced manager working under the duress of a huge workload. Team dynamics and interpersonal awareness and understanding were never discussed or paid attention to.
Leigh worked with the team to deliberately and masterfully bring many of the integrative issues that affect a team onto our collective radar, giving the team an identity and pride that it hadn't had before her help.
I was amazed at the high level of team awareness that each member of the team had--especially our inexperienced manager--that was going unspoken. Leigh brought our unspoken worries, hopes, and dreams out as a team and set us down a path towards improved team functionality much faster than I expected!
Incremental changes throughout our coaching experience had a huge impact on team productivity. Our team had optimism for the future of our work together after Leigh's help. Rather than feeling like we were wading through a mountain of work during our team meetings, we were faster and better at getting things done together.
Simply put, if you're feeling stuck as a group, Leigh will get you out of the rut.
- Team Member, International Foundation
Marz Consulting made our first retreat a success. We appreciated all of the research and planning they did to make this a customized seminar for our group. We hope to have a year of academic excellence due to their help. Please accept our sincerest thanks.
- Director, Medical University
Our Program Directors started to have different demands placed on them particularly around the skills of leadership, management, and supervision. We hired Marz Consulting because of their systems coaching approach-- we wanted the work to be about helping the team, not about blaming the supervisor.
I’d highly recommend Marz Consulting to anyone who is transitioning into a leadership role from a more individually focused technical or scientific-focused area of content expertise. They value the individual’s authentic style, or approach, to genuine leadership.
- Manager of Professional Development, International Foundation
Leigh and Julie have facilitated a series of inspiring and illuminating retreats for our Board and staff. They have a wonderful way of drawing out the best in our team and moving us forward into productive actionable next steps. The great enthusiasm and appreciation evident among our team speak volumes about the power of team coaching.”
- Executive Director, Reproductive Rights Organizationback to top
On Leigh’s work with Leaders
Leigh radiates warmth and wisdom. Having been an executive director in the non-profit sector, she is uniquely suited to understand the challenges of career development – or just daily grind – within the world of social change organizations.
- Author and Activist, Water Rights
I find my conversations with Leigh to be insightful and invigorating. She not only reaffirms my passion and commitment to this work, but helps to sort through the maze of my thoughts and give clear direction to my next steps.
- Executive Director, Social Justice Organization
Leigh is fantastic! She has such a broad range of knowledge - it doesn’t matter where the conversations goes, she always has an appropriate resource to share (without overwhelming me with information I'll never use).
- Executive Director, Educational Organization
Leigh has a great sense of how to "separate the wheat from the chaff" and get to the crux of an issue rather than get bogged down in the details. I feel calmer and more centered because of her.
- Research Director, National Healthcare Organization
Coaching with Leigh was about developing insight and understanding, but it was also about putting that newly developed understanding into practice in a way that created tangible improvement in the quality of my life.- Director of Social Networking, Environmental Health Organization back to top