NeXtwork Partners

What's Next?

NeXtwork Partners, LLC is a michigan-based hybrid consulting company founded as a container for the next work of Lisa Connors, a bit of a hybrid herself. Lisa and her partner clients and colleagues create a culture of care wherever they work, and from this ground assess, design, facilitate, ideate, co-create the answers to what's next?

To explore Where You Are Now, What is Possible, and What's Next with Lisa or one of her partners, please connect with us by e-mail or phone. Or begin with the Get Clear Form

Mentors & Methods

Below are many of the mentors and engagement methods we use in our work, based on what is needed. I have attempted to provide you with links to not only purchase the books that describe these methods, and more importantly what lies beneath the 'tools', but also to the 'official' webspaces of those originators, teachers, mentors, discoverers, and inventors who are still with us. I will also link to the best definition I can find, yes even if that is on GASP Wikipedia.


Tim Brown and Tom Kelley of IDEO were among the first to apply the most creative approaches in product design to organizations and systems 'change by design.' As a designer by training and OD consultant-by-destiny this is what I do anyway, called by different names. Having said that these books on design thinking and innovation are fun, informative, inspirational and I have borrowed liberally from their practices and wisdom in my work.

Used When:  Something new needs to come forth - product, process, system, whole organization from the ground up.

IDEO Home of the design greats who named and claimed this trend as their own.

PeerSpirit Circle Process

Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea have been pioneers in re-claiming, and refining for mainstream use, the ancient practice of circle council to build participatory leadership.

Used When:  Groups need to listen and engage one another at a deeper level than day-to-day conversation and typical meetings to resolve conflict, see larger possibilities, build shared understanding and shared leadership.

PeerSpirit, Inc. You may download basic circle guidelines at their site, as well as purchase all of their books and downloadable tools and guides.

Calling the Circle Foundation Home of the Legacy Project honoring Ann and Christina's body of work and the Circle Carriers they have taught.

Open Space Technology


Harrison Owen 'discovered' this widely used method for a meeting without an agenda. It is quite a paradox for me to endorse this as I often tell folks in my time management courses never to attend a meeting with no agenda. This is the one exception I make. 

Used When:  Groups of any size need to organize, think, and co-create around complex topics including wicked problems, and What's Next visions.

Download Harrison Owen's User Guide Circa 1993


World Cafe

Originated by Juanita Brown and David Isaacs, the World Cafe method process has been used by tens of thousands of people around the world to tackle real-life issues. Based on seven key principles, it begins with small, intimate conversations at cafe-style tables; these gatherings then link and build on each other as people move between groups and cross-pollinate ideas.  

Used When: Engaging groups to unleash creative thinking and meaningful conversation on one or multiple topics, looking at all sides of a problem or possibility as input for powerful action. Strategy, innovation, creation, connection.

The World Cafe Official website with a wealth of stories, photographs and downloadable tools and guides for hosting generously provided for your use. Donations to the World Cafe Foundation are respectfully requested.



Changes happen to us, transitions happen in us, and they rarely if ever proceed at the same pace. Change and transition is a given in every single piece of work NeXtwork does. William Bridges was one of the first to describe the reality of the 'people side of change', and emphasize that every beginning must start with an ending. Bridges translates his expertise and experience into tactical steps and checklists for managers, executives and other change leaders. 

Used When: Individuals and groups of any kind are dealing with change - poorly.

William Bridges and Associates Official website of Bridges and colleagues with helpful articles and links.


Appreciative Inquiry

This method, with an emphasis on focusing and framing all aspects of change from the positive perspective, has been adapted by many for use in transforming corporations, education and healthcare institutions. Appreciative interviewing, appreciative coaching and other applications have cropped up everywhere. This book is by the originators.

Used When: Designing and leading processes where focusing on the 'dream' and building on what is already working is needed to really shift an entrenched mindset or culture of negativity.

 Appreciative Inquiry Commons Worldwide portal for all things Appreciative Inquiry and the developing field of Positive Change. Hosted by Case Western Reserve University, they have an amazing library of A.I. case studies.


DiSC Assessment

The DiSC is one of many many many profilers out there that help you understand yourself and others through the lens of psychological styles and preferences that drive behavior. Useful in understanding differences in people, I am continually amazed at how quickly taking and sharing assessment result within a workgroup changes the dynamic from annoyed and judgmental to curious and compassionate. NeXtwork Partners offers many DiSC assessment options as part of our work with clients.  

Definition:  There is a great overview of DiSC here and the history of the tool's development is really interesting!

Used When: Effective communication and 'understanding' is needed among a group to leverage strengths, overcome personality conflicts, increase self and 'other' awareness.



I met Dr. Chene Swart in 2012 and her brilliant adaptation of Narrative Therapy to leadership and organization transformation changed me, elementally. I use the tenets of narrative practice as Chene has outlined them in this book liberally, with her generous support, in my personal life, my writing and my coaching and consulting work. Available now in the United States as an E-book.

Used When: Deeply entrenched identities become problematic and something elemental needs to shift to open up new pathways in individuals, teams, organizations, communities and even, as Chene boldly proposes, the world.

Reauthoring-Teaching Collaborative Portal to many resources on narrative practice including links to Chene's book and website.

copyright 2015 | NeXtwork Partners, LLC