"In the fall of 2013, we sought Susan’s help to facilitate our strategic business planning process. Our challenge was to identify and prioritize our business improvement initiatives and then effectively communicate our business plan and underlying business drivers to employees. Susan worked well with my management team to draw out our thinking and assumptions about our business and the challenges we were facing and to bring clarity to the recommended actions and resulting business plan. The final product allowed us to focus scarce resources onto the most important priorities and provided a platform to talk directly to employees about our business. I appreciated Susan’s gentle prodding as she challenged our team to push harder in a particular area, and her help in distilling the product for our employees. She is a very thoughtful facilitator who took the time to understand what we were trying to achieve and brought this sensitivity to her work with us. I would wholeheartedly recommend her to other clients."
Chief Operating Officer
"When struggling to plan our executive strategic planning retreat, we asked Susan to help us structure a meaningful agenda that was specifically designed to fulfill our objectives for the two-day session. We wanted to cover a wide range of material and to come out of the session with measurable business and corporate culture development goals. Susan immediately understood what was required and practically outlined a program that met our requirements. The tasks to complete were clear and easy to implement. Susan prepared an outstanding balance for the day between the use of hard business planning tools and those designed to create greater executive team collaboration in the future. The agenda was practical, fun and results driven. Susan was able to condense the key points from the two-day meeting into a report that captured the critical issues. Her insights were on-point with recommendations that made sense to our team.
We had great success in working with Susan and she is highly recommended. Susan facilitates the strategic planning process like no other consultant we have utilized and takes the time to fully understand our own unique objectives."
"I have worked with Susan over the past 15 years in several roles. When a complex project requires planning, management and timely completion, Susan has been a "go to" resource. With a strategic mind and unique ability to see the required steps, Susan establishes a road map for success and builds supportive teams to get the work done. Susan understands the importance of a constructive organizational culture and the direct relationship between employee engagement, strategy execution and improved operational performance. We have achieved significant improvements in the development of our strategy, the engagement of our teams and overall results with Susan's direct involvement."
Senior Vice President
"Susan is a very dynamic and focused individual, one who has demonstrated a clear ability to get the task completed while also, and just as importantly, building strong relationships with stakeholders. She is both inquisitive and intuitive and has an ability to probe for new ideas and potential solutions to any challenges that are presented. Susan is adept at being very well organized and completely developed an impressive implementation plan with realistic timeframes and performance measures, all of which she achieved as planned."
"Susan brings a sense of purpose and determination to her clients and her projects. She is reliable and trustworthy and always does things in a very professional manner. She has a unique way with people and sets them at ease and instills trust. She is business like and competent, but she does this in a way that shows how much she cares about people. Susan has a very creative mind for figuring things out and the paperwork and reports she provides are very professional and attractive. Susan is sensible, loyal, compassionate, kind and has integrity. She also has a wickedly great laugh."
"I have worked with Susan over the past 2 years as we transform our team culture and really draw out the best from all our people. Susan has not only been the expert in the field with disciplined, credible analytics that can support a management team; she has also been team coach, posing questions that drive us to be more clear about our intentions, more interactive and open with our teammates, and more inspired to support one another through what is both individual and group journey. Her tools for creating conditions for deep and energized dialogue have been impressive and helpful – for our small and large groups. Her resources that encouraged our team to build resilience through constant change will be referred to well beyond this time and place. I recommend Susan as an enlightened team partner to any organization seeking more starch in their spine. Thank you, Susan, for your counsel and personal commitment to our success."
"I have worked with Susan for over a year and have learned how to better utilize my leadership style to benefit my employees, my company and my customers. Her insights and professional tools were instrumental in helping me adapt to essential style and communication changes while maximizing my personal strengths. I can truly say that Susan has coached me through a necessary journey that many are benefiting from. In parallel, I now have better ‘balance’ as a leader and enjoy my work much more."
VP, Customer Services
"I engaged Susan at a point when I was part of a leadership team leading the most significant organizational change our company had undertaken in decades. In this case, it wasn’t just the change management tools that she supported me with, but how to leverage and sustain my own personal leadership competencies through this very difficult time. Her tools and guidance enabled me to maintain my own personal energy and performance needed to lead the organization through a difficult change."
Vice President, National Accounts
"It is with great pleasure that I can summarize my experience when with working with Susan. I called Susan in to help develop a more well rounded team and address some of the team dynamics and issues around trust and expectations during a time of leadership transition.
Susan created a more neutral tone right off the bat and created a space where the team felt heard and that they could focus on the outcomes instead of the inertia.
Susan met with the group collectively and individually, was always available and created fabulous reports that were shared with both the team and the leadership group to facilitate and enable positive change.
The results were ongoing over a period of time and resulted in a much more communicative and collaborative team after the months she worked with us!
Susan has an ability, in a calming way, to facilitate the dynamics and bring everyone back to the same point of focus. She creates trust at many levels and listens intently to the issues to create strong resolutions. I would absolutely use Susan again and would strongly recommend her services to any organization."
Executive Director of Operations
"Susan is well known for her analytical skills and ability to simplify
complex and challenging projects in a way that creates engagement by all
parties involved. She posses strong knowledge of processes, tools and
systems associated with operational improvement. While I've met many
consultants that can provide all of the above, what sets Susan apart is
her calm personality and truly people oriented approach. Susan is very
knowledgeable about different personalities and can help individuals to
overcome self imposed barriers. She is gifted in finding out what her
customers need (even if at times, they are not clear about their
objectives) and help them craft a step by step strategic and systematic
plan to accomplish the desired objectives. Susan is results oriented and
has strong verbal, written and presentation skills. I highly recommend
Susan for Individuals and organizations who need more clarity and
direction and are prepared to handle the success that will come due to
their work with Susan."
"If I were to choose one word to describe Susan, it would be visionary. She is extremely creative and has a strategic mind that can ’zoom out’ to see the big picture, detect the areas that need attention, and then ‘zoom back’ to put a plan into action. Susan is very forward thinking and an excellent problem solver. I’ve often heard of her referred to as brilliant because she is able to see solutions that no one else has considered. "
"Susan’s positive and optimistic approach to problem solving contributed greatly to the success of all projects she has worked on for me. She designed, developed and implemented a very logical and well thought out process for the development and monitoring of business planning and implemented a very successful marketing and communication program to improve service to the Ministry’s customers."
"I am an executive for a large utility that manages a large business group of about 220 professionals. I have known Susan for a number of years and been part of a number of sessions that she has lead for senior leaders in my area of the business. Last year I hired Susan to do both an assessment of the current leadership culture in my business group and to facilitate a series of workshops to help us determine the direction we need to take to improve the culture to one that will help us be more effective at meeting our business goals. In gathering the material she needed for this purpose she worked closely with many people in the group to determine the state of the culture currently.
During this time I worked closely with Susan in several ways. One component was to discuss both our philosophies in determining the right leadership principles for increasing effectiveness within this team. Another was in developing strategies for the sessions that we would undertake and finally I worked with her as part of the team sessions themselves.
I found Susan to be highly effective and professional. She has an expert’s view of what organizational culture and leadership can do for an organization. She worked seamlessly with all the members of my team to help them realize the potential we all possess, and she very skillfully utilized the attributes of the people in the room to build a foundation for, and consensus toward the kind of organization that is effective and motivating to employees. Her results speak for themselves. This group was at or near the top of the company in terms of high employee engagement scores and the business group met all of its milestones and targets for the year after Susan’s involvement.
I would not hesitate in hiring Susan again to work with this team and plan to do so. She worked very well with all the managers in my organization. On a personal note I learned much from Susan’s knowledge and skill that I will incorporate into my own work in the future. I found her to be highly engaging and positive, and a true pleasure to work with."
"Susan helped me to develop a Strategic Planning process and to write a Five-year Strategic Plan. Over a period of three months, she was able to apply her tact and coaching skills to help keep a group of senior leaders aligned with a clear end goal. She was able to focus conversations when they were in danger of drifting off at a tangent. She was able to encourage healthy challenge & debate among the team, while simultaneously helping to keep everyone’s mind on task. She brought numerous insights to the team (articles, videos, etc.) that deepened people’s understanding of the overall benefit of the process. Susan also helped me to develop my thinking and approach to designing the process. She constructively challenged me and helped me to structure my thoughts in a more coherent way, and she was an invaluable sounding board for new ideas, and for listening to my frustrations. I would highly recommend Susan."
Director, Strategic Planning
"Our organization benefited tremendously from Susan’s work with us. She identified our current and ideal cultures and then helped us strategically plan how we can shift to a more productive culture and working environment within our business group. Susan works well with our leadership team and knows our business, opportunities and blind spots. By helping us shift our culture, we will reap the benefits Susan’s insights and advice for years to come."
Program Manager, Employee Engagement
"Susan is very kind hearted and cares about other people. She is smart and has a very high EQ – she knows how to access situations in life and in business. She is good natured and easy to talk to and easy to approach. I’m not sure the term but she is able to talk to and connect with all types of people – it could be a beggar on the street or a high official (for example Princess Diana was this way but Kim Kardashian is not). She has a great sense of humour and can find humour in situations. Her experience working in both North America and Asia/China business environment including commercial and government sectors is very strong and this breadth of knowledge is very helpful. Susan is fair and has a great deal of wisdom. She has great leadership qualities and is able to bring diverse people together through her strong diplomatic skills."
"When I started working with Susan I had recently transitioned into my first senior executive role, and her coaching and guidance was invaluable in this time of transition for me. She helped my see my role from a higher perspective, she helped ground me in the role, and she provided insight on how to approach my new peers that were formerly my leaders. She was also instrumental in helping me relate to my reports and the senior executive staff from my new position and role. Over time Susan transitioned from an introductory executive coach into a coach and sounding board, which was a key value point at that time. I still value her insight and coaching to this day, and I pull from her coaching as I progress through my executive career."
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
"Susan always makes people comfortable in her presence and makes them feel like they are seen and heard.... this is a major and important attribute. She has an amazing ability to help people (at all levels) move outside their comfort zone and do things. Susan has a great ability to do and say what needs to be done (pleasant or otherwise) while totally respecting the individual. She always achieves results and has a great ability to inspire trust and confidence in others. She is very intelligent and has a cheerful and pleasant disposition. What I also enjoy and admire about Susan is the love she shows for her family."
VP Learning and Development
"Susan Kleinschmidt is a professional executive coach and I recommend her to both start-up and seasoned companies alike. Her business acumen covers, but is not limited to, North America and Asia (Greater China) with experience in both corporate and government sectors. She's helped me in my own start-up as well as working as a consultant with European and US companies, whether in Mainland China or at home in the U.S."
"Susan is able to see, understand and come up with observations quickly of the issues in a very short amount of time. She is an ultimate troubleshooter that can - if allowed - bring a business that is in trouble around quickly, and gain confidence with others such as the senior people in the company that might have been the loudest objectors in the beginning who very quickly become her biggest fans. Susan is intelligent, confident, capable, encouraging and dependable."
Vice President Human Resources
"It's amazing that Susan’s learning curve is so quick! She can skim information really quickly and is then able to process it into a product - document, strategy, and general materials. Susan is empathetic, discreet and observant. I am always impressed with Susan’s ability to keep home and work ticking along - the ability to juggle it all and at the end walk out the door with matching handbag and scarf/shoes. Amazing!"
Director of International Marketing
"Susan is a highly skilled facilitator and through the use of innovative tools and techniques, she is very effective in engaging senior managers across an organization to lead the development of strategic plans aligned with corporate objectives. She is dynamic, asks great questions and is able to help a management team get from ideas to concrete plans that are practical and make business sense. She has a penchant for learning and brings her insights and business strategy expertise to help her clients develop creative solutions. Susan is a strong motivator with exceptional coaching and people skills that enable her to bring people together to resolve issues, move forward and develop a common vision."
"My first coaching experience was with Susan. It was very easy to interact with her as I shared business and personal challenges. She offers a refreshing outside perspective. She is realistic and asks the tough questions at the right time. She provides thoughtful, realistic, fair, balanced feedback. She is helpful in brainstorming alternative solutions or approaches. She recommends a good variety of options and helpful tools to consider. She provides valuable guidance on how the message communicated might be received by team member versus intended. And finally, Susan is upbeat, optimistic, and supportive in her coaching manner. If you have the opportunity, I would recommend working with Susan."
Sr. Director, Customer Service
"I had the pleasure of working with Susan Kleinschmidt over the course of a year-long executive coaching program. Susan was an amazing resource who provided great feedback and advice that spanned the business continuum. I would highly recommend Susan’s services. She was a tremendous coach and asset to me personally."
"Susan was my (12) month coach as part of a Leadership Program. She was able to help me keep focused on the goals I shared with her during the beginning of our relationship. She quickly provided specific literature / reference articles for specific initiatives that helped guide me into creating compelling messaging that helped motivate my team. She was very good at asking me questions that I had never asked myself, which led me to go out and find my own answers. I believe my team benefitted from her coaching me as it helped make me a stronger, more inspirational leader."
"Susan created a culture of recognition, morale building, teamwork and excellent customer service in this branch and many other areas of the Ministry. Her attitude of support and encouragement encompasses all and enriches our workplace. Every idea gets heard; every effort is appreciated; every person matters. The result is a strong team that appreciates and supports each other, and a desire to excel at whatever we do."
Senior Research Officer
"I have been witness over and over to Susan’s never ending ability to uplift and boost the morale of all who work for her and to extend that to all who work in the Ministry. She never fails to recognize and congratulate those people who do an outstanding job. I am impressed with Susan’s ability to make people feel important about themselves and the work that they do. She always has an open door where her colleagues and employees feel comfortable in approach her for advice or help with work or personal issues. Susan’s positive, encouraging and accepting approach makes us want to be the best we can be. "
"Susan is a very unique individual. She shows a genuine concern for all, and all who come into contact with her leave as a better person. She is sincere, supportive, gracious, organized, optimistic. She provides great direction, is encouraging to all team members. She is warm, open-minded and welcoming."