Through your skilled and empathetic assessment, facilitation, and coaching, you helped us transform into an organization of engaged employees and stakeholders, focused on customer service and the common good. We became vision and mission driven, aligned in purpose and agile and innovative. We became a recognized state and national leader in capacity building and creative stewardship of the environment, our capital resources, and our human assets.
Lloyd S. Berg
Past President of the Board and Commissioner,
Kitsap Public Utility District
Over a number of years, and in different settings, I have had many opportunities to witness Dave Siburg’s unique skills in strategic planning, in facilitating discussions, and in bringing groups to a consensus. The following example exemplifies these skills.
Several years after the formation of the Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet), the member utilities had a major difference of strategies as to how to accomplish our mission. The difference was serious enough to discuss throwing in the towel and walking away from more than an invested $30 million dollars and our goal of promoting rural broadband in Washington State. Dave facilitated a 2-day strategic planning workshop that enabled our group to step back from entrenched positions, find common ground and develop a plan to move forward.
Dave has an innate ability to listen, extract the pertinent details, restate those back to the group and reach positive ways to accomplish a stated goal. He is very adept at finding common ground between differing factions and facilitating a solution. He is respectful at all times of everyone’s views and opinions as a discussion develops.
Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors, NoaNet
Commissioner, Mason PUD 3
I have great respect for Dave’s ability to successfully lead a group through a challenging strategic planning effort. He knows how to set the stage in a way that helps them see beyond their immediate environment and then asks the kind of probing questions that opens them up to new possibilities. He is a master at keeping a group on task without being heavy handed and he makes the whole process fun. Most importantly, he is skillful at steering the discussion in a direction that will result in a plan that is both grounded and transformative. It is a pleasure to watch him work.
Vice President, Gordon Thomas Honeywell-Governmental Affairs
Former Chief of Staff, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire
Our diverse organization of local elected officials and their professional staff worked with you on several occasions to help us clarify issues and areas of disagreement, then to reach consensus and move ahead with a renewed vision of our common interests and opportunities for collective action. You brought to these efforts the high level of energy and facilitation skill needed for success, along with a reputation and professional approach that earned the respect of our organization members and those who participated in these large-group processes.
Water Program Director and former Acting Executive Director
Washington Public Utility Districts Association
Dave is a critical and comprehensive thinker who is always encouraging folks to be innovative with the resources at hand. His ability to focus attention on assessing a situation and the supporting assets is extremely valuable in facilitating the implementation of a strategy that maximizes operational success with multiple net benefits.
Kevin Morley, PhD
Manager, Federal Relations
American Water Works Association, Washington, D.C.
You have that rare ability to move a diverse group of people through a collaborative process so that at the end of the process they believe and act with ownership and accountability to each other because ‘they did it themselves’. Plus, you have the passion and skill to leverage capacity, assets, and will, in collaboration to build more robust and innovative service offerings and more adaptable organizations.
CEO, Northwest Open Access Network
Dave Siburg has been a national leader in building and leveraging capacity in organizations with severe limitations in technical, managerial and financial capacity. More importantly, Dave is a thought leader in applying passion and vision, management theory and research, and collaboration to community welfare and organizational sustainability issues.
J. Alan Roberson, P.E.
Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, Washington, D.C.
Dave Siburg is an executive leader without peer. This is why he was repeatedly drafted for national panels dealing with intractable challenges after he served on a landmark assembly of national experts operating under the strict guidelines of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. This first panel, the Water Security Working Group, brought together stakeholders from public and private organizations, some as small as a homeowner's association, others serving 19 million customers across vast terrain, as well as multiple single-issue advocacy groups in an effort to find common ground in securing the nation's drinking water supply in the aftermath of 9/11.
Of the senior executives present, Dave alone was invited to follow-on panels to do the hard work of fleshing out collaboratively developed recommendations in order to translate them into actionable steps with measurable outcomes.
Having personally witnessed his transformative finesse on display in these panels (not as an executive but as a subject matter expert), I can testify to his rare insight and success in distinguishing between garden-variety problems and the kind of maddening predicaments that resist traditional problem-solving.
Why? Because Dave grasps a distinction Richard Farson made in Management of the Absurd (Simon & Schuster, 1996, pp. 6-7). This is the distinction that predicaments have more moving parts and require interpretive thinking and the ability to put a larger frame around a situation. Dave Siburg is a virtuoso at applying interpretive thinking to address the kinds of situations that bedevil even the most seasoned professionals.
Signature Approaches (pioneered by Dave Siburg) – The Collaboration Ministries Difference
- Teasing out metrics that sharpen focus into what people and organizations are doing
- Modeling a deep understanding of how to have the greatest impact rather than just looking temporarily smart in front of an audience
- Never stalling, waiting for the situation to change as long as there is important work that needs doing
- Epitomizing the secret of remaining approachable yet professional
- Instead of writing a convoluted mission statement, demonstrating how to live it
- Only working with people who care
- Showing how to abandon yesterday, putting under-performing processes on trial for their life, and redirecting resources to where they can make a positive difference
- Leveraging the secret of playing to people’s strengths and making their weaknesses irrelevant
- Finding ways to starve problems and feed opportunities
- Looking for the potential in people and spending time developing it
Erstwhile security director and adjunct professor
Author of Managing the Insider Threat: No Dark Corners
Your work helped identify a significant misalignment between our non-profit community development organization's mission and staff interpretation allowing us to positively take action. Your insightful and comprehensive assessment for the community development organization created the foundation and framework for the Board's current work.
Rev. Kelly Chatman
Senior Pastor, Redeemer Lutheran Church and
Executive Director, Redeemer Center for Life, Minneapolis, MN
I want to express my appreciation to you for the work you have done at NoaNet. You have been instrumental in the “fixing” of NoaNet and helping it to focus on its vision and mission … It was a very unhealthy organization … and now it is a very strong organization, both in staff and leadership as well as financially.