Of the five partners and employees at Next Element Consulting, four are left handed.
That may not mean anything, they said, but it seems significant that the person who handles the firm’s finances and marketing, Michele Ediger, is the only right-hander.
The other four engage daily in trying to transform organizations and their leaders through listening, testing, coaching and training. They help companies, schools, government agencies and nonprofit groups deal with conflict, improve leadership and communication, and measure those results to validate effectiveness.
“We focus on team dynamics, training and team building for companies,” said partner Jamie Remsberg. “We’ll create simulations where people’s true colors come out so that we can better deal with them.”
Partner Nate Regier said that he could tell within 15 minutes at a company staff meeting whether there is a problem, what it is and how deep it is just by listening to how people talk, what they say and watching their body language.
Measuring is crucial, Regier said. The coaching they do, and the systems they put in place must result in real change, or there is no return on investment, Regier said.
“It’s outcomes driven,” he said. “We collect tons of data to show what’s working and what’s not.”
Some of their larger clients locally include Wesley Medical Center and a school district in the suburban Minneapolis, Minn., area.
They have disputes among themselves, of course. But as experts in organizational behavior, they practice what they preach.
“Conflicts happen every day, but we work through them,” Regier said.
“It’s exhausting because we’re not willing to ignore what’s going on,” said Ediger. “I love my partners because they helped me be a better person.”
What sets Next Element apart nationwide is its entrepreneurial spirit, Regier said.
It has developed a new product and system, the Next Element Outcome System or NEOS, for which it trains other consultants and for which it licenses the use. It’s an easy-to-use nine-question questionnaire that the partners say will reveal how people feel and are functioning. The firm has also developed a smartphone app called Pocket PCM (Process Communication Model) and a soon-to-be-published book, “Stop the Drama, A Guide to Compassionate Accountability in Business and Personal Relationships.”
“What’s our market?” Regier said. “If there are two or more people working toward a goal, that’s our market.”