An evergreen selection of client observations from recent expeditions:
"Thank you for a great year of executive coaching. The ExPLORE℠ method was particularly helpful as we really needed to discover the goals as we went along. Turns out that I really didn't know what I wanted. In fact, if we had managed our way through the year based on what I thought I wanted, I never would have been able to see new opportunities and execute on them. I've said goodbye to things that don't work and now can say yes, to things that really matter. You have an uncanny ability to identify and challenge the false assumptions that were impeding my progress. One of the best questions you asked me was "why do you say 'no' to the people closest to you in order to say 'yes' to people or tasks that aren't all that important?" This year was truly transformational for my life. Tremendous value and great use of my time."
— David Bellamy Consultant, former church administrator and retired IBM executive
"Ours is not a typical business, and there is no textbook for it. We write, record and perform songs together— songs about our lives, our faith, out doubt, and the greater world around us. We started in college, 18 years ago, and it's been a complicated career of navigating friendship, business, family, and creativity. We found ourselves about two years ago, at the end of one road and the beginning of a new one. The new road was one full of questions, risks, and certainly a tentative excitement. We needed to explore, to carve out a new path, and we were grateful to open our story up to the skills of The Exploration Group. Dwight Gibson worked with a bold delicateness— honoring the complicated nature of our lives, but taking us through our past, putting things in their proper place— acknowledging our uniqueness as well as our errors— and tilling the ground so that we could move forward to a new place. It's been hard work, but important work, and I'm not certain that we would have the confidence and the vision to tread this exciting new path without the care and wisdom of Dwight Gibson and The Exploration Group."
— Dan Haseltine, Charlie Lowell, Stephen Mason, Matt Odmark Aka Jars of Clay
Capacity for Strategic Intuition
"I have known Dwight now for about three years. We first met at the historic Lausanne gathering in Cape Town, South Africa. This is a fitting point to recall because, as it turns out, we were both on our own expeditions of sorts: I, as a think tank executive, was tasked with assembling a strategic network of global leaders concerned with the integration of faith, work, and economics, but had no playbook to show me what steps I needed to do to accomplish that mission. Whereas Dwight, a seasoned explorer and veteran leader himself, grasped clearly the strategic significance of the gathering and was present to assist clients, renew long-standing relationships, and serve those like myself that had needs that defied easy or straightforward explanation. I didn't realize it then like I do now: I needed an explorer and not a managerial consultant. And that is precisely what we received with Dwight when we brought him on the team. That, and a respected colleague, and a close friend for the rest of my life. We accomplished our initial three-year expedition in the first thirteen months, and now we have moved on to explore new, unanticipated frontiers. You never know what to expect, but you can rest assured that your capacity for strategic intuition will be increased and your organization will grow the more time you spend with the Chief Explorer!"
— Stephen J. Grabill Ph.D. Director of Programs and International, Acton Institute
"In 2009, the Exploration Group traveled to North Africa to advise a not for profit school on how to attract and expand its North American donor base. During the six month project, Dwight traveled to Morocco and Atlanta as an advisor to the major donors as they sought to expand the network. Dwight provided keen insights on US donors, drafted a case study that captured the spirit and essence of the unique school in Morocco, and helped raise over $100,000 in a one-day event. Dwight's quiet yet skillful read on audiences helped us create an environment where friends and donors felt comfortable. We met multiple stakeholders' agendas, leading to our most sustainable gifts."
— Deborah MacArthur President, Global Education Morocco
1000% Increase in Donations
"As a brand new non-profit organization, Dwight took an active role in helping us develop our goals and objectives. He also helped us to explore possible solutions to some complicated branding issues resulting from deeply intertwined relationships with other non-profit organizations. The result was that all the non-profits involved, including the movements to which we were jointly contributing, were strengthened. Dwight coached our board to better understand their role, as well as how to selectively choose the right team to fill our board positions. Without the help of a Chief Explorer like Dwight, we wouldn’t have had the expertise on our team to know how to deal sensitively with such important issues in a way that would have such positive results. Over the last three years, our team commraderie has grown exponentially. Our ability to help children through meaningful programs increased dramatically, as well as the over 1000% increase in donations we experienced from year one to year two! Thanks, Exploration Group!"
— Micala Siler Executive Director, Doorways to Hope
"I believe God brought us The Exploration Group at just the exact right time. We were starting a whole new uncharted initiative. After courting other consultants who wanted to help us, I was most impressed with Dwight's ability to listen. Rather than come out of the gates with solutions, he and his team listened. It was the very approach I knew we needed for our uncharted territory. We have planted our flag with this initiative and started a whole new division of the organization. The most surprising and delightful outcome was the breath of fresh air in our lungs. With this new experienced exploration team inside our organization, we have a new openness to fresh ideas, and a willingness to try new things, We have a newfound desire to conquer our next hill. We are now able to tackle this new initiative on our own. Mission Accomplished. I owe a big thank you to The Exploration Group!"
— Steve Sweatman Ph.D. President, MTI
Productive, Insightful, Honest
"We were referred to Dwight by another non-profit that he had worked with for several years. They had been through similar challenges and experienced rapid growth, much like Amazima Ministries. From start to finish, the engagement was productive, insightful, honest, and much needed. Dwight helped us to see clearly the internal and external organizational challenges we were facing and helped formulate a strategy for dealing with these challenges. It was as if he already knew in advance many of the hurdles we had in front of us. It was extremely helpful to have an outside perspective to help us see clearly. For any non profit organization seeking to work through challenges, Dwight’s insight and expertise will be invaluable."
— Mike Mayernick Chairman, Amazima Ministries
Dreams into a Vision
"I had some ideas that had been floating around in my head for about five years, but I never had the time or staff to bring them alive. Since these ideas were mission critical for our future, I brought The Exploration Group on board to determine if they were viable and then set the course for execution. In just two months Dwight helped us understand these ideas and then shape them into rich executables. The Exploration Group accomplished more in two months than our organization had done in the previous five years. They created the space and gave us a strategic platform to pursue these ideas with great intentionality. As an executive it’s so easy to get caught up in the “day to day,” and let the pressures of the immediate consume you. Dwight broke that cycle and helped turn my dreams into a vision that had real focus. Thank you for bringing hope to another executive and organization on the treadmill."
CEO of a national trade association
Our Biggest Season of Growth
Dwight Gibson and The Exploration Group helped our organization transition through one of our biggest seasons of growth to date. As we began to be pulled toward the professionalism needed in a growing organization, we still desired to keep an energetic and organic entrepreneurial spirit. Dwight entered into the fray to help us understand this balance. Other consultants have come in expecting to put us into the box of their framework, but Dwight came to walk with us— to explore and engage with us. He did not come with a set of rules to follow or tasks to complete, but with exceptional questions, challenges, and observations that naturally pointed us down the path we most needed to walk down. He was diplomatic and worked to engage with all members of our organization in equal and important ways.
— Jena Nardella Co-founder and CEO, blood:water mission
"I have worked with Dwight for over fifteen years, since he directed the North America World Evangelical Alliance. He continues to surprise and provoke me with actionable insight and wisdom. I think he got smarter when he started shaving his head. Recently I had a particularly troubled client with executive leadership succession challenges. Their capacity to properly message our emerging re-branding initiative was being undermined, but we couldn't navigate around it. I asked Dwight to join our team— an Expedition in his parlance. Though no one else in the non-profit client's boardroom could tell from his expressions, I knew within two hours of our first discovery session that Dwight had quietly hit upon the source of the friction. Over several weeks we carefully revealed the delicate problem to the client. Dwight's uniquely perceptive ability to identify and graciously articulate the roadblock gave our team the needed leverage to advocate a way forward."
— David Vermeesch Brand Strategist, Creative Director