“What Bix really gave to me as a leader was the power to build a strong motivated and unified team that cascaded to all levels of my organization. It was of no consequence what the goal, topic or function of the team was. The process is universally adaptable.
Bix was a partner to me as a leader enabling me to facilitate a discussion and a process that deeply changed all of us as individuals and as an aligned group. We developed our own strengths as individuals, recognized and stepped out of our own blind spots and paradigms, challenged one another and aligned on a future that we were unable to communicate and/or see before this process. We carried and continue to carry this forward holding one another accountable for the future we are creating. Our work together was beyond a workshop, beyond consulting, and beyond an exercise. It was the creation of a new culture that led to a practically applied step change in the engagement and performance of our team.”
– Aric Carlisle
“Bix once said to me, “How does a teacher know how they have affected eternity?”
Bix is my teacher. The effect of his work has been huge for me. I am transforming and growing as a leader.
My vision is to create a for profit business that has significant purpose and social impact in the world and bring a brand called Peekaboo Beans to life. It is a crazy and audacious goal. My work with Bix and Joe has allowed me to execute on my vision, infusing a strong sense of values, aligned with powerful communication tools with my team – breaking down barriers that stop us, along with critical execution tools to meet the goals that we create.
Bix is not typical, he is like no one you have met. With humour, kindness and a kick ass way of looking at life he will shake up your world, but keep the heart intact. He has made me see the ships many times, when I didn’t see them. Ask him how you can too…
I love him as a friend, a confidant, a mentor, disrupter, and person.”
– Traci Costa, Founder/CEO, Peekaboo Beans Inc.
“As I look back over the many years we have worked together since our initial engagement, I don’t think I could have led the many “turn-arounds” of organizations ranging in size from 100 to over 10,000, with revenues of only a few million dollars to over a billion, without your help.
My daily routine now includes reflection. As I reflect now on our years of work together, a flood of memories emerge. I’d like to share a memory or two with you now.
Over a dozen years ago, leading a complicated and challenging international engineering and construction organization in Asia, my business was fledgling. My initial engagement with you was serendipity and I took the “risk” to gather our teams to consider what else we could do, to be supported by you as the “team-building” facilitator. I was initially taken aback, and confused by your method of engagement – I had expected, actually demanded, a clear plan with a path to success by the end of several days of meetings we planned. My leadership orientation was militaristic, calculating, demanding.
For several days, as you interviewed my teams, and me, you coached me, without me even realizing it. You opened me to the possibility ‘the problem’ was me, not ‘my team’. Initially rejecting such an outrageous notion, I was not happy, even pissed. I have come to realize such attitude was from a place of inner fear, the fear of failure and of being judged. Facing my own leadership style & methods, you helped me discover my authentic self, my own true leadership. Such powerful enlightenment does not come easily, but as I reflect now, I have learned that realizing one’s own authentic self is a life-long journey, allowing one to create and re-create continuously to achieve whatever mission drives you. Our work together helped me create and re-create me! I am forever and profoundly grateful to you Bix for believing in me, and helping me, throughout our relationship, achieve so much in business, and in life – me, myself, I – remains a work-in-progress, as I work to have an impact on everyone with whom I have an engagement.
So it all started with “me”, then progressively moved to teams, business outcomes, strategy – centered on “conversations”. You helped me, and all of our business teams realize that business is really nothing more than the conversations we were having, and particularly not having. We created the language of commitment-based management, based on the principle of personal accountability, and changed the way we speak with each other – the outcomes from such changes is nothing short of remarkable. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to hand out promotions, bonuses and recognition after reaching previously unobtainable business or personal goals! Together, and to be sure, after laying foundations with people and teams, we turned-around under-performing businesses, simply changing the language of the business, and setting outrageous goals and expectations and getting out of the way to let the teams win!
My final thought in this message to you Bix is one of a so-called higher level. I learned from you how to have a profound relationship with the now, the present. You helped me so much, and still do so today, understand that whatever is happening now, in this moment, is what is real, and what is really happening. At first I had to “practice” living in the moment; it took conscious effort to “be here now”…. but after years of practicing, my conscious effort has become habit, a behavior, actually a way of life. You helped me understand that I am never finished growing, I am a work in progress, and I am progressing in this very moment. For such learning, I am profoundly and eternally grateful. Thank you Bix.”
– Steven W. (Steve) Roll, former Vice President, McDermott International,, former President (Process Systems) – Cameron Corporation International, current Advisor to the President, Reservoir Characterization – Schlumberger International
“I consider Bix one of the most important mentors in my life. Having had many opportunities to witness first-hand his work transforming struggling executives into dynamic, innovative and high-performing teams has transformed my management style. I consciously use Bix’s wisdom (Bixisms) in all of my work.”
– Darrell Kopke, COO of Creative Destruction Lab, Former GM of lululemon, Founder of Institute B
“RED has grown very quickly, and that has meant a lot of challenges for our people and for our culture as we scale into new markets around the world. Bix and Joe have been instrumental in helping RED to find alignment around our values and mission in the world, working closely with our team at all levels in the organization through a deep and iterative process. That has meant a transformational evolution for our team, and for any company that intends to grow, as the old adage goes – culture eats strategy for breakfast – and Bix and Joe are master chefs in action. I highly recommend them to any growing company with big ambitions – you want these guys on your team!”
– Colin Mansell Founder & CEO Red Academy
“I rank my work with Bickson as one of my three most important business experiences. Thank you. It involved learning, which I value. Working with Bickson we discovered ways of thinking, of doing things, and different ways of managing and leading in a very complex business. We launched new products and achieved outstanding results in the marketplace.”
– Ron Oberlander, Chief Executive Officer, Abitibi-Price, Toronto,Canada
“It is extremely rare for a highly successful company to “stand in the future” and recognize the need to transform itself. Yet senior management recognized that the status quo meant no growth, and that success in the past was no guarantee for the future. Working with Bix Bickson we discovered ways of thinking, of doing things, and different ways of managing and leading in a very complex business. We launched new products and achieved outstanding results in the marketplace. They helped us to create a cultural shift with a clear strategic intent for the business, and now all four world areas stand aligned on a common vision and strategy.”
– Brian Baldock CBE, Chairman and Managing Director, Guinness Brewing Worldwide
“I was sitting there, dead in the water and in a highly unionized area of the country. I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t get the job done here. Then I got connected with Bickson because his approach was so different. What his work enabled us to do is to have everybody together on what was possible…everybody volunteered to take on projects that would make the most difference to this plant…supervisors and people off the floor – everybody doing this thing together in joint effort. In the work we asked, ‘What are you arguing about? Why don’t you just go and do it?’ and have all the benefits that have come down for everyone…the bottom line is always…the plant earnings…our earnings are 50% higher. Changes in the marketplace had nothing to do with it…Bickson gave it life. It became real not just something possible.”
– All Olzinger, Plant Manager, The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
“Areas of blocked communication have opened up –people are talking to each other with less gossip and more straight talk.”
“Hierarchical thinking, usually such an important standard, is the death of creativity…Besides concrete success of cost cutting, happiness among our employees has returned…and (they) give important contributions almost daily through new ideas and suggestions.
“Corporate culture can be a tremendously effective management tool in pursuing corporate goals. Corporations who take the opportunity to redesign their culture should make it their highest priority.”
– Wolfgang Ley, Chairman and Founder, Escada AG, Munich, Germany
“I was not used to having success in areas I can’t see with my own eyes or touch with my hands…I stood up in front of a room full of people that I’ve worked with for 20 years and committed myself to the responsibility of continuing the process (of quality) at my plant…It is really amazing how forces you don’t even know existed come to your aid when you step into the unknown and say, “This thing I will do.” Saving the company $300,000 in just six months is something I never imagined I could do. But we did it!…We deal in the impossible everyday. We create who we want to be everyday. We make a difference in our jobs everyday.”
– James E. Brown, Maintenance Staff, Monsanto, Nitro West Virginia
“That episode was the BEST PODCAST I’ve ever listened to. Normally I listen at 1.5x speed but that one I slowed down so I wouldn’t miss a thing. Christopher did a great job of repeating and emphasizing what Bix took as obvious.”