Success Stories

Who has used the Search Conference & Participative Design Workshop and what was the outcome?


Microsoft - Microsoft used the method to facilitate new product development conducting four back to back Search Conference’s which culminated in a meeting for integrating ideas, strategies and action plans. This resulted in a comprehensive strategy for each of the product lines within the division.

Apple – Apple sponsored a Search Conference on the future of customer-supplier relationships in the apps industry in 2003 – inviting their major customers to participate in creating a strategic partnership.

Google -One plant used the Search Conference to organize work so people would be able to see themselves as owners. The SC was used to bring people together, to make the best choices for a better and more meaningful future.

Motorola- A business unit which designs and produces the newest, smallest semi-conductors for the wireless equipment business used the SC to hold a world-wide strategic planning event in Tokyo. The result: Key programs were established to fill technology voids, markets were expanded, a systems solution approach to customers was begun and the design of new products was shifted to the regions instead of being centrally located.

Ford Electronics -A Canadian facility conducted a search in 1982 to determine how to survive in their marketplace. The result was a mindset shift. Rather than making parts for Ford they determined to become a learning lab for new technology and management practices that could be exported to other Ford facilities. That led to redesign of the facility, implementation of TQM, winning a prestigious quality award and expansion of the plant from 900 to 1800 people.

Levi Strauss – Levi Strauss in Canada was recently featured on CNBC for their innovative management practices. Years ago they outlined the future they now have in place in a Search Conference. The critical shift in mindset was to form a partnership with the union and go forward together to create the future.

Automatic Data Processing -One division confronted major changes in it’s business environment. It used a search to reposition itself and rewrite the business strategy. Action plans formed around a new marketing focus, a redefinition of pricing and support, a commitment to new product development, together with training and implementation of productivity tools.

Xerox -A Customer Business Unit identified these key business drivers in a Search Conference: We will have fully empowered employees who are accountable and have incentives to meet their customers’ requirements with the only boundary being ethical behavior. We will have an organizational design based on cross-functional work groups to increase profits by 15%, and revenue growth by 20% per year. Bottoms-up planning will be used with all employees and managers as a means for continuous learning and improvement. The CBU will be market driven and recognized as the vendor of choice. Mastery of technology tools that fully support our business needs will exist throughout the organization. Action teams are working to overcome obstacles and make these initiatives happen.

Transform your employees from mere goal-seeking individuals into ideal-seeking visionaries!