Catalyst Ranch is Chicago's most creative Meeting and Special Events Space.

The Rise Group in Action

Who are The Rise Group and how did you get started?

Rise is a small but mighty consulting firm, founded in 2013 and based in NYC. We are all about helping people work better, together. We’re experts in making collaboration happen in organizations and teams.We partner with our clients in two ways: Moments and Movements. Moments are short, focused periods of time such as off-sites and large-scale events where people gather to collaborate on a critical challenge. Movements are programs of capability-building and content creation, designed to deliver sustainable collaborative cultures for teams, divisions and companies. This past month we’ve had the pleasure of working with Pfizer, Coca-Cola, Holtzbrinck, MongoDB and The Fay School in Houston.

What made you get into this business?

Quite simply, we love what we do! The 3 of us founding partners have been friends for a long time and we all share the same passion for people development. We were excited to see what we could create by combining our diverse backgrounds in communications, leadership development and HR as well as a shared past in innovation consulting. Rise is a result of this collaboration.

What’s your favorite thing about coming to Catalyst Ranch?

Our first trip to Catalyst Ranch was 12 years ago and we’ve been big fans from day one. We’ve hired creative spaces all over the world and nothing beats the unique vibe that Eva has created. You guys make it look easy when we know it’s not.

What is the most fascinating part of your business that people wouldn’t know about?

The thing that surprises most people is that we’ve grown our business completely by word-of-mouth. We’re four years in and we still don’t have a proper website – just a simple holding page. You can visit it if you like but you’ll see it is nothing special. That being said, it hasn’t stopped us working with some wonderful companies since we started.

Why should a company use creatives such as yourselves?

Over the years we’ve worked on a number of different challenges from helping Tiffany&Co articulate their company values to developing Jack Daniel’s innovation pipeline. We’ve also designed and delivered Leadership development programs for companies such as Holtzbrinck and Snagajob. At the heart of everything we do is our ability to get people collaborating well. We’re not about black boxing solutions. We design experiences that bring out the best in everyone – allowing the best possible thinking and conversations to take place. We do ‘people stuff’ but are obsessed with action and impact.

What is your favorite saying?

‘Eat Life With A Big Spoon’ – this is actually one of our company values. We see it as a call to action, a challenge to ourselves (and those we work with) to deliberately and enthusiastically stretch beyond our comfort zones. For us, ‘Eat Life With A Big Spoon’ is all about attacking life with zest by leaning in to adventures and fresh experiences, both big and small.

How do you get people to “create at their maximum potential”?

It depends on the people! So, the universal factor is insight – getting clear on the current situation – what they need to make happen, what’s getting in the way, how they work best, as well as individual strengths and stretches. Some of our clients need a kick-start with stimulus, inspiration and starter ideas, others work best with a blank sheet of paper. In all situations, we have numerous tools and techniques as well as the foundational brain science to unlock creative thinking. But what matters most is fostering psychological safety. We have mastered the art of helping people feel comfortable and secure while working through tough challenges.

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Without giving away anything proprietary, can you give an example of something wonderful that unexpectedly came out of a session? A product or service totally unrelated to the original session?

We’ve been involved with the IdeaFestival (IF) in Louisville, KY for the last 5 years. It’s a fantastically inspiring creative event crammed full of speakers, cultural events and art projects. We’ve done everything from running pop-up ‘learning labs’, working with the IF Kids schools program, and delivering keynote speeches. As a result of one of our sessions, we helped someone find a kidney donor (that very day!) by simply helping them to ask a better question.

What is the most gratifying part of what you do?

For us, it’s all about impact! Seeing things actually change in a business as a result of our partnership is really gratifying. Nothing beats the thrill of walking around one of our client’s offices and seeing the difference they’ve been able to achieve either through a Moment or a Movement.

Batman or Superman?

Christopher Nolan’s Batman wins hands down.

 

 

 

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