Eileen Fisher and Candice Reffe at Offsite
"You are a miracle worker. Your work is amazing!"
--Eileen Fisher, Founder and CEO EILEEN FISHER
"Your work helped set Nike on a journey of sustainability from which there is no return. A decade later the impacts of the program that you designed and ran still resonate deeply with the organization and within the 100 leaders who became true agents of change. It's amazing how powerful the legacy has been. It created and launched dozens of landmark projects that continue to deliver against our 2020 goals. These 100 leaders continue to influence Nike’s work around the world."
-- Darcy Winslow and Sarah Severn, Nike
“The culture in 2001 at Plug Power, a publicly traded fuel cell company, was complex and ill adapted to be successful. The people of the company were neither aligned to make our fuel cell product market ready nor for achieving sustainability goals. It was not a “learning organization.” We invited Joe Laur and Sara Schley of Seed Systems to evaluate the Plug Power culture and make a recommendation designed to move the company from near the bottom of the industry to one of being the fuel cell industry leader. Working together we defined a process and took more than 570 employees in groups of 30-40 through a multi-day learning process, over the course of almost a year, during which time everyone learned the fundamental tools of systems thinking. I found that Joe and Sara were skilled facilitators, deeply knowledgeable, and warmly embraced by all the employees. They were and are highly effective at communicating the skills and tools needed for our company to become a ‘learning organization.” The foundation building process which they led us though galvanized our culture and over the course of a year positioned us to be the best in our industry.”
--Dr. Roger Saillant, former CEO, Plug Power
“Your work has been a key element in helping me initiate a program at HP for integrating a vision of sustainable development into our R&D program.”
-- JS, PhD, Hewlitt Packard
“I want to compliment you for an excellent session on trust. I hereby provide my rating of A+++. Great job.”
-- Paul Powers, Senior Executive, Philips Display Components
"After 17 years as a line manager making cars on the Factory Floor at Ford, I joined the corporate governance team. I am constantly searching for an integration of organizational learning and culture change practices with economic, environmental and societal performance. You possess these talents. Your knowledge of content and understanding of the complexity that surrounds this work is brilliant."
-- Dave Berdish, Ford Motor
“The presentation was excellent and done in such a way that even jaded old chemical engineers can look at things a different way.”
-- Sam Moore, VP, R&D, Burlington Chemical Co.
“Sara Schley and Joe Laur got us to have a real conversation with each other. They helped us to understand how connected a sustainable enterprise is to a healthy world. Seed Systems enabled us to identify actions we could take to manifest our vision of a sustainable energy business.”
-- Bill Stillinger, Director of Renewable Energy, Northeast Utilities
"Seed Systems’ design for learning and sustainability is masterful. They bring a unique blend of skills, knowledge and commitment to this work. .”
-- Peter Senge, Author, The Fifth Discipline and Founder Academy for Systems Change
"People will come to your paradise for anything you invite them to! Let me know when you start. I’m coming up from Brazil".
-- Amalia Souza, Executive Director, CASA, Brazil and Dana Meadows Fellow
"There are no words to sufficiently describe the depth of my gratitude for all you have done for me. Your insights, wisdom and experience have helped me to reframe the way I view my role, my work and what I call success. You have brought so much to bear, and I am grateful for all of it."
-- Eric Phelps,
"Everyone was awed by your incredible talents and feel privileged to experience coaching a la Seed Systems. . . You are a lifesaver"
-- Katherine O'Dea, BSR
"I have deep gratitude for the gift of our coaching session. Your facilitation shone with clarity, depth, love and created a space of deep safety, consciousness and healing".
-- Marsia Wolff, Teacher
"Your facilitation WOWED me and was completely right on. Your work shines with grace, elegance, wisdom and the truth of your own personal journey. You are dynamite in this realm."
-- Deborah Mager
"I felt very fortunate to be part of that experience, with two masters driving the ship. And what a great group you guys attracted in the class. The mix of the personal, "soft" skills (collaboration, personal mastery, engagement styles, etc.) with the technical (mapping, feedback loops, stocks & flows, programming, etc.) was powerful. And it was a great moment when you mapped the loop of your personal story. Thank you!"
-- John McGah, University of Massachusetts, Boston
"First, THANK YOU. This workshop was transformative for me, a big piece in my journey on climate change so far. It feels like the pace on this journey is accelerating - one of your 'virtuous cycles'. I'm curious as to whether the level of engagement and innovative thought that happened at this workshop is typical or unusual? If it's typical, I'm switching careers!"
-- Juliette Varney Rooga, Professor UMass Lowell
"Sara's facilitation gifted me an opportunity to see the ways I keep myself from what I most long for in my life and by doing this with dear friends I've known for over fifteen years, we've deepened our own relationship, offering me a way to both understand better and have more compassion for the ways we all with the best of intentions create untenable structures in our lives. This embodied awareness is offering me new choices in how I engage with myself and others."
-- Steph Ryan, BCorp, BLab
"Completing my shadow work with Sara, the words that emerged were "Fierce Grace", the quality I felt in my interiority and in the field. I was accompanied by friends that have held my feet to the fire for years. The container allowed for Sara's mastery to flow with precision, compassion and dynamic creativity. The great mystery itself moved through her, transforming me and those I witnessed in this sacred work. I feel strength that is clean. I sense blessing that is empowering and pure. I will return to the crucible again."
-- Sarita Chawla, Founder, Metalens, Senior Faculty, New Ventures West.
"Sara is skilled and loving. Strong, forthright, and supporting. A woman connected to me from some other lifetime I imagine as I feel as though I have known her for a long time. When she stepped me out of the scenario I had created to analyze it…to review it…and I looked into her eyes…it was as though we had done this before together. There was a clarity in her eyes, a partnering that was so familiar to me. A strength that connected to my strength."
-- Susan C Wilson, New Leadership Distinctions, Certified Integral Coach NVW
I feel truly honored to have participated with the group and to have been guided by you. The art and skillfulness of your guidance amazed me. What a gift you are to this world. Every reawakening is such a miracle and what an honour it must be to take part in it for others in the different ways you do.
--Robert Kenfield, Dreamlife
"During our time together with you I was struck again and again by how important the sustainability conversations and the work that we did was. It really helped me put my day to day into perspective. It was truly about the bigger picture - who we are as a company, who we want to be in the world and how we can go about getting there."
-- Jacqui Hoffman, EILEEN FISHER
Sara has truly done wonders with us. She has taught us systems' thinking and system mapping, she has helped us form our Sustainability Design Team (the cross-functional team of leaders within Design, Manufacturing, Business Operations, Internal Communications, Facilitating Leader Team, and Social Consciousness), and she has helped us grow a new "muscle" around holding the whole of our Sustainability vision. we are big fans!
-- Amy Hall, Director of Social Consciousness, Eileen Fisher
"Oh my you were stellar. So real, so accessible, so knowledgeable. I would not have wanted to be anyplace else. Together, we can make an even bigger difference…I really got that this week!"
--Lynnea A. Brinkerhoff
"What I experienced from your coaching yesterday was someone who is skillful, knowledgeable, openhearted, powerful and deep. You were able to hold a dynamic experience together and pierce right through to the core of what needed to happen. You were able to coach, to be tender, to push when needed and to guide to total joy in the end. You were able to unravel and restructure a story that had built up over decades. I am honored to have been able to participate.
I love how accessible Sara makes this practice of Shabbat and how much I have come to count on this ritual on Friday for letting go, for returning to myself, my family and what's really important in a world of perpetual distraction and demands. I was blessed to read the pre-publication version and will gift this book far and wide for it is truly a gift, a blessing we can so simply give ourselves. We've adapted this ritual to our family, baguette for bread as I haven't ventured to make the challah, nor attend in all white clothes, however the house is generally cleaned (great day to schedule a house cleaner). We faithfully do a hand washing ceremony (described in the book) to begin, speaking what we need to let go. My teen speaks during Sabbath revealing what is really moving in his life in a way I rarely hear though out the rush of the week. I hear my own patterns of what I need to let go.... voicing 'not getting enough done..." week after week. Really, how much is enough and when is it ok to just stop and rest? We finish with lighting a candle and passing an overflowing goblet of juice speaking of our gratitudes and than enjoy our meal together reconnecting as family and often with friends, feeling truly blessed. I invite you to buy more than one copy because I assure you, you will want to gift this too, far and wide.
Stephanie Ryan, B Lab
"I read your book in one sitting last Thursday; it is a lovely, generous, inspiring work. I was so touched by it that I brought it up in a conversation with my wife and daughter in the car, and Katie, who is 15, said "Why don't we do that?" My hope is that now she will read it and that she will become an advocate for some kind of practice along these lines."
Bob Massie, Reverend and PhD, Exec Director New Economics Institute