Our Tools and Methods

Our tools and methods combine intellectual and human challenges with an enjoyable training experience—along with the joy of making a meaningful difference in the world.

Underlying all our courses is the VISIS Method, a sequenced and collaborative approach to tackling sustainability challenges in a systemic way. VISIS was developed by Alan AtKisson and is available as an open-source methodology. It is also the basis of the Accelerator Tools.

At the Master Class level, our courses focus on intensive professional development and are organized around a variety of methods (see our book for details), including one called API, an approach initially developed by Professor Peter Hawkins, which stands for Authority, Presence, and Impact. We also help you look at how to choose the right method to achieve the result you actually want.

The VISIS Method

The VISIS Method for Achieving Sustainability encompasses the five stages of learning and planning essential to sustainable development—and ultimately, transformational change.

Five Stages for Transformational Change
1. VISION Describing and defining the optimal state that you are aiming to achieve.

2. INDICATORS Indicators are the gateway to understanding. Finding the right indicators, and analyzing them accurately, requires profound observation and reflection on possible areas of influence.

3. SYSTEMS Indicators lead to the investigation and discovery of systemic interdependencies, together with points of leverage for boosting effectiveness and accelerating change.

4. INNOVATION Acting successfully in a sustainability change process requires the ability to “step outside the box” and come up with genuinely new ideas to apply at the identified points of leverage.

5. STRATEGY Realizing the full potential of innovative ideas requires thorough planning, a clear adoption and diffusion strategy, as well as the ability to adapt quickly and decisively to changing circumstances.


The API Method

The API Method, developed by our colleague Peter Hawkins, helps sustainability professionals develop the core qualities necessary for becoming effective leaders of change.

AUTHORITY is an essential attribute of a Change Agent, particularly when interacting with stakeholders. Tapping into ones strengths, depth of knowledge, and experiences builds a sense of self-esteem which others will perceive as authority.

PRESENCE is the ability to read the moment and build strong relationships with all stakeholders involved in the change process. Every sustainability change process is full of obstacles, resistance, and unexpected moments. Presence is the key capability one needs to come up with strong, effective interventions on the spot.

IMPACT is the measure of the difference between what a Change Agent says and suggests, and what is actually accepted and followed by other people. Many people have deep knowledge or a burning passion for an issue, but too few have (or work consciously to develop) the trust of others—the very element that transforms them into leaders or advisors who can really make change happen.

 Contact us to learn more