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Mission & Values

Our mission: to build the capacity of organizations to work in more collaborative and equitable ways.

Why "integrative inquiry?"

The field of consulting is crowded, and it can be hard to tell what kind of service, quality, or deliverables you can expect. What do you even look for: an HR consultant? DEI consultant? An organizational development consultant? The list is endless. Instead of focusing on what we call our work, we believe our contribution to this field is the process we use. 

 

What makes Int Inq unique is that we approach our clients and new projects from a foundation of integrative inquiry.  

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Our work is integrative in that it borrows from a variety of techniques and theories and that it believes true effective programs and curriculum are co-constructed with all stakeholders involved. That means you shape the work. The key to our process is that it is equitable and collaborative in nature. Our aim is to foster a process where individuals in any role to lead from the top, middle, or bottom of a management structure.

It is also based in inquiry, in the hopeful space of continual progress. Knowing that no organization, project, or team is ever "complete" or "perfect," our approach maintains a fierce commitment to continued learning and growth.  This isn't a "one and done" model, with one-off trainings and mandatory checklists that employees must go through.

 

We focus on capacity building and agency, so that organizations can take on these principles and continue to transform and evolve the way they work together long after we part ways.  

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Borrowing from a variety of techniques & co-constructing with all stakeholders

Continual progress of learning & growth

our guiding principles

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empowerment comes from within

Empowerment is not something you can bestow.  People empower themselves when given the tools & opportunity.  Strong leaders seek to provide space for others to take on leadership and agency to reflect, challenge, and impact decisions around us. 

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knowledge is co-created

Everyone brings valuable skills, experience, and perspective to any discussion.  To learn and grow as an organization, it is essential that all members of a team are tapped for insight, perspectives, and concerns. 

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growth is perpetual

The process of improvement is always ongoing. We must always challenge ourselves to do better, to rethink old strategies and cultivate new approaches.  The work is never done. 

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To support our commitments, we offer 10% of our billable hours to pro-bono and reduced-rate services every year. inquire today. 

Our Commitments

01

Commitment to community.

We are explicit in our work to use our talents to benefit the communities we work in. Our services are designed to teach others how to facilitate dialogues, advocate for change, and amplify their voices. 

02

Commitment to capacity building.

We don't want you to need us forever. Our goal is not to come in and do a one-off low-impact training. We want to make sure you have the skills and confidence to keep this work moving forward long after we leave.

03

Commitment to relevance.

This work is only meaningful if you can see clear application and steps to take on this work in your organization. We tailor our work to your needs, taking into account the other initiatives you are undertaking, as well as your specific strengths and challenges. 

Racial Equity
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How Our Work Intersects With Racial Equity

Integrative Inquiry is a firm committed to equity across all dimensions of identity, including race. Within our own firm we continue to challenge, question, and push ourselves to actionable antiracist practices and to inspire our clients to create their own. Our team represents a wide spectrum of perspective and experience, and we use this to inform all aspects of our work. 

 

That said, the foundation of our work is to develop organizational cultures where individuals have the interpersonal communication skills to help foster psychological safety. We believe that organizations cannot address systemic racism, or any other form of oppression truly and fully unless they build an environment where difficult conversations can be addressed with transparency, honesty, and integrity.

 

We do not explicitly teach on racial justice or history and prefer to refer interested clients to one of the many incredible firms that specialize in these conversations. Instead we aim to offer a complementary service that helps to create space for deeper and more impactful work.

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DEI is not something to simply check off a list. ​

 

True organizational culture change engages employees at all levels, to move past one-off trainings, compliance, or tokenized diversity efforts.

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A Word from Our Founder

[video transcript] August, 2020

I've been working in leadership development and equity work for most of my career. My speciality was in educational design, helping build sustainable, replicable structures for learning complex topics. I spent much of my Masters exploring how to build programs to better navigate conflict in multicultural contexts. From the years I lived in the Middle East, to the decade I spent working with the refugee and immigrant communities in the US, I have remained committed to understanding and reflecting on my own role and place in this work. And I think it's probably that perpetual pursuit of growth and learning that makes what we do at Integrative Inquiry unique. 

Prior to building this firm, I worked in a variety of industries, from the corporate sector to the non-profit, but I found similar problems in all of these spaces: a fundamental inability to engage others in dialogue and to acknowledge feedback and learn from it. This occurred not only at the individual managerial level, but also across the organization, impacting policies, how leaders responded to criticism, and their ability to create authentic, transparent cultures. Over and over again, I would see high levels of turnover, particularly among employees from marginalized identities. And no one was talking about it. 

 

So when I started consulting five years ago, I focused my design skills not just on building and delivering training programs, but on capacity building inside of my clients' organizations, helping them develop skills and tools to have these sorts of conversations, to acknowledge areas of opportunity, and to engage their employees and stakeholders in this space. Central in our approach is a desire to leave our clients with a sustainable, replicable product that can be used years after our partnership is finished. 

 

I also knew that my perspective and skill set was not enough, and so I began actively looking for other professionals with expertise and experiences that complimented my own. And through partnerships and joint collaborations, we began to shape a vision. This is how Integrative Inquiry really began to take form. 

 

I think what sets us apart is that we focus on the process of equity work, supporting organizations to increase communication between team members and psychological safety so that they can engage in these hard-to-have conversations. I see us in many ways as a complementary, but distinctive service from other consulting firms that more explicitly focus on content delivery around topics of equity, whether regarding race, gender, sexual orientation and other barriers faced by certain groups. While that work is critical, we identified an interpersonal and cultural gap that was preventing real change around equity and inclusion in many organizations. 

 

So at Integrative Inquiry, we focus on how to build competencies in being uncomfortable, in acknowledging mistakes, and in calling one another in instead of out. And hopefully through all of our work together, we can transform our communities, our organizations, and our world. 

 

 

 

Kate Stitham

President & Founder

Integrative Inquiry Consulting

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