Hans, Annemarie & Jennifer Bleiker
We are a husband-and-wife, and now daughter too, firm.
You ask WHY we do what we do?
It’s not really about us, it’s about YOU — and the mission the public gave you.
Each of us had professional aspirations that had nothing to do with teaching, citizen participation, or even making government more effective.
Yet — here we are.
The three of us derailed ourselves from perfectly good, honorable, profitable careers (about which you can read more about below) —
— because we couldn’t let another public-sector professional fail to implement his/her mandate when we had the recipe to help them succeed.
Don’t let your work end up on a shelf
As we see it — if you work in a legitimate public agency — your work is downright VITAL.
Your expertise is worth too much to be wasted on developing proposals that don’t get implemented.
The public gave you your mission to address certain problems and opportunities.
The public NEEDS YOU to succeed in fulfilling your mission.
If you fail at accomplishing that mission, then we ALL fail — because those problems don’t go away.
Our methodology has an impressive track-record of giving professionals with important missions the tools to succeed.
We’ve trained between 30,000 and 40,000 public-sector professionals — people just like YOU.
We have a huge list of references, testimonials, and quotes.
If you work on legitimate problems, and use our approach to get your FIERCEST opponents’ Informed Consent, we can almost guarantee your ability to fulfill the mandate the public gave you.
That’s why for each of us, it feels fantastic to provide people like you with the tools to get the job done.
Making government more effective isn’t just good for public-sector professionals, it has healing effects for the community at large.
That, is why the three of us eagerly devote ourselves to teaching, mentoring, and coaching problem-solvers like you.
- We believe public agencies were meant to be Problem-Solving entities,
- Not to create bureaucratic red-tape.
- We believe you get up every morning because you understand how CRITICAL your mission is.
- Not so you can feed at the government trough.
- We believe, if your work is technically rigorous, lacking Informed Consent is the only thing that will keep you from fulfilling your mission.
- Not budget constraints, not the political climate, or NIMBY.
Hans Bleiker, Lead Instructor
Alone at age 16, I left my native Switzerland.
Setting off to “do more” than what my social rank would have permitted, I headed for the “land of opportunity” — the United States.
Over the next several years, my journey led me to become a farmhand in Wisconsin, a cowboy in the Wyoming & Montana, an aircraft mechanic for the U.S. Air Force, and a graduate of the 6-year Bachelor’s from the Architecture program at the University of Cincinnati.
Each chapter in my adventure was better than the last.
America proved to be the “land of Opportunity” — as advertised!
My architectural education was particularly fulfilling — until it dawned on me that most of my work would consist of designing beautiful structures for wealthy people. Which wasn’t the end of the world, but this was 1966 — a time when cities were burning with social, racial, and economic tension, as the Civil Rights protests heated up.
Now, my need to do work that was more meaningful, than designing beautiful houses for rich people surpassed teenage adventure, or even the need to provide for my young family.
There were bigger, more serious problems to solve. . .
I wanted to be part of the solution.
So, I pursued a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), that drew from the design work I did in architecture school, and gave me a way to address problems relative to: social, economic, environmental, and transportation issues (i.e. the kind of complex problems that appeared to plague the U.S. at the time).
While doing four case studies at MIT, I made two major findings.
These findings changed my life (and can change yours).
Finding #1: Urban planners — and other public-sector professionals — are shockingly ineffective at fulfilling their missions. At about the 11th hour of the planning process, ALL HELL WOULD BREAK LOOSE.
Too often, their proposals were
Worse yet: these frustrated project managers were more charismatic, more connected, more experienced than I was likely to be!
Then came. . .
Finding #2: A tiny minority of the people I was studying WERE effective.
Unlike their peers, their proposals were
- NOT stopped
- NOT derailed
- NOT shelved
- NOT compromised
- NOT torpedoed
- but simply IMPLEMENTED!
These professionals WERE able to accomplish their mission.
They proposed the
- SAME kinds of projects
- worked in the SAME contentious political environments
- functioned under the SAME kinds of contraints
And yet, their public TRUSTED them!
Their public BELIEVED them.
Their public WENT ALONG with their proposals, even when they (as individuals) were negatively impacted!
I saw these public-sector professionals as “Implementation Geniuses.”
So what was the hidden ingredient in their effectiveness?
(Hint: it’s what you learn in our Consent-Building training.)
If Annemarie hadn’t protested, I would have started my Ph.D. all over, just to figure out what these “Implementation Geniuses” were doing differently.
Instead, I finished my Ph.D., became the Planning Director for the City of Lynn, Massachusetts (population 100,000), later as the Project Manager for a research project at MIT’s Transportation Systems Division, and eventually the Director of the Planning for a large Environmental Consulting firm, NHPQ, that worked in the Rocky Mountain region.
My last “real job” was as a tenured professor at the University of Wyoming, where I was recruited to create – and then administer – its Graduate Program in Community and Regional Planning. I served as Director of that program for twelve years.
Annemarie Bleiker, President & Instructor
In the meantime, I (Annemarie Bleiker) completed my formal education in Urban Anthropology, with a Bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a Master’s from Brandeis University.
Within Urban Anthropology, I studied a puzzling thing that was happening right in front of us where we were living as graduate students. . . .
Two hippy-groups established “communes” (group living arrangements), practically across from one another on our street. The commune lifestyle clashed — in fact, it offended — the area’s residents.
And yet, the locals tolerated — even embraced — one of the groups, but not the other.
My big discovery — was that even in the face of obvious conflict — common ground COULD be found.
Even when everyone was convinced none existed!
THAT is what I learned as part of my Master’s thesis.
This discovery meshed beautifully with Hans’ discovery that it WAS possible to get people’s CONSENT to “go along” with things they did NOT like, things they were actually OPPOSED to.
People do so knowingly and willingly with eyes wide open! (i.e. They grudgingly give their “Informed Consent”.)
SDIC: Systematic Development of Informed Consent
Ever since graduate school, we have worked at trying to understand what tactics Implementation Geniuses use — what methods they use — to develop their opponents’ Informed Consent.
We have worked for decades to systematize their tactics and SDIC is a result of that effort.
In short, Implementation Geniuses systematically work at developing their opponents’ Informed Consent.
It’s this strategy we share with you in our Consent-Building and SDIC training.
Don’t Waste Your (Professional) Life
Our combined research and professional experience has led to the development of our powerful approach for public-sector professionals to Systematically Develop the Informed Consent (SDIC) of their various publics, particularly of a project’s fiercest opponents.
SDIC has enabled public-sector professionals with important missions to get their proposals implemented, rather than becoming victims of NIMBY, “politics,” and budget cuts.
Over the course of four decades, we have helped people with public-sector missions (hired professionals, as well as elected and appointed officials) be consistently effective at accomplishing their mission.
In total, we’ve trained over 30,000 professionals LIKE YOU — how to get the job done!
We have systematized what Implementation Geniuses do intuitively.
Using our Consent-Building methodology, you can be just as effective, and do it over and over again, on every project you work on.
Jennifer Bleiker, Instructor & Online Content Developer
Growing up with Consent-Building jargon, I always found my parents’ work interesting, but wholly different from my desire to become a doctor of medicine.
(Nonetheless, it was great fun to practice their Consent-Building tactics when lobbying my parents for something — especially when I succeeded!)
After getting a Bachelor’s at Smith College in 1998, I began working as a Case Manager and Research Author for a pediatric malnutrition unit in Boston’s inner city.
There I saw how breakdowns in communication and trust resulted in serious issues for children, their families and public health in general.
Nearly all of the doctors I had worked with and studied under felt frustrated and ineffective because of these breakdowns, health care misunderstandings by patients, and even patient distrust of their doctors.
This reality shook me to the core.
I left Boston Medical Center and started part-time work for my parents so I could study for the medical entrance exams (MCATs), still determined I’d be unlike most doctors and feel effective — not frustrated.
Occasionally traveling with my parents to do training in New England, I constantly encountered long-time and new students of their Consent-Building methodology who strongly encouraged me “not to let their work die with them”, but to follow in their footsteps.
Over time, it occurred to me that when public agencies are successful in solving legitimate problems, in a responsible and responsive way — not only does the whole community benefit, but the negatively impacted opponents specifically experience tremendous healing effects.
Serving others, having a meaningful impact, and helping the underdog felt essential to me, and I realized I had a unique opportunity to do that by joining my parents in teaching their Consent-Building methodology.
While working for and learning from my parents, I earned a Master’s in Public Policy from New England College. I also became a professional firefighter/EMT, and a Fire Department’s Public Information Officer north of Boston.
Even with a mission as straight-forward as that of a firefighter/EMT, I witnessed how commonplace it was for there to be a lack of trust between supervisors/subordinates, council-members, residents, taxpayers, counterpart organizations, union leaders and administrators, and (perhaps less surprisingly) between the department and local journalists.
Five years later, I left the fire department when I married an Army officer and we started a family.
Even in this new sub-culture of the military, I discovered how natural it is for people to mistrust authority.
This was true even among Army spouses and family members; and an inbred reflex among the civilian world to distrust its military leaders.
In support of my husband’s role as a commander, I became a Family Readiness Group Advisor, which only reinforced the importance of being BOTH Responsible and Responsive, of having respect (but not necessarily being liked), and the importance of getting the Informed Consent of decision-makers.
Combining my time in healthcare, as a firefighter, military spouse, FRG advisor, my education, and over 15 years as a partner of the Institute for Participatory Management & Planning (IPMP) and co-trainer, I’m dedicating my life’s work to helping public-sector professionals be more effective at fulfilling their mission.
Of particular interest to me is how those in the public-sector should (not) use Social Media to develop Informed Consent — particularly of their proposals’ opponents. (My master’s thesis was on this topic, and I continue to research, write and present on it.)
Think of Us as Your Problem-Solvers
Your effectiveness is our mission.
Whether you face NIMBY, political decision-making gridlock, budget constraints, or a mis- or un-informed public, we can help.
It’s easy to stop, delay, or veto your work.
What’s tough to get solutions implemented because there are always negative impacts.
We’ll teach you something counter-intuitive — work to get your fiercest opponents’ Informed Consent.
Otherwise, you’re effectiveness is living on borrowed time.
Stop Being Ineffective
If you aren’t effective, you too will wind up wasting your professional life.
We didn’t want that for ourselves, nor do we want that for you.
Your mandate is an important one.
The public needs you to do you job, not a watered-down version of it.
We are here to help you get your mission accomplished — especially when the odds are against you. Especially when that mission and the projects needed to accomplish it are controversial.
We offer management training in each of these several skills areas. These skills-areas will rather quickly set you apart from the average manager. Most often clients have us conduct these management seminars as In-House training sessions strictly for their staff.
Once or twice a year we offer these same courses as Open-House training sessions. . .
Most often in:
- Monterey, CA
- Denver, CO
- Des Moines, IA
- Seattle, WA
We’re constantly working to improve the ways we deliver our training, whether it be online, in a webinar, or in-person.
Our vision is to make it possible for any professional (public or private-sector), who needs stakeholder’s Informed Consent, to get the training and tools she needs to be effective — anytime, at their own pace, from anywhere.
The success of those with important missions — is our mission.
It is good for everyone, even negatively impacted opponents — when government develops their Informed Consent and is the problem-solving entity it was designed to be.
We’ve Trained Over 30,000 Professionals
Why aren’t you among them?!?
Give us a call or send us an email.
Your work is too important to sit on a shelf.
Apply our systematized process and see for yourself what if feels like to be an Implementation Genius!
Together, we will discuss a more detailed description of the training session(s) that would help your team the most, dates we’re available, our fee-schedule, or give you references of public officials in disciplines similar to yours, who are using our methods.