We facilitate the development and strengthening of senior level executive leadership and management skills through a co-creative process.
The Executive Studio is a leadership and management consulting company that works with senior leaders in organizations to help them identify and exploit their leadership potential. The firm uses a variety of tools and approaches – like a palette of artistic materials – to do this work. We are a creative studio and we encourage creativity – we are creative in our work with our clients, in order to help them be creative in their own work.
Our focus is on Discovering Leadership Possibilities. We carefully follow current research and writing, and participate in professional development opportunities ourselves. As a result we are able to bring the best current practices to our clients. Then we help our clients discover the possibilities that excellence in leadership brings to their work and their lives.
Gursh Barnard, Leadership and Development Coach
Managing Partner at The Executive Studio
Gursh Barnard has a passion to serve individuals in their quest for personal and professional success, by supporting them to discover leadership possibilities. As a leadership and executive coach she is dedicated to enabling people to develop themselves as inspirational leaders.
Gursh collaborates with clients to co-create strategies for leading that have positive and sustained impact on their lives and those of the people they influence. She has many years of experience in leadership, management and developmental roles with human resources, communications, public relations, media, arts and community organizations.
Gursh is a Certified Executive Coach; she completed her graduate studies in Coaching at Royal Roads University, and has formal certification with the International Coaching Federation. Her practice includes executive coaching, leadership development, team building, strategic planning, change management, personal mastery and general management consulting. She works with a diversity of enterprises including businesses, international not-for-profit organizations, crown corporations, arts and cultural organizations and non-governmental organizations. Clients of The Executive Studio are exclusively those in senior leadership roles (boards, executives, leadership teams).
Gursh has over 25 years of experience in management, consulting and serving on boards. Respect for individuals and a community, helping them to achieve their potentials and dreams is at the heart of Gursh’s professional and volunteer activities. Her work as an on-air television personality, producer and executive producer was recognized by several professional organizations. In addition, in 2008 she was the first recipient in the Volunteer category of the Saskatchewan Lieutenant-Governor’s Awards for the Arts. A driving force behind many community initiatives, she understands the importance of leadership to strengthen our society and economy.
Her current community involvement includes the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Saskatchewan Foundation for the Arts, New Dance Horizons, and Habitat for Humanity (Regina Affiliate).
As a leadership partner and coach, Gursh supports individuals to stretch beyond their current achievements for positive growth and performance. She draws on her passion for serving others in their quest for a larger future. Gursh invites individuals to excel through intentional listening, powerful questioning, insightful feedback and commitment to action.
The Executive Studio
37 King’s Drive
Winnipeg MB R3T 3E6
Toll Free: 1-855-807-7709
Areas of Practice
Coaching is usually a process that takes place over a period of time, not simply in one session. Some engagements are for specific purposes (e.g., working on a strategic plan) while some are for less specific or tangible purposes (e.g., improving leadership skills). Coaching sessions can take place face to face (usually less frequent) or by telephone (usually more frequent).
The engagement begins by clarifying the expected outcomes and determining a schedule, usually identifying the frequency of coaching calls (often once every two weeks, sometimes more or less frequently than that) and the duration of them (typically an hour, but sometimes longer).
In preparation for a session the coach will provide some questions that can stimulate conversation and often the client will come with specific agenda item or perhaps several of them. Coaches at The Executive Studio can provide suggestions of approaches that others might take in similar circumstances, but the focus is one eliciting from the client an identification of possible and preferred approaches to dealing with leadership challenges in the workplace.
The coach will listen, observe, ask questions, provide both feedback and weekly exercises, and will help to celebrate the client’s progress.
The kinds of work that clients often ask us for are described in the previous categories. But in addition to these types of engagement, partners at The Executive Studio are available for general management consulting and have experience in other kinds of work for clients such as reviewing the current state of effectiveness and future possibilities of an operational unit or department, researching a topic of interest and providing a briefing report for leaders, participating as a member of a review panel in sensitive recruitments and so on.
Partners are always interested in discussing tailored engagements to meet the needs of existing or new clients.
The Executive Studio works with clients to identify and develop leadership capacity. We believe that while some people are more naturally inclined to good leadership practices than are others, each of us can learn to be a better leader. There is a shortage of good leadership in our world and in our businesses and public sector organizations. But leadership can be taught and learned.
There is a great deal of literature about leadership. Partners in The Executive Studio have leadership experience of their own that informs the work that they do, but they also draw on the available literature for insights.
The leadership development that we provide is based on the use of instruction and coaching.
In addition to working with individual executives, The Executive Studio partners also work with executive and senior leadership teams, as well as boards. This work focuses on finding alignment around shared values, practices and aspirations for the organization.
This work is usually done as a specific task with a few focused sessions over a period of a few weeks, although sometimes a continuing involvement has proven to be of value to clients.
Much of the work that The Executive Studio does is focused on the work responsibilities of clients. But often the engagement goes beyond strictly the working environment because the way in which a person manages commitments and responsibilities in other areas of life is often similar to the way in which they are managed at work.
When a partner engages with a client on this larger agenda we refer to it as dealing with personal mastery, or we could also say self mastery. This is an area in which all of us can seek for improvements, and in which partners are willing to engage if it is of value to clients.
One of the most traumatic aspects of the contemporary working environment is the pace of change that is required to respond to changing external realities in markets, sources of financing, tax regimes, competition and so on. Leaders often need help in dealing with the definition and implementation of plans to change their organizations.
Partners from The Executive Studio have led major change operations themselves and can provide advice on best practices and sustainable paces of change.
Partners in The Executive Studio have a wide variety of experience in working with organizations on strategic planning as executives, team members and consultants. They draw on this experience and on best practice when working with clients on their own strategic planning.
This can take place in two different contexts. Within an ongoing coaching relationship a client can be involved in strategic planning and will discuss this with an Executive Studio coach.
In a more focused way, though, partners work with clients on specific engagements to assist with strategic planning. Typically this involves working with a key contact but also with a larger group – a team developing the plan, the executive leadership group or the board. Partners help clients find alignment around mission, vision, values and objectives of a plan, and the actions that are required to achieve the objectives.
Executive Studio partners are committed to the success of their clients. They listen, observe, ask questions, provide feedback and celebrate their clients’ progress. The principals serve as a non-judgmental “thinking partners” for their clients, providing a safe, supportive, environment for senior leaders to examine, question and develop leadership strengths.
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