Four Mottos

Here are the four mottos that matter to me in the work that we do, with a brief explanation of each:

“Great consultants. Lousy businesspeople.”

We have to make enough to pay our bills, but we absolutely have no desire to ever be rich doing this work. We are not motivated by money. We are motivated by making a difference. That’s why we give away so many of our tools. That’s why we do so many things at a discounted rate.

“Training that doesn’t suck.”

A trainer that understands adult learning knows that any good training combines many different approaches. Here are my three foundations to training:

1. Training should be pragmatic for what you do.

If your trainer doesn’t get “it” then it will just be one gigantic snooze-fest. If you don’t actually learn something you can immediately put into practice it is a waste of time. Let me give you an example of a pet peeve – lots of organizations realize the value of knowing Motivational Interviewing, but are not taught MI by someone that has experience working with homeless or precariously housed people in either a homeless or permanent supportive housing setting. So many of their approaches assume a clinical or quasi-clinical setting, which seems like the antithesis of the sort of environment you function in on  a daily basis.

2. Training should be grounded in theory and evidence.

If your trainer has not read a peer reviewed journal article on the subject matter they are training you on in the last 10 years, chances are they have missed some relevant advances in the field. Your trainer should know why they are training you on the things they are training you on.

3. Training should be both educational and entertaining.

To me it is simple: if you are entertained at the same time you are learning you are more likely to put down your defenses and be engaged with the subject matters. You are also more likely to want additional training in the future if the trainer didn’t bore you to tears.

“Catalysts for better outcomes.”

We should be able to change behavior, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and/or results through our work. It should have a lasting impact. We never want to be the people who parachute in, look at your watch and tell you what time it is. Our job is to challenge and change.

“Hip and nerdy. Not your average consultants.”

If people ever think of OrgCode as just another consulting firm, we have failed. Our research should be different than what you have experienced before. Our reports should be different than what you have experienced before. Our training should be different than what you have experienced before. Same thing with our planning, facilitation, engagement strategies, charrettes, keynotes and materials. The world has lots of “average”. We believe you deserve something better than average. If we are just “the world’s okayest” consultants, we suck.

About Iain De Jong

Iain is a playful nerd, hellbent on ending homelessness, increasing affordable housing, creating vibrant communities, and expanding the knowledge amongst leaders that influence social issues. Having held senior management and professional positions in government, non-profits, and the private sector, Iain has a wealth of experience and has garnered dozens of awards for his work across Canada and internationally. His work has taken him across Canada, the United States, and to Australia. In 2009, Iain joined OrgCode as its President & CEO, and in 2014 assumed full ownership of the firm. In addition to his work with OrgCode, Iain holds a part-time faculty position in the Graduate Urban Planning Programme at York University.


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