Charles Holmes

CEH&HHDLCharles Holmes, principal at CE Holmes Consulting Inc., has facilitated projects with clients from health care to forestry and mining, software and pharmaceutical companies, educational institutions and utility firms, government and not-for-profit sectors. The meetings he has designed and facilitated have focused on innovation (e.g. a meeting with former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and 250 Western Canadian CEOs to focus on development and export of environmental technologies), conflict resolution (meeting of 200 home owners and property developers to develop a shared vision for future development), community engagement (meetings of mining firms and community groups), 100’s of strategic planning session and other team and group engagements.

Charles has taught negotiation, team building, facilitation and leadership in Executive Programs for Universities in Canada and Saudi Arabia. He was co-founder of the Learning Strategies Group in the Faculty of Business at Simon Fraser University where he was the lead in establishing the Executive Development Program, a biotech MBA and an MBA in Applied Sustainability. He serves as a coach for the Sustainable Enterprise Academy and sits on a variety of boards.

In the fall of 2006 Charles designed and co-facilitated, with Peter Senge and Peter Block, the inaugural Connecting for Change Dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Working with the Vancouver, BC based Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, Charles brought together 60 corporate sector executives and 60 social sector innovators to explore approaches and projects for building connections across apparent boundaries.

In all instances, Charles’ number one interest is helping groups to see the potential of what they might create together; to acknowledge, but not be constrained by the past, and to explore opportunities for working together toward a common future.

Charles, Ann and I have collaborated together on projects for years, and while we know our partnership brings great value to the client, it is also a true pleasure and privilege to work with someone of Charles’ calibre. We continue to seek every opportunity to team up and multiply our impact for the client.

Kudos for Charles’ work…

“Charles Holmes has throughout my various private sector and governmental incarnations helped to facilitate several consultations on business, aboriginal and sustainable development issues where clarity of purpose and common ground was anything but a given. Charles’ contribution and incisiveness as an experienced facilitator enabled very different participants to progress together to untangle what at first sight appeared irreconcilable.”

Dan Gagnier

Chair International Institute for Sustainable Development

VP, Alcan

“Charles is a true social alchemist at work.”

Jim Collins, author: Good to Great

“Charles Holmes and Gary Ralston did a tremendous job of teasing out the thoughts and ideas of some very disparate parties as to their views of future priorities, synthesizing that data into a very concise, well thought through document, and facilitating a discussion and debate which resulted in a ‘Vision Document’ that will be adopted by the Board of Directors. Their focus, insight, and constructive questioning was invaluable to our process and I couldn’t be happier with the result.”

Julie Dill, Chairperson, Canadian Gas Association

” Charles is a truly skilled and gifted facilitator and a pleasure to work with.”

Peter Senge, MIT

“Charles is simply the best. Too many facilitators run groups through a set of techniques unrelated to the distinctive nature and purpose of the meeting or the organization. Rather than bringing a kitbag of techniques, Charles brings a unique sensitivity to purpose and process and a passion to unleash the potential of the group and each of its members. Our board meetings had become frustrating and unproductive. Charles led us through a process of discovering and resolving the barriers that has lifted the organization to a new level of function.”

David Korten, board chair, YES! magazine and author The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community

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