Management Consultants


Services & Training

"We work with our clients to create healthy climates within organizations, teams and communities. Work environments, where people are engaged, creative and innovative, enabling their organizations to achieve sustainable success. As critical as it is for humans to change the way we “fuel” and renew energy to our physical world, it is also critical that we change the way we “fuel” our human interactions. To do so we must change the way we interact within our organizational environments and in our personal lives.”  

Source: Harnessing Human Energy to Renew Positive Organizational Climate article by Maureen (Mo) McKenna

The operating system that is used for all management consultant services and training is Appreciative Inquiry (AI). AI is a strength-based change management philosophy and transformational change process that leverages past successes, peak experiences and current strengths. It is based on a deceptively simple premise: that organizations grow most in the areas in which they repeatedly ask questions and focus their attention.

The roots of AI go back to the early 1980’s with co-founder Dr. David Cooperrider,  of Case Western University’s Weatherhead School of Management. Since that time, and with some pioneering by the early adopters in this thinking, organizations all over the world have been discovering the positive power of AI.  Through the process of inquiry, AI strengthens an organization’s capacity to capitalize on people’s energy and passion, and create new kinds of conversation that help the organization realize its full potential.

At Return On Energy, we customize our services to meet the unique needs of our clients.  We offer coaching in all of our service offerings and define this as a "Just in Time, Learning Partner" type of scenario.  We believe that the real learning happens in the doing. The role of coach/learning partner is to offer our clients the assurance that we are there to help you grow and develop when the time is right.  

We offer both individual coaching and organizational coaching customized offerings. 

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your leaders and employees thrive and your organization flourish.

Creating a Healthy & Innovative Workplace

Consult, Design, Facilitate, Assess, Train & Coach

Much has been written in recent years about the "lack of employee engagement". Organizations study and publish reports that tell us that "employees are disengaged" and that the resulting loss of productivity is

costing organizations millions of dollars annually.  Might it be that that employees are not disengaged, they are exhausted.  When clients ask about this challenge, they are encouraged to look at employee engagement as a mystery to be embraced versus a problem to be solved.

"What if we were to study this issue from the other side - what might it look like when all employees say they are energized, engaged and inspired by the work they do?" This different lens view begins a whole new conversation for possibility and begins to get your Return on Energy.

Applying a strength-based approach to dealing with operational issues can create energy and a sense of commitment that traditional problem- solving approaches may not. 

"By focusing on what’s working, people get the energy to fix what’s not” 

~~Dee Witt Jones. 

The key is having the right people in the room and asking the right questions. 

Return On Energy consults with the client to co-design interventions with and for clients who have a desire and need for a deep, inclusive and meaningful conversation.  The objective is rich dialogue, deep listening, shared understanding, and generating positive human energy to fuel change.


Return on Energy strongly believes in the principle of co-creating with clients to meet their objectives. Beginning with the end in mind and plan, design and facilitate accordingly - so that every intervention is a ‘customized’ solution.

We are certified in the Situational Outlook Questionnaire® (SOQ), measuring people’s perceptions of the climate for creativity, innovation, and change in their immediate working environment.  The robust and evidence-based, qualitative and quantitative SOQ assessment instrument is used to help foster and maintain a climate that can support innovation and change.

Working with clients over an extended period of time in the role of 'learning partner' provides 'just in time, in the moment' learning opportunities for clients to build their confidence. Resulting in people thriving and the organization or community to flourish.   

Facilitated Learning Sessions

Customized Solutions

Education is what people do to you. Learning is what you do to yourself. Focus on being connected, always learning, fully aware and super present.”

~Joi Ito, Director of MIT Media Lab

  • 10% of learning happens in formal learning settings, workshops, webinars etc. 
  • 20% of learning occurs within social context of networks, communities of practice, coaching etc. 
  • 70% happens when what is learned is embedded into our daily work. 
Inquire about our customized workshops and public workshops on building strong communication, collaboration and cooperation across the organization and with external stakeholders.  

"I had a great time at your workshop last week. A quick reflection: at this time of year, especially with morale decreasing, I have found my energy low and my staff equally low. I realized during your session that I have been avoiding conversations focused on problem identification and areas of improvement with my staff because I have gone into a state of protection, and fear that such conversations will suck me totally dry. However, if I was to re-direct the questions towards what is going well such as we did last week, my energy levels will increase. They did in the 3 hours I was in the workshop, and I sensed the same for many others."

~Director of Student Services, Post Secondary Institution

*Source of data:  Center for Creative Leadership 70:20:10

Strategic Convening Summits

Engagement at the Whole

Organizations and communities are moving from a traditional hierarchical structure to a networked structure. This requires new ways of engagement of all those will be be creating the change and being impacted by the change.  Moving from small executive, expert teams creating the plan in isolation to inviting all who are impacted by the change to be part of the discovery, design and implementation process.  It is about the power of the collective mindsets vs expert mindsets.

"Just like we're seeing factor-10 productivity increases in (areas) like solar power and energy efficiency, we are now seeing factor-10 productivity increases in conventions and conferences, in how companies and industries can leverage the power of large-group meetings."

~~Professor David Cooperrider, 


Strategic Planning

Dialogic Approach to Designing the Future

Using the SOAR (Strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results) dialogic framework. Begins by having conversations (dialogic) that uncover what is already working with people that represent all the areas that will be impacted and need to be engaged to bring to life the strategy.
The SOAR framework* ask generative questions (Appreciative Inquiry) that help a group to have a conversation that help identifies their strengths, explore the opportunities on the horizon to create new possibilities, together create their aspirations of the future that lead to innovative and creative solutions and actions, to achieve the results they desire.  

*Professor Jacqueline Stavros, creator of the SOAR framework.   http://www.soar-strategy.com/  

Public Workshops

The foundation for our Energizing Conversations @ Work Series, and our Positively Energizing Leadership series is the evidence-based practices of Appreciative Inquiry, Positive Psychology, Center for Positive Organizations and NeuroSciences. 

Voice of Participants:

“I flew the Atlantic to study appreciative inquiry with Maureen (‘Mo’) McKenna. Mo brings a moving depth of knowledge and experience of appreciative inquiry to this training, along with a sensitive, insightful and focused approach to her teaching. Mo’s work helped me feel confident and clear about the importance of AI along with understanding how I can move forward with it in my own work.”

~~Piers Worth PhD , ‘Reader’ in Psychology – 

Bucks New University – United Kingdom

“I attended one of Mo’s Foundations of Appreciative Inquiry workshops. Her facilitation skills and content knowledge are exemplary; she was able to build our understanding of the content of A.I. while at the same time adjusting the agenda in response to our learning needs.”

~Linda Eason Lumsden, Superintendent of Education and Chief Customer Service Officer at Upper Canada District School Board

Appreciative Inquiry Shadow Consulting 

One-on-one learning partner

  • 10% of learning is formal - workshop/class etc.
  • 20% of learning is social - coaching and community of practice etc.
  • 70% of learning is embedded in our work - weaving it thoughtfully into helping to be more successful.

Shadow consulting is a combination of the 20% social and 70% job embedded learning processes.  it is an opportunity to share your work process/design which is reviewed and we have a one hour call focused on helping you learn and grow.  This goes beyond coaching and mentoring, it is truly a 'learning' partnership where you will be provided with insights, tools and techniques to help you build your confidence, deepen and accelerate your competence.  This will help to ensure you achieve mastery in weaving AI philosophy and methodology into all that you do.

Team Building

Creating the Climate Where High Performance Teams Flourish & Grow

The need to collaborate has doubled over the last five years.  Networks of people working in a variety of teams has become a major requirement it the 21st century workplace.   

Let ROE help you to create a strong relational foundation for your teams and help them to mature quickly to become high performing teams quickly.  We know how to help you create a psychologically safe work climate where teams can thrive and business flourish.  

Google has conducted extensive research on what is the key contributor to great teams and their statistically validated research shows that the #1 requirement is creating a Psychologically safe climate. Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmundson description of psychological safety: ‘‘It describes a team climate characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves.’’  In 2016 NY Times wrote the article called: What Google Learned in its Quest to Build the Perfect Team :

What Project Aristotle has taught people within Google is that no one wants to put on a ‘‘work face’’ when they get to the office. No one wants to leave part of their personality and inner life at home. But to be fully present at work, to feel ‘‘psychologically safe,’’ we must know that we can be free enough, sometimes, to share the things that scare us without fear of recriminations. We must be able to talk about what is messy or sad, to have hard conversations with colleagues who are driving us crazy. We can’t be focused just on efficiency. Rather, when we start the morning by collaborating with a team of engineers and then send emails to our marketing colleagues and then jump on a conference call, we want to know that those people really hear us. We want to know that work is more than just labor.

Strategic Convening

Bringing Internal and External Stakeholders Together 

We also work with our clients to create Strategic Convening opportunities to invite stakeholders from both inside and outside of the organization to cooperate and collaborate to co-create a vision of the future that everyone will be committed to bringing to  life.