In our current environment the ability to navigate change and work remotely with your team is more important than ever.  Teams need to reinvent the way work is happening in order to deliver successful projects in the current environment of uncertainty.  Teams that have the right conversations thrive in environments of uncertainty and change.

LeanProject focuses on the human element of how work gets done because the design and construction of projects are human endeavors and should be managed that way. People are autonomous; misunderstanding is normal; they do not process information; and their decisions are not determined. Projects are delivered by people in relationships acting together in language: they form and express opinions, make claims for the truth, make declarations, and coordinate action by making requests and receiving promises.

Everything that happens first happens in language.  Further, everything purposeful that happens between two or more people requires a commitment conversation.  LeanProject has invented and successfully delivered a way to bring that to design and construction work in the form of our Essential Conversations™ training.  We have successfully delivered this on some of the largest, most complex projects undertaken, and it has had a significant impact on project success.

When a team is implementing lean, Essential Conversations offers training in the key skills for building the network of commitments and for making and securing reliable promises.  It also addresses the issue of how and when to say “no.”  For those who are embarking on a lean transformation, this course lays the groundwork for becoming a learning organization by cultivating a mood of inquiry and ambition.

The course will consist of six 2-hour modules delivered via the Zoom video conferencing platform. This is a live class where you will actively engage in discussions with the course leader and other participants.

You will learn:

  • How to coordinate actions through language. The tactical dimension of work has to do with the way that we speak and listen. A successful team coordinates action through declarations, requests, offers, promises, assessments, and assertions. Learning to see conversations as the vehicle to create action will open new opportunities for effective coordination.
  • How to listen as a skill. The essential feature of listening shows up in sensitivity to the concerns of others, and not simply the capacity to hear words and sentences. This is not a passive skill.
  • The power of moods and emotions. In the project environment we can see practices, behaviors, and results that bring and support moods of deep resignation, frustration, and mistrust. These moods interfere with listening, make the work more difficult, consume time, energy, and resources, and fester and spread when left alone. Leaders will learn to orchestrate the moods of their teams in order to produce positive changes and allow for new possibilities.
  • How to learn in conversations with others. Predictable operations, innovation and economic growth all stand on top of the capacity to learn, including the willingness to make mistakes and repeatedly become a beginner to deal with the world as it turns.
  • How to initiate or shift conversations for the situation you are in
  • How to negotiate with team members and leaders
  • How to be accountable and hold others accountable
  • How and when to say “no” to produce a more reliable yes
  • How to make your project adaptable to changing conditions
  • How to generate possibilities

The cost of the on-line Essential Conversations for Project Success training is $500 per person and discounts will be given for groups of 2 or more from the same organization.

The sessions will be hosted on the Zoom video conferencing platform from 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM Central Time on May 4, 6, 11, 13, 18 and 20.

Jason Klous from LeanProject will be the course leader.

Please contact Jason Klous at or 612.709.8645 to register.

Participants who successfully complete all six modules will qualify for twelve CE hours toward AGC CM-Lean Renewal.