Cultural Health in Workplaces and in Community Life


Course Description

Creative Ground is a Seattle-based consulting group that develops and enhances cultural health in workplaces and in community life.  Because of our strong commitment to equity and access for all, we focus our work in the public and non-profit sectors, the largest caretakers of our “commons.”  We believe that trust and belonging form the essential foundation for healthy and productive workplace cultures, and that these conditions can be co-created with practice and support.  Based on this philosophy and our experience with our clients, we develop projects on the following core beliefs:

  • Social & emotional intelligence is central to healthy culture

The emotional intelligence needed to develop trust and belonging in a workplace is currently humanity’s steepest learning curve and will require the sustained humility of all of us as learners.  

  • The will to change must come from our clients  

We don’t “fix” problems, rather our work creates the conditions for everyone to contribute to healthier relationships and team dynamics.  

  • Nothing changes long-term without a systems view 

While we may be engaged to assess and help resolve conflicts between a few people, a single team or an entire division, our assessments will always include how the overall work environment and its leadership impacts the whole.  We will look “upstream” to understand “downstream” impacts.

  • Constant urgency undermines equity  

Rushed decisions favor top-down leadership, which privileges the powerful and excludes marginalized people. Constant urgency creates an illusion of progress, leaving a wake of disengaged staff, wasted talent and resources.

  • The best learning happens through experimentation  

Theory is insufficient without real world learning and application.  Our agendas and process designs are always adaptive to what’s needed in the moment, respecting the individuals in the room and their pace of learning.

  • Always practice what we preach 

We model the learning we seek to cultivate in our client partners.  As a consulting team we ask every Creative Ground team member to put courage into action by: 

  • Abiding in curiosity, of self, others and circumstances.  It’s the starting point and foundation for our engagements with the world.  There is always more to know and always more of the mystery to uncover.

  • Devotion to humility, kindness and gratitude.  We only achieve anything through our collective actions. We can deliver a hard truth when the heart leads.  

  • Direct dealing.  We step towards conflict, seek repair, share concerns directly as quickly as possible, avoid the triangle, passive aggression and manipulation as work-arounds to direct requests.

  • Standing in personal authority and emotional accountability.  We know what we are good at and what we’re not.  We make our intent explicit.  We claim personal power (vs. using others’ or borrowing it from anywhere else) and take full responsibility for our emotional health and interactions.  

  • Responding creatively to uncertainty.  We make friends with uncertainty and acknowledge its central role in our lives, especially now in the increasing chaos. 

Standard Course Length

Custom designed


Please contact us for pricing information.

FAcilitated by

Lisa Fitzhugh is a professional team builder and leadership coach.  She is often asked to support groups when there is a legacy of unaddressed conflict.   She works from the assumption that conflict is fertile ground for transformational change – it is the essential dynamic tension that allows for more creativity and growth both in individuals and organizations. Lisa is also the founder of  Arts Corps, the largest arts education program in Washington State reaching underserved communities throughout King County.  The organization uses an equity and social justice lens in every aspect of its programming and has become recognized for its real impacts in addressing inequities in access to arts education in the public school system.  Previous to Arts Corps, Lisa worked both for elected officials and as a consultant designing and implementing public engagement strategies.