Tending the Fire: Power Retreats for Founders and Partners

We are Open Circle provides high-impact, custom-focused, retreats for organization co-founders and partners. Set in semi-wild settings, our retreats offer a blend of focused work calibrated to your unique needs, goals, wish-list and even blind-spots.

Setting Matters

Our environment can provide a sense of beauty and safety that make hard topics and real listening easier. Often, a setting in nature can reawaken our awareness of interconnectedness and what’s essential in more effective ways.

Retreat setting and the way we move through the environment depend on your goals, organizational culture, and physical ability. It can look like gentle backpacking through wilderness, with time at the campfire, shared meals and even fly-fishing. It can look like a beach or mountain house retreat, an established retreat center or private lands. In the USA we have an established network of ideal sites around California, Jackson Hole Wyoming and New York State. In Australia, we partner with local experts to find the perfect setting for your retreat.

What is possible

Preparation can include the following:

· 360-degree interviews with key stakeholders regarding partners, organizational culture and decision-making

· Collation of feedback into themes related to organizational development and partnership

· Pre-meetings to understand your vision, goals and needs

Part One (1-2 full or half days): Current Reality

· Clarity of current reality and its relationship to personal needs/goals/desires

· Coaching to transmute individual and partnership emotional tension into creative tension

· Individual reflection

Part Two (1-2 full or half days): Future State and Ongoing Movement

· Facilitated idea generation around next steps individually, in partnership and in organizational roles

· Action steps and development commitments

Part Three (last day or within 2 weeks): Outcomes and Integration

· Greater self and system awareness among founders

· Clarity about what is creating the tension or imbalance in the evolution of the partnership and organization

· Forward-moving steps to align individuals, the partnership and roles/relationship with the organization

· Tools and concepts that can be implemented for decision-making and ongoing practice within the wider organization


We are Open Circle’s transformational work with founders and partners supports their ability to let go and change their relationship with each other and the organization itself. Often, we are guiding founders as they step into the same potent, unknown realm where they formed the organization in the first place.


About our change procesS

We are Open Circle works with founders, partners and organizations to get “unstuck.”

Organizations, communities and relationships move like life moves: born with sparks of creativity and passion, generating ideas and forms, flourishing through the quality of relationship and renewing themselves unless or until they dissolve. Like humans, organizations can become unbalanced or stuck when they resist change.

The relationship of the founders and the stories of their founding form the underlying culture of an organization, and deeply influence the day-to-day decision-making within the organization. To understand an organization, we consider these relationships and stories, embracing all the shadow and light of them, transforming them into seeds for growth and deepening the connection to mission and purpose.

Our work with you starts with listening and getting to know the many parts of the organization, and looking for the connection among culture, behavior, decision-making structures and outcomes, We listen for tension and polarization, for example when two partners hold seemingly opposite points of view, or when the organization acts differently from its values (without awareness or with engulfed justification).

We look for this tension not to mediate it or solve it but because we have seen that tension is often a gateway to unleashing creative energy and spawning new growth and development.

Moving through this tension helps create new structural possibilities for aligning organizational governance and decision-making to the truth, values and mission at the center of the organization. Once structure and decision-making align with purpose and mission, the organization can become unstuck and continue its natural evolution with renewed passion.

This type of transformation requires looking at control and power and the way they are impacting the organization. This process necessarily involves letting go of beliefs and values and ways of doing things that may have served you in the past, but which are no longer useful.


"None of the usual touchy-feely meetings and training sessions that don’t go anywhere. Yours were more like dynamic growth sessions. And because you think different, you have the ability to get people and organizations unstuck.”

—Christine, partner and founder, X Health


“The idea and practice of collective wisdom was game changing for me. I experienced the way my personal transformation can inspire the evolution of our business. The way We are Open Circle creates transformation is a big deal. They walk the talk .”

—Jennifer Sweeney, partner, X Health


“We have too many meetings, too many phone calls. I love working with you guys in revamping our meetings and learning processes to make them efficient, effective and faster. There have been so many times when designing client programs that I have said, ‘I wonder what Adam and Miriam would put here so we are not closing the conversation down ... ensuring it is not just our brains and our thinking and shutting off what potentially could come from others .”

— Business Manager, Finance Industry