Former AP Reporter
Probably unlike the ex-journalists you’ve already added to your team, Lauren is a gifted trainer.
Even back when she ran a newsroom, her staff meetings were training sessions — because that’s who she really is. As one of Lauren’s former reporters gushes to this day, “You were so creative and collaborative!” He means back in the day when it wasn’t trendy to be that type of leader. Lauren was always a coach waiting to happen.
Root causes, not surface critiquing
Lauren is unusually perceptive and direct. She sees the root causes of problems that silently gunk up the works in individual or team processes. She’s inventive and believes that people need to do to learn. She doesn’t just present information; she creates a series of ah-ha moments.
Lauren’s workshops reframe problems and remove cognitive barriers that lead to bad writing. She believes writing is thinking made manifest, so to fix the writing, first fix the thinking. She also shares criteria and principles that help great writers work faster.
Sticky training from an expert, not knowledge-sharing among peers
Each workshop is built around your team’s actual work, so everything is relevant and applicable — and really sticks. Most sessions are hands-on, so attendees can’t just nod in agreement and then go on doing what they always did. Instead, they are asked to apply new insights on the spot, and are held accountable for results.
Creative thinking, not creative writing
Companies go through cycles where someone suddenly says, “Let’s be more creative.” The team responds with flowery or overly informal wordsmithing that eventually gets deleted. Instead, teams should adopt frameworks and processes that help them *think* creatively about accomplishing business goals.
Lauren is creative in a practical way. Her guidance weans people from habits acquired during years of academic life and from traditional business formats that no longer serve modern aspirations.
She lived, studied and worked in Asia for five years, and believes her cross-cultural adventures are a major contributor to her creativity. Fluency in other languages and cultures teaches one to hold conflicting ideas in one’s mind at the same time, without eliminating either. That’s one of the foundations of creativity.
Liberation, not training
Independent-minded and non-conformist, Lauren claims she doesn’t train people — she liberates them. She honors individuals’ own voices while helping them grow their repertoire of styles, for easy switching as needed between situations and audiences.
Honors at Cal, awards in journalism
Lauren graduated with honors from UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources. Her major has a hard-to-grasp name — “political economy of natural resources.” Essentially, it’s microeconomics mixed with science and political science. It teaches analytic decision-making for sectors like energy, agriculture and the environment.
She learned journalism by doing it. Yes, she has won awards, but not a Pulitzer, so why name them? She’s most proud of a first-place award for feature writing from the CNPA, which is California’s equivalent of the Academy Awards but for journalism. This detail is relevant to you because it’s further evidence that the narrative arc framework in one of her more advanced workshops (for VPs) is really effective.
Where It All Began
What happens in Silicon Valley ..
… doesn’t stay in Silicon Valley. It catches on, spreads and becomes the new normal. Everywhere.
Lauren’s workshops spring directly from Silicon Valley’s irreverent culture of innovation and social change.
She asked, “What if …” and created methods and techniques that improve not just the quality of a team’s written work but also the quality of the team’s interactions.
A healthy team dynamic invites ongoing success, builds careers (not just skills), and fuels excitement-worthy initiatives.
Each of Lauren’s workshops is an organic and practical answer to real struggles faced by technology PR/marketing professionals and engineers.
Lauren’s workshops don’t aim to be “comprehensive” or fit academic expectations; they home in on what’s most effective and practical for getting the right results.
Lauren adapts the workshop agenda on the spot to best fit the needs of the people in the room. She uses curiosity and interviewing skills (hallmarks of an experienced journalist) to ensure relevant and practical application to participants’ own work flows.
Most sessions are hands-on and interactive. Depending on the topic, Lauren usually insists on groups of fewer than eight people (four to six is the sweet spot) so she can meet participants wherever they are, help them build new habits and processes, and give plenty of feedback.
Instead of red-pen critiquing, she relies on criteria, examples and surprising tricks to help communicators discover tendencies and choose new responses.
She favors critical thinking over tradition and templates. And since she only teaches smart people, she learns, too, and builds emerging insights into subsequent workshops.
Even veteran communicators leave refreshed and inspired to try out new tricks and tips.