What Our Clients Are Saying
As Executive Director of Pine Tree Society and even before I took over this position in 2004, I have had the privilege of working with Peter. Peter has been a valuable resource to me and Pine Tree Society as a facilitator for board and staff meetings and workshops and as an executive coach.
I greatly appreciate having Peter as an executive coach. Being executive director of a nonprofit organization can be a minefield. And, it can feel really lonely at the top. Peter’s sage advice, his years of experience and his wonderful sense of humor have guided me through a number of thorny issues. He has taught me how to assess a situation by asking framing questions, the importance of being direct in written and oral observations and requests, and the wisdom of trusting my “gut” and following through with actions that have integrity and are in line with personal and organizational values. I would be remiss if I did not add that Peter is always available by phone or email should I need an opinion or some advice. Thank you, Peter.
Anne Marsh, Executive Director, Pine Tree Society, Bath, ME
As the owner of a small business, I see numerous prospective customers each week. My work with Pete Smith has taught me to listen more closely while being aware of my own inner-dialogue, be open to the perspective being presented, and to approach a collaborative solution that meets the customers needs. It has also improved my relationship with suppliers, other contractors, and staff.
The great thing about Pete is that he’s able to hone in on what isn’t being said and bring it to light, as well as bring clarity to what is being said to provide a common understanding on which to proceed. And he does it all with warmth and humor that makes even the tough patches enjoyable. Working with Pete has been one of the most enjoyable growth spurts of my long and varied career.
John White, MEd, MBA Candidate, Business Owner
Peter Smith played an integral role in my transition from graduate student to successful organizational development consultant. As a professor and coach, he helped me to identify and develop my skills and knowledge base with group process work and organizational assessment. As a result of my work with Peter, I gained many resources, became a more confident networker and built a solid business plan. In addition to his vast knowledge and experience in teaching and practicing OD, I enjoyed working with him and felt that he was always rooting for me!
Beth Boynton, RN, MS author of Confident Voices: The Nurses’ Guide to Improving Communication & Creating Positive Workplaces.
…We engaged Pete to work with us as we transitioned our HR Business Partner role from a transactional pay, benefits and policy role to one that offered strategic value. As we evolved our HR Operating model, one of the guiding principles is that we wanted to provide consultative solutions not only to our clients, but also within all of HR when working with sub teams.
This shift required us to think about development planning in a different way. We needed to provide the right level of theory, application and practice for our HR Business Partners to help them understand what it meant to work consultatively, think as a partner and apply process improvement and root cause analysis skills. From the beginning of the design, Pete was instrumental in helping us identify the most relevant aspects of consulting, identify practical exercises and scenarios that would ring true and credible in his delivery with the team. If my consulting budget were unlimited, I would bring Peter on as part of our team.
Courtney Abraham, Director of Organizational and Operational Excellence, Hanover Insurance
“My experience with Pete in the OD Consulting Program was nothing short of transformational on both a personal and professional level. I now draw upon various elements and aspects of the work that our cohort did together virtually every day in my own consulting practice. It is no exaggeration to state that what I do as a consultant and how I go about doing it was profoundly influenced by the learning opportunities that Pete created for us all through this training.”
Dave Chase, B.S., M.Ed., R.O.D.P. , Founder and Principal Consultant, DRC Consulting, LLC
I have had the pleasure of working with Peter Smith over the past 17 years in a variety of different roles that have been positive experiences that have affected me as a person, as a professional, the people that are a part of our agency and influenced the direction of the agency.
Personally, Peter and others in our C.E.O. Group have allowed me to develop a perspective on being a C.E.O. that has helped me to manage crisis situations with a much more balanced approach. Needless to say, a panic reaction is not desirable and the sharing of strategies for dealing with these crises, plus the chance to hear about other’s experiences, has given me a degree of maturity that I never thought would be achievable.
For my agency Board, Peter has helped them to come to grips with a clearer understanding of their shared responsibilities for making the agency thrive and their role in strategic planning – now a regular part of our annual planning process.
For our agency Management Team, Peter has been a strong agent that has improved mutual understanding and a change in our business environment that has helped us to share constructively in disagreements. This process has helped us to make better decisions and has moved our agency along to where it is today.
Peter has been a part of our agency growth from a staff of fewer than 40 members to its current level of over 320 with services in 9 counties of the state. He has provided that good listening and thoughtful counsel that has helped us to where we are today.
Richard R. Farnsworth, Executive Director, Woodfords Family Services, Portland, ME
The opportunity to work with Pete Smith presents new ways to learn and grow as a professional and a human being. As both a student and colleague of Pete’s I am acutely aware of the careful and focused way that he listens to his clients. Pete skillfully applies his vast business and non-profit experience to develop a plan of action that is designed to serve the client in the most effective and comprehensive manner possible. Pete’s talents were highlighted during a two-day board retreat devoted to develop a strategic plan. As the first afternoon moved forward, it became clear that a shift in the direction the group was headed was acutely needed. Pete quickly assessed that the effort could fail if we, the facilitators, didn’t reassess our plan, and shift the manner and direction in which the work continued. By the following morning we had adapted the retreat schedule and tasks to adapt to the board’s current needs and they were able to make significant strides resulting in a major step made toward their strategic planning process.
A generous and patient teacher and colleague, Pete is consistently available to answer questions, discuss options and help think through thoughts, plans and goals. Accessible and responsive, Pete consistently answers e-mails and/or voicemail messages. Additionally, his calm and steady manner allows for clients to feel relaxed and comfortable with Pete.
Elizabeth Schon-Vainer, Organizational Development Consultant, Melrose, MA
I have had several opportunities to work with Peter over the past twenty years. I have participated in a CEO group, been the recipient of executive coaching and observed Peter facilitate an MMA Executive Committee retreat. I have never been disappointed and have always found him to be professional, well prepared and ethical. I am not a big fan of consultants, but we will continue to use Peter.
Gordon Smith, Esq., EVP, Maine Medical Association, Manchester, ME
The Ski Museum of Maine, established nearly a dozen years ago, has experienced considerable growth during the past three years, with the opening of a site where materials can be collected and archived, and made available to the public. A Director has been hired, and a very active Board, comprised of some 15 volunteers (several having joined the Board recently) is charged with mapping a course for the future. Peter Smith was recently retained to conduct an all-day Strategic Planning retreat, as our customary meeting agendas have been filled with the need to respond to current operational issues.
From assisting us in the development of an agenda, to the conduct of the deliberations themselves, to the follow-up recapitulation of our near and longer-term tasks, Peter proved to be the ideal catalyst to assist us in clarifying our focus and defining our future course of action. He provided not only the required objectivity of a person unencumbered by accumulated historical baggage, he also kept us constantly “on task” as we strove to identify the key issues requiring attention, and forced us to identify both the strategies we needed to pursue and the individuals within our group who should assume responsibility. We unanimously agreed that Peter’s guidance was critical at this important time in the life of our Museum, and that the outcome of our planning session exceeded all of our expectations.
John Christie, Chair, SMOM Board of Directors, Farmington, ME
During my search for an OD certificate program, I found Peter’s Organizational Consulting Program. This program stood out for its small group size, Peter’s many years of teaching and consulting experience, and the opportunity to put my new learning to work through a practicum.
Having completed the program, I found the classwork challenging and exciting. The interactive group activities we used in the classroom will translate perfectly into my future consulting work. Also, the relationships I built with each of my nine classmates and Peter form a strong network of professionals that I can rely on moving forward. The practicum gave me the opportunity to put the classroom experience into play with the safety net of Peter being an email or phone call away. Now I can clearly see how what I have learned with Peter will translate to any industry whether non-profit or for-profit.
Kelly Salmon, Manager, Employee Communications, Iron Mountain