With more than 30 years of experience in the field, Drew focuses on designing and facilitating group discussions that enable the participants to solve a problem or advance an issue. He works with groups of all sizes to see that the conversation that needs to happen does happen, thereby releasing the potential of the group.
Drew is the author of the book, The New Compleat Facilitator: A Handbook for Facilitators.
Drew has an extensive background in leadership development, designing and facilitating planning sessions, helping organizations implement strategic changes and coaching leaders. He is founder of Howick Associates, a highly regarded consulting firm based in Madison, Wis., and is well regarded as a trusted advisor and collaborative partner to leading organizations in developing talent, driving change, and delivering results.
“I love situations that induce ‘head scratching.’ The challenge usually starts with refining the purpose of a discussion and honing in on the most important desired outcomes. ALL of the variables need to be considered when designing a meaningful conversation: Amount of time available, the state-of-mind and motivations of participants, creating healthy conditions of the meeting space, the diversity of participants, the perceived importance of the discussion and outcomes, and the complexity of the issues to name a few.
Designing discussions that make a difference is a highly collaborative effort that can involve anywhere from 2 to 10 individuals, resulting in an agenda that gets the desired results. With group sizes ranging from 5 to 500, expect a conversation that provides an opportunity for everyone to be engaged and contribute in a meaningful way.”
Founder & CEO
Past Professional Experience
- High school teacher in the State of Oregon
- Instructor for University of Wisconsin, Communications Department
- National Practice Director, Leadership and OD, Patina Solutions
- Founder of Howick and Gray, Howick Associates
- Frequent presenter at professional association conferences
- Master of Arts, Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Bachelor of Science, Rhetoric and Public Address, University of Oregon “Phi Beta Kappa”
Memberships and Affiliations
- Wisconsin Association for School District Administrators (WASDA)
- Future Search Network (member since 1992)
- International Association of Facilitators (IAF)
- International Association of Public Participation (IAP2)
- Leadership Greater Madison
- Rotary Club of Madison (Paul Harris Fellow)
- American Society for Training & Development (past president of local chapter)
- REAP Food Group (chair)
- Friends of Nolan Waterfront
- Holy Wisdom Monastery, Friends of Wisdom Prairie
Key Career Accomplishments
- Co-founded Howick & Gray, a human resource development firm, based in Wisconsin, which created numerous courses and learning experiences designed for leaders in a variety of organizations—from Fortune 100 companies to local small business.
- Founded Howick Associates, a training and organization development firm, providing services to over 700 organizations worldwide. During the twenty years, Drew and his associates facilitated thousands of classes and learning experiences, conducted hundreds of individual, team and organizational assessments, and facilitated a variety of group processes. Organizations that have utilized Howick Associates multiple times include SC Johnson, Northwestern Mutual, Kohler, BASF, Briggs &
Stratton, RW Baird and Abbott.
- Designed and facilitated over thirty whole systems planning efforts for a variety of organizations, municipalities and public school districts, featuring the Future Search methodology.
- Designed and facilitated hundreds of strategic and operational planning sessions for profit and non- profit organizations, focusing on creating high engagement activities that produce specific pre-identified outcomes.
- Designed a comprehensive learning experience for shared services professionals who wish to be more effective internal consultants. This program, Internal Consulting for Results, has been delivered to more than thirty organizations.
- Partnered with numerous senior leaders to create meaningful learning experiences for their management teams. These programs have ranged from one to five days and have been deployed in fifteen different countries.
- Provided coaching and mentoring services to leaders and professionals who wish to enhance their performance. Individuals who have worked with Drew include CEO’s and senior managers of corporations, key individual contributors, executive directors on non-profits and superintendents of public schools.
- Designed and facilitated hundreds of customized learning experiences aimed at enhancing skills in interpersonal and group communications, critical thinking and decision-making, project planning, and leading change and transformation efforts.
- Designed and facilitated regular meetings for the elected leaders and executive board members that represent public school management, boards and unions.
- Conducted numerous customized 360 feedback process for leaders at all levels including one-on-one debriefs.
- A frequent speaker at conferences and conventions on the topics of leadership with an emphasis on how leaders can more effectively lead change efforts.
- Served on numerous boards, advising staff in fields ranging from planning and civil engineering, ecumenical monastery, social services and a variety of civic organizations.
- Collaborating in respectful, honest, candid relationships with our clients and each other
- Discovering ways to release the creative potential in one another
- Including everyone affected by change efforts, optimizing organizational and group systems as well as individual contributions
- Working on projects that have the potential for effective change, significant systems improvement, and high value for our clients
- Encouraging people to experience the excitement, enthusiasm, and energy that comes with trying something new
- Valuing everyone for their knowledge and potential to contribute to effective change and improvement
- Engaging the knowledge, expertise, and energy of a group through expert facilitation
- Helping people internalize the capacity to change and improve