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Real innovation and change requires a new level of engagement

As business evolves at breakneck speed, the rigid roles and hierarchies are breaking down. Emerging opportunities (and threats) require continuous adaptation and innovation—which demand a new level of flexibility and resilience in employees. Developing and retaining leaders who have what it takes requires a new “whole-person” approach that builds human capacity, not just job skills.

Who we are and what we do

We are talent whisperers.

Savvy companies want to cultivate leadership skills AND increase wellbeing in their top talent.  The Disruptive Element has cracked the code.

We convert potential to impact.

We help businesses identify and invest in high-impact individuals and teams that have critical roles, significant influence and untapped capacity to drive exponential growth.

We engage the whole person.

Our breakthrough approach combines empathy and neuroscience to connect people’s behavior, brains and hearts to create sustainable change. 

What it's like to work with TDE

Your time and money is precious and finite.  So is ours.  So we’re judicious about resources and we deliver quick impact and outstanding value.  Our services and programs are priced to be accessible—and they are anything but standard. No two engagements are the same because no two people or groups are the same.

We are coaches first and always

As professional coaches, our job is to help leaders uncover the answers to the questions that keep them up at night:  How do I move my team forward?  Why don’t I get promoted?  Why can’t we get the results we want, even with all this effort?  We help our clients see with fresh eyes, uncover the thinking that drives their behavior, and choose more productive actions and paths.  Everything we do is based on solid research and proven frameworks.

We don't hide behind PowerPoints

Too often, presentations are a way to control situations and conversations—or deliver a prepackaged, prescriptive solution.  Efficient perhaps, but that’s not our style.  We show up with a plan AND an openness to addressing whatever is happening in the organization and in the room at that moment.  We are fully present and we really listen.

We think it’s all in your head.

Our model revolves around a nucleus of neuroscience—because change is an inside job.  And leaders and employees (who are humans, after all) frequently get stuck in their patterns and heads. We believe that a higher level of self-awareness is required to facilitate change, and that brain science gives us new tools to transform.

Our Story and Leadership

The Disruptive Element catalyzed into existence in 2014 when two seasoned (and somewhat burned out) female executives got together (over wine) and decided we wanted to change the world by raising self awareness—one person, team and organization at a time. We decided it was time to step up and be the change we wanted to see.

The Disruptive Element is for people serious about change.  We are about meeting people and organizations where they are and helping them uncover what works for them and what is getting in their way.  We are leaders, we are coaches, we are bold and we are fun!  We wanted to create a company passionate about helping people and organizations get what they want. 

Laura Woodward

CEO (Compelling Experience Officer)

After 20 years as a senior leader in Information technology and operations, Laura decided she needed to focus on what she loved most...the people. She is passionate about making individuals, groups, teams and organizations the best they can possibly be. Laura is committed to creating experiences for individuals that take them out of their comfort zone in a safe, creative environment with a unique development approach. Laura is blessed with her wife of 16 years and one playful puppy. She takes time to rejuvenate through traveling, photography, and cooking for friends at her cabin in northwest Wisconsin.

Paula Winkler

COO (Contagious Ownership Officer)

When Paula was growing up she asked her dad what he did for a living and he responded, "Princess, I am in the people business.” It was years before she understood he was a doctor. Her father has since died, but he is smiling as he watches her run her “people business.” During more than 20 years as a CIO, COO and senior leader in numerous industries, she discovered her passion for leadership, working with and developing people and looking at how organizations and teams deliver results...or not. Paula has now been married for 20 years. She is now also a great-grandmother!