flexible. adaptive. responsive.

we're changing the way we work


Prior to the coronavirus pandemic—with climate change as the impetus—our team had been working to transform how we do business.
For almost a year, we have been piloting less travel-intensive approaches to achieving the transformational outcomes our clients expect.
We believe that our work together can be can powerful, even when we can’t be together in person.

Now, as a result of the virus and the need for social distancing to curb its spread, we are dramatically expanding our efforts. Like you, we understand work and business must continue. But, more than ever before, it must be balanced with a profound commitment to our shared social responsibilities.

Our team already employs state-of-the art online tools and platforms, synchronous and asynchronous distance learning,
and virtual approaches to everything from training to performance appraisals and coaching. Moving forward, we are committed to working with you to pioneer additional methods and create outside-the-box solutions to meeting your management, programmatic, and sustainability needs.


Evolving Traditional Development Approaches

Our hands-on S.T.A.R.T. Process™ is the gold standard when it comes to large-scale, intensive, organizational development and change management engagements; helping transform multi-national organizations like the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy and savings them hundreds of thousands of dollars in management expenses.


Not every organization is able to make that sort of investment, however; nor is it always necessary. Our Rapid S.T.A.R.T. (Strategy, Action & Results)™ process streamlines assessment and focuses only on interventions that will have the greatest positive impact in the shortest amount of time. We’ve conducted this process with 75+ organizations around the world—typically partner organizations to large development initiatives.


Our Rapid S.T.A.R.T.™ process requires as little as half a day in-person with an organization.

Remote Worker Support Services

With almost all of us having to work from home these days, it’s likely you have noticed that some of your staff and their teams may be feeling disconnected, anxious, isolated, and/or unproductive.


Left unchecked—even once the coronavirus crisis is over—this anxiety could evolve into serious mental health problems, long-term sick leave, and churn. In the short-term, this means unhappy and unproductive people.


In order to help understand how your staff are feeling, we’ve developed a terrific tool for assessing remote worker well-being. The easy-to-use, online instrument is fully-customizable to the specific needs of your team; and includes terrific resources designed with the needs of your remote employees in mind.


Our Remote Worker Well-Being Assessment will help your leadership team in three important ways:


1. Find out how your people are coping.


  • How are employees handling the transition to remote work?
  • How effective is remote collaboration with colleagues?
  • Do your employees feel supported by managers and leadership?
  • What’s working well?
  • What needs improvement?
  • What terrific ideas do they have?


2. Provide managers the feedback and guidance they need to fully support your staff.


Each of your team leaders will receive a detailed feedback report full of information that will help them better understand the pain points affecting employees, and the relative priority of addressing those issues.

Working together, we can then help you share specific guidance with managers on how to address the most pressing issues. For example, how to help employees escalate and address problems accessing or using remote tools; or managing their own physical or mental health.


3. Pinpoint where HR and leadership can help.


Our process also makes it possible for leadership to review results at the organizational level in order to:


  • Identify which specific areas need immediate attention;
  • Identify teams or departments (or particular demographics) that need targeted support;
  • Review best practices and resources you can use now and in the future; and
  • Create an action plan for ensuring that you are as ready as possible for navigating the future needs of your remote staff.

Conference Virtualization

As a consulting firm that has worked effectively around the world for a long time, we have learned how to successfully operate virtually—taking advantage of technology whenever it makes sense—and thriving when it comes to building and maintaining online communities. Working with our partners Rana Labs and Chadwick Cipiti Studios, we deliver high-quality, high-impact presenter training, media production, and leading-edge virtual conference experiences using broadcast-quality tech and social media platforms that meet the needs of today’s constantly-connected participants.


If you have a conference or critical meeting that is being impacted by the coronavirus, we can work quickly to help you reimagine, redesign, and deliver a high-quality, high-impact, interactive, virtual conference experience for your members, partners, donors, and supporters.  A virtual conference will still focus on your essential themes and content; and will include the requisite (accessible) tools and additional resources necessary to help attendees integrate critical new knowledge and skills into their day-to-day activities and organizational cultures.


We deliver the full range of virtualization, production, and web hosting services:


  • Branding and web page design;
  • Robust online conference hubs;
  • Broadcast-quality live and pre-recorded video and website production; 
  • Real-time chat, social media integration, and linked content;
  • Accessibility and translation tools;
  • Speaker, presenter, and host training; and
  • Live-streamed and archived digital media.


Expect These Outcomes:


  • Working closely with Common Ground, your planning team will co-create a virtual conference experience to provide your stakeholders and attendees with an exceptional opportunity to network, share insights, develop new skills, and embrace the benefits offered through online engagement;
  • Conference participants will become better equipped to use practical, web-based learning tools, while having  unprecedented access to speakers, trainers, researchers, and subject matter experts—and their considerable knowledge and experience; 
  • Conference participants will be able to use what they learn and the provided tools and resources to address their own organization-specific challenges; 
  • Your organization and its stakeholders will receive long-term access to a digital library of high-impact training webinars, curriculum, and other materials and resources; and
  • Your organization and your partners will develop the skills necessary to scale their approach to online learning in the future.


When the COVID-19 pandemic eliminated the option for our traditional in-person annual conference, Craig and his team instinctively took the reins with a short window of time and seamlessly transformed it into an dynamic virtual format. Craig’s confidence and ingenuity eliminated any concerns we had as he effortlessly guided us throughout every step of the process. We immediately knew we could trust him and his team of experts, and they did not disappoint! Each member of the Common Ground team was highly effective in their skill-set—unmatched by anything I’ve experienced in 13 years of event planning. The professionalism, adaptability, creativity, and technical-know-how were just TOP NOTCH, to say the very least. It was evident they are truly leaders in conference virtualization!

Lindsay Price, M.S.Ed., Manager of Conferences and Events, Temple University Harrisburg

Expanding Distance Learning

Common Ground has provided high-quality, interactive, non-formal education and training to hundreds or organizations and thousands of people. It is a hallmark of our work. It is also increasingly expensive and quite inefficient. As a result, we have been at the forefront of the movement to build local capacity when it comes to supporting the social profit (non-profit, non-governmental, civil society) sector.


We train trainers and consultants to do what we do, to do it well, and to do it in their own communities. This saves money, reduces travel, and ensures that local expertise is always a part of any solution.


For example, our Consulting Academy Model™ makes it possible to identify outstanding local experts, train them in best-practice approaches, support them with online coaching, and build their capacity to provide many of the core institutional strengthening services that we would typically provide—strategic planning, communications audits, policy development, etc.


Our Online Advocacy Course is just one recent example of our commitment to distance learning. We first developed and piloted the course for the USAID-funded Community, Family and Youth Resilience (CFYR) Program, which supports vulnerable youth ages 10-29 and is being implemented in fifteen communities across the Caribbean. This particular course provides practical instruction focused on how to use our advocacy toolkit to create and implement policy advocacy activities.


The format for our online training courses adapts easily to a wide variety of subject matter. Each course session includes pre-assigned readings and many of the sessions feature lecture, guest speakers, and question and answer time. Course work is assigned for each session and is a required component of the course.

Handling Sensitive Issues & Managing Privacy

Some processes—like performance appraisals—require a high-degree of sensitivity and thoughtful execution. We have designed leading-edge tools working closely with our partner, SpiderGap. This makes it possible for us to conduct virtual, state-of-the-art, 360-degree assessments that are client-centered, fully-customizable, and uniquely designed.


Coaching and mentoring has been central to our work for more than 20 years. We’ve been a senior consultant and subject matter expert to almost every U.S. government mentoring initiative since the mid-1990’s and we added executive coaching to our roster of services a few years later.


These days, online coaching is a defined part of almost all of our major engagements. It allows us to work continuously with our partners, solve urgent problems, and better prepare everyone for those times when we are together in-person.




We promise: We will exceed your expectations.

A Note to Our Visitors

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