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When first introduced to Growing Edge Facilitation, life was busy teaching me that success and growth could be far more challenging than starting-up a business…and I was learning it the hard way. Being over my head in many ways, one major issue was that the values we had worked so hard to establish in our restaurants weren’t transferring though osmosis, or rooting organically in our teams like they once did…and our problems were beginning to multiply. I knew we needed a resource for greater knowledge, mentorship, and team building.


Growing Edge, led by the wisdom and experience of Patrick O’Brian, and his transparent, purpose-driven approach to helping others, quickly became that resource. A process to determine our needs was initiated by a “listen first” method that included group assessment and one-on-one meetings with our leaders. It was not the common, “expert knows best” approach that we identified as favored by many consultants, but it was also frustrating because it did not attempt to quickly provide us with solutions to the complex issues we faced. Instead, it guided us through a creative dialogue designed to align our group on what was present and missing in our workplace, then establish new possibilities and commitments, followed by action plans, including steps for creating clear responsibility and accountability. It took time, investment, and wasn’t an easy process. It was also a path that wisely engaged each of us to pursue personal mastery, making us better as individuals in our effort to better the organization.


Over the past 8 years, Growing Edge grew to include Carl Blanz and Michelle Nordhougen. Along with Patrick, they have conducted group assessments, off-site retreats, personal coaching, visioning; planning sessions, and group development. The result has been an immeasurable benefit to the people of Alma Group (Alma: Café, Hotel,  Restaurant, and Brasa Premium Rotisserie). We have increasingly become an organization of people committed to a culture of shared leadership based on vision, mission, and values. We also have made steady progress towards our food and hospitality goals while maintaining both a positive workplace…and healthy financial outcomes. In the past three years, we have doubled our revenue and grown our workforce by 65%. No small feat in any industry.


As a leader, responsible in large part for setting the direction of an organization with the greater purpose of cultivating well-being, I can say with total certainty that I would not have developed the awareness, or the abilities, to help our group successfully manage change and growth without the help of Growing Edge. We would just not be the kind of organization we are today without their support & guidance.

Alex Roberts


Working with Growing Edge on an organizational development project within our U.S. subsidiary took our team to the next level. The approach on every level, from owners, executives, middle management, to all employees was very successful. Working in groups at workshops (onsite and off-site) as well as personal coaching combined with theoretical education and practical exercises was a beneficial combination.


Patrick and Carl supported us, challenged us, and helped us when needed. They also taught us to lead and coach other team members. Through the work with Growing Edge, the entire team learned about leadership, company culture, and the specific culture of our organization. In addition, every team member learned about himself/herself. Patrick and Carl have a unique ability to ask challenging questions that help an organization develop a more professional structure and behavior.


Our organizational culture is better than ever and this is leading to better performance on every level. Growing Edge helped us to become a more successful organization and better people. 

Harald and Gwen

Harald Wüsthof 
Solingen, Germany

Our company, The Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, has worked with Growing Edge Consulting for the past two years. Our primary reason for engaging them was to prepare for a leadership transition. I started the company thirty seven years ago and am now beginning to ramp down my involvement in preparation for retiring. As I approached this transition it was important to me that I do whatever I could to place our company in good hands after my departure so that it would continue to be well run, deliver good value to all of its stakeholders, and take care of all of its team members. Growing Edge was recommended to me by another business owner. After some very complimentary reference checks, we decided to engage them.


Our entire leadership team has found working with GE to be highly engaging and rewarding. They prioritize personal and professional growth almost equally, and consider these goals as nearly inseparable. They have helped us learn how to build more trust among the members of our leadership team, how to increase our accountability to one another and to the goals of our business. They have also helped us develop more effective ways to grow new leaders within our company. As we have done this work I have seen our group grow closer and more passionate about our company and meeting its goals.


I highly recommend them to any organization that wants to grow in authentic ways and is open to being challenged both personally and professionally. I welcome calls from any prospective GE clients who may wish to know more about our experience.

Dennis Rysdahl
CEO of Tofte Management, LLC
dba Bluefin Family of Resorts

Prior to working with Patrick and Carl at Growing Edge Facilitation, Wüsthof USA was like many companies in the United States. We experienced corporate growth but were were looking for a path to more open leadership, communication, personal and professional growth, and a shared approach to success.


Through an extensive interview process, Patrick and Carl were able to identify areas of improvement in all departments of Wüsthof. This has lead to improved corporate vision, communication within and between departments, and identifying employees with leadership skills. Basically, we have happy, productive employees that are working with a shared purpose towards a common goal. Patrick and Carl continue to be involved with our executive leadership team, and all departments, on a regular basis. This helps facilitate and maintain the company’s direction and growth.


I have experienced both personal and professional growth since working with Growing Edge and Carl Blanz directly. The personal coaching I receive from Carl have been invaluable in my position as National Sales Director. With Carl’s coaching, I have improved my communication, understanding, motivational, and leadership skills that are so important in my position. I would highly recommend any company, looking to improve their corporate culture, to contact Growing Edge Facilitation.

Clark Stone
National Sales Director
Wüsthof USA

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