Woman-owned consulting firm partners with CSU program

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Collegian | Devin Cornelius

The elms on The Oval sit barren March 6, 2021.

Isabel Brown, News Reporter

Colorado State University recently partnered with an entirely woman-owned consulting firm called Innovative Connections to assist in the firm’s ability to develop research of emotions, emotional intelligence and the impact it may have in the workplace.

They use a data-driven approach to help guide organizations and leaders toward creating a successful, healthy and productive working environment, according to Innovative Connections.

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The Innovative Connections website outlines four main values: connection, professionalism, love and vitality, each of which brings life into their consulting methods. They ensure inclusivity, empathy and enthusiasm are key elements in their consulting methods while keeping emphasis on their professionalism.

“It provided me with a venue to build relationships, support leaders and bring creativity to my work in a way that was not possible for me in a corporate environment,” Innovative Connections CEO Laurie Cure wrote in an email to The Collegian.

Cure mentioned she had two purposes in Innovative Connections. The first was to expand the possibilities for those they partner with through their work. The second was to create a workplace wherein each individual consultant could bring their gifts and employ them in different impactful ways.

Innovative Connections pursued a partnership with the CSU Industrial/Organizational Psychology Program during an expansion of the company itself, Cure wrote. It was inspired by the changing world during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The workforce looks different: People are leaving work and seeking jobs that align differently to their values, and organizations are trying to determine how to operate under this new paradigm,” Cure wrote.

This change will mean a shift in how the firm supports their clients, as there is an increase in focus on navigating an ambiguous environment, Cure wrote. They will accomplish this through changes to teams and work processes, which must adapt to high turnover and a change in skillsets needed. Cure explained part of what Innovative Connections is doing will be expanding the services they provide to include these issues.

In addition to these expansions, there will also be some new members of the Innovative Connections team, according to a press release from March 8.

As this expansion is blossoming, the partnership with CSU’s Industrial/Organizational Psychology Program will provide a chance for CSU students to get involved with the firm. Cure said they have hired students to assist in many different areas of the consulting firm. These tasks include research analysis, research around envy in the workplace and project-based learning around new trends in employee engagement.

“We find the students in the CSU I/O Psychology Program to have a strong expertise and knowledge in their field, and we hope we can offer opportunities for them to put their academic learning into practice and application,” Cure wrote.

The partnership will have a focus on research of emotional intelligence, which has an important role in the workplace, according to the press release. Their goal is to study how emotional intelligence may be changed to improve its function in an organization’s culture and performance.

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“Our consultants are powerful conduits for change, and I am proud that we serve as a container for them to bring their expertise forward,” Cure wrote.

Reach Isabel Brown at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @isabelbrown02.