“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”
-RALPH WALDO EMERSON
I start with a proprietary assessment tool and ask 12-15 key stakeholders to provide feedback on a client. Once I have the baseline data, I'll prepare a report and review with the client and his/her boss; we agree on the two or three most important dimensions to focus on. Then, over approximately 16 sessions, we meet in the most convenient way - face to face, via Zoom etc. for about 60 minutes to work on our top priorities. Halfway through the engagement, we do a check-in with a handful of key stakeholders to see how we are doing. We measure again at the end to assess how well we have done, and hold a final face to face meeting to chart the client’s leadership plan for the future.
My sweet spot is helping CEOs, their HR leaders, and their C-suite teams develop a set of people practices that align directly to, and fully support, business priorities. It has been my experience that many HR professionals respond almost instinctively with “no we cannot do that and here’s why.” My strong belief is that (absent legal or ethical issues of course) the right answer is, “let me figure out how we can help get that done.” My goal in consulting is to build that mindset in your HR team.
I’ve had the good fortune to run successful high potential leadership programs at several companies. My perspective on what makes them work well is that they a) focus on real business projects, b) depend on forming cross-functional teams working outside their comfort zones, and c) have a senior executive sponsor who champions each team and holds it accountable for results.
The most enjoyable and rewarding highlights of my career have been those times when I’ve helped talented
people realize success that seemed beyond their reach. That’s what gets me up in the morning and that is why I started Divitius Partners.
Divitius is the comparative form of the Latin adjective dives, divitis. Dives has several meanings that align closely with my purpose and practice. Depending on context, it can mean talent, character or wealth. Putting it in the comparative form – divitius – changes those meanings slightly; the new meanings become more talented, greater character, wealthier. Those are my goals and outcomes for my clients as a coach and consultant
I’ve spent most of my professional career running things and driving results as an executive. I’m all about being specific, pragmatic, measurable and fast. So my practice is built on those features. Typically, our work will start with establishing a baseline set of metrics – where are we now – and setting some very clear goals – where do we want to end up? I’m also not a lover of “boiling the ocean” so we will always pick the two or three critical areas to focus on. And then we get to work.
My years as a student, faculty member and senior executive at one of the world’s top business schools have made me a big fan of the Socratic method. Inquiry, discussion and dialogue are what makes any human interaction rich, and that’s how we work together to achieve measurable results.
But it’s not just a conversation. My job is to push, to probe, to ask you to think hard about moving the needle on those areas that are most important to your success as a leader. Your job is to read, to do your assignments, to reflect, to do things differently and to ask those in your world what kind of progress they see you making. And at the end of our time together, we measure again to see how well we’ve done.
If we’ve done our job well – and I am committed to that – you’ll see and hear from those around you that things have changed for the better. You’ll show up as a more talented leader, with greater character, and those changes might just make you a bit wealthier.
Ted Forbes, Founder, Divitius Partners
“Ted excels in his capacity as a coach. He listens intently, consistently provides a unique perspective across a range of business and interpersonal contexts and his astute understanding of you as an individual results in a rich set of actionable recommendations for the situation and for you as a leader.”
CEO - Backcountry LLC
Ted Forbes is the founder of Divitius Partners, a boutique consulting outfit focused on Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, and building business focused HR functions. Ted started Divitius in 2016 after a long and successful career as a leader and executive in both the business and not-for-profit worlds. His passion is to bring out the best in people and help them be more successful than they might have imagined.
Current engagements include consulting as Head of People operations at Cotopaxi, an industry leading “B” corporation focused on doing good in the word, partnering with the incoming and outgoing CEOs of a major division of Michelin as they transition leadership, coaching a first time CHRO, working on leadership development with the CIO of a major Dubai-owned housing fixtures business, and consulting with a major online retailer as they build out their people operations team.
Prior to launching Divitius, Ted was Executive Vice President for People at Backcountry, LLC. With 1200+ employees and more than $750 million in sales, Backcountry.com and its family of eCommerce sites is widely considered the leading
online outdoor specialty retailer in the US and Europe. Ted’s team was responsible for the company’s people practices, and he played a key role in growing the company’s unique values-based culture. Prior to joining Backcountry, Ted was Managing Director, Talent Management at United Airlines, where he oversaw the company’s work in Leadership Development, Succession Planning, Learning, Diversity, Performance Management and Human Capital Metrics. Before joining United, Ted was CEO and President of the Darden School Foundation at the University of Virginia. Prior to that, he was the Chief Learning Officer at Capital One.
Ted earned a B.A. in Classics from Guilford College, and an MBA with Honors, from the Darden School at the University of Virginia. For six years, he was a member of the faculty at Darden, where he taught in both MBA and Executive Education programs. For ten years, he was a founding partner of the Peregrine Group, a consulting firm focused on the strategic blending of Business and HR strategies.
Ted’s personal passions are centered on the outdoors; as a senior staff member of Keewaydin in Temagami, Ontario, he led extended canoe expeditions to the shores of Hudson’s Bay. As a faculty member and Latin teacher at St. Martin’s School, he ran a middle and high school outdoor program in Louisiana. He spent four years as a co-founder of Wilderness Medical Associates, growing a firm that trains leaders to manage medical emergencies in the backcountry. He’s been a ski patroller for 20 years, and has served in various leadership roles for the National Ski Patrol at both the Division and National level, receiving three yellow star awards for teaching and leadership, and a National Appointment in recognition of his leadership and contributions to NSP. Ted and his partner Deborah, along with their two big dogs, live in Kamas, Utah, and he spends as much time with his four adult children as possible.