Client Cred

All Creds

We’ve done some incredible things with some incredible people. Can’t you just feel the love?

All Clients

Holy wow. Do we get to work with the best and the brightest or what?

Client Testimonials

We think our Clients are brilliant (and not because they hire us).
Check out what they have to say about us.

Participant Testimonials

From flattery to happy ‘f-bombs’, our workshop participants don’t hold back when we ask them about their experience with us.

Case Studies

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“This entire program has been incredible. This time and attention to my skills as a people manager and a leader at TD will reap tremendous rewards of how I will bring this knowledge back to my teams.”

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“I had such a great time. It surprised me what type of presenter I was and I feel more confident. Can’t wait to try it out.”

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“This was a great experience for me. I learned a lot, was challenged and had a good time.”

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“Love Rachel and Leslie's enthusiasm. For a 2-day / all-day training, time passed by quickly.”

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“I wish I would have done this 12 years ago when I started working in the ad business. You're awesome.”

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“These last two days were fantastic!”

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“Overall this training gave me new perspective and equipped me with new thinking and brainstorming methods. I feel very fortunate that I was able to participate.”

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“Leslie is great. Animated, engaged, and possessing deep knowledge of her craft. This is the workshop you want, no, need to take.”

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“As always, you change my perspective on what I do every day. ”

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“I was honestly extremely impressed. To sit in a room for 8 hours and be intrigued / entertained the entire time truly speaks measures. Couldn't have been more valuable for me. Thank you!”

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“Really great workshop - Stephen is highly engaging. I will definitely put ideas into practice!”

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“Life changing. Combustion smacks you across the face in the morning, and hugs you at the end of the day. It infuses your creative soul.”

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“Facilitator was awesome. The humor and approach was perfect and made it fun. I will definitely be taking on these learnings going forward. ”

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“One of the best courses I’ve taken at TD.”

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“This has been the most informative and exhausting training ever. It was perfect.”

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“Rachel was full of energy, incredibly knowledgeable, used real life examples that brought the materials to life.”

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“Thank you for creating a place with no judgment and a place where all ideas, thoughts and challenges are celebrated and explored.”

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“Love how you've built my team's confidence.”

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“Rachel is the best. She knows what she's talking about and speaks with such authenticity.”

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“This is a tough room, but everyone was engaged. That’s high praise!”

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“The tools were incredibly useful and helped through the challenge/ temptation of being handcuffed to a difficult template.”

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“This training will have a huge impact on my career.”

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“Leslie is awesome! Very personable, with a great way of explaining very smart ideas and techniques very simply.”

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“One of the best trainings I have ever attended. Really looking forward to the second session. Totally worth it travelling 10 hours flight for it.”

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“Thank for helping me just be me.”

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“Great class. Glad I was a part of it. I have been talking about Jack Daniel's for 14 years and I learned how to better tell our story.”

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“Having these types of training invigorate us to bring our best selves to work and to our clients.”

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“Bruce was a wonderful trainer, very engaging! Loved the whole day.”

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“Thanks for helping me understand the importance + fun of being creative.”

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“Leslie is and continues to be the JAMS. Thanks! She is the best trainer I’ve ever had in my life. Period.”

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“Trainings with Leslie are some of my best days at work. It’s a gift that we have access to this training.”

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“My confidence level giving presentations has skyrocketed.”

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“I wish I had Leslie in my life more often!”

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99.9 %

of Combustion participants said their colleagues would also benefit from their training.

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“Very entertaining! I learned a lot about myself and how to handle specific situations. Thank you!”

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“Rachel doesn’t just teach the process well – she knows where all the trap doors, resistances & vulnerabilities lie. She’s a real pro.”

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“From Leslie's first sentence you’re engaged and so ready to go. She has a gift of triggering you to go to places you didn’t expect.”

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“Leslie really opened my eyes and showed techniques I can apply immediately. Added benefit was getting to know my classmates better.”

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“Changed the way I present and handle myself in a room. From now on, no presentation will ever be the same.”

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“Through Combustion's training, our team learned how to be their most powerful selves. They were able to put new skills into practice immediately and we've seen the results; each presents with more flair and greater confidence and most importantly they come together as a team."”

- Stephanie Nerlich, President & CEO, Grey

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“Just loved it! I’ve been to other presentation workshops and they always focused on conventional insights. This program was legendary.”

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“AWESOME!”

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“Unlike any other presentation / learning seminar. It’s ‘real’ and relevant.”

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“This was a fantastic, transformative experience. I am grateful for the opportunity. THANK YOU!”

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“Well done. Combustion is great at what they do.”

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“This hit the mark for everyone in the room. Valuable for our workforce regardless of their role.”

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“Amazing to see the true breaking of the nut and how powerful the course can be. Great job Leslie!”

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“Incredible framework.”

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“Love Leslie – great mix of warmth, honest/direct, really articulate with feedback”

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“C-Lab is incredible and pushed me to limits I didn't know were possible.”

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“I will never go back to the old way again.”

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“The training was AWESOME!”

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“This was great. I loved that when giving an answer on how to solve a problem, Stephen would say ‘and this is how you do this.” It’s great when someone gives you specific tools & not vague answers.”

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“The session was great. A healthy, refreshing mix of humanity with fun and real learning.”

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“This should be the first thing you take when you start your career in advertising!”

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“I figured this would be a normal, slow moving workshop but it was fast, dynamic and SO MUCH FUN!”

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“Most fun I have had in a long time.”

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“It was a fantastic way to learn more about both myself and my team and to grow individually and collectively in our presentation skills.”

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“Love it. Inspiring. Funny. All marketers should participate.”

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“Combustion delivered tangible tools and a process that is already being used to effectively identify problems while creatively solving for them in our everyday business. Moreover, the training that Combustion delivered was highly engaging and inspirational, so much so that mindsets are quite literally changing.”

- Anna Seymour, Marketing Director, Innovation & New Product Development, Arterra Wines

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“The workshop was great & Rachel even better. I was engaged for the entire 1.5 days with a good mix of activities, information, group interaction.”

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“I was definitely challenged and out of my comfort zone, but know I will benefit both in work and personal life,”

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“Leslie was incredible. Her energy, enthusiasm and natural ability to draw out our creativity was great. Her sense of humor and ability to hold us to task in a safe honest way was refreshing.”

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“This was one of the most useful workshops for me. Stephen is excellent.”

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“Easily the most enjoyable workshop I’ve been a part of. Loved the less traditional / formal activities and devices used to identify weaknesses and ways to improve.”

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“"What distinguishes Combustion from any other training company is that the training “sticks” because it’s internalized. They provide easy to understand tools & process coupled with mind clinging inspiration. This is a truly powerful combination. I can honestly say this is the best training I’ve ever had the privilege to be part of."”

- Anna Seymour, Marketing Director, Innovation & New Product Development, Arterra Wines

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“Great training to maximize the individual’s talents. Definitely not a cookie-cutter approach.”

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“Rachel is a fabulous trainer. Great day!”

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“Great structure in breaking down elements of solving problems, personalizing thinking style and applying to business challenges.”

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“Combustion is amazing at targeting issues and correcting mistakes.”

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“Most engaging training session I have been a part of.”

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“I would recommend it to anyone, techniques are very effective and my mind seems more open than before.”

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“Leslie - you're amazing. This training is super useful.”

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“Rachel was amazing, passionate, realistic and a total blast. I want to be able to have some of her qualities.”

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“Very enjoyable and worthwhile. Very helpful and more relevant coming from an ex-agency person. Definitely think more creatives need to take this workshop.”

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“Leslie was fantastic, engaging. Helped the work through the process. A very tough 2 days made easier by her!”

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“This was fabulous, eye-opening and motivating.”

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“It was great to see immediate results.”

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“It has been a great experience to have self awareness and Leslie has been amazing in identifying and providing feedback of the short comings.”

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“Leslie is incredible. High energy-intuitive. Brilliant.”

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“I absolutely loved this workshop. It was very helpful and helped open my eyes to a lot of things I do well and other things I need to improve on.”

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“I went in thinking I was a good presenter. I came out inspired to become a GREAT presenter.”

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“Enjoyed Stephen's passion for the topic. Great energy, good insight into human behaviour.”

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“Leslie never fails to deliver. Need more people on this course.”

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“Leslie is a superb facilitator. She’s dynamic and great to learn from. Thank you to our company for investing in us!”

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“This training should be mandatory at IPG as part of our manager training. What we learned will work best if the rest of the team is also trained. Thank you!”

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“Engaging, impactful, clear, and actionable - extremely relevant & very nicely delivered.”

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99.9%

of Combustion participants said they would be more productive as a result of their training.

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ThinkStyles™
Count

Sifter 0
Honer 0
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“Great job! Awesome 2 days. Wish it were longer.”

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“My brain is mush but I love it! :)”

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“Every marketer should take it. The sooner, the better.”

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Over
40

cities transformed

New York, Chicago, Toronto, London, Tokyo, Calgary, San Diego, Vancouver, Montreal, Los Angeles, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Baton Rouge, Detroit, Minneapolis, Tampa, Boston, Orlando, Richmond, Edmonton, Hamburg

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“The Combustion approach really focuses on the individual’s unique style and ability. The team is connecting and selling significantly better today than before. All-in-all, I’m a huge fan of the great team at Combustion.”

- Stephen Brown, President, FUSE

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“Great session, great instructor with high energy, kept challenging the team.”

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“I found the session crazy helpful that it can immediately apply to my everyday life.”

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“Combustion’s workshop gave our group world-class training and insight on what was previously a nebulous and magical process we knew as creativity.”

- Joel Nicholson, Program Director & Founder, Global Leadership Academy

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“Combustion's C-Lab is two days of inspirational, energizing and exciting learning that has gone way beyond our expectations. I continue to receive positive feedback from not only those involved, but even from people who have heard about it second hand.”

- Justina Beres, Vice President, Director of Learning & Development, Draftfcb

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“You are amazing. Thank you!”

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“Truly the best learnings I’ve taken away from trainings. Realness breeds realness.”

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“We had the right team, great ideas and the passion… but we knew we could improve how we package and sell our ideas. Traditional presentation skills courses are a drag and really stressful for some of our team. We wanted more of a game changer approach, and one that fit the personality-driven culture of FUSE. In walks Combustion – and they lived up to their promise.”

- Stephen Brown, President, FUSE

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“I thought it was amazing. Maybe the best professional training course I've taken. Thank you!”

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“This was awesome! I loved Rachel’s energy and ability to answer questions as they came and her ability to read people. She read me, perfectly.”

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“Great trainer, loved the formula, it got us out of our comfort zone.”

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“I always love attending Combustion trainings. Afterwards I always think, 'how did I do my job without this training?!'”

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“I've learned so much and really have seen an improvement!”

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“Amazing. Seriously, life-changing.”

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“It sounds crazy but sorting out these public speaking behaviors feels very similar to therapy. I want more training!”

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“Combustion is not your typical training vendor. Rather they are a true partner, delivering programs that are fresh, engaging and stimulating. You know your creativity quotient or skill level is higher the minute you walk out the door, and you can’t wait to apply what you’ve learned!”

- Tara Stevens, SVP/Global Talent & Organizational Effectiveness, FCB Advertising

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“Fantastic! I would highly recommend this! My mind was blown within the first 20 minutes.”

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“Super helpful, benefits not just presentation skills, but I feel like it benefits the way you think, too.”

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“Hands down the best course and best instructor I've had at a workshop. Very practical advice, very animated presenter and super fun day.”

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“Rachel was fantastic & inspiring. Love her training style.”

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“Thank you! This happened at a critical point in our business development and it has transformed us.”

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“This was awesome! Really felt like along with collecting great content, I bettered myself as a presenter and person.”

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“Found the presenter to be excellent and engaged. He provided excellent feedback and truly worked with everyone in the room.”

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“Loved the presentation, a very useful change in perspective and approach that will help me adapt in this phase of my career.”

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“By a wide margin, Leslie is the best trainer I’ve seen in a workplace - passionate and knowledgeable, fun but demanding. Awesome!”

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“Combustion's methods are deceptively simple, full of insights and align the creative power every organization has in abundance. Learning doesn’t get any better than this.”

- Suzanne Filiatrault, Director, Talent Development, Institute of Communications Agencies (ICA)

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“Observations about my 'bugaboos" were true and accurate, I've heard them before. Suggestions for changes and improvements were innovative.”

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“Combustion has an amazing set of tools that helps bring out the creativity and problem solving skills for our ENTIRE organization. Everyone benefits from this training. Our thinking has been elevated to a whole new level. It is a WOW experience.”

- Kim Harland, Vice President at SDI Marketing

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“Very engaging and entertaining. Definitely not a waste of time!”

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“My C-Lab session really gave a framework of structure to the creative process which I always thought was present in the ideation process in my industry - but now I know was not the case.”

- Aly Ryan, Producer, McCann Erickson

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“Course had a ton of relevant info specific to our industry and Rachel had a great energy.”

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“The results became evident immediately. Our win rate increased two-fold from last year. How we package and present the company is more polished and reflective of our dynamic brand. And surprisingly, our team got closer together through the process.”

- Stephen Brown, President, FUSE

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“Combustion brings a fresh perspective to the area of creativity that has helped us to challenge our assumptions about what it means to be a ‘Creative’ person. Through ThinkStyles, our team has also had a chance to look at how they approach creativity and learn that as a diverse team, we can truly enhance our creativity when we collaborate.”

- Dana Jacklin, Capability and Development Manager, PepsiCo

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Over
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cities transformed

London, New Jersey, Columbus, Redmond, Buffalo, St. Jacobs, Philadelphia, Denver, Dublin, Singapore, Norfolk, Abbotsford, Hartford, Long Beach, Mount Laurel, St. Louis, Keystone, Innisfil, Sunnyvale, Westminster, Venice, Torrance, San Francisco, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Regina, Waterloo, Durham, Troy

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“Combustion is the best! I’ve never really been excited for a day of training before but after last session I have really been looking forward to today.”

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“Rachel was great. She's caring, genuine and I felt like she really wanted to help.”

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“What a down to earth, lovely, supportive and fun learning environment. Thank you!!”

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“I ask my teammates for brainstorming sessions frequently. I’ve needed a process for organizing, facilitating, and ensuring there are some useful results. This is awesome. I’ll use it.”

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“Phenomenal class overall. I can't tell you how much I got out of it. A great investment for any agency. ”

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“The entire agency, all disciplines could really benefit from this. We could realize many more new business wins if we were better able to ideate like this.”

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“Rachel is a firecracker – full of life and brings a spark to everything she says.”

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“This has helped me tremendously in more ways than I could articulate.”

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“A truly enjoyable couple of days that will change how I approach problems forever.”

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“Leslie was an amazing instructor. The enthusiasm she brings to the classroom is greatly appreciated and I was able to learn lots as a result.”

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“I heard this training would be awesome yet it still exceeded my expectations.”

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“This was a totally new way to think and stretch our brains. It will change the way we create forever.”

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“As Leslie teaches in C-Lab, creativity is a process that is accessible to everyone – it’s not some magical pixy dust sprinkled on you at birth. It’s about drawing on tools in your toolbox which will unlock even more creativity and skill – whether for ideation, problem solving or facilitation.”

- Tara Stevens, SVP/Global Talent & Organizational Effectiveness, FCB Advertising

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“I can feel the journey we’re on. It’s scary and uncomfortable but we’re getting stronger.”

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“I was pushed out of my comfort zone & I LOVED it.”

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“The most transformational training for my personal development I've ever had in my career.”

- Brett Willms, Director, Small Medium Business, Americas, Google

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“Leslie is a shrink cloaked as a corporate trainer.”

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“Combustion rocks!”

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“Rachel is excellent – expressive, smart, deep experience shows in everything she says.”

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“Amazing. Always exceeds my expectations. ”

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“I thoroughly enjoyed this course and the trainer Leslie was AMAZING!”

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“U ROCK!”

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“Super awesome. Better than therapy.”

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“Great course! I can totally see how I can bring this learning to my day to day.”

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“Love the facilitator. She really brought everything to life.”

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Over 12 215

brains trained

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“I loved this class, I want to take any and all Combustion classes that Stephen teaches! I didn't want this class to end!”

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“This course was amazing and not like others in the market. The fact that I was uncomfortable is an amazing way to learn.”

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“F*cking brilliant! Some challenging ideas, made me think about how I think, will help get better creative ideas and help sell them to clients.”

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“Very engaging, in-your-face but not in-your-face at the same time. Its nice to have someone tell you the way it is – no bullshit.”

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“I had some of my senior managers take this  program as part of the TD Ted Leadership Program. Their results have been excellent and I have been waiting to take this training. It was worth the wait - very valuable.”

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“Great training, great presenter, great days.”

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“Went from being terrified to speak in public to a new state of ease in one day.”

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“Tremendous opportunity for honest feedback unlike any I'd get from my colleages. ”

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“Absolutely the fastest, knowledge packed 2 days I’ve had in a long time. Leslie is an amazing speaker. Thank you!”

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“I will use the learning immediately. It's gold.”

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“Leslie rocks. She can make all training so engaging and useful. The working exercises are bang on to illustrate the topics.”

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“Totally worth traveling a 10 hour flight for.”

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“It was an absolutely fantastic session.”

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“Excellent new perspective on training, thinking and collaborating.”

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“I loved it all! Combustion is THE BEST!”

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“It was an awesome workshop and it’s going to change the way we do brainstorming from here to eternity. The biggest take away from this workshop is the process and how to put structure around brainstorming.”

- Dianne Eysink, Director, Corporate Communications, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana

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“Thanks for such effective therapy!”

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“F*cking amazing. Super helpful.”

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“This training fucking rocked! Thank you!”

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“I have not only seen changes in my presentation skills but my manager has seen changes and has made comments.”

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“The most transformational training for my personal development I’ve ever had in my career.”

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“One of the best training sessions I’ve been a part of in years. Very helpful and relevant to my job!”

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“ENTHUSIASTIC, motivational, encouraging, empowering.”

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“I was never bored. That's big for me! I get bored easily. I was always engaged.”

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“Leslie gets it and helps everyone in the room - client or agency side - get it too. ”

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“Love Stephen's courses - I want him to be my life coach.”

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“Leslie was energetic, she had exercises that got people engaged without asking too much effort, and the content was very relevant and inspiring. It was perfect for our needs.”

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“"We hired Combustion for their "Stand & Deliver" presentation skills workshop. At the end of the day we had high fives, tears of joy, laughter, and countless "how did we survive without this before?" emails. Now we want more! Leslie and her team have my highest endorsement. Professional, fun and one-of-a-kind. And thank you for making me look smart by hiring you."”

- Robin Whalen, Partner/Managing Director, Real Interactive & 6 Degrees Integrated Communications

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“Leslie is just amazing! The right balance between strong science and uplifting energy. That's how education should always be!”

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“I laughed, I cried, I'd do it again! Bravo!”

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“Thank you Leslie for facilitating an intensive and f*cking awesome workshop that made my brain work in ways it never has before!”

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“I can't wait until the next class.”

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“Great session again, the only training I’ve ever received that can run a full day without having you watching the clock.”

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“Awesome workshop! Challenged my thinking and worked my brain!”

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“Awesome, really eye opening, in some ways and validating in others.”

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“Everything struck a cord and touched on something that was helpful and relevant. Absolutely the most engaging presentation I’ve seen.”

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“The instructors are incredible - highly engaging, inspiring and made us feel empowered and enabled to effect change!”

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“Training was thought-provoking —allowed me to think differently— it will help articulate my thoughts in a different manner & create something actionable.”

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“Loved every minute of it! You love the people and we can feel it! Thank you.”

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“Rachel was absolutely outstanding - glad I came to this training!”

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“Rachel answers some tough questions with confidence and charm.”

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“Fun, entertaining and challenging. I didn't want it to end.”

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“Leslie, you flat out rock. Amazing!”

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“Absolutely amazing. I went in pretty reluctant as I have been in many presentation skills workshops before but this one was second to none. I learned more in one day that I have in years.”

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“I’m feeling more confident and understand how to keep growing as a leader.”

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“We all think we know about brainstorming and how to bring new ideas to the table but C-Lab brings so much new perspective to the process that is so valuable - we will never brainstorm the same way again.”

- Eric Monnet, VP and Network Creative Manager, Global Creative Excellence, McCann Worldgroup

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“Great day for leaders to re-think agency and agency process. Inspired to change.”

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“Brain is melted.”

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“Super fun 2 days!! Really learned so much and full of energy 'til the end of the day!”

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“Leslie is incredible; she provides feedback seamlessly and leads everyone down the correct path.”

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“"It is so rare in this industry to find great training partners, let alone behavior changing scientists. We are forever changed, and infinitely better."”

- Katie Repp, VP Human Resources Director

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“My job requires storytelling with data on a daily basis, and the presentation was spot on.”

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“Rachel is a great, warm, effective teacher. Her style and lessons resonate.”

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“Stand & Deliver does just that! Awesome course with very practical suggestions that can be implemented immediately.”

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“It was transformative and will change the way we do things. Combustion brought us to a point where we’re going to have techniques to actually move forward. They got everyone working together and thinking differently.”

- David Phillips, President & COO, nLogic

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“Amazing. Simply amazing. The process, tools, models are amazing. Leslie is simply amazing on top of all of that.”

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“Amazing stuff. So illuminating, so helpful. I have specific things I know to work on. I have exact deliverables which is FANTASTIC!”

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“By far, the best training my agency offers. I'd recommend it to anyone who works with creatives.”

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“I think this was extremely helpful to be able to get input on ways to improve.”

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“Way different from any other trainers I’ve experienced.”

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“Best presentation class I’ve taken. Gets to the root.”

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“Hello World!”

- The Universe

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“Overall amazing training full of new, creative ideas, but with really practical, tangible improvements in how we think.”

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#clients

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“Rachel and Leslie really dug deep inside me and pulled a lot out.”

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“"Through C-Lab, Combustion delivered tangible tools and a process that is already being used to effectively identify problems while creatively solving for them in our everyday business. Moreover, the training that Combustion delivered was highly engaging and inspirational, so much so that mindsets are quite literally changing.””

- Anna Seymour, Marketing Director, Innovation & New Product Development, Arterra Wines

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“Leslie was a brilliant instructor with a no bullshit approach that was/is still positive and inclusive. She gets more out of you even when you think you're trapped.”

#participanttestimonial

“Our members have left Leslie’s workshops reporting of a transformational experience that will have a lasting business impact on them as marketers.”

- Mark Liebert, Senior Director – Corporate Training, ANA School of Marketing

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“The principles in this session are good for all employees, not just managers. Stephen is outstanding, engaging and willing to take on tough subjects. Totally enjoyed the entire day.    ”

#participanttestimonial

“Now I can present the $@#% out of anything!”

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“This is the best EQ-type training I've attended. Very practical and informative.”

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#clients

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“Training was brilliant - very down to earth presenter that you can relate to. She was very perceptive and was able to identify key areas that needed work quite readily in addition to strengths.”

#participanttestimonial

“I want to recommend this to the rest of my department!”

#participanttestimonial

“Only that I really enjoyed the instructor. Her power to engage was impressive!”

#participanttestimonial

“Love, love, these trainings. I look forward to it for weeks in advance.”

#participanttestimonial

“Very worthwhile and real – unlike other workshops I have participated in.”

#participanttestimonial

“Great job! I thought it was a great session!”

#participanttestimonial

“I enjoyed how engaging this workshop was and the safe environment to put my guard down to be put in an ‘uncomfortable’ situation.”

#participanttestimonial

“My expectations were blown out of the water. If I could do 5 more of these I would. ”

#participanttestimonial

“I thought the training was FABULOUS, and I hope you guys come back!”

#participanttestimonial

“I've really enjoyed all the conversations I've had in these training. My 'aha' is the best thing I've actualized in training.”

#participanttestimonial

#clients

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“Another kick-ass combustion hootenanny!”

#participanttestimonial

“Combustion's creativity training has unleashed creative and critical problem-solving skills allowing our teams to think smarter, faster and better for good! I would highly recommend Leslie if you are thinking about wanting to change your team's creativity, leadership, collaboration and/or communication.”

- Lydia Saullo, Senior Manager, Technology Innovation Delivery, TD

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“I've participated in multiple trainings and this is hands down the most engaging!”

#participanttestimonial

#clients

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