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.

Stats

How do we roll? Count the ways.

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

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

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“"Another kick-ass combustion hootenanny!"”

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

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

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

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Over
40

cities transformed

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

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

#participanttestimonial

“Great training, great presenter, great days.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“Totally worth traveling a 10 hour flight for.”

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

#participanttestimonial

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

#participanttestimonial

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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, Director, Strategic Planning, Insights & Innovation, Corby

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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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“Thank for helping me just be me.”

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

#participanttestimonial

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

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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.”

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“AWESOME!”

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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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“As Leslie teaches in ThinkLab, 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 want to recommend this to the rest of my department!”

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

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

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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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“U ROCK!”

#participanttestimonial

“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 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!”

#participanttestimonial

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

#clienttestimonial

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

#participanttestimonial

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

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

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

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

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

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“Amazing. Always exceeds my expectations. ”

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“ThinkLab proves that the creative process is a real process. It’s a way to kind of unplug, come up with great ideas, and then look at them in different ways. Sometimes an idea that you think might be crazy, when you reflect on it a little bit or look at it in different ways, you realize that it may not be that out there.”

- Andrea Fish, Senior MarCom Manager, Verizon Communications

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

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

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

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

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

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“These last two days were fantastic!”

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

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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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“Combustion rocks!”

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

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“Incredible framework.”

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“Rachel is a fabulous trainer. Great day!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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“I would say that ThinkLab is instantly transformative. It was amazing to see. There’s nothing that we didn’t do today that we can’t walk out and do tomorrow that will make us 50%, if not 80% more productive in the time that we have doing our jobs.”

- Anne Marie Al-Borno, Creative Director, Mosaic

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“Amazing. Seriously, life-changing.”

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99.9 %

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

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

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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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“F*cking amazing. Super helpful.”

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

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Over 8100

brains trained

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.    ”

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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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“It was great to see immediate results.”

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

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ThinkStyles™
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Sifter 0
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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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“I can't wait until the next class.”

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

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“My brain is mush but I love it! :)”

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

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

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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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“You are amazing. Thank you!”

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

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

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

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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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“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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“This training fucking rocked! Thank you!”

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

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

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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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“It was an absolutely fantastic session.”

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

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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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“Thanks for such effective therapy!”

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

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

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

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

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

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“We all think we know about brainstorming and how to bring new ideas to the table but ThinkLab 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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“Hello World!”

- The Universe

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

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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.”

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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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“Brain is melted.”

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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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“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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“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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“Enthusiastic, motivational, encouraging, empowering.”

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

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

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“My confidence level giving presentations has skyrocketed.”

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

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

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

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“Excellent course for all leaders, it would be great to see the ThinkLab methodology applied organization wide.”

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

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

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

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

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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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“The training was AWESOME!”

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

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

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

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“Most fun I have had in a long time.”

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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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“ThinkLab puts an incredible amount of science and structure into the idea generation process, resulting in ideas that would not have developed in the typical logic-driven corporate environments. In a world where data and information is ubiquitous, creativity is the game-changer that propels the best organizations forward.”

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

#clienttestimonial

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

#participanttestimonial

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

#participanttestimonial

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

#participanttestimonial

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

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99.9%

of ThinkLab™ participants said their training would actively contribute to their organizational creativity.

#creativity #stats

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

#participanttestimonial

“Super awesome. Better than therapy.”

#participanttestimonial

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

#participanttestimonial

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

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

#participanttestimonial

“Leslie, you flat out rock. Amazing!”

#participanttestimonial

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

#participanttestimonial

“"Through ThinkLab, 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, Director, Strategic Planning, Insights & Innovation, Corby

#clienttestimonial

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

#participanttestimonial

“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.”

#participanttestimonial

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

#participanttestimonial

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

#participanttestimonial

#clients

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