Street 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.

“"This was a great session - refreshingly different from other presentation courses I have taken."”

- Laura Hearn

#clienttestimonial

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

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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

#clienttestimonial

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

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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

#clienttestimonial

“F*cking amazing. Super helpful.”

#participanttestimonial

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

#participanttestimonial

Over
30

cities transformed

New York, Chicago, Toronto, London, Tokyo, Calgary, San Diego, Vancouver, Montreal, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Baton Rouge, Detroit, Minneapolis, Tampa, Boston, Orlando, Richmond, Edmonton, Hamburg, New Jersey, Columbus, Redmond, Buffalo, St. Jacobs, Philadelphia, Denver, Dublin, Singapore, Norfolk, Abbotsford, Hartford, Long Beach

#stats

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

#participanttestimonial

“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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99.9%

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

#hellyeah #stats

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

#participanttestimonial

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

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

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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

#clienttestimonial

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

#participanttestimonial

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

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

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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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“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

“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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“Amazing. Always exceeds my expectations. ”

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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

#clienttestimonial

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

#participanttestimonial

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

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

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

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

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

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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.”

#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

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

#participanttestimonial

“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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“"Bruce was awesome - made an uncomfortable topic easier to deal with."”

- Caitlin Silveira

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

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

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

#participanttestimonial

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

#participanttestimonial

“These last two days were fantastic!”

#participanttestimonial

“Stephen Friedman is an amazing trainer!”

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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!”

#participanttestimonial

“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.”

#participanttestimonial

“My confidence level giving presentations has skyrocketed.”

#participanttestimonial

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

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

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

#participanttestimonial

“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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“"Rachel was awesome!"”

- Chris Loschiavo

#clienttestimonial

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

#participanttestimonial

“"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

#clienttestimonial

“It was an absolutely fantastic session.”

#participanttestimonial

“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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“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

#clienttestimonial

“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.”

#participanttestimonial

“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.”

#participanttestimonial

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

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

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“It was great to see immediate results.”

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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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“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.”

#participanttestimonial

99.9 %

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

#spreadthelove #stats

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

#participanttestimonial

“"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

#clienttestimonial

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

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“Loved the moderator. Amazing. Probably one of, if not, the best training I've been too.”

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

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

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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

#clienttestimonial

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

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

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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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“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

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

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

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

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

#participanttestimonial

“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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“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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“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

#clienttestimonial

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

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

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

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

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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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“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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“"Such a great opportunity to learn from a great!"”

- Chris Conklin

#clienttestimonial

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

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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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“"Thanks for helping us in building new approaches!"”

- Jasselin Chauve

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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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ThinkStyles™
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#stats

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

#participanttestimonial

“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)

#clienttestimonial

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

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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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“Shout out to our trainer, Stephen. It takes a lot to not only keep a group engaged all day but also to get people to open up and crack through the way they do things now to make way for better ways of doing things. Kudos to him!”

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

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

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“"Bruce was great. Very engaging and entertaining. He's really great at making you feel comfortable."”

- Megan McDonald

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

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“Super awesome. Better than therapy.”

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“Rachel is a fabulous trainer. Great day!”

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“"This stuff works! I am better for it."”

- Ryan Kent

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“Amazing. Seriously, life-changing.”

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

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

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

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

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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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“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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“"Such a fun course. Rachel is an amazing storyteller and really leads by example. Her ability to work on the fly is uncanny."”

- Jenn Wasney

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

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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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“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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“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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“"Amazing - Thank you!"”

- Jennifer Fields

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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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“Totally worth traveling a 10 hour flight for.”

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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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“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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“You are amazing. Thank you!”

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

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

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

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

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

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99.9%

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

#creativity #stats

“Thank for helping me just be me.”

#participanttestimonial

“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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“"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

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

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

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

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

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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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“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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“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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Over 8100

brains trained

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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

#clienttestimonial

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

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

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“Combustion rocks!”

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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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“Hello World!”

- The Universe

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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 flat out rock. Amazing!”

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“"Leslie is a master uncover-er. There is nothing you can hide from her. Be prepared for her to break you down and build you back up."”

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“"At the beginning I was like hell, not another full-day of useless training. However, I found this extremely useful."”

- Andrew Kerr

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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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“"Another kick-ass combustion hootenanny!"”

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

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

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

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

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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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