Don Thoren

For over 25 years, Don Thoren has provided clients in North America and Western Europe with creative ideas and communication skills for solving problems and capturing opportunities. Don’s topics are based on learning to value the creative potential of conflicting opinions for sparking greater innovation. The key is channeling inevitable anger and frustration into a search for creative 3rd Ideas. Don focuses on change through insight vs. training since he believes there can be no real growth in any of us until our basic perceptions of reality are re-examined and updated where necessary.



Conflict Readiness – The Key to Innovative Discovery

New ideas are the life blood of organizational success and personal satisfaction. The best new ideas come from people who have become “conflict ready.” When leaders (organizational, technical or sales) are tasked with communicating decisions that likely will not be enthusiastically endorsed, what works? Conflict readiness is a combination of skills and attitudes that empower a person to engage the conflict with high expectations of discovering new alternatives or “3rd Ideas” that represent breakthrough thinking and break out results! The critical success ingredients for both leaders and participants to convert conflict into an innovative outcome are…

1. A belief system that is comfortable with conflict, values its potential for good and encourages the competition of ideas; and

2. Communication skills for exploring conflicting ideas and guiding people through the discussions necessary to select the best among the competing ideas.


  • Unlocking Creative Ideas
  • Let Ideas Compete — Not People (sm)
  • Maximizing Joint Productivity and Innovation
  • Selling Different People, Differently
  • Exercising Leadership Through Coaching

Don Thoren 3


Don Thoren works with organizations and helps people explore what their future “could be” , and develops plans and skills in its pursuit. In his beginning, he grew up on a cattle ranch in Wyoming, gave his first speech in a Future Farmers of America contest, and held many student leadership positions in high school and college. As an Army training officer, he participated in establishing standards and conducting innovative training to achieve high operational readiness scores.

General Electric gave Don the opportunity learn personnel practices and then sent me into manufacturing to achieve results with the people he hired. First as a shift foreman and later manager, he learned the importance of integrating systems with leadership skills to achieve exemplary results. At American Salesmasters he learned to make 20 street sales calls a day to sell communication and sales training seminars.

Looking back on 30 years of speeches, consulting and organization change initiatives, Don is grateful to those clients who allowed him the opportunity to help them on their way, and to employees who came to work with him as they sought to practice and teach, “Maximizing Joint Productivity.”

Today, Don is a seasoned practitioner who specializes in:

  • Mentoring leaders
  • Showing how conflicting opinions can lead to break through thinking and break out results
  • Delivering unique speeches for special occasions
  • Coaching project teams
  • Teaching others to speak more effectively and persuasively
  • Helping resolve alignment issues
  • Improving the results of technical sales people
  • Teaching creative problem solving
  • Conflicting opinions, turf wars, customer demands, confusing technological choices and the assignment of responsibility are the issues most likely to cripple organizations.

The solution to all this chaotic change and attendant conflict is embracing the commitment to “Let Ideas Compete—Not People!” The skillful collision of ideas CAN create new and better “3RD IDEAS.” Learning to view passionate conflict as an invaluable engine of creativity is key to organizational and personal success.

Expertise:  Authors | BUSINESS | Change | Communication | Conflict Resolution | Creativity | Innovation | Organizational Skills | Peak Performance | Presentation Skills | Sales | Spouse Programs | Strategic Planning | Strategy | Teambuilding | Teamwork | Workforce Issues