Facilitation at the Washington State Department of Transportation

CLIENT: Washington State Department of Transportation from: 11/01/2015 - 12/31/2016


Secretary Lynn Peterson and Secretary Roger Millar of the Washington State Department of Transportation both shared a leadership vision that embraced a multi-modal transportation, customer driven decision, and a “practical solutions” culture in support of the overall agency vision. They wanted the executive team and senior leadership to also share the vision and actively engage the entire agency in blending these principles into daily work.

Athena's Role

The Athena Group designed and facilitated the departments’ 2015 and 2016 strategic, 2-day executive retreats. During the first retreat, we helped the executives land on three “agency emphasis areas.” In the 12 months following the 2015 retreat and leading up to the 2016 retreat, we helped senior leadership act on the agency emphasis areas, in particular the implementation of Practical Solutions as an agency framework. During the second retreat, the leadership reaffirmed these emphasis areas and identified where improvements were needed to take the agency to the next level. We also facilitated current state analysis of performance, strategy, budget and lean systems.

The Results

  • Leadership unification on three agency emphasis areas
  • Improved norms of collaboration and communication
  • Common definition of success for Practical Solutions, a key emphasis area
  • Introduction to adaptive leadership concepts and tools
  • Documentation of current state for strategy, budget, performance, and continuous improvement integration


Photo credit: Erik Ringsmuth


  • Faith Trimble
  • Paul Horton
  • Jennifer Haury


  • Leadership Development
  • Organizational Resilience