We Care About

  • The Power of Play

    The power of play to enhance your world, your business, and your life.

  • The Power of Improvisation

    The power of improvisation to prepare you for the unexpected.

  • The Power of Proactivity

    The power of a proactive approach in a reactive world.

Industry & Sector Knowledge

Research and Development

  • To get ideas to market more quickly
  • To ensure changes in design are communicated to protect patents
  • To harness all those wild ideas with a plan for action

Quality Assurance

  • To make sure the culture welcomes honest feedback
  • To learn ways to improve listening to client/employee concerns
  • To discover patterns that work and relinquish ones that don’t

Manufacturing

  • To cultivate a collaborative environment to attract and retain talent
  • To strengthen communication from the front line to the executive team
  • To create an ownership mentality through increased engagement at all levels

Sales

  • To build long-term, trusting, sustainable relationships
  • To strengthen negotiation through value proposition
  • To focus on customer needs through listening rather than telling

Healthcare

  • To ensure knowledge sharing through a team approach
  • To heighten quick, collaborative, solution-focused problem-solving
  • To seize the moment by responding to the unexpected with integrity and intelligence

Legal and Other Professional Services

  • To cultivate a collaborative approach to client services
  • To increase profitability by reducing competition and stress
  • To improve communication by creating understanding across generations

Our History

Fishladder Inc. was founded in 1999 by Mary Jane Pories to improve problem-solving in the workplace using applied improvisation.  Fishladder designs, develops, and facilitates corporate training programs for regional, national and international clients of all sizes – including Fortune 500 corporations to non-profit organizations. 

We’re committed to sustainability and support that triple bottom line by investing in human capital, economic growth, and protecting our environment. We’re committed to growing diversity by helping companies treasure the value in each individual.

Our Name

Why the name Fishladder? Think about it. Fish swim upstream, sometimes in rough water, leap into the air hoping to clear obstacles. Most times they don’t clear those obstacles. They end up smacking their little bodies into the rocks… repeatedly. But, and here’s the kicker, they don’t give up and they do eventually make it over.

We find their endless persistence to swim upstream inspiring. But, it doesn’t have to be so hard. They can use a fishladder, “a series of pools arranged like ascending steps at the side of a stream, enabling migrating fish to swim upstream around a dam or other obstruction.”

Using this analogy, the marketplace is the river, your teammates are the fish and we’re the Fishladder! We help you get upriver with less stress, surmounting the obstacles with persistence and humor to achieve your goals.

Sure, you can try it on your own; but we think the really smart fish use the Fishladder!

“Most fun I’ve ever had. Thank you! Good mix of leading the group and allowing us to come to insights on our own.”

Workshop AttendeeWolverine World Wide

“I have attended many training sessions over the years and this was by far the best! Mary Jane certainly was effective, funny, and added enormously to the fun and learning of the even. [She] got us engaged …and excited. Two thumbs up! Humor and knowledge are powerful.”

Workshop AttendeeHerman Miller

“Great meetings. Wish we had another two days … And, thanks again to the best facilitator ever, Mary Jane Pories!”

ExecutiveCrystal Flash Energy
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