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Meet Don Hutson of The Cowboy Solution

Today we’d like to introduce you to Don Hutson.

Don, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
After 15 years in higher education and 20 years in business, I found myself starting over at the age of 50. I returned to my earlier roots and started training horses again. I soon realized that the old way of “making” a horse was not conducive to unlocking their potential. As a result, I came up with a training method that started with creating a partnership first. When I was able to earn the horses trust, success was easier, faster, and sustainable.

It was truly a lightbulb moment, reflecting on the strength that these same principles could have if utilized properly in the workplace. As a result, The Cowboy Solution was born. The program now works with people and organizations from all over the world to help them significantly improve human performance.

Has it been a smooth road?
The road has not been smooth. Organizational cultures are unfortunately more often concerned with technology and process improvement rather than human improvement. Considered a soft skill, human improvement often gets the short shrift. But, if all organizations really consider that one of their costliest investments is their human capital, they might invest more in improving it.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into The Cowboy Solution story. Tell us more about the business.
The Cowboy Solution specializes in programs that significantly improve human and organizational performance. We work at all levels of the organization with leadership and teams. We are unique in that we use horses as facilitators in an experiential environment to teach basic principles that create high-performance leaders and teams. Then through a series of tasks, using the horses, participants get to experience applying these principles to achieve a higher level of success.

We’ve had the honor of traveling around the globe and it really does make us proud to see the positive impact that can be made on a team no matter what language those team members speak. The horses make all the difference. Because the training is experiential and not just informational our success rate is much higher and sustainable.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Our world is no longer complicated and predictable. Because we are a global society, things are becoming more and more complex and unpredictable. At the tactical and operational level organizations are going to be required to react faster to an ever-changing environment. The command and control structure of today, where all decisions are made at the top and then trickle down to the operational level, is simply not fast enough to deal with the new challenges.

To operate effectively, organizations will be required to significantly improve human performance. In this new business environment, organizations must create a culture where teams are empowered by leadership to make decisions at the point of need.

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