We challenge the status quo. In everything we do, we believe in thinking differently.
EDGE Leadership Solutions is built on innovation. We iterate before the world moves, bringing new ways of leveraging talent to organizations intent on increasing mobility, retention, and engagement, and always with the goal of curating belonging inside of organizations.
Where EDGE started
In 2013 we introduced the concept of investing in the personal development of corporate leaders, with the goal of turning leadership development inside out.
At EDGE, we grow the person to grow the leader.
Our founder, Christy Uffelman, BCC, MHCS, pioneered the concept of group coaching in 2007, facilitating groups of women leaders in her spare time, while serving as a VP of HR in the construction industry. A leadership coach by trade, Christy’s innovative model to bring peers together from across companies and industries to share best practices together sparked the interest of a national mentoring nonprofit, Strong Women, Strong Girls where college women mentor at-risk girls. The organization asked Christy to build a leadership development program pro bono, with the goal of aligning with their business model of engaging corporate leaders to mentor their college women. Christy turned the traditional mentoring concept on its head and instead built a group coaching program by concentrating on teaching front line corporate leaders coaching skills – skills that they could practice in the safe space of the cohort and then apply inside their organizations as leaders.
After beta-testing the group coaching model with Strong Women, Strong Girls in Pittsburgh, Boston and Miami, and from her time as a learning and development professional, Christy realized that, what women thought were individual challenges to them were really a part of a collective – and that what they lacked was simply a vehicle for knowledge transfer.
After working with hundreds of women leaders, Christy knew that the way to build confidence was to allow the women the space to contribute to one another’s successes – all while building an actionable strategic network together as peers inside their organization.
Christy and her husband, Kevin, launched EDGE Leadership Solutions in 2013 and trademarked the group coaching model called PEER Technology®. Understanding the power of mentoring and collaboration, they teamed up with Dr. Mary Shippy that same year to incubate EDGE under the already successful umbrella of Align Leadership. Under Christy’s leadership as President, Align Leadership grew five-fold in the next 7 years, launching virtual peer groups to support Fortune 500 companies across the industries of healthcare, transportation, construction, technology, manufacturing, banking, and hospitality. And each year brought the possibility of new innovations.
EDGE group coaching model was born
Beta tested across the country with Strong Women, Strong Girls
EDGE Leadership Solutions launched with virtual EDGE: Women’s cohorts
PEER Technology® trademarked
Innovation born through sponsorship
Thanks largely to the sponsorship of one Fortune 100 CEO, EDGE Leadership Solutions continued to purposefully iterate and thrive. As a male leader who believes in purposeful supplier diversity and is personally invested in advocating for women leaders, he and Christy built a partnership in 2013 that lasts to this day.
After several years of successful EDGE: Women cohorts at this organization, the two companies started looking at the challenge of building a sustainable female pipeline in a new way. Together they asked, what if we could instead focus efforts on creating the space for men to become more inclusive leaders? EDGE: Men launched in 2017 – a year before the #MeToo Movement officially began.
Black Lives Matter
Striving to embed equity in our work, EDGE Leadership began to be more intentional to ensure full representation of the Black experiences in all learning design and explicitly group coach leaders around white privilege and what it means to be actively anti-racist – at work and at home.
Knowing the need to not only educate around race and ethnicity, but more importantly, to act, Christy formed a purposeful partnership with community activist and Founder of Sisters Lifting as We Climb, Sharnay Hearn-Davis. The two women became both mentors and sponsors of one another in their very different circles.
Together these leaders continue to support the professional development of all women of color with intention and guarantee more equitable Black representation not only in all EDGE programming, but to further ensure that Black women have a seat at the tables of networking events across the community and the nation.
Group Coaching Cohorts for Executives
In 2018, EDGE started innovating again in partnership with this CEO – this time looking up the corporate ladder to the managing director and executive-level leaders. We knew that it was necessary to create a safe space for leaders to practice empathy and learn courage building skills to intentionally (and imperfectly) engage with people across the gender spectrum, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and generations. Together they launched a custom-designed PEER Technology® cohort in 2019 – a year before the rest of the corporate world entered amass into courageous conversations that need to be had to truly end systemic racism.
In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic challenged every corporation and leader to look at themselves differently. C-suite leaders found themselves needing to level up with their comfort around both vulnerability and empathy and to inspire courage in new ways. EDGE launched COMPASS in the summer of 2020, a C-suite peer coaching experience to support executives to grow personally as well as professionally.
Because who we are is how we lead.
This year of reinvention was the perfect time for EDGE Leadership Solutions to spin-off from Align and stand on its own.