Sparkspace Collaboration Further Enhances Leadership Development Offerings

Sparkspace is known for its creative conference areas and collaborative environment, but it’s the growing list of programs and partnerships that is further enhancing the nearly 15-year-old business.

“The mission has always been to be the most inspirational business development place on the planet,” says sparkspace Cheif Imagination Officer Mark Henson. “Over time we have evolved on the program side of our business.”

Early on it was all about brainstorming. Then programs turned toward team building, leadership, customer service and personal and professional development. More recently, sparkspace has taken a focus on how they can help develop individuals within companies.

“How do we help people be more successful in business with this idea that business and life are just intertwined and you can’t really separate the two,” Henson asks. The solution? “Let’s get them while they are at work,” Henson says.

Jason Barger

Building on the everything is connected theory, Henson sites statistics that reveal nearly 80 percent of people in the workforce are not engaged in what they are doing. So sparkspace is adding programming from the mind of Jason Barger of Step Back Leadership Consulting designed to get people more engaged.

“Everything that we do I want to be about engaging the minds and hearts of people,” Barger says. It’s a mantra that aligns perfectly with Henson’s vision. Sparkspace provides the environment, while Barger brings the mentality.

From workshops to keynote speeches, Barger will bring content focused on three engaging areas to sparkspace clients.

“Those offerings are going to look a little different depending on who the client is because all of our engagements start with deep listening,” Barger says.

Barger’s first area of focus is leadership development. How are clients developing their people? How are they strengthening their skills ? How do they interact? He will also help businesses better define the type of culture they want to have. It’s not just about what a company does, how do employees show up to do that work? Finally, his expertise will lend a hand in clarifying a group’s mission and vision. Barger wants to help individuals and teams become more clear on what they are actually trying to accomplish.

“We want to offer experience that will help deepen and strengthen the mission of what they are trying to do individually, but also what they are trying to do as a team and a company,” Barger says.

This is the first of four to five partnerships that Henson hopes to develop at sparkspace, straying from Henson creating most of the programming himself. Each will bring their own special skill, but come together to serve clients.

Henson says sparkspace saw a number of speakers, authors and consultants come through the doors, but he always kept his eyes open for people that connected with others in a different way and on a different level. It was Barger’s mantra of engaging the heart and mind that caught his attention. Henson saw it as a necessity in the growing landscape of Columbus leadership.

“We are going to need the leaders that are exactly what Jason is trying to do – [leaders] that lead with their heart and their mind,” Henson says.

Barger has long admired sparkspace and the unique resource it brings to the city. While he’s traveled the world for his career, it’s bringing this resource to his hometown of Columbus that excites him.

“Let’s make sure that we can provide compelling and authentic content for individuals, teams and organizations right here in Columbus,” he says.

For more information visit To learn more about Jason and Step Back Consulting visit