Data Driven TalentTM

Our Results are Backed by Science.

Spark works with growing companies to provide Data Driven Talent™ solutions.
Dr. Zach Schaefer (Dr. Z), Founder and CEO of Spark The Discussion, is a speaker, author, professor, and consultant. Spark works with growing companies to provide Data Driven Talent™ solutions. Spark specializes in diagnosing, designing, and deploying a variety of workplace programs focused on solving internal talent challenges from hire to retire.

In addition to working with corporate clients through Spark The Discussion, Dr. Z is also an Assistant Professor of Applied Communication Studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he researchers the relationship between successful workplace cultures, conflict management norms, and leadership behaviors.

Spark uses scientifically-validated assessments to ensure companies select and hire the right people, develop their people in engaging ways, and retain them over the long run.

As the founder of Spark The Discussion, Dr. Z’s knowledge and passion for communication is contagious and creates the spark that drives his entire consulting philosophy. When you partner with Spark, you have direct access to a behavior expert whose only goal is to help you achieve your people-oriented goals.

Dr. Z’s passion for communication is contagious and creates the spark that drives his entire consulting philosophy.

  • Conducted extensive primary research regarding mediation, conflict management, and workplace communication 
  • Widely published in both academic and professional outlets
  • Commentary has been featured in a wide range of high quality media outlets including the Harvard Business Review Blog, MSNBC, and Fast Company
  • Dr. Z is co-creator of a mobile app called the ClashCoach (available on iTunes).
  • He authored a book called American Creativity (available on Amazon).

In short, Dr. Z knows that effective communication is a building block to happy, healthy, and wealthy lives – and he vigorously shares this message with all his clients!

Service is also an integral component of Dr. Z’s life. He has been a Big Brother through the Big Brother Big Sister organization for nearly 10 years, he is on the Communications Committee of the St. Louis Organizational Development Network, and he is a member of the St. Louis Sports Commission. He is also a former board member of the Association for Missouri Mediators.

Dr. Z.’s workshops have enhanced our team members’ (and my own) confidence in their communication skills, specifically negotiation situations, conflicts and other difficult conversations.

Ryan Perryman

LEED, Vice President of Building, L. Keeley Construction


Leadership Success

Spark designed and implemented a company-wide Performance Review System from scratch that helped reduce conflict and turnover and improve communication.


Leadership Learning Moment

If a client is wrong about something, he tries to have this discussion by instead helping them shift their perspective.


Something Unique

Dr. Z has had the honor of serving as the wedding minister for two cousins and a good friend, he is a certified BBQ judge, and he loves adrenaline-inducing activities like sky diving.

One-on-One Services

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Team Services

Spark your team’s engagement, collaboration, and accountability with customized strategic work sessions and training.Learn More

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