My current consulting practice is focused on executive coaching and organization development for companies in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, as well as a number of Fortune 500 companies. My current consulting work is focused on educating and training organizations on mindfulness, Zen koans, and creativity for managing dilemmas, paradoxes, conflicts and tensions in corporate life. I am also working with my colleague, Andrew Speight and some of the finest jazz musicians (including Jimmy Cobb, the drummer for Miles Davis' Kind of Blue album) to bring live jazz ensembles into corporations for education and training on the utility of the jazz metaphor for team creativity. Since the publication of my book, The Search Conference: A Powerful Method for Planning Organizational Change and Community Action (with Merrelyn Emery) in 1996, I have consulted with many private and public sector organizations in using large group interventions for planning and implementing strategic change initiatives.
I was fortunate that my work as a graduate student at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University offered numerous opportunities to work with professors in the Department of Organizational Behavior who were active consultants and action researchers. From about 1986 through 1990, I apprenticed under Dr. William Pasmore, who is widely known as one of the leading figures in socio-technical systems design consultation and research. Bill and I worked on numerous projects together, focusing on how we could advance the theory and practice of socio-technical systems to knowledge-based work organizations. We consulted to several firms, namely General Electric, Polaroid, Exxon Chemicals, and Procter & Gamble. Managers at these companies were receptive and supportive of our work. These early consulting engagements led to a stream of research for both of us, that culminated in many articles and book chapters on knowledge work, organizational learning, and the design of new product development organizations.
Most of my training and education was in action research, organization development, and socio-technical systems design method. Later, I went on to apprentice with Merrelyn Emery from Australian National University, where I learned the theory and practice of The Search Conference and the Participative Design methods.
Over the years, I have selectively consulted with numerous private and public sector organizations. A partial list of private sector clients includes:
I have also done a lot of consulting work for the public sector and not-for-profits:
After graduate school, I started teaching at Loyola University of Chicago, in the Center for Organization Development, which is one of the few stand-alone, Masters degree programs in Organization Development (O.D.). I taught at Loyola for seven years and earned tenure. The Center for Organization Development at Loyola had a unique, vibrant and close student-faculty culture. I taught many students to become competent consultants, and most went on to take lucrative positions within Fortune 500 companies, while others started their own independent consulting practices.