Posts by John

Grappling with Groups

Posted by on Nov 30, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 4 comments

Grappling with Groups

Back in the 1970s, I was trained to run sensitivity- training sessions when I was in graduate school at UCLA. I wanted to better understand what my father did for a living. Our family spent every summer up in Bethel, Maine where the National Training Laboratories, or NTL, took over a prep school and led T-groups, or sensitivity- training groups, from the 1950s through the 1970s. It was an intensive learning experience for me. I remember long 4-hour sessions facilitating a group of 8 to 10 UCLA undergraduates. I was also observing another group behind one-way mirrors. There was no agenda for...

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Enough Being Quiet

Posted by on Oct 28, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 6 comments

Enough Being Quiet

I’ve always been reluctant to share my political views. I tend to keep quiet. But right now I’m about to burst. I think my reluctance came out of childhood. I grew up with extremely liberal parents. I heard stories at home about Norman Thomas, the Socialist, Bayard Rustin, who organized the March on Washington where Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, Eleanor Roosevelt, and other well known people my parents knew. It became a part of my life. But I was quiet about it. While we lived on college campuses that were liberal and progressive, it’s as though there was an invisible...

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Both Sides of the Coin

Posted by on Oct 2, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 3 comments

Both Sides of the Coin

I’ve been thinking back over my consulting career quite a bit lately. It’s because Tony Petrella died recently in a boating accident. He was the President of our consulting firm, Block Petrella Weisbord (BPW), where I spent almost 20 years, starting in 1980. Tony, more than anyone else, was the one who was instrumental in shaping our unique and successful consulting firm. I got a call recently from someone writing a book on consulting firms and he asked me what made our firm, BPW, so unique. I remember my response to him: We did not go into a sales call with a prescribed way of doing...

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Looking Through the Lens of Family

Posted by on Sep 4, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 5 comments

Looking Through the Lens of Family

I lay in bed this morning thinking about both my immediate family and my extended family. In my immediate family, my wife, Farn, and I have two sons who are married and have 5 boys between them, aged 6 years old down to 8 months old. It’s more difficult logistically for us all to get together with the kids so young—yet we work at it. Being together is an important aspect of our life. In my extended family, I’m the oldest of 5 boys with one older sister. We all gather every other year for a family reunion with all our kids and grandchildren. My father is still going strong at 98 years old. I...

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Capacity to Chomp

Posted by on Jul 31, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 7 comments

Capacity to Chomp

One of my all-time favorite writers, Jerry Harvey, died three years ago today– August 1st, 2015. He was the author of The Abilene Paradox as well as one of the best titled books around, How Come Every Time I Get Stabbed in the Back, My Fingerprints are on the Knife? His writing in Organization Development helped shape my own writing more than any other person and I miss him dearly. In 1981, my mother went back to graduate school when she was in her 60s to get her Masters in Social Work at Catholic University in Washington DC. She asked Jerry to write a letter of recommendation to the...

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