Posts by John

Theater of the Absurd

Posted by on Mar 31, 2019 in Blog, Featured | 6 comments

Theater of the Absurd

My wife, Farn, and I were reminiscing about our early years together recently and all of a sudden remembered an incident that we hadn’t thought about for years. It’s a funny story and I’m in the mood for capturing something with some humor in it. Farn and I were up in St. Paul, Minnesota visiting my grandparents for a week one summer when we were both in college in Wisconsin. We were preparing to head a bit north to White Bear Lake to visit some friends of my grandparents. These friends were extremely proper, so my grandparents encouraged us to dress up and to be on our best behavior before...

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Family Dynamics

Posted by on Feb 26, 2019 in Blog, Featured | 7 comments

Family Dynamics

I was recently chatting with a friend and she asked me what led me into organizational consulting. I thought about it for a few moments and then responded… When I was in high school back in the 1960s, my mother was drinking a lot. My father was successful, on the road quite a bit, and she was responsible for 6 kids. I developed a keen sense of her drinking pattern.  I could find where she would hide her drinks and I knew when I walked in the front door if she had been drinking without even seeing her. My sister and I, the two oldest, would manage the house—feed my younger brothers, put...

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Tapestry of Thoughts

Posted by on Jan 29, 2019 in Blog, Featured | 8 comments

Tapestry of Thoughts

I recently created a book of all of my monthly blogs that I’ve written going back to February 2012. There are 84 of them. I spent several hours reading through the book. As I was reading, I began to discover that the book is like a non-sequential memoir. These blogs contain my values, what I care most deeply about, and who I am. They are just captured more in stories than teaching points. So, as I was reading, I decided to pull out statements that did a good job of defining me.  Here is what I came up with….. I have become convinced that employees need to start sharing more positive...

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Toughest Jobs

Posted by on Dec 31, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 5 comments

Toughest Jobs

I got together with some old friends recently and introduced a fun game for us all. I asked everyone what were the “toughest” jobs that they have ever had in their lives.  Toughest could be the worst, the most difficult, requiring the most strength, or requiring the most intelligence. Everyone could define toughest his or her own way. We got into a wonderful conversation sharing stories. The two stories that I brought up were entirely different. The first was when I worked in a bio-testing laboratory outside of Chicago during college. I was the caretaker for rhesus monkeys and beagles who...

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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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