… Educator * Psychologist * Thinker

don

Partner, Key Consulting Group Inc.

Email: don@keyinc.com
Office: 780.423.1896
Mobile: 780.909.7766

I’ve been an educator all my life. I coached my younger brother about how to win arguments with Mom and Dad. I tutored classmates all though school, and outside of school taught skiing. After earning my B.Ed. and teaching certificate, I taught kindergarten for a year – an odd job for a man in those days. In graduate school, I was a seminar leader, a lecturer, and an associate professor in educational psychology. Eventually I ended up training grown-ups – leaders, managers and the motley crews that work in all kinds of organizations – public       sector, corporations, and not-for profit enterprises. I am a founding partner of Key Consulting Group (1987.)

I am a Registered Psychologist with a M.Ed. in Ed Psych and a full complement of Ph.D. level courses. Somehow I lost enthusiasm for the dissertation when I got a real job, got married and left the academic nest. Sometimes I regret that, but I’ve written dozens of dissertations worth of material since then, and my best work is still ahead, I feel.

I became a counsellor in a technical school (NAIT), before moving to a government of Alberta job training managers and consulting about organizational effectiveness. I was responsible for executive training, and during this time, listened and talked to a lot of business gurus, and discovered my passion for what eventually became our company’s corporate mission: to help the growth of sustainable enterprises and the leadership they require.

I’m intensely interested in how we humans think – individually and collectively. Especially, how we think in organizations and as leaders or followers. I believe the future we hope for will depend on our ability to get our thinking caps on straight, and to be disciplined and creative in designing strategies for how to create and sustain success in extremely difficult circumstances.

I am married to Marjorie and have two adult children and two (wonderful!) young grandchildren. We live in Edmonton, but enjoy travel. South in winter is especially appreciated. I am an eclectic music fan, I like to bicycle and golf, and I play live tournament poker recreationally.

Years and Years of Experience

Somehow all of these have made an impression. I have learned and grown from…

  • Being a salesperson, production line worker, surveyor – paid the bills, and some of it was fun.
  • Studying and learning – from partners, associates, authors, and international specialists.
  • Leader, manager, supervisor – responsible for results.
  • Teacher, trainer, coach, counsellor – helping others succeed.
  • Writing, designing, facilitating, consulting – encouraging others to think about and solve problems.

How I Work

I have successfully built relationships with boards of directors, elected officials, chief executives, managers, supervisors and front line staff. They seem to appreciate…

  • My approach – “Let’s think this through, together… then, let’s figure out what to do.”
  • My insight and commitment – to their success.
  • My ability to help them analyze complex problems, and
  • Formulate practical solutions – that address the interests of all stakeholders.
  • Facilitation, teaching and coaching – with a style that is good humored, challenging and direct.

What I’ve Done

I am proud of these successes…

  • Facilitated creative collaboration – organization-wide processes that improved internal and external relationships.
  • Supported union/management relations – with working relationship agreements and the skills to sustain collaborative workplace interaction.
  • Enabled boards and chief executives – to clarify governance structures, responsibilities and roles.
  • Covey Leadership Centre affiliate – trainer and regional representative.
  • Highly rated speaker – at conferences for human resources, leadership and professional audiences.

What I’m Doing

This is all satisfying and invigorating work…

  • I help leadership teams think strategically – and make comprehensive, practical and successful choices.
  • I deliver leadership training – and help my partners with design and editing of these programs, assessments and other products.
  • I make presentations and consult about thinking strategically and thinking together – to find all-win, sustainable solutions to organizational challenges and opportunities.
  • I help organizations assess and preserve the psychological health of their workplaces.

I am a member of the Psychologist’s Association of Alberta and their Psychologically Healthy Workplace Committee. This committee administers the Alberta Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards. I also represent Alberta to the Psychology in the Workplace Network of the American Psychological Association, Center for Organizational Excellence.

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