… Entrepreneurial * Direct * Successful
Partner, Key Consulting Group Inc.
BA, BSW, RSW (RET), MPA(ABD), CD ADeC
As a young Canadian Army Cadet in 1969, I was lucky enough to be working in Trinidad when I had my first realization of what I really wanted to do. What I wanted to do was help people learn to lead others. That sounded like teaching but I sure knew I didn’t want to be a school teacher. My zig-zag path forward included being a laborer, a railway sectionman, a disc jockey, a machine operator, a social worker with first nations, a child abuse investigator, training and organizational effectiveness consultant, quality manager, operations Officer and organizational effectiveness manager. It has ultimately led to my training, coaching and consulting with every level of leadership – and with the challenges peculiar to each level of leadership.
Somehow, I accumulated 3 University degrees and dabbled at another I’d still like to get a degree in history someday – and I’m kind of interested in being a blacksmith
I did teach along the way, at a couple of universities (sessional instructor) and for the military. I managed training in a couple of organizations, was an HR executive, and remain an Officer in the Canadian Reserves. I became fascinated with the inner workings, political realities, and complexities of all kinds of enterprises. I am still passionate about leadership and the dynamics of human systems.
Like my partners, I have had the extraordinary opportunity to learn from and work with some of the most influential figures in leadership and organizational effectiveness. I discovered I am most interested in helping leaders (and those who would be leaders), in their own environments, to create strategies to meet their daily challenges while they build their capacity to shape the future. Like my partners, I also believe that we are at a new moment in organizations; one where it is necessary for those not in formal leadership positions to build a different sort of relationship with their formal leaders…. And vice versa.
I live in Calgary with Jane and we travel as often as life allows, on foot in the wilderness or by fins, horse, kayak and on foot in faraway places I’m also newly reinvigorated in my long journey to be competent on the blues harp. One of my favorite things to do is figure out a place where maybe no one has ever stood or sat in the entire history of the planet… and well, stand or sit there. It is always interesting and has resulted in a few minor injuries and occasional encounters with wildlife and authority.
It appears that I’m a serial entrepreneur – starting as owner of a commercial bait operation at age 14. Ok, it was a worm business, but still a business.
- I’ve worked with many organizations in transition – crisis, acquisition, start-up, closing – and with plain old day to day operations.
- I’ve participated in redesigning organizations and been the victim of ill thought out change. This got me excited about helping leaders find ways to produce satisfying results for stakeholders with often conflicting demands.
- I’ve done extensive work with teams on every issue imaginable.
I strive to be basically polite but blunt. I’m pretty blunt with leaders that I work with. Even the C-level. Leaders deserve that and often don’t get it from others.
- I believe each of us sees the world though a particular lens – and one of the principal values of a coach and consultant is to provoke a different “see” than the leader has now.
- I’m convinced that when leaders see their reality somewhat differently, new possibilities emerge.
- I am acutely aware of the “ripple effect” – how many people those leaders’ actions will influence, now and in the future.
My work is fun, humbling and occasionally scary – and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
- Helped a monopoly become customer service driven – in a new competitive environment.
- Helped a new leadership team design and operate 3 separate facilities – as one unified team.
- Coordinated a Royal visit – events, functions and banquet.
- Transformed the culture of a 100 year old facility – locked in union/management conflict, low productivity and poor safety.
- Turned a traditional personnel department into a strategic human resources function.
- Guided a national not-for-profit through strategies for fundamental change – in culture and programs.