Family & Old Farm
Conversations my blog generating ideas based on my foundation work
in conversation. If you read the welcome you will understand the why
learning conversations are critical to the health of our
I have invested over 28 years helping build
organizations with practices and structures to attract, develop, and
retain high performance team members and teams. My simple belief is that high performance
operations are created through high performance teams, not the other way
around. The model of leadership that I teach is based on my life's work of
creating learning, rapport, relationships, and performance through
conversation. My framework is Conversational Leadership and this is
how I drive a change in how leaders interact with their team members and
teams. I have created a simple Conversational
Leadership model that I use to explain my framework as well as
published a paper on conversational leadership in 2002, Con
versare: To Dance Together.
I also am committed to living systems
thinking and see an enterprise as embedded within many other systems and
accountable to those systems. Based on my desire to follow my values, I
made the decision to transform my career to the development and growth of
adults and the communities and societies within which they live. When I
started my consulting business, in 1991, a description is below, this was
my intent but I did not have the foundation to create the changes I hoped
to. So in 1999, I made the decision to go back to school to earn a masters
in Adult education focused on leading edge adult learning theories and now
am pursing a doctorate in human and organization development.
John Inman and Associates
|The focus of my consulting company was building integrity into
organizations. The primary product I used to do this was "Drive to
Target: Building Integrity into Organizations".
|At John Inman and Associates, we took Quality Management out the arena
of a philosophy into the world of day to day decisions being made in an
organization. For years, building integrity in one's personal life has
been taught by first defining a personal mission and values, then bringing
personal behavior into line with the mission and values. This same concept
is true for organizations with a couple of critical additions. The first
of those is the addition of a vision statement. Strategic
Partnerships both inside and outside the organization can not proceed
without shared vision. The second, and the step that drives Quality
Management and Customer Responsiveness directly into the management
process, is the development of Quality Targets. Once the mission, Vision,
Values, and Quality Targets are defined and communicated throughout the
organization, integrity is built into the organization by screening all
decisions through the Quality Targets. The Quality Targets capture the
essence and spirit of the Mission, Vision, and Values in a format that is
measurable. Accountability and authority are aligned in the management
process building an empowered, focused and passionate organization team.
My work as a consultant honed my skills
My work as a consultant forced me to challenge everything I ever learned
about business and people and forced me to study continuously for three years to
keep up with the market. This work culminated in my white paper, Integrating
The Organizational Community.
I used this white paper and the corresponding PowerPoint, Learning to Fish, to present the concepts I used in my
consulting and they give a fairly good idea of my business philosophies and the work I did. The bottom line of my work was to create quality managed,
customer responsive organizations.
One of the fun things I did while I was a consultant was create my own radio
show called The Decade Of The Customer, a talk show designed to bring leading
edge sales, marketing, and management knowledge to the Portland Business
|I started the show to help build my knowledge base, I
interviewed leaders in the field, and to gain exposure in the Portland
market for my consulting and training work. I interviewed mostly leading
edge practitioners from Portland in sales, marketing and Management as
well as Larry Wilson, founder of Wilson Learning.
I was an organizational change consultant and had just finished a contract
with a large environmental consulting firm and Chuck Van Meter, the founder of
INI asked me to join the fledgling start up, just 4 people at that time, and
help him build his business. I set up the systems and hired the majority of the
original team before Chuck moved me into building the market with our client,
AT&T at that time and then Lucent and then Avaya. I spent years developing
and training the Lucent channel and continued in the high technology industry
Here is the original team at a mid stream parting of the ways. I came back soon
after. I still have many friends there and it was very difficult to leave.
However, the time was right and the PlaceWare opportunity was perfect for me and
Over the years I have focused on building my knowledge skills and
attributes even more than a specific career. Continuing education has been a critical part of my
professional development. I believe that we can not
give away what we do not own any more than we can come from where we have
not been. And we can not offer others competencies we have not developed.
My background is varied and extensive and at all time focused on building
capacities and capabilities in team members within my various communities.
If you would like brief look at my background, visit my professional
If you would like to see some examples of my recent work, here are
|In-depth cultural based two day orientation
|A unique two day orientation that is steeped in culture and builds
on cultural understanding, service, and respect. This is a 90 page
presentation published in InDesign CS and an example of the cultural
work that I do. From conception to delivery, this is totally my
10 week leadership development program
|This comprehensive 10 week leadership development program is based
on a cohort model and is blended curriculum. The program is experiential,
includes world cafe workshops, is living/social system based and has
been responsible for providing a foundation for our transformation
as an organization. From conception to delivery, this is totally my
My journey was reinforced when Larry
Wilson of Pecos River Learning Centers indicated that I did not
have the experience to join his team. Several years later I started my
masters program in the field to further my professional avocation. My work
now centers around organizational change, living systems thought, and
conversational leadership. I credit Larry with providing me not only with an
opportunity to experience his extraordinary programs, but with a body of
work that I have followed for over 20 years. A true inspiration to me. If
anyone could have a mentor without having a mentor, Larry would fit the
bill for me. I have a photo
album of photos from Pecos River Learning Centers if interested
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