JLTalley & Associates

Making the complex clear

After 45 years of providing services to hundreds of organizations, I realized that my practice has been a lifelong learning laboratory. I struggled along with my clients to unravel inordinately complex problems, shepherd significant change, address flagging morale or optimism, develop a strategic plan, or redesign the work systems of the company. And each engagement yielded new understandings, not only about the nature of organizations, but about the process of consulting.

Consequently, I have decided to shift my practice. I hope to shorten the learning curve for the emerging and even seasoned consultants coming up behind me. So my current practice is mentoring, coaching, and teaching.

Mentoring: Working with emerging consultants in small groups to provide highly customized opportunities for reflection and career development.

Coaching: Advising OD practitioners on how they might handle a current client engagement; sometimes requires working as 2nd chair on their team.

Teaching: Presenting the lessons of a long career on the nature of organizations, advanced problem solving, work process design, organizational assessment, how change occurs, and more. This link will provide title and short description for all classes I offer.

Seminars: These short, no-fee offerings are my hope to prompt more discussion and reflection among OD professionals. They are all topics I find interesting... and often not well framed in our field.

There are other resources linked to this site, and I invite you to take advantage of them freely:

Surveys: This supplemental page outlines the issues in designing, conducting, and analyzing an employee survey. It includes access to a database of possible survey question items to get you started in finding the data you need. The potential value of an employee survey is that you can surface beliefs that are not even conscious for the respondents. You can bring in the perspectives of a large number of staff who maybe geographically dispered or otherwise hard to reach. You can provide a more objective anchor for the impressions and intuitions you already have about your client.

Panel Surveys: A special type of survey is more like an extended interview. You define a panel, that is, a critical cluster of people (new hires, project managers, first-time supervisors, customer-facing staff, etc.) and use brief but frequent surveys to establish a dialogue rather than a one-time query. You can ask the panel what questions or issues to raise in the upcoming surveys. So it is more of an interview in the flow of ideas. Panels can serve for a few months or even for years.

Graphic & Recording Software: I use a program called Inspiration for about 90% of my client work. Clients and colleagues often ask "What is that software?" since it is not widely distributed in the US. It is a software package sold through TechEdology in England. It is modestly priced, extremely powerful, and easy to learn. This tutorial will cover the basics in how to use the program.