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Life and Leadership as Creative Art
Life and Leadership as Creative Art
Passionate about convening conversations and connecting people and ideas across domains for the pure joy of discovery, learning, and generation of something new.
The magic is in bringing visions and dreams into reality -- not in a controlling, driving way -- being in the moment as they emerge and helping them unfold and take shape.
Embraces complexity and ambiguity; sees possibilities across domains & disciplines; brings together ideas for unique application often in unorthodox or counterintuitive ways; generates options and drives actions to make a difference in the real world.
WORKFORCE ENGAGEMENT | CULTURE TRANSFORMATION | LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
I partner with leaders and their teams as an Organization Development consultant, coach, facilitator, and leadership development expert to accelerate results by:
-Strengthening leadership and talent development, retention, and succession planning
-Driving strategic and operational initiatives
-Shaping and transforming organizational culture
-Navigating complexity, engaging stakeholders, and accelerating adaptiveness and agility
-Designing organizational structure, roles, systems, relationships, norms, practices, and processes
-Building collaboration, inclusion, and workforce engagement
I support clients and colleagues to connect the dots across strategic initiatives and translate strategy into operational implementation and concrete action for results.
My experience spans 30 years working with 50+ private and public sector clients in diverse industries, including 12 health systems and 22 federal agencies.as well as manufacturing, Pharma R&D, and nonprofits. I am a strategic leader, organizational change agent, facilitator, & coach with a talent for assessing complex problems and convening powerful conversations and experiences that invite others to embrace risk, build learning agility, generate fresh solutions, and grow in new directions.
I am proud to support the mission of Kaiser Permanente, an innovative, integrated healthcare provider and not-for-profit health plan. Before joining KP in 2016, I launched and operated a leadership & OD consulting practice for 20 years and served as faculty member with the Center for Creative Leadership, a top-ranked global provider of executive education & leadership research. Through those years I built and maintained long-term relationships with other consulting firms and federal contractors, led project teams of consultants, delivered OD and leadership development, and provided 2,000+ hours of coaching to support U.S. government leaders, primarily at GS-14 & 15 levels, as well as SES and SIS. I was frequently sought as part of team of consultants on multi-year engagements, including 10 years with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's Center for Drug Evaluation and Review and 5 years with an agency in the U.S. Intelligence Community.
I have presented and published (under former name: Gaines) globally for practitioners and scholars on a range of leadership topics. I've served as President of the Board of the Chesapeake Bay OD Network and the Washington DC Metro Area Chapter of the Association for Talent Development. I've also served as a board member with the International Leadership Association.
My Ph.D. in Leadership and Change is from Antioch University and my M.A. in Communication is from the University of Maryland. I graduated from the ICF-accredited Newfield Network’s coach training program.
Dedicated to Learning and Hard Work with an Entrepreneurial Spirit
I am the first person in my family to graduate from college and, ultimately, I earned an MA and a PhD. My pride is less about the academic achievement and more about the fact that I worked and paid my way through school with a combination of jobs, student loans, and financial aid.
My lessons in workplace dynamics started early. I began working and saving at age 11, building a small babysitting enterprise until I was old enough for a work permit and jobs as a cashier, waitress, and office assistant. I found my own way from a young age and began living independently at the age of 17.
My educational pursuits were always aimed at real-world application. I began my doctoral program with a 3 year old son, a dog, and a business to run. So I learned a thing or two about competing priorities, resilience, and work-life balance. I cultivated a sense of wonder and curiosity with a deep love of learning along the way.
Confident That I Can Build or Find My Tribe and Step Into Leadership to Foster Collaboration
My self-reliance and independence was always supported by a tribe. I never felt alone and am always grateful to find “my people." Even as a young girl — teachers, parents of friends, librarians. It is in my nature to connect and build community. This shows up in my professional life too. I have served as President of the Board of Directors of two professional associations and as a board member on a third. It’s not enough for me to be an active member or volunteer. I want to shape the direction, influence the offerings, and provide leadership to make a difference. Along the way, I have built relationships with colleagues, been mentored, mentored others, and found lasting friendships. I enjoy fostering connections across my network and helping to bring together people and ideas to grow, learn, and generate something new or valuable.
Resilient and Strong Through Unimaginable Loss
My 20YO son died unexpectedly in January 2021. As I continue to navigate and heal through that loss, it has transformed me in remarkable ways, including a new sense of fearlessness, clarity about what matters most in life, and a commitment to make it all count.
In An Alternate Universe...
If I wasn’t in my current profession, then I might be a journalist, anthropologist, lawyer, or independent bookstore owner. . . or somehow affiliated with the world of writing, film, or theater, I’ve always been fascinated with the creative process. In fact, I am working on a novel and now declare myself a writer. The dissertation DOES count as a publication ;-)
Support and challenge leaders and teams to strengthen organizational capacity, capability, and community as they navigate and lead strategically through complexity and ambiguity.
Convene conversations and design experiences with individuals and groups for in-the-moment learning and practice to develop leadership and teamwork. I create a space for connection and see what unfolds.
Writing is a process for me to discover and learn. I use it to create a space to explore and see what emerges. Occasionally I share my reflections and insights with others. For me, it is a divine, sacred experience.