Iris is an executive coach and organizational consultant in Winthrop, Massachusetts. She is the Founder and Principal at Optio Associates LLC, a consulting firm offering coaching and leadership development to a wide variety of clients in corporate, nonprofit and political settings. Iris has over forty years of experience working with individuals, pairs, teams and organizations with a focus on building relationships that work. She has had the opportunity to work with outstanding thought leaders like Chris Argyris, David Kantor and the partners at Action Design. She is a frequent trainer in the field of organizational learning, including serving as Senior Faculty at the Action Design Institutes.
Through Optio Associates, Iris offers coaching (individual, relationship and team), training and facilitation. Her work draws deeply on nearly two decades focused on developing leaders in business settings enhanced by her past experience as a psychotherapist. Her corporate clients can be found in high tech, professional services, finance, academic, healthcare and pharmaceutical areas. Her nonprofit clients include pioneers in education reform, progressive political campaigns, and other organizations with an emphasis on entrepreneurial leadership.
Starting in 2004, Iris became increasingly involved in the political process. In 2008, she began to design an offering now called Campaign Leadership Coaching. This innovative offering pairs Iris’s experience as a leadership development coach with her campaign experience to create a vibrant, powerful, customized program that can reduce staff turnover, accelerate leadership development, enhance the pace and quality of collaboration and decision-making, and enable leaders to spend less time while being far more effective dealing with difficult interpersonal issues.
Iris holds a Bachelors Degree cum laude from Tufts University and a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Northeastern University in addition to extensive post-graduate training.
Todd Cook helps organization build internal capability in the areas of leadership, change management, and talent development. A major part of his work is focused on coaching executives and facilitating teams working on critical business issues. He is experienced working with both Fortune 100 companies and emerging entrepreneurial organizations in a variety of industries. His clients have including AlliedSignal, BP, INSEAD, Penn State, Johns Manville, Grainger, and Shell. He has been working with Action Design since 1993.
Lee is an executive coach and organizational consultant based in South Africa. She has experience in strategy consulting and implementation at the executive level, organisational learning, leadership and team development. She worked for 12 years with Monitor Group, a global strategy consultancy, as a specialized action learning resource. At Monitor London, she worked in a team with Professor Chris Argyris on a leadership and team effectiveness process for a global energy and resources company.
Lee was a partner at the Centre for Conscious Leadership before making a lifestyle decision to move to Elgin, Western Cape. Since 2009 she has run her own consulting company, working both independently and in association with other colleagues and companies on a per project basis. Her most recent clients include Nedbank, Spencer Stuart, DAI, Standard Bank, Discovery, Absa. Other clients have included GSK, Nissan, DWAF, DEAT, Microsoft, Sphere, and Elgin Free Range.
Lee holds a masters degree in Industrial Psychology from The University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.
Based in London, Alan is the co-founder of Systemic Coaching Partners and Action Design's delivery partner for the EMEIA region. Typically, his work is in service of accelerating strategic change by helping individuals and groups to rethink and reconfigure relationships and interfaces using a systemic lens on organizations. In practice, this can involve on-the-spot coaching to help a leader unravel a pressing and knotty issue, through to designing and facilitating organization-wide development interventions.
Alan has worked across a range of sectors and internationally, including four years in the United States and one in France. Clients include Air Products, BT, Capital One Bank, Enterprise Oil, Laing O’Rourke, London Underground, Shell, and Textron Systems. Most recently, he led the transformation of PwC’s approach to learning and development across the firm’s global consulting practice.
Alan holds a Masters degree in Change Agent Skills and Strategies from Surrey University (UK) and a certificate in coaching from the International Coaching Federation. Alan was trained in Systems Thinking during in his early career at Shell and then spent eight years with the ‘Strategy, Organization and People’ practice of Andersen Business Consulting. In 2003, he helped to start a successful leadership development and strategy implementation firm has practiced independently since 2009.
Gwen is an international trainer and coach with 20 years of experience teaching professionals to communicate, negotiate and broker differences collaboratively. Her purpose is to provide dynamic development programs that effectively blend proven theory with practical and sustainable skill building.
Gwen’s professional experience is diverse and she has worked as a Senior Associate for Action Design, Vantage Partners, Mobius Executive Development, and The Alternative Dispute Resolution Center in Rome. She has facilitated training programs in 17 countries for clients including: IBM, Proctor and Gamble, Lexmark, Deloitte and Touche, HBO, MTV, DDB, Capital One, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, sanofi-aventis and McGraw-Hill. Gwen’s background in communication and conflict resolution draws from her work with the theories developed at the Harvard Negotiation Project and the work of Chris Argyris, developed by Action Design.
Gwen holds several certifications including: The Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Technical Leadership (Blessing White), Situational Leadership (Blanchard Partners), Strategic Relationship Management (Vantage Partners) Career Development and Lifescapes (Masteryworks). She is a past Board Member of the New York Chapter of The International Association of Career Management Professionals. She currently serves on the Board of the Northeast Health Foundation.
A graduate of Brown University, Gwen received a Bachelors Degree in English. At Brown, she also designed and completed an independent major in Performance combining Anthropology, Ethnomusicology, Theater and Dance. At the graduate level Gwen has completed several courses in Organizational Development and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University and The New School for Social Research. As an adjunct faculty member Gwen as been an instructor for The Action Design Institute, Columbia Business School Executive Development and DDB University.
Annie has over thirteen years of consulting experience in the areas of organizational development and change, executive development, coaching and organizational learning. She has worked in a wide range of industries, including media, financial services, construction, non-profit, high technology and pharmaceuticals, and within a wide spectrum of business contexts, including the implementation of new technologies, organizational restructuring, strategy implementation and company-wide business process change. She has also worked internationally with large multi-national organizations, having spent four years living and working abroad.
Annie applies her knowledge of organizational systems, dynamics and groups and her advanced facilitation skills in supporting executives and teams through handling particularly difficult conversations and situations, enabling her clients to develop new solutions to recurring organizational barriers and dynamics. She works with individuals and teams to uncover important and often conflicting assumptions, information and thinking that can block learning, a fundamental process in healthy organizational life. She is particularly interested in helping groups function when faced with important, multi-layered decisions, complex authority structures, competing interests and interpersonal and group dynamics. She has designed, implemented and led teams through comprehensive change programs to support change at the individual, team and organizational levels.
Annie worked for Arthur Andersen’s Business Consulting ‘Strategy, Organization and People’ practice for eight years in New York and London. For the past six years, Annie has been working as an independent consultant and coach in New York.Annie has received her MBA in Management/Marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business and her MA in Organizational Psychology at Columbia University’s Teachers College. She is Associate Faculty for Action Design. Annie is a graduate and faculty member of the Organization Program at the William Alanson White Institute in New York. She is also adjunct faculty at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service and is regular guest faculty in the Columbia Business School MBA and Executive Education programs.
Bill is an educator and consultant with an international practice including many of leading learning organizations. His practice includes facilitation, executive coaching, conducting workshops and designing web-based learning programs: Forging Breakthroughs with Peter Senge (Ninthhouse) and Productive Business Dialogues and Managing Difficult Conversations (Harvard Business Review Publishing Company). He is the author of Discussing the Undiscussable: A Guide to Overcoming Defensive Routines in the Workplace, published by Jossey-Bass (2007)
He received a BA from University of San Francisco, Masters from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union/ UC Berkeley. He teaches at Marylhurst University in the Business Department, and the Religious Studies Department. He teaches the Philosophy series at Columbia Gorge Community College.
John is a co-founder of foreAction.com. He established the company in 1999 to provide interim management and coaching services to Silicon Valley companies. His clients have included Atheros Communications, SHPS, Netcentives, Alta Vista, Audience and Tallwood Venture Capital.
Prior to founding foreAction.com, John was a consultant with the Catalyst Consulting Team, Santa Cruz, CA. His major focus at Catalyst was to help corporate managers align with changes in strategic direction. He also established an executive coaching practice to help senior executives work more productively with others. Prior to joining Catalyst, John was head of international business development for InfiNet. In 1994, John founded WorldNews Online, the first Latin American news aggregator on the Internet to carry daily news in the Spanish and Portuguese languages.
John has worked as a management consultant in various roles since 1979. He was the business case study writer for Sterling Livingston, a noted Harvard Business School Professor. He helped pioneer the development of case-oriented, microcomputer-based business simulations, developing major simulations for the advertising, entertainment, chemical and newspaper industries. He holds a BA from Antioch College and an MA in psychology from Duquesne University.
Liz is an executive coach, facilitator and consultant with over 20 years’ experience of working organisations to help them improve collective performance. Always curious as to how individuals and teams shape and are shaped by the context in which they operate, her work typically focuses on surfacing mindsets and assumptions that impact effective performance and collaboration. Current client work includes consulting to a multi-organisational alliance within the health sector on cross-boundary collaboration, design and delivery of a 12 month leadership development programme within construction, facilitating peer coaching within a bank, board level executive coaching to a local government authority. Liz’ work is informed by her years’ experience as a psychotherapist. Through this she developed a deep appreciation of individual difference and of the productive and unproductive outcomes that differing worldviews and ways of communicating can produce.
Based in London, Liz has worked across a range of sectors and internationally. She has delivered projects with Judge Business School and is regular guest faculty at Saïd Business School. Co-founder of Systemic Coaching Partners, her clients include Barclays Bank, BBC, Bechtel, BT, Cancer Research UK, Heinz, HSBC, National Bank of Oman, NHS, PwC, UBS
Liz holds a Master Degree in Organisational Change (Surrey University), a Diploma in Systemic Team Coaching, a Diploma in Integrated Psychotherapy and Advanced Diploma in Gestalt Therapy and a first degree in German and Drama.