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MARCH 2011


Hi Folks,

Very exciting times coupled with massive political changes and one of the most catastrophic events in history. Clearly, the events in the Arab countries are impacting how we will be in the world. Reminds me of the crumbling of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the USSR.

Undoubtedly, the impact of the events in Japan will change how we view our relationship with nature. My Native American heritage believes that the earthquake, the tsunami, and the nuclear meltdown of at least one reactor has already changed how we learn to live in nature instead of how we try tame or control or plan against her.

The exciting times are that the economy is improving. Besides the day-to-day economic information, the wisps of a shift in the business mood has shown up as Spring is just around the corner. One of the key indicators that I track is the types of workshops that are being offered in OD and related fields.

Worthwhile Executive Training

For example, in the past, I have written about the use of the Leadership Development Profile through Bill Torbert and Harthill. It is an assessment tool that uses a developmental approach to executive development. I use it frequently with senior executives to support their awareness of the need to move to a higher level of understanding and often engagement with self, work, and others. Many have asked how to become certified in this instrument. My excitement is that it is being offered in Boston in May, 2011. Typically, this training and instrument certification is done in Europe. See

Another exciting event is that Linkage has its OD Summit in Chicago May 3-5, 2011. I have been selected for one of the sessions to discuss Co-Leadership: An Evolving Process. In the session I will discuss how a 2-in-a box leadership structure was created for a Midwestern manufacturing facility. Joining me will be the co-presidents of Seaman Corp who will share their hands-on experience of creating a co-leadership structure as part of an executive development and succession planning process. Details can be found at

For those that practice or are interested in Gestalt OD, a break-out session for cutting edge practices has been created. I will share how Gestalt theory has influenced my executive and organization development practice. Much of the concepts discussed in the chapter I wrote for Practicing Organization Development will be included. The book was edited by Sullivan, Rothwell, Stavros, and Sullivan. I hope to see you there.

At the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, Rick Maurer, one of the foremost authorities on change and resistance to change is leading a new program called "Influence, Act, Change." It is a culmination of his years of studying resistance and change and his application of gestalt principles of change. Details can be found at

Finally, the Tuck executive programs at Dartmouth are offering a much needed program on the Execution of Innovation. Unlike many program which focus on the creative theory and models of how to innovate, Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Kimble, are sharing the processes that they developed at GE to create and execute innovation within the organization’s DNA. If you recall, workshops like this one are what I recommend to my clients if there is a need to gather expertise and application. See

Recent Thoughts

I have been working on a book: Co-Leadership: An Evolving Process. The most interesting aspect of the book and application at several clients has been that success is a direct function of the relational and social skills of the individuals involved. Typically, the response is "duh" as this is nothing new. However, what has been new to me has been watching the developmental process. By this I mean that the common approach to relational competency has been to try to teach relational skills. Generally, I have found that this is the lowest level of development. For example, we can coach our clients to fake empathy until we, hopefully, can actually empathize. When working with co-leadership, I've found that there is a developmental process that occurs where 1 + 1 = 3. From a gestalt and systems approach, this means that a holistic process can occur where the two individuals become more than just two leaders working together. A synergy can form interpersonally that enhances their leadership capacity and impact. Even more importantly, their dyad begins to impact the organization's field where the co-leadership phenomenon begins to permeate the organization.

I will continue to share some thoughts as the book progresses.

May Your Spring be Bountiful

Herb Stevenson

Herb Stevenson, CEO/President
Cleveland Consulting Group


The Power of Choice

Date to be Announced
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Becoming an Effective Organizational Intervener is a dynamic program for people involved in leadership within organizations whether it be via day-to-day management or organizational change and development. It provides an introduction to the body of knowledge developed in the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland's Executive and Organization Development programs. In five exciting sessions, participants will explore our overall model and theory base as applied to individual, group, and organizational levels of system. The program offers participants a powerful and integrative opportunity to increase their awareness, knowledge, and skills in order to become more effective interveners in organizations.

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