I attended Bennington College and graduated with an A.B. in English Education from the University of North Carolina. My Masters in Adult Education was with Malcolm Knowles at Boston University. My Diploma in Advanced Studies in Gestalt Psychology is from the New England Gestalt Institute.
During 12 years at GE-Aircraft Engines, I served as personnel manager for the sourcing and manufacturing technology organizations and as manager of marketplace education and professional development. I designed the precursor of the Negotiating Solutions workshop in 1978 and have taught iterations of the program domestically since then and internationally since 1983. I completely redesigned the workshop in 1990 to help professionals steeped in and good at positional negotiation discover at a deep value and conceptual level the far superior results possible through interest-based negotiation.
From 1986-89 I lived in India, working for GE International, designing and running training programs in Europe and South Asia. These programs included negotiation, communication skills, intensive interviewing skills, effective people management, person-job matching, and strategic account management.
I established the Mattford Group in 1988. As the original designer of the Negotiating Solutions workshop, I continue to hone the program to keep it current and useful.
This book was my September 11th response. As you may recall much too vividly, after September 11th, aviation businesses in much of the world were struggling to survive, stabilize and rebuild. To quote a 2002 article in Business Week, they were “grappling with their costs, capacity, pricing and product features in ways they hadn’t seriously contemplated since the start of deregulation in 1978.” They were laying off appalling numbers of people. They were simultaneously implementing major change initiatives – lean applied to the shop floor and to business processes, Six Sigma, value-streaming, supply chain management and others. They were seeking to implement massive changes in how they worked in the marketplace with suppliers, customers and partners. And they also had identified the need to change the working relationship between management and employee groups.
But there was one key element of change that no one was addressing. I kept waiting for someone famous and visible to talk about it and write about it, because I knew that unless it too was addressed, these other efforts could not succeed.
This element has to do not with the content side of change – which is what everyone was paying attention to – but with the process side of change, with what Douglas McGregor called “the human side of enterprise.”1 It has to do with how we do what we do with one another. But nobody wrote that book. Nobody made that case.
I finally realized that I was closest. So I wrote it.