John Menard O’Connell, Jr.
John O’Connell is a graduate of the University of Michigan and was in the initial ‘cohort’ of the original organization development graduate program in “Planned Change,” at the U of M Institute for Social Research, with Dr. Ronald Lippit and Dr. Jim McConnell. He has also studied the work of Buckminster Fuller extensively, — integrating Bucky’s, “Systems Design Theory” with his own experience in managing “Large Scale Change,” “Game Theory and Leadership.” All his previous work has informed and influenced the design of The Time Out for Peace Plan and The World Peace Campaign.
John has spent the greater part of his career as an Organization Development Consultant for Interplay Network, a firm he founded, — facilitating programs to increase ‘positive interaction’ in organizations of all types, through collaborative strategic planning, large-scale change processes, conflict-resolution, leadership and team development. He has worked across all levels and sizes of organizations in diverse industries, in North America and Europe, –from the Senior Management Team at Chrysler, to front line workers in a cereal plant for General Mills.
In addition to his work through Interplay Network, John served on the management team of UCSF Stanford Health Care, as Senior Vice-President for Organization Development. Prior to his consulting practice, John served as a manager and mediator for American Intermediation Services and as President and Co-Director of the New Games Foundation. During and after college John worked in a wide variety of jobs — including logger, messenger, carpenter, mover and political campaign staffer, — giving a feel for people in all parts of society.
An avid writer, he was a contributing author of The New Games Book and More New Games (Doubleday,) “The ‘Perfect Consulting’ Field Book” (with Peter Block,) and co-author of the “The Leader’s Handbook: Learning Leadership by Leading Games and Play” (Venture Press) with Dr. Bill Michaelis.
In addition to his academic and business experience, John brings to his practice over 30 years of martial arts training, coaching and teaching. He is a third degree black belt in Aikido, sometimes referred to as ‘The Art of Peace.’ Morehei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido, called it the ‘Way of Peace,’ created to unite the ‘One World Family’ in a Peaceful ‘Beautiful World.’