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For testimonials about WORKOUTS with charitable organizations click here.

For testimonials about Yuill's Tools click here.

"Hi Jan,

I wanted to drop you a line and share a recent experience with you.        

[My coworker] and I took your Organizations Alive! workshop in October 2008. We are now colleagues and we rediscovered the joy and utility that the OA! framework can bring in reflecting on the dynamics of a living system. We were facing workload management issues and we wanted to make strategic choices about what projects to keep, drop, or create to alleviate these workload pressures without making more work for ourselves. When we looked north, south, east and west, and played with all six interfaces, we noticed patterns we hadn't seen before. The [Organizations Alive!] framework helped us to place our long list of priorities on the wall map, discover new priorities, and establish reasonable and realistic timelines to invest our resources into shifting the "balance" of effort in the network.

Thank you for introducing us to this model, and for creating such a rich resource binder to accompany the training. I spent an evening scanning through the book and materials, highlighted concepts and questions that were most relevant to our work, and then we were off and running. The one-page overview was really handy and helped us to focus our thinking on each of the quadrants and interfaces, and the whole picture at the same time."

                                                                                                    JENNIFER SHEPHERD
                                                                                                    ORGANIZATIONS ALIVE! PRACTITIONER
                                                                                                    OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA


"The model has been a useful tool to organize the thinking and ensuring that things don’t fall through the cracks. It’s a great tool to use for the different areas in a change process."

                    DIANE KING
                            DIANE KING AND ASSOCIATES
                            AYLMER, QUEBEC, CANADA

"I experienced my client's amazement and also mine at how easily the model flows and pulls everything together. It makes me think all the other methods I have employed in the past are rather piece-piece and inadequate."

I met Jim (not his real name), a business man, on the squash court. His associates, by familiarity, numbered a dozen. Their aim was to buy and sell companies (valuing between 5 and 250 million pounds). Things were not going as he expected, so we met for a chat.

Jim stressed that each associate signed confidentiality agreements. He made it clear that processes were in place. The outcome:  nine associates compromised their signed agreements and the bank balance showed it. Relationships were strained to say the least. 

Jim offered a brief resume of each associate and clarified his version of the break down. I was curious and listened closely. I believed that once Jim could name the problem, he could set out to create and implement solutions. 

I presented the Organizations Alive! model as a living entity, fundamentally taking in information through two sources (macro and micro) and using this information in terms of people and what people do, namely tasks.  Expressed as a matrix, the four cornerstones of success produce six interfaces. As I described each interface I imported examples from the resumes he presented to bring more life to the model. It was as if I was putting a junior puzzle together. The pieces fitted so nicely. I observed his amazement as the whole became apparent. I clearly observed my own amazement. I had to wrap up to allow the impact to be optimized. 

I spontaneously offered the seventh challenge as our way forward. I thought, “I am up for the challenge of making your organization alive.”  

He chuckled saying, “I can’t believe it.  From where I am sitting these issues are all so hazy. You have made it seem so clear to me.

Alex Pilz
London, UK


"You have taken so much information and reduced/clarified it so that it is USEABLE! Your "Evidence of Tension" and "How to Address the Challenge" sections are PRICELESS!"

                Maggie Dannreuther
                Analysis & Development

"Am working with a Thai organization, and I like the simplicity of the Organizations Alive! Model. It moves more easily across cultures."


"Organizations Alive!
succinctly and intricately describes what I do!"


rganizations Alive! gives me insights to where it will be most effective to intervene in the system."


"The Organizations Alive!
Model is like completing an MBA.  It enables you to efficiently take all the elements that you would learn to focus on in an MBA program and organize them in a meaningful way. It is truly an amazing model."

                        TRACEY HAGERMAN
                        OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA

“I love using
Organizations Alive!  with my clients. It’s so easy to paint a complete picture with the Organizations Alive! Model. People 'get it' right away and can apply it to their own business circumstances immediately."

                        DIANE BLAIR

Organizations Alive! is an elegant model for looking at the complexities of organization dynamics. Jan has created a spring board for conversation, analysis, and study which is accessible and comprehensive."

                  JULIA CIPRIANI

"This coming week I'll be in West Africa,
[doing] an organizational audit. Our assessment team was struggling with the design of this project ... ."

The [client organization] has a refreshed vision of what they want to see changed in the future, but is struggling with human resource and infrastructure challenges to align those resources and potential with the vision.

When I structured the interview process around the the six challenges [of the Model]
, things fell into place quite nicely!


Organizations Alive!
Is a framework for articulating questions that are vaguely sitting in your mind."


Organizations Alive! is like The Toolbox for all OD tools!”

                            EXPORT DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
                            OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA

This is like cracking the genetic code of organizations!

Dora Lee, Change Management
                              Public Service of Canada
                              OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA

Interesting model! I can see how I will use it in the context of engaging and influencing senior management. I find the 4 quadrants particularly useful, in the consulting process for entry, analysis, and intervention.

                     WORKSHOP PARTICIPANT
                            OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA

Thank you, Jan. You said at the beginning of your presentation that the model was simple, but not simplistic, and I think it is one of it's key forces, which you also demonstrated in your warm approach.

                     WORKSHOP PARTICIPANT
                            OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA

Thanks for your presentation. It was nice to meet you this morning [ODNOO Facilitators' Breakfast - November 4, 2004], and learn about your model. In fact I was sufficiently impressed that when I got back to the office I sat down for an hour and read it - nicely written. ... I would like three more copies to share with my colleagues.

                     JOHN MASKELL
                            GROUP WORKS LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE

Thanks for the success factors sheet. Have I adequately conveyed to you how much I appreciate you, your skills, and definitely this OA! model? Phoebe and I are now finding ourselves using it to talk to each other about RR and clients! It's very helpful. Thanks so much for your willingness to share and teach us so openly. It's very rewarding to be in this kind of company. :)

                            RENDEZVOUS RUPERT
                            RUPERT, QUÉBEC, CANADA

I have been working with how your model can complement the work we are doing on Balanced Scorecard [BSC] and am very excited about the potential for the way in which they integrate. BSC needs to look at the whole system; your model is a powerful way to “see” what the whole system is.

John Brown
"I create space that makes it safe for people to explore difficult questions."
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Organizations Alive! ...
delivers the goal set out in the Preface. It builds its 'story' steadily and clearly. The writing is tight and energetic. The messages are clear. The model is practical and easy to understand. The ideas certainly have lots of application for process design in facilitated sessions. The book is enjoyable, informative and useful.

                             John Butcher
                             Associates in Planning, Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

rganizations Alive! has provided me one of the freshest and intriguing insights on organizational behavior that I have found in over 25 years of doing organizational development. Jan has managed to take some very complex concepts and elegantly display them in a very inter-related way.

This book is a must for anyone who is looking for a roadmap or guide to more elegantly deal with the complexities of upper end organizational behavior. Whether one is a consultant or a practicing leader or manger, this book will clarify a great deal and offer practical, easy to understand avenues towards resolving some of the greatest problems facing organizations. There is genius on display in the model this book centers upon.

                              Ed Hampton, CEO, transformu
"Transforming relationships; one insight at a time"
Oviedo, Florida, U.S.A

stunningly elegant and straightforward model that respects, articulates, and applies with deceptive simplicity universal life principles as they pertain to organizations. It provides hope for greater organizational balance as well as practical ways to understand how to get there. It is profoundly exciting.

Danielle Poirier, Principal
                              Rebel Eagle Productions

For testimonials about WORKOUTS with charitable organizations click here.

For testimonials about Yuill's Tools click here.


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