TJF Consulting, LLC provides expert facilitation, training, and mentoring to help people and organizations thrive in complexity. My work ranges from doing short presentations and individual executive coaching to designing large scale strategic planning and change initiatives on the national level.
Currently, I am working on a wide range of issues, such as preventing and improving multiple states’ response to child abuse and neglect; improving access to high quality affordable child care in Washington State, and helping a First Nation in Canada engage its community in thinking about how to build an indigenous family law system. What all these issues have in common is that they are complex, multifaceted and require groups of people to come together to make meaning of both the issues and the way toward progress.
I was an Assistant Attorney General for nearly 12 years litigating Child Abuse and Neglect cases. At first, I wanted to address the issue of child abuse on a more systemic level as opposed to on a case by case basis. Later I discovered that the skill set I developed could be used on a wide range of important issues in both the public and private sector.
Who is your ideal customer?
Anyone who is facing a complex challenge. I have coached individuals in the tools I use to engage groups, public agencies in national initiatives, and private businesses in reorganization and efficiency efforts. The only real requirement is an interest in engaging a group of people to address a complex challenge.
What obstacles have you faced?
Ironically, one of the biggest challenges I face in my work is explaining what I do. I do not have a product or set approach that I am trying to sell. I do have a set of tools I use regularly (Liberating Structures) as a base for my work, but even that is not an exhaustive list of what I bring to bear on an issue. My approach often includes elements of complexity science, adult learning, and adaptive leadership. I spend a lot of time listening and really understanding the challenge you face, then together we develop custom crafted options to move forward. I find that giving examples of my work helps people to understand it much better than trying to explain it in the abstract, so feel free to ask me what I am up to or to share something you are working on if you see me around Surge South.
What are your hopes for TJF Consulting, LLC?
One thing I really enjoy about my work is the relationships I develop with my clients. I like the boutique approach my consultancy can bring and the depth of thinking I can provide by taking a limited number of clients each year. My current plans are to keep my business small. I am developing an international practice group for Liberating Structures which helps me see broader applications and perspectives of the method and may allow me to eventually expand to more internationally-based clients in the next 5 years.
Why did you choose Surge South?
My youngest daughter is responsible for my coming to Surge. One day she informed me, as only a teenager could, that by continuing to work from a small desk in my bedroom at home I was “sleeping in my office every night and that I worked hard enough to deserve better”. I like Surge South because the people are friendly, and it has a down to earth, unpretentious feel.