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John O’Connell

John O’Connell is a senior consultant for CCT, with 30+ years of experience in Organization Development and Management Consulting. His focus is on team, personal and leadership development, along with group and process facilitation. His experience ranges from the six-person management team of a start-up company to 500-person, management-wide organizational strategy meetings, using ‘Large Group Process’ methodology.

As part of his Organizational Development practice, John facilitates organizations, teams and individuals to develop and map Vision and Strategy and to integrate group missions, personal goals and accountabilities into Team Charters and Commitments aligned with organizational initiatives. He helped a Canadian paper company hone their goals from 39 down to 5, subsequently achieving their first annual profit in five years.

John has worked with scores of intact teams, from kick-offs to teams in crisis, from high-performing teams to teams in transition. His broad experience in Team Development, as both a Facilitator and Team Coach, ranges from the management team at Chrysler to frontline Union members at General Foods and BART. John employs a range of facilitative methods, including Personal Coaching and Graphic Recording, to anchor and perpetuate commitments. He has worked with David Sibbet and Allen Drexler and utilizes the Drexler-Sibbett Team Performance System as well as the Tuckman Model and Lencioni’s 5 Dysfunctions Framework. Goal setting, accountability, high performance teamwork, facilitation, process management and individual achievement are all integrally and synergistically linked to Leadership—whether of a group or of oneself, “Big L” or “little l” leadership. Recently, he was Lead Facilitator for the yearlong Clorox Diamond Leadership Program for rising leaders.

As Co-Director of the New Games Foundation, John trained and built the Trainer Team from one to twenty-six persons, conducting over 1,000 programs and training more than 50,000 people. John has taught Team Development in numerous contexts, including the Graduate Extension Program at San Francisco State University and the training program of Marsh, Inc., and has taught at the Boston University Leadership Institute and in numerous corporate leadership programs. His work weaves the elements of leadership, teamwork and responsibility into dynamic programs to promote long-term organizational success.


  • Senior VP for Organization Development, UCSF-Stanford Healthcare, SF and Menlo Park, CA
  • Adjunct Faculty, Center for Executive Development, Cambridge, MA
  • Founder/Managing Partner, Interplay Network Organization Development Services, San Francisco
  • Extensive post-grad work in Facilitation Skills, Training Development, etc., as a student/colleague w/: Doug Anderson and Richard Hammermesh, Harvard Business School; David Sibbet, Graphic Guides & Grove Consultants International; Kathy Dannemiller,  Peter Koestenbaum and Peter Block, The School for Managing; Stewart Emory, Actualizations
  • University of Michigan, BA in Psychology; Graduate Program in Planned Change and Organizational Development, with Ron Lippitt and Jim McConnell

John is a 3rd Degree (San-dan) and teacher in Aikido, a martial art with great relevance for leadership and personal accountability. He brings his experience in Aikido to his management consulting by working the continuum from Leadership of the Spirit to Practical Leadership Technique. John and his family live in the Bay Area.