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Takeaway: Dan joined ON THE MARK after almost 20 years holding various managerial level positions at Clorox. Prior to OTM, he founded a small consulting firm providing solutions in transformation. Dan also holds an MBA from Kent State University and a Master’s Degree in Organization Development and Change Leadership from Pepperdine University.
Meet Dan Schmitz, Organization Design Consultant
Give us a bit of your background before joining OTM.
I started my career in data. Information Resources, Inc. is a company that collects scanner data from consumer goods sales channels such as grocery, mass merchandisers (e.g., Walmart), and club stores. I would consult with business clients to understand their definition of a category and then build a custom database to match their definition. Afterward, I helped clients apply the data to see the market, manage the business, and identify business opportunities.
Afterward, I joined The Clorox Company to apply these data skills directly for the benefit of the sales organization. Clorox is a very quantitatively analytic organization. With my background, I rotated through several roles including category management, account management, sales planning, and capability development. The common thread was the application of data and analytic thinking in service to business needs.
Along the way I met Eric. His role was strategic Organization Development. It was then that I realized he was always engaged in really interesting work at the level of the organization. After getting to know each other over the next several months, he asked me an uncomfortable coaching question – “When are you going to do something about your interest?”
This lead me to apply and gain entrance to Pepperdine University’s Master of Science in Organization Development program. The program has focus on group dynamics, work design, organization design, culture, and strategy. It also has deep roots in individual development. It was a transformational experience. Because of this, I understand the hard work and anxiety involved in real change. If a person does not want to change then they won’t change.
“Change is a self-inflicted wound.” – Peter Block
After graduation, I created a small consulting office that engaged in personal coaching, team development, and community conversations. I used and taught others a body of work called Liberating Structures, and developed an integrated framework for organizational agility.
What will be your main tasks in your role?
My role involves helping organizations assess the fit between their current strategy and current operating model, while also organizing and facilitating the change journey to a new model when required.
What’s a fun fact about you?
I’ve been heli-skiing in Alaska. It’s quite an experience unloading at full power on top of a peak that feels, at the time, like the size of postage stamp. The bird then pulls its pontoons from their anchor points in the snowpack, lifts up, and roars down the back side of the peak into the deep silence. Now, it’s only us up there with only one way to go. The machine is gone and it isn’t coming back. What a trip!
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” – Rumi. This quote reminds me of all the judgment and assumption that I reflexively bring into a situation. Through awareness, I can more consistently show up in a non-judgmental posture. This is critical for effective solution seeking.
I’m excited about the work I do with ON THE MARK. There are many things to say about organization design. First and foremost, because organization is the basic unit of competition and the primary vehicle for delivering strategy, the importance of its design cannot be overstated. Second, and rather less technical, organizations consist of people. The design process must deliver meaningful engagement if we’re seeking high levels of employee ownership and change. In this regard, I believe my work at ON THE MARK can address not only the competitive requirements of the organization, but also help support meaningful work for people.
OTM’s experience and passion for collaborative business transformation that’s supported by pragmatism, systems thinking, and a belief in people is unparalleled.
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