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About The Highland Group

Head of Organizational Development

Head of Organizational Development

Head of Organizational Development



BA, Business Communications with Honors, Michigan State University

Graduate-level research and education in organizational, interpersonal, cross-cultural and mass-media communications

Head of Organizational Development

Don is an organizational change and development leader with 33 years of hands-on experience in partnering with clients to implement change management and organizational development strategies to achieve bottom-line productivity, quality and profitability results. His industry experience includes consumer products, manufacturing, aerospace, banking, insurance, chemicals, automotive, oil and gas, mining and construction.

Don is known for fostering high levels of organization-wide ownership of performance improvements, from front-line employees to the boardroom. He has extensive experience leading successful implementation teams on large, domestic and international, cross-functional projects encompassing strategy, operations, human resources and technology. He is a recognized and respected educator, developer and mentor of clients and team members.

Don is a proven, hands-on trainer and an expert in change management, organizational behavior, organizational alignment, executive coaching, capability development, communications, organizational design, organizational psychology and supervisory workshop development. Additionally, Don is an established consultant with experience delivering quality, supply chain, back-office, merger and acquisition, manufacturing and maintenance solutions to clients around the world.

Selected accomplishments include:

  • For a major multinational organization: Don served as the change management workstream lead for capital expenditure management. He designed, documented and delivered the capital projects System for Managing training for the client's project managers and key contractor leadership. The training population and scope included 95 of the client’s project personnel across 14 projects, including the executive team, and grew to over 400 individuals with the inclusion of key contractors. Later, Don was requested by the client to perform field implementation and coaching with a large and struggling project. This effort resulted in over $3.3 million in savings over a 5-week period. Don’s System for Managing training package was then adopted by several contractors as a best practice.
  • For a major consumer products manufacturer: Don served as the change management lead responsible for the delivery of leadership training workshops, design and delivery of Train the Trainer sessions, as well as creation and rollout of a comprehensive quality awareness training for the company’s management team. During this process, Don developed a toolkit for training assessment, which provided the client a clear understanding of its gaps and areas of opportunity within the process and organization, as well as the skills and managerial behaviors of its employees and management team.
  • For the world’s largest beverage manufacturer: Don served as the primary quality system implementation specialist, partnering with client leadership to design and implement a Total Quality system in six plants across its North American supply chain operations. Through the partnership, the client achieved full implementation and independent certification in less than one year.
  • For two international banks: Don led the design and implementation of a complete organization merger in direct partnership with the CEO, his staff and multiple unions. Together, they achieved design through initial implementation in just 14 weeks. He then led the bank’s operations improvement process over the following 12 months, delivering over $14 million in cost savings and revenue-generation benefits.
  • For a major pharmaceutical manufacturer: Don served as change management content and process re-engineering leader, creating process-specific metrics and management action cycles. He simultaneously led multiple client teams in process redesign, implementation planning and execution. Project results exceeded expectations in both bottom-line savings and timeliness.
  • For a major aerospace corporation: Don developed and implemented an executive variance impact control system in partnership with the SVP of manufacturing operations. The system provided near real-time status of manufacturing operations for 12 work-in-process aircraft, tracking quality, cost and schedule indicators. Ongoing use of the system resulted in a 47% reduction of work-in-process inventory as well as improvements in quality and on-time delivery.