As an organization architect, I help leaders learn how to design and create organizations that produce sustainable value for multiple stakeholders: investors, customers, employees, suppliers and partners, society, and the natural environment. During the last 35+ years, I have enjoyed a wide variety of experiences working in and with commercial, non-profit, education, and government organizations in Europe, Asia, Pacific Rim, Middle East, and the Americas. Experiences have ranged from my first adult job with the U.S. Air Force to Vice President for a $1.3 billion in vitro diagnostics manufacturer with operations in 40 countries to an international consultant on leadership and design for sustainable excellence.
My work is cross-disciplinary and integrates systems thinking, design thinking, and performance/business excellence. My current focus is on the formula Leadership + Design = Sustainable Excellence™. I combine experience and research to create flexible frameworks that help leaders reimagine, redesign, and transform their organizations. Some of the frameworks such as the Design Framework for Organization Architects™ emerged from practice and were later tested and refined. Others emerged from research and were further developed in practice such as the CEO research that led to the Leadership Framework for Organization Architects™. These two award-winning, peer-reviewed frameworks form the Leadership & Design Blueprint that is the foundation of the Organization Design Studio™. I created the studio to provide organization architects (leaders, entrepreneurs, and those who help them) with the tools, techniques, and collaboration they need to learn how to [re]create the organization they really want!
As an organization architect, I have designed a wide variety of organization systems and processes including leadership, strategic management, integrated product development, production systems, work placement strategies, supplier selection and certification, workforce development, performance measurement, and analysis systems. As a designer of organizations and systems, my work has focused on helping leaders design, build, and transform organizations to develop three essential organizational competencies – strategic leadership, execution excellence, and organizational learning and innovation. For me, organization design is a theory-led discipline where empirical evidence and research inform the design process.
As a social scientist, I view research as recreation. I love to learn and research along with experience and reflection is how I learn about the world and how it works. Social Science is the study of people and relationships and includes many fields including my focus, organization design, and leading transformation. A social scientist perspective and research skills come in handy when I am creating frameworks, models, and methods to help leaders and researchers. My research is focused on organization design and transformation to achieve and sustain high performance. Guided by my research agenda, my current research projects include exploring the intersections between the frameworks for leading transformation and management design.
As a teacher, I work with graduate students (working adult executives and entrepreneurs) who are interested in gaining additional advanced knowledge, skills, and abilities that they can immediately apply in the real world. I have served in several roles in business education from visiting professor at the University of Trieste, Italy to Director of the Monfort Institute, a research, executive education, and applications lab at the University of Northern Colorado to my current role as Professor of Management, Sandermoen School of Business, University of Fredericton, Canada. I also served on over 50 doctoral dissertation committees including as a visiting professor at Tulane University, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and Pepperdine University, Graduate School of Education and Psychology.
ASTD | Boeing Commercial Airplanes | Boeing Airlift and Tanker | British Airways | Colorado Springs Utilities | Defense Depot San Joaquin | Department of Energy | Kawasaki Robotics | Kisko Senior Living | Lockheed Martin | Long Beach Unified School District | MedCentral Hospital System | Motorola | NAVSEA IG | PRO-TEC Coating Company | Poudre Valley Health System | The Ritz Carlton | TATA Consultancy Services | TATA Sons Limited (India) | The Franklin Mint | Tripler Army Medical Center | U.S. Technology Resources | VA Cooperative Studies | Virtjoule
- [Re]Create the Organization You Really Want! Leadership and Organization Design for Sustainable Excellence
- Healthcare Performance Excellence: A Comparison of Baldrige Award Recipients and Competitors
- How Much Does Your Organization Weigh?
- Leadership for Quality and Innovation: Challenges, Theories, and a Framework for Future Research
- A Framework for Leading the Transformation to Performance Excellence Part 1: CEO Perspectives on Forces, Facilitators, and Strategic Leadership Systems
- A Framework for Leading the Transformation to Performance Excellence Part 2: CEO Perspectives on Leadership Behaviors, Individual Leader Characteristics, and Organization Culture
- CEO Attitudes and Motivations: Are They Different for High Performing Organizations?
- Management System Design for Sustainable Excellence: Framework, Practices, and Considerations
- Complex System Design: Creating Sustainable Change in the Mortgage-Finance System
- Building Bridges Between Researchers and Practitioners: A Collaborative Approach to Research in Performance Excellence
- Organization Diagnosis, Design, and Transformation: Baldrige User’s Guide, 5th ed
- 2014 Gryna Award | American Society for Quality (ASQ) | Quality Management Paper of the Year | For authoring the paper, A Framework for Leading the Transformation to Performance Excellence Part 2: CEO Perspectives on Leadership Behaviors, Individual Leader Characteristics, and Organization Culture | Quality Management Journal | 2013
- 2013 Gryna Award | ASQ | Quality Management Paper of the Year | For authoring the paper, Management System Design for Sustainable Excellence: Framework, Practices, and Considerations | Quality Management Journal | 2012
Organization Excellence Award Programs (selected)
- Judge | Colorado Performance Excellence Award (Now Rocky Mountain Performance Excellence) | 2005 – 2008
- Judge | Robert W. Carey Organizational Excellence Award (VA Healthcare) | 2005 & 2006
- Honoured Assessor | JRD (TATA) QV Award | Mumbai and Kolkata, India | 2004 & 2005
- Chair Judges Panel and Lead Judge | Army Communities of Excellence Award | 2003 & 2004
- Examiner, Senior Examiner, Alumni Examiner (9 years) and Facilitator of Examiner Training | Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award | 1996 – 2005
- Founding Member of the Executive Committee and Chair, Board of Examiners | Hawaii State Award of Excellence | 1994-1997
I earned my PhD in Applied Management and Decision Science from Walden University in 1997 and an MBA from Chapman University in 1992. I am also a Certified Quality Engineer by the American Society for Quality. I live at 7,300′ in Monument, Colorado with my wife, Penny. We have three grown children and one grandson. We love to travel. In addition to Colorado, we love spending time in Italy, Paris, and Hawaii.
John Latham | PhD MBA CQE | Organization Architect
Monument, Colorado or a Coffee Shop Somewhere Around The World.