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GO Society History



  • Memorial service for Elliott Jaques in Toronto - and commitment to act
  • Incorporation as a not-for-profit corporation in Ontario
  • Soliciting permission to re-publish out-of-print books, dissertations, and theses
  • Web survey of world-wide interest in RO among business users, consultants and academics in begun
  • Two two-day requisite organization training sessions in Toronto


  • Developed the GO brand and designed our logo.
  • Built first web site
  • Project to write RO histories in several countries - Argentina, Canada, Sweden, and USA.
  • Secured the BMO Financial Group Institute for Learning, set the first conference date and Toronto practitioners invested $40,000 in advance registrations to ensure the conference
  • Plans laid for both the a book on world-wide RO practice and video project


  • Launched the video project to capture the images and voices of pioneers and major practitioners in the field.  Field trips to London, UK and to Kentucky, USA.
  • Second two-day professional development workshop
  • World conference of 150 at BMO Financial Group's Institute for Learning in Toronto 


  • Year-long effort writing and editing the society's first book.


  • Video interviewing field trip to east coast USA - including Pentagon, George Washington University.
  • Published Organization Design, Levels of Work and Human Capability:  Executive Guide
  • Second World conference of 150 at BMO Financial Group's Institute for Learning in Toronto 


  • Designed and implemented 2nd generation web site
  • Launched society's new journal, Organization Design - with consultation and work on first issue
  • Video interview project of requisite practitioners in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile


  • Professional development workshops in Toronto and Buenos Aires
  • Third world conference planned for Buenos Aires, Argentina - October 26-29, 2009


  • Invitational Summit in Toronto attended by 30 of our most senior practitioners.


  • Attending the Organization Design Forum and Theory of Constraints International Certification Organization conferences
  • Presenting at the Socio-technical Systems Round Table conference.   


  • Launched an on-line professional development program using Novus International's RO e-learning modules.
  • 2.5 day professional development program in Calgary - using a radical new design.  All participants had taken the on-line modules and the workshop focused entirely on using the concepts to develop a case.  November 12-14th
  • An invitational 2.5 day Sharing Our Practice workshop for our senior practitioners. November 12-14th
  • World Conference - November 15th


  • Completely updated the web site with current components
  • Participated in the World Summit on Big Data and Organization at the Sorbonne in Paris, May 16-17th
  • Participated in the Novus International and ROII sponsored conference in Atlanta, June 16-18th
  • Participated in the Organization Design Community conference in Orlando, August 8th
  • Participated in the Academy of Management meetings in Orlando, August 9 - 13


  • 5th World conference in New York City, July 31st to August 5, at the IBM Palisades Conference Center


  • 6th World conference in Toronto, July 20-25, 2017 at the BMO Financial Group Institute for Learning


The Story

A small group of Toronto requisite organization practitioners organized a memorial service for Elliott Jaques in 2003 attended by 60 or so local practitioners with Kathryn Cason, Jaques's widow, as guest of honour.  Following a remark by someone to the effect that "this work is to good to let it die, let's do something," a small group including Ron Capelle, Paul Tremlett, Herb Koplowitz, Don Fowke, John Bryan, Ken Shepard, Charlotte Bygrave and Ann Stevens met at CoreInternational's downtown office to plan our venture.

At first it explored forming an Ontario trade association of consultants, but soon after telephone calls to major requisite organization practitioners around the world expressing interest and support, the effort evolved into incorporating a world professional association including general managers, consultants, and academics.

The legal entity is a not-for-profit corporation incorporated in the province of Ontario under the legal name of the Global Society for Science-Based Management. it is licensed to operate under the style name of Global Organization Design Society.  It has an international board of eight members who are also the only voting members of the organization.

Don and Bonnie Fowke championed the development of the GO brand and society logo.  A next effort was to build a web site with the intent of making foundational research and writing in the field available without charge to practitioners around the world.  We sought and were given permission to post out-of-print books, dissertations, and theses by many pioneers in the work.  Marjorie and Richard Brown donated all of Lord Wilfred Brown's books to the society, as did many of Jaques's early colleagues at Brunel University.

Early on, several Toronto consulting firms specializing in RO implementation volunteered four staff members without fee to design and give two two-day RO training workshops in Toronto to spread awareness and to build interest in the field.

The society also launched a video project with the able support of volunteer Paul McDowell.  The intention was to produce interviews of senior RO practitioners especially CEOs who have implemented RO systems. These videos proved useful at events and to support web-based professional development and will eventually be used to produce a documentary film on the history of the field.

The society's next major project was to organize a three-and-one-half-day world conference for August 2005 at the BMO Financial Group's Institute for Learning in Toronto.  The local Toronto advisory group put up the first $50,000 seed money by registering more that 18 months in advance.  Unusual features of the conference included:

  • The conference was limited to 150 experienced RO practitioners most of whom were invited, the remaining number requested an invitation -- most capable at Stratum IV and above.
  • The 40 most senior practitioners were invited to Legacy Day the Sunday prior to the conference to get to know each other and to examine the history and present situation of the field.  
  • The following Monday, we held four concurrent full-day training sessions that were also well attended.
  • Presenters and participants signed permission forms allowing their presentations, audio and image to be used by the Society for educational purposes -- and much of that material is now available without charge on this web site.
  • Most participants attended the entire four days.

At the conference's action planning session, participants pledged:

  • $50,000 to guarranty the next conference, and
  • to write chapters for a planned book and to fund its production

The next two years, 2005-07 were busy learning how to process, edit, and host the significant video materials we had shot, and designing and producing the book.  Forty authors from around the world collaborated in writing 32 articles for the edited book that was to be called, Organization Design, Levels of Work and Human Capability:  Executive Guide.  It's release kicked off the 2nd world conference also in Toronto at the same venue.

This time GO members volunteered their time to staff a two-day professional workshop the preceeding week and many of those participants from other countries stayed throughout the conference.  Again there were video cameras in every session and much of that material is now on the web site.

History post 2009 to be written

Professional associations & universities that support and / or co-market society conferences

 New York City, USA

IBM International


The Argentine Human Resources Association

The European Organization Design Forum


Canadian Association of Management Consultants

Human Resource Professionals of Ontario

Human Resource Planning Society

An institute for advanced human resources professional development

An association of academics, business users and consultants headquartered at Aarhus University in Denmark

A USA based association

A Toronto-based association of advanced HR practitioners 


An Argentine Society for Quality Improvement


The Argentine Society for Training and Development

The Argentine Human Resources Association

Federation of Human Resource Associations in Latin America 

The Buenos Aires Technological Institute

An professional association for public service employees in Canada

Consulting firms that provide financial support


A management consulting firm in Toronto, Canada



Forrest and Company, Toronto, Canada


A global network of associate consultants headquartered in Toronto Canada



Toronto, Canada

















Toronto, Canada

Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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