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Workshop Faculty

Philip McArthur

Philip McArthur is a partner and cofounder of Action Design.  For over twenty years, Phil has helped senior executives get results by building effective teams, collaborating productively across organizational boundaries, transforming difficult relationships, and implementing change. In addition to executive coaching, facilitating executive retreats, and consulting on organizational change, he conducts professional development workshops on creating productive conversations and building effective relationships in organizations. He has taught executive education programs for Boston College, Columbia University, and Stanford University. His clients include non-profit organizations as well as companies in a broad range of industries including pharmaceuticals, financial services, information technology, manufacturing and consulting.

Phil is a contributor to the Fifth Discipline Fieldbook and The Dance of Change, by Peter Senge et al. He also helped design Activating the Fifth Discipline, Volume 1, a multimedia CD-ROM on improving organizational decision making through dialogue and systems thinking. He is a founding member of the Society for Organizational Learning.

Phil earned his masters and doctorate in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard University, and was trained as a family therapist at the Family Institute of Cambridge. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife and two sons. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Robert Putnam

Robert W. Putnam is a partner and cofounder of Action Design. He works with senior executives to develop effective leadership groups, facilitates conversations across organizational boundaries, and consults on organizational change. He also conducts executive education and professional development workshops for leaders and agents of organizational learning and change. He has worked with leading companies in a broad range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, financial services, information technology, medical devices, and consulting.

Bob is a co-developer of action science, an approach to inquiry that emphasizes knowledge for action.  He is co-author of the book Action Science with Chris Argyris and Diana McLain Smith.  He has written several articles on reflective conversation, action science, and organizational learning.

Bob earned his doctorate in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard University.  He holds a degree in Political Science from Syracuse University and was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in Political Science.  Before beginning his doctoral studies he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica and worked at a human services organization in Boston. Bob lives in Newton, MA with his wife, Elisabeth. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Annie Marks

Annie Marks has been consulting to organizations and leaders since 1994 in the areas of organizational development, change management and executive development.  She has worked in a wide range of industries, including professional services, media & journalism, health care, financial services, luxury fashion, construction, non-profit, education, high tech and pharma.  She has supported organizations during high-speed growth, organizational restructuring, strategic change and technology implementations.  Annie has worked with large multi-national organizations as well as with small-to-midsized & family-owned businesses.

Annie has designed and implemented comprehensive programs to support change at the individual, team and organizational levels.   She applies her knowledge and experience of organizational systems, large-scale change, group dynamics and facilitation to help organizations make real change.  Annie is adept at working with individuals and teams to uncover important and conflicting assumptions that can block learning and change, fundamental processes in healthy organizations.  She is particularly interested in helping groups and executives function when faced with important, multi-layered decisions, complex authority structures, competing interests and interpersonal and group dynamics.

Since 2002, Annie has been the President of A. Marks Advisory, her consulting practice based in New York City, her hometown.  Previously, she worked for Arthur Andersen’s Business Consulting ‘Strategy, Organization and People’ practice for eight years in New York and London.

Annie has received her MBA in Management/Marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business and her Masters in Organizational Psychology at Columbia University’s Teachers College.  She is a Principal with the Boswell Group, Associate Faculty with Action Design and affiliated with Mobius Executive Leadership and Crenshaw Associates.