About Clifton L. Smith, Inc.

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Key Personnel

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Key Personnel


Clifton Leon Smith, Ph.D., (Cliff) President, and founder of the firm has a distinguished professional background in the fields of business, higher education, and social work. He received his undergraduate and graduate education in Chicago, where he earned the Bachelor of Arts in History from Roosevelt University, the Master of Social Work from Loyola University, and the Ph.D. in Education from the University of Chicago.

His appointment to Fellow at The University of Chicago, Trainer of Teacher Trainers (TTT) program, spawned his interests in the psychology of expectation in the classroom and planned system change. These interests were crystallized out of the research he conducted while earning the Ph.D. He received his training as an agent of change at the prestigious National Training Laboratories, Institute for the Applied Behavioral Sciences, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Smith was an Assistant Professor of Education at Indiana University's School of Education, where he held a joint appointment in Teacher Education and Counseling and Guidance Departments. He held the position of Co-Director, Midwest Center/Satellite Program where he managed faculty and developed that consortium comprised of six Big Ten Universities, six school districts, four State Departments of Public Instruction and communities that provided leadership in the development of Pupil Personnel Services. He designed and taught courses for pre and in-service teachers and school administrators.

Later, Dr. Smith was a Management and Organization Development Consultant at AT&T Bell Laboratories Corporation. During his tenure with AT&T, Dr. Smith designed and taught courses in people management. He received wide recognition for his contributions to the field of organization development, and to its practice within the AT&T Research and Development community. These experiences include a special curriculum development project, where he managed high-level executive committee interfaces. Still later, he led an Organizational Effectiveness Group that was responsible for delivering a core management development curriculum and an organization development consulting service to the leadership of AT&T's Research and Development community.

As consultant to the co-facilitators of AT&T Bell Laboratories Strategic Redefinition Task Force, Dr. Smith was responsible for preparing an interim report of findings and recommendations for improving the Task Force's Strategic Redefinition processes. The project entailed the conduct of a set of interviews with high-level corporate executives, and interfacing with the two Vice Presidents who co-facilitated the Bell Labs Redefinition process.

Dr. Smith was retained to deliver a business improvement process that would effectively combine teambuilding and strategic planning as a means of managing the resistance and the cultural changes that were anticipated as a result of people operating under a common mission in AT&T's Group Technology Officer (GTO) Organization.

His work with Bowthorpe plc, focused on building a global team among key executives, facilitating agreement on a high level corporate strategy for integration among acquired companies, and clarifying the executive team roles and responsibilities.

Dr. Smith's intervention at Spirent plc., the rapidly growing telecommunications enterprise, centered on cultural differences between the parent and its acquired companies. There, he facilitated the Dialog Approach for managing conflict that engages the parties in the examination of conflict elements at the organizational interface including the interpersonal work relationship itself.

One of Dr. Smith's greatest strengths as an organization development professional is his capacity to apply strategic planning technology to a wide variety of organizational settings and fields of business endeavor.

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