1st Friday Favorite Guru: Dale Brethower

Dale Brethower

Dale is a PhD Professor Emeritus at Western Michigan. He is the founder of Organizational Behavior Management Network – see more about that organization here. Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) is a sub-discipline of ABA, which is the application of the science of behavior.

I first met Dr. Dale as his students called him, at NSPI (now ISPI). I have old metal file cabinets in the basement with tons of stuff picked up at conferences (going back to my first in 1980) and in those archives (some PDF’ed) are many items from Dale. I was also very fortunate to have served on his Board as a Director when he was the ISPI President in 1999-2000.

Adapted from an ISPI Potomac Chapter Session Promo Piece

Dale Brethower, PhD began applying general systems and behavioral psychology principles in the early 1960s when he was Chief of the Reading Improvement Service and worked with Geary Rummler at the Center for Programmed Learning for Business (University of Michigan). He has authored or coauthored 8 books and 50 published papers.

Dale is a member of the Advisory Board of the Performance Systems Analysis area of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, a consulting editor for the Performance Improvement Quarterly, and guest editor for the Journal of Organizational
Behavior Management. Dale is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Western Michigan University and a Visiting Research Professor at the Technological Institute of Sonora, Mexico.

Legacy: something handed down from the past. The hand-me-downs from this presentation include some the fruits of Dale Brethower’s career. The career has been a quest for simple answers to worthwhile questions. Here are 4 of the questions:

1. What do Master Performers do that differentiates their performance from typical performance?
2. What do successful learners do that differentiates their performance from typical performance?
3. What do successful organizations do that differentiates their performance from typical
4. What is required to engineer successful rather than unsuccessful performance?

One of the Things I Learned From Dale

I think perhaps his most famous contribution, something he developed with his college buddy, the late Geary A. Rummler, is the General Systems Model. Once I asked Geary why Dale and he had separately published this model with their own copyrights on it. Who created it, I asked. Geary told me that he believed that Dale was holding the marker pen when they were creating this on flip chart paper.

Here is a version of that, created by my graphic artist on staff for the CADDI Winter 2000 Newsletter, available – here.

Some Great Resources for You

Dale has several books available via Amazon – see the list – here.

Share Your Stories

If Dale has been a valuable influence and/or resource for you – please share your stories about that in the comments section below. And thank you for sharing!

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13 comments on “1st Friday Favorite Guru: Dale Brethower

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