• About Marty Kaplan

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    Meet Marty

    I developed my love for teams through sports and music, honed my facilitation skills at family dinners, developed an aversion to toxic systems and a passion for healthy ones from the cryptic stories told me by my grandparents about the "old country," and a yearning to make a difference in people's lives by the example set by my dad, a small town country doc who worked tirelessly throughout his celebrated career.


    After receiving my advanced training in organizational behavior at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland), I took a position at Kaiser Permanente, the nation's prominent health care maintenance organization, where I worked as an Organization Development Consultant in their Northern California Regional headquarters for over 10 years. At Kaiser, I got lots of experience working with all types and sizes of client systems.


    After Kaiser I went out on my own, then joined a small firm to learn from and partner with like-minded consultants, and decided to go it again as a sole proprietor having successfully forged several rich learning networks.


    My approach to working with people is based on a belief that we're built from the outside-in but we develop from the inside-out. Put differently, our context shapes who we've become and how we behave, but each day we freely choose how we'll deal with the hand we've been dealt and the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Thus, my emphasis on systems, teams and individuals, and my comfort shuttling between these levels.


    I have a diverse mix of clients I work with, from Kaiser Permanente (both the Kaiser Foundation Hospital and The Permanente Medical Group), to high tech start-ups (Palantir, Piazza, Pinterest), to independent medical groups (Bay Psychiatric Associates, Marin Psychiatric Group), to research laboratories (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), to construction companies and architectural firms (Smith Group Architects, Rudolph and Sletton Builders, Swinerton Builders), and to hospitals (Kaiser, Lucille Packard Children's Hospital). Some engagements last years, others months depending on needs. I like long-term engagements, but also find value in facilitating event-oriented gigs (e.g. a one-time strategic planning retreat with an executive team or a kick-off event with alliance partners).


    I've developed specialized expertise building collaborative capacity between organizations, where failure to work well together can result in enormous amounts of time and money wasted in direct costs associated with conflict among key parties. My approach to "partnering" is tailored to the needs and requirements of my clients.


    I maintain an association with Stanford's Graduate School of Business where I facilitate semester-long learning groups in their renowned 2nd year Interpersonal Dynamics course. Working with these emerging leaders keeps my edge sharpened.


    I'm an avid bicyclist and accomplished ultra-distance rider, which finds expression in my coaching and consulting work. And my interest in music and community building is met by serving on the Board of Living Jazz, an Oakland based not-for -profit whose mission is to empower children and adults, inspire creative growth and unite diverse communities.


    I have a PhD in Organization Behavior from Case Western Reserve University and hold memberships in the OD Network and the American Psychological Association.


    I live in the Oakland Hills with my wife and soul-mate, Barbara, and our puppy, Maxwell, mere inches from some of the best bike riding in the world.