About Laurie

Laurie Ford, PhD has combined her education in Cognitive Psychology and Operations Research Engineering to design effective methods of change implementation and management for business, government, and association organizations in the US and Europe.  She and her husband, Professor Jeffrey Ford of The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business have co-authored articles in the Academy of Management Review, Journal of Organizational Change Management, and the Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, as well as Harvard Business Review, and Organizational Dynamics.  They also co-authored the award-winning book The Four Conversations: Daily Communication that Gets Results.

Dr. Ford blends the fundamental communication principles of her Social Sciences background with the systems management principles of Engineering to provide a new and effective approach for organization change and management that: (a) clarify the mission-critical functions and interactions of the organization, (b) identify the communication and performance improvements needed within and between groups, and (c) engage managers and staff in developing and implementing beneficial changes to achieve the desired outcomes. This approach consistently shows 50-200% improvements in financial and operational measures for: (1) Efficiency; (2) Revenue, costs, and profits; (3) Effectiveness; and (4) Customer and personnel satisfaction.


Ph.D., Operations Research, 1975, State University of New York at Buffalo.  Network, circuit, and system design and analysis; integrated systems and process networks.

M.S.I.E., Industrial Engineering, 1973, State University of New York at Buffalo.  Human factors engineering and the design of human-machine systems.

B.A., Psychology, 1970, State University of New York at Buffalo.  Human learning, understanding, and communication; social sciences and philosophy.


2013 to present. After a career of consulting with defense, energy, utilities, and business organizations, Dr. Ford is now focusing on producing written materials (books, articles, and learning materials) to support executives and other managers in effective management and change implementation.

1989 to 2013. Organization change and management design Consultant and Facilitator with Associations, Businesses, Industry, and Service Organizations, and Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies. Workshop and seminar leader for In-house and Conference programs on change leadership, management, and accountability implementation. Author of change management books and professional and trade journal articles for practicing managers.  Including:

  • 2002-2009: Columbus Dept. of Utilities – Develop communication requirements and agreements between groups; standard operating procedures, work flows, measures hierarchies, and internal communications to support work and asset management. Including Executive Team, Operations Managers (running 100-200-person sub-organizations) and Unit Managers, Supervisors, and Technical Specialists.
  • 1993-1995: Intel Corp. – With internal consultants, fabrication plants, and administrative offices, develop methods that support coordination within and between teams, departments, and divisions.
  • 1992-1994: Ohio State Research Foundation  – Work with senior executives, managers, and staff to integrate objectives and streamline communications and accountabilities.

And including clients in (partial listing):

  • Business/Industry – Escada., Munich Germany (Senior Executive Retreats); Intel Corporation, Portland OR; Phoenix AZ; Albuquerque NM; Santa Clara CA (Consulting projects and programs) ; Martin Marietta Corporation, Oak Ridge Tennessee (Consulting projects) ; Mead Fine Paper, Chillicothe Ohio (Consulting projects and programs) /
  • Associations – American College of Emergency Physicians, Central Ohio (Retreats); Ohio Hospital Association, Columbus, Ohio (Consulting projects and retreats); Ohio State Medical Association, Columbus Ohio (Consulting projects).
  • Government Agencies – US Naval Air Center, China Lake and Pt. Mugu; Indian Health Service, Tempe AZ (Programs); NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt Maryland (Consulting projects); US Department of Energy, Germantown Maryland (Consulting projects); US Department of Energy, Oak Ridge Tennessee (Consulting projects); Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation (Consulting project); Ohio Department of Development, Columbus Ohio (Consulting projects); Ohio Department of Human Services, Columbus Ohio (Consulting projects); Columbus Department of Public Utilities (Consulting projects and retreats); Columbus Mayor’s Office (Programs).

1985 – 1988. Consulting w/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center managers on management planning, design, and coordination.

1981 to 1984. Consulting w/Jaehne Associates on security feasibility studies with the US Department of Energy’s Military Applications Division at Germantown DOE offices and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.


The Four Conversations: Daily Communication that Gets Results  Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.; August 15, 2009; Authors: Jeffrey Ford PhD and Laurie Ford PhD. This is a practical introduction to the four types of conversations people use every day to get their work done: Initiative, Understanding, Performance, and Closure. When these conversations are used appropriately, people and teams are able to be productive, engaged, accountable, and successful in reaching organizational goals, including change objectives.  Won “Best Management Book of the Year” award from 800-CEO-Read.

Decoding Resistance to Change   Harvard Business Review; March 23, 2009; Authors: Jeffrey Ford PhD and Laurie Ford PhD. It’s true that resistance can be irrational and self-serving. Still, it is an important form of feedback.

Engaging Citizens in the Nuclear Conversation  Radioactive Waste Management Symposia; February 27, 2011; Author: Laurie Ford PhD. Engaging people in productive interaction requires constructing a dialogue to help the public engage effectively in a new nuclear future.

Project Management: Using Performance Networks   Radioactive Waste Management Symposia; February 27, 2011; Author Laurie Ford PhD. Traditional activity-based project management tools  need to put work product delivery ahead of  “doing things”.

Deadline Busting: How to Be a Star Performer, Jeffrey & Laurie Ford, iUniverse publishing, 2005.  Handbook for manager performance, integrity, and accountability.


Resistance to Change: The Rest of the Story, Ford, J.D., Ford, L.W., and D’Amelio, A., Academy of Management Review, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2008.

  • Publisher’s communication July 2012 regarding this article: Your article “Resistance to change: the rest of the story” (Academy of Management Review, 2008) has won one of the prestigious Emerald Management Reviews Citations of Excellence Awards for 2012 (full press details here). It has been chosen as one of the top 50 articles with proven impact since its publication date from the top 300 management journals in the world.

Conversational Profiles: A Tool for Altering the Conversational Patterns of Change Managers, Ford, J.D. and Ford, L.W., The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 2008.

Resistance and the Background Conversations of Change, Ford, J.D., Ford, L.W., and McNamara, R., Journal of Organizational Change Management, 2002.

Conversations and the Authoring of Change, Ford, J.D. and Ford, L.W., in The Manager as a Practical Author, David Holman and Richard Thorpe (Eds), Sage Publishing, 2002.

The Role of Conversations in Producing Intentional Change in Organizations, Ford, J.D. and Ford, L.W., Academy of Management Review, Vol. 20 (1995), 541-570.  Awarded Best Published Paper by the Organizational Communication Division of the Academy of Management, 1995.

Logics of Identity, Contradiction, and Attraction and Change, Ford, J.D. and Ford, L.W., Academy of Management Review, Vol. 19 (1994), 756-785.


One thought on “About Laurie

  1. Hello Laurie,

    I recently read The Four Conversations after hearing it mentioned in a presentation at the American Society for Quality World Conference in Milwaukee this May. The book has great information; I immediately began using the information in my thinking and in my conversations.

    I am the Chair of the Boston Section of ASQ and wanted to see if you or Jeffrey had any interest in keynoting at the Annual Boston Section Conference in 2017?

    The theme for 2017 is Quality Management – creating solutions to today’s challenges. Our conference is going to be on April 3 & 4 in Salem, MA at the Hawthorne Hotel.

    If you have any interest in be presented to our leadership team as one of the four keynote speakers for our conference please reply to this email so that I can provide more information.


    Steve Adkins
    ASQ Boston Section Chair 2016-2017

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