Professional & Organizational Development

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Paul Horton – The Athena Group

The Athena Group

Consultant John Park


I am keenly aware of the pressures decision-makers and leaders are under to deliver in the face of rapid change, uncertainty, budget and time constraints, and increasing demands from stakeholders. I see my work as helping leaders navigate complexity and change, lead with clarity, and achieve internal alignment and coherence.

All of my work is grounded in both a theoretical and a practical understanding of systems thinking, organizational theory, and group (or “process oriented”) dynamics.  I specialize in using dialogue-based, participatory approaches to engage diverse perspectives, build social capital, and improve organizational outcomes.  I am skilled at facilitating meetings where there is a high degree of difference or divisiveness, and that generate personal insights and uncover innovative possibilities for moving forward.  I am also an accomplished trainer and teacher.  I have taught courses in healthy conflict engagement, adaptive and participatory leadership, and strategic thinking for clients and as an adjunct faculty in the Masters in Public Administration Program at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA.


  • Design and facilitate meetings, summits & community conversations
  • Transform conflict by using it as a generative tool
  • Support team alignment & performance
  • Participatory & adaptive leadership consulting & training
  • Strategic visioning, planning & goal setting
  • Foster collaboration, alignment & positive communication


  • Expertise in helping executives, managers, and affinity groups understand and navigate complex challenges
    and develop a more adaptive approach to their work.
  • Help diverse groups of individuals (or stakeholder networks) get “unstuck”, improve communication and
    collaboration, and achieve collective impact.
  • Highly trained in the Art of Participatory Leadership (otherwise known as the Art of Hosting Conversations
    that Matter). Have conducted multiple ½-day, 1-day, and 3-day trainings for hundreds of individuals.
  • Design and facilitate retreats, summits, and community conversations on a range of topics, including
    homelessness, race, racial relations and law enforcement, community resilience, and youth educational outcomes.
  • Teach the Art of Participatory Leadership and adaptive capacity for the Masters in Public Administration
    Program at The Evergreen State College.
  • Support individuals and groups at the level of strategic direction and thinking. Have developed strategic plans
    for universities, state agencies, tribes, transit agencies, airports, and for-profit businesses.


  • Masters in Leadership in Complexity and Strategic Sustainable Development, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona Sweden
  • Bachelor of Arts, The Evergreen State College
  • Certificate in Sustainable Business, Pinchot University, Seattle, WA
  • Level 4 Deep Democracy (working with conflict as a generative tool) process facilitator


  • Higher Education – The Evergreen State College, South Puget Sound Community College, Tuskegee University
  • State Agencies – WA State Departments of Transportation, Social and Health Services, and Commerce, WA State Healthcare Authority, WA State Investment Board
  • Cities & Counties – City of Olympia, City of Lacey, Thurston County, Pierce County, Snohomish County
  • Multi-Stakeholder Networks – Pierce County Coordinated Transportation Coalition, Tigard-Tualatin School District, Cowlitz on the Move, Thurston Thrives, Good Food Coalition
  • Non-Profits – Association of Washington Cities, Climate Solutions, WA Community and Technical Colleges Leadership Development Association, Master Builders of King & Snohomish Counties
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