In this installment of Member Spotlight, we feature Tom Diamante–teacher, consultant, researcher, and public servant extraordinaire. Read Tom’s interview below!

 

Q: Introduce yourself to the group.
I am in I/O psychologist with 25 years of cross-industry, cross-cultural, c-level experience.  I am formerly of Merrill Lynch, KPMG Consulting (BearingPoint) and Altria. Along with my corporate career, I managed to teach, at times full-time, and have taught for Cornell ILR corporate extension, Columbia University, Adelphi and Stony Brook University.  Often I converted consulting engagements into research and so have published for a number of peer-reviewed journals and pedigree book publishers.
My work is rooted in accelerating business transformations (that are stuck), and/or overcoming roadblocks to business-critical, initiatives.  Of course, my focus is on the cultural, organizational and leadership (people) side of activating change.  In addition, I provide individual management consultations to leaders (i.e., executive coaching) and build leadership development and succession planning programs. Earlier in my career I managed all aspects of HR (Fortune 10 environment), engaged in employment discrimination litigation consulting and developed a consulting practice advising high net worth investors. I am now the Practice Director for a global, boutique human capital consulting practice, cca, inc.
Q: How did you become interested in HWP?
I learned of HWP via Dr. Walter Reichman and Dr. Kristen Kirkland.  The former was my professor (and a mentor) during my graduate school days (and now dear friend) and the latter, I am delighted to report, I met as a result of our mutual interest in the non-profit community.  Specifically, my work, serving as Board Chair for ENACT.org, an educational innovator serving over 10,000 NYC schoolchildren in 90 schools and Dr.Kirkland’s commitment to Every Mother Counts.org
Q: What are some research and professional projects you’re currently excited about?
I am working with a team of colleagues from Stony Brook University and Universita degli Studi Gabriele D’annunzio Chieti-Pescara.   We are identifying non-financial indicators of financial success to refine an analytic model useful for evaluating investment risk.  Our european colleague accessed critical financial data from over 300 companies and conducted organizational diagnostics that will enable us to look at the value of High Performance Work Systems and decipher the elements comprising what has been termed the “black box” of human resources strategy. These elements will be regressed against financial data.
In addition, a literature review, that became a Book Chapter, attracted attention in both academic and practitioner circles and so I have a foot in both boats – helping to design/audit leadership programs and conduct follow-up (outcomes) research.
Assessment is of course, a large part of most of our work in applied psychology.  I recently completed a few years of work assessing Peacekeepers for placement in conflict-laden territories around the world.   It was terrific learning experience and while some basics were adhered to, there were a few new things I learned along the way.  I was invited to combine “the old and the new” in text and so this book recently came in print and has been well received both by academics and practitioners:
Q: What sort of collaboration or connection with HWP members might you be interested in?
As Board Chair at ENACT, we are looking to enhance our advisory board.  ENACT Team Players will be invaluable to our fund raising, friend raising and brand awareness efforts.
Q: Can you recommend an article or book?
– Baruch Lev – Intangibles – publisher Brookings, 2001
– London, M. – How to create boards, task forces.  Wiley, 2007
– National Council of Nonprofits