Examples of Our Projects


Cave Point, Door County, WI

Wisconsin Water
Science Center

U.S. Geological Service

(Madison, WI)

“Jonathan helped the Wisconsin Water Science Center improve its overall performance by helping redesign and improve its data gathering, scientific analysis, and publication processes. These improvements resulted in a marked increase in funding as well as improved customer and employee satisfaction.

The Challenge

“At the time we hired Jonathan our program had been stagnant for the preceding ten years with little growth and with significant problems in maintaining our programs with cooperators, and serious problems in production of our scientific reports which represent the primary results of our investigations and research.”

The Solution

Jonathan guided the Science Center to:

  • Design a Quality Management Program and twelve process improvement projects.
  • Streamline and improve the quality of its data collection and analysis, report publication, training, and administrative processes.
  • Formulate a new strategic plan.
  • Reorganize traditional sections to empowered work teams.
  • Create a Quality Improvement Council of a cross-section of employees to guide improvements.
  • Form the first Inter-Agency State Water-Monitoring Team that then integrated the monitoring networks of federal, state, municipal, and university partners.

“Of all the 50 Districts [now called Science Centers] in USGS…required to implement quality management… Wisconsin District was by far the most successful and is the only District that continued the program…Jonathan’s assistance was extremely important…”


“With Jonathan’s knowledge and enthusiasm the District was able to implement and maintain a very successful Quality Management Program…District funding increased 77%, days to publish reports was reduced from 361 days to less than 60 days, … and overall morale and enthusiasm for work increased significantly. Jonathan was a great asset to the successful implementation of Quality Management in the Wisconsin District and developing a Strategic Plan.”

“All of the 50 Districts in USGS throughout the country were required to implement quality management…. The Wisconsin District was by far the most successful and is the only District that continued the program after the mandated implementation. The Wisconsin District continues to have a successful program that is still growing and is widely recognized within USGS as a desirable place to work.

“In summary, Jonathan’s assistance was extremely important for the District and I would recommend Jonathan highly as a management consultant.”

Warren Gebert, Scientist Emeritus and Former Center Chief

Co-authored plan for USAID project in Afghanistan to design a new land titling registration system, improve the quality of life of families living in Kabul’s informal settlements, and design the plan for the first Afghan Land Center.

Republic of Afghanistan

U.S. Agency for
International Development

(Kabul, Afghanistan)

Illustration of Afghan woman

The Challenge

For a US Agency for International Development project in Afghanistan, develop: 1) the plan to design and test a new national land-titling system, 2) strategies to improve the land rights and livelihoods of Afghan families living in Kabul’s informal settlements (slums), and 3) create the Afghan Land Center led and run by Afghans helping fellow Afghans resolve land issues.

The Solution

Jonathan, along with other project team members:

  • Met with Afghan ministry officials, judges, business groups, human rights groups and other NGOs, real estate agents, land surveyors, and USAID representatives.
  • Assisted in the design of the new land titling system including “one-stop” district land registration offices.
  • Helped design a program to assist Kabul’s newly settled residents to begin securing land rights and improve their community infrastructure (widening cart paths, digging sanitary ditches, and drilling wells for drinking water).
  • Helped formulate and draft the five components of the project’s work plan.
  • Researched and drafted report on the Afghan land sale and title registration process.

“On the technical side, your analysis of the court procedures for preparing, archiving and retrieving property deeds is still the best that has been done in Afghanistan. You also were instrumental in developing a project for community upgrading in informal settlement contexts, using the community action planning methodology as a base.”


“You did an excellent job for us in connecting Terra Institute as a non-profit research and technical assistance organization with a for-profit corporation [Emerging Markets Group formerly of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu] in Kabul, in finding common areas of interest and in coming to understand the dynamics of each type of organization. You have a way of bringing people together who have divergent points of view.

On the technical side, your analysis of the court procedures for preparing, archiving and retrieving property deeds is still the best that has been done in Afghanistan. You also were instrumental in developing a project for community upgrading in informal settlement contexts, using the community action planning methodology as a base.”

David Stanfield, PhD, Project Director


Forest stream and waterfall

The Nature Conservancy

(Arlington, VA)

The Nature Conservancy recruited Jonathan to serve as Associate Director and then Acting Lead of its Conservation Science Division. In these positions, he helped oversee a number of organization-wide science programs and led the effort to craft a new divisional strategic plan for conservation science.

The Challenge

To transform a group of loosely allied star conservation scientists into a star (and tightly integrated) Conservation Science Division within The Nature Conservancy.

The Solution

  • Led division of 130 scientists and technical personnel that designed U.S. and international conservation programs on eco-regional planning, conservation-area planning, climate change, fire, freshwater, invasive species, marine initiatives, and adaptive management & monitoring.
  • Led division’s strategic planning team and served as lead author of division’s five-year strategic plan.
  • Served on President’s seven-member Leadership Team overseeing 3,500 employees working in 30 countries.
  • Served as Science Liaison to the Board of Governors.
  • After serving in these capacities for two years, the Conservancy’s new president decided to eliminate both the Conservation Science and International Divisions of The Nature Conservancy. Jonathan then returned to his private management consulting practice.

“He understood how this group of scientists fit into the organization, helped them clarify and strengthen their strategic position within the Conservancy, and improved the communication across the entire organization …”


“During his tenure with The Nature Conservancy, Jonathan Reed helped turn an independent group of senior scientists into a functional team that was generally highly regarded throughout the organization. He understood how this group of scientists fit into the organization, helped them clarify and strengthen their strategic position within the Conservancy, and improved the communication across the entire organization among scientists and between scientists and program managers. In two short years, Jonathan’s impact was felt and he left a positive and lasting impression on many of us.”

Craig Groves

Executive Director, Science for Nature and People Partnership, The Nature Conservancy
Author of Conservation Planning: A Practitioner’s Guide to Planning for Biodiversity

“Dr. Reed guided Mentoring Positives in strategic planning, agency organization, and policy and procedures, to focus more on how to build our agency’s capacity and what that may look like.

Mentoring Positive, Inc.

(Madison, WI)

Cave Point, Door County, WI

The Challenge

“Assist this nonprofit design more effective strategies and strengthen its capacity to build strong and trusting relationships, positive attitudes, and life skills in youth in Madison’s underserved neighborhoods by:

  • Building MP’s capacity by updating its strategies, policies, and procedures to hire new staff and recruit volunteers; better integrating MP’s programs to serve youth; and streamlining its operations.
  • Laying the groundwork for a new strategic plan and strengthen the Board’s engagement with MP.”

The Solution

Jon assisted MP in the following ways:

  • Assisted Mr. Green to update MP’s admissions process, activities, goals, and progress assessments for its programs including its New Entrepreneurs Program involving Off The Block Salsa and its Rejeweled Program for donated jewelry.
  • Helped design MP’s Mentoring Process, a twelve-month, stepwise sequence for boys and girls involving guidance and activities to build trust, self-esteem, and positive relationships.
  • Helped the Directors and Board develop new core values, mission, and vision statements; and strategies to recruit new staff and volunteer as well as increase funding. Facilitated and provided strategic guidance for Board meetings.
  • Revised MP’s 140-page Programs, Policy, and Procedures Manual—and added new org charts, program flowcharts, and position descriptions.
  • Researched past studies and interviewing City officials revealed a recent assessment ranked Darbo the #1 Madison neighborhood in need of a community center.

“MP was impressed with the dedication and commitment of Dr. Reed. He was consistent and reliable. In addition, he really took the time to find out more about our agency, and where we hoped the agency was headed in the future. We were not only about to create various organizational charts, updated the policy and procedure manual, but also come up with a new mission and vision statement for the agency, with the MP Board of Directors.”

Will Green, Founder/CEO of Mentoring Positives, Inc.


“Jon worked with MP to assist, guide and lead our mentoring programming to benefit the Darbo Worthington neighborhood and meet more of that community’s needs. The City not too long ago was looking to purchase the Salvation Army Community Center in the Darbo neighborhood, which MP serves. Jon helped facilitate a plan to propose MP as one of the lead organizations to manage programming in the SA community center if the city did acquire the building. The City of Madison decided not to buy the SA building, but MP is happy that Jon Reed has created the path and did the legwork needed for the future if the SA building is available in the near future.

MP doubled its staff from three to six.

Improved youth and neighborhood services. Gave MP staff a more precise and succinct way to get kids “into the door” faster. The progression chart Jon created made the referral, intake, and direct service/participatory process easier and adaptive.

A more clearly defined portfolio of programs and smoother operations.

New mission and vision statements for MP. Jon lead the discussions with the Board to more clearly define them.”

Georgian supra or feast

Association For The Protection of Landowner Rights

(Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia)

Designed an agricultural outreach program for the former Soviet Union Republic of Georgia in the North Caucuses.

The Challenge

After this non-governmental organization (NGO) helped Georgian farmers and others take ownership of 1.4 million land parcels that were considered state property during Soviet rule, it expected many new landowners to become members of APLR. When this didn’t occur, it sought outside assistance to increase its membership.

The Solution

To increase membership in APLR, Jonathan:

  • Interviewed farmers and other landowners across Georgia.
  • Designed an agricultural-outreach program to help Georgian farmers improve agricultural practices, build markets, and create distribution channels for their products.
  • Developed a program implementation plan and helped APLR implement it.

“Jon Reed’s input into APLR’s membership strategy development has been tremendous … The number of applicant members in APRL has increase three times …”


Within months, APLR’s membership had tripled. APLR held meetings with Georgian farmers to educate them on the best farming practices and provided them with access to seeds, fertilizers, agricultural machinery and knowledge of Georgian and foreign agricultural markets. One farmer in a remote farming community told me: “We’ve been waiting 10 years for this program.”

“…Jon Reed’s input into APLR’s membership strategy development has been tremendous. Mr. Reed successfully identified and assessed [the] organization’s needs, which resulted into elaboration of [our] membership and outreach program…As a result of this program, the interest towards APLR significantly increased throughout Georgia. The number of applicant members in the APLR has increased three times through the implementation of the membership strategy recommended by Dr. Reed. APLR plans to make the Program part of the organization’s longer-term strategic development and we strongly believe that Mr. Reed’s overwhelming experience in agricultural development initiatives will make a valuable asset to any client…”

Jaba Ebanoidze
APLR Executive Director

APLR was supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development and received technical assistance from Terra Institute.

Guided non-profit conservation organization in strategic planning to create the largest conservation endowment in the state and significantly expanded its fundraising.

Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin

(Madison, WI)

Whooping cranes following ultralight plane in Operation Migration

The Challenge

To guide a non-profit conservation organization to develop a strategic plan to create the largest conservation endowment in the state and significantly expand its fundraising capabilities.

The Solution

With the intensive participation of the Board of Directors, the Natural Resources Foundation:

  • Developed new mission and guiding principles statements.
  • Formulated four concise and audacious five-year goals, each with measurable objectives.
  • Drafted a new strategic plan to create the largest conservation endowment in the state.
  • Enhanced its brand by sharpening its strategic focus and strengthen the emotional connection between its mission and supporters.
  • Strengthened board participation in the Foundation and particularly its fundraising activities.

“I have not seen the level of Board involvement as we have now, due to a great degree on their active participation in planning for our future.”


“The strategic planning process facilitated by Jonathan Reed helped provide the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin with crystal clarity for our future direction. As a result of the strategic planning process we undertook … , our entire staff’s work plan … is Strategic Plan-focused. Our 5-year Plan has clear goals and crisp, well-defined objectives that drive our annual work plan. This finely honed and precise strategy has clarified our strategic direction and led to better fundraising.

Furthermore, an added benefit of the planning effort was the subsequent involvement and commitment by the Board of Directors in the organization’s future. In my four years with the organization, I have not seen the level of Board involvement as we have now, due to a great degree on their active participation in planning for our future. We are grateful to Jonathan for helping the organization craft this new direction.”

Charlie Luthin
Executive Director, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin

*Photo of whooping cranes following ultralight in Operation Migration, which NRF supports. Photo by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Southern Region/CC BY.

SHARE Crates of fruits and vegetables

SHARE Wisconsin

(New Berlin, WI)

Helped guide a statewide nonprofit organization to reverse the decline in participation in its program to deliver low-priced food to low-income families.

The Challenge

SHARE Wisconsin was a statewide nonprofit organization within a broader national network of similar SHARE nonprofits in other states. At the time SHARE Wisconsin requested our assistance, all statewide organizations were experiencing declines in both participation in their food-distribution programs and revenues. The challenge was to reverse these declines in Wisconsin SHARE in a manner that could be replicated in other state programs.

The Solution

  • Interviewed and conducted focus groups with participants and sponsors, which revealed that participants wanted choices in the food they received at well-below market costs.
  • Assessed organization’s core business model.
  • Analyzed different ways to increase participation in SHARE’s food-distribution program as well as alternative sources for low-cost food.
  • Created a new business model to increase food options and flexibility of pick-up times.
  • Assisted in implementing this new business model.

“Rather than simply tinker with our system, you developed an entirely new model to bring SHARE current with the times.”


“Working with you on the business analysis for SHARE was a very positive experience and the outcome thus far of implementing your suggestions has been excellent. What I appreciated most about the project was your ability to learn our business quickly and get right to the heart of the problem… Rather than simply tinker with our system, you developed an entirely new model to bring SHARE current with the times. You remained flexible and were able to vary from the original work proposal when the research indicated a different approach was needed. And, along the way, you kept the project on time and on budget.”

Paulette Hardin
Executive Director

Co-authored book for GE Medical Systems on a “systems approach” to new product development and helped its CT Division accelerate design and development of its next-generation CT scanners.

General Electric Medical Systems

(Waukesha, WI)

CT scanner

The Challenge

To remain competitive, GE needed to accelerate the design and testing of next-generation CT (computed-tomography) scanners.

The Solution

Working together, CT Division and Jonathan:

  • Analyzed CT’s product development cycle from concept formulation and planning through prototyping and testing.
  • Introduced systems thinking concepts to shorten the product development cycle.
  • Designed and facilitated a rigorous early-design planning system.
  • Addressed critical “hand-off” issues between units and departments.
  • Co-authored book for GE Healthcare entitled Rethinking Systems Thinking: The Systems Handbook—An Introduction to the Systems Age, A Guide to Improving Work Processes and Cycle Time.

“Bring an organization to a higher level of performance and creating an environment where everyone takes a greater sense of pride in their work is what Jonathan Reed brought to our organization. His consulting service encouraged and emphasized systems thinking.”


“Results included a change in our engineers’ and scientists’ leadership paradigms… Discussions changed to dialogue and learning…describing changed to explaining and teaching. There also became a desire to be connected and function as a team with coordinated action in achieving mutual goals. We changed our focus to wanting to be responsible and [encouraging] others to do the same.

Jonathan’s coaching raised everyone’s expectations to encourage great performance on a daily basis… It was an exciting experience to take note of the changes in our daily work relationships. The internal systemic way of thinking was extended to our Japanese and French partners and to our subcontractor suppliers. Harmony among all these worldwide development engineers continues to keep our delivered products as world leaders.”

Marvin M. Brosz, Manager
CT Advanced Systems Design

GE Healthcare

*Photo by daveynin/CC BY

Jet engine

Rexnord Aerospace

(Wheeling, IL)

Helped a company within Rexnord Aerospace Division enhance its leadership practices and adopt a quality improvement program that increased sales 75% and tripled profits.

The Challenge

To improve the overall performance, leadership, innovation, productivity, and morale within part of a corporate aerospace division.

The Solution

  • Assisted its CEO to improve teamwork and communication on his senior management team. Interviewed and conducted surveys of senior and middle managers, facilitated senior management retreats, and facilitated monthly strategic sessions with senior managers.
  • Guided strategic planning sessions and helped draft a new strategic plan, which included a new mission, vision, and values as well as twelve strategic implementation plans.
  • Conducted training on teamwork, communication, and quality improvement.
  • Helped design a new organizational structure that included the Extended Management Team, which empowered 20-25 middle managers to weigh in on strategic and management decisions.
  • Implemented a Total Quality Management program that improved product quality, productivity, and customer satisfaction.

“Financially good things are happening – .. sales volume will be 75% higher, profits have tripled … Or experience with Dr. Reed has been enjoyable, beneficial and productive – a tough trio to beat!.”


“…Dr. Jonathan Reed was selected from a “short list” of four companies, primarily do to the teamwork and communication training cited in the first phase of his proposal. … With more open communication, the management group held “off site” sessions with Dr. Reed to develop strategy. First, we evolved foundation elements of mission/vision/values – then on to market segmentation, SWOT analysis, strategy development and 10-12 strategic implementation plans.

Along with changes in mode of operation, the managers became a true team. … Financially, good things are happening – … sales volume will be 75% higher … , profits have tripled – and two new products have been introduced to our customers. Technical and manufacturing capabilities, along with support staff have grown, as has our throughput. It’s become “a nice place to work” –because the good people who work here get things done – together – in a timely and cost-effective fashion. Our experience with Dr. Reed has been enjoyable, beneficial and productive – a tough trio to beat!

Gene Looft
President, Aerospace Division, Rexnord Corporation

Helped a federal scientific agency speed up the review and publication of its scientific reports.

U.S. Geological Survey
Water Resources Discipline

(Reston, VA)

Snake River in Grand Tetons

The Challenge

To guide and facilitate the Reports Reengineering Team comprised of 15 senior scientists and technical experts to re-engineer and speed up the publication of scientific reports in the 4,000-person Water Resources Discipline of the US Geological Survey.

The Solution

As the consultant to the Divisions’ Reports Publication Re-Engineering Team, Jonathan:

  • Advised the team on how best to streamline the Division’s review and publication process.
  • Recommended authors, reviewers, and publication staff adopt a team approach to report preparation and review, which he had previously helped design for two state science centers.
  • Proposed improvements to author guidelines and changes to outdated standards.
  • Devised an experimental design to test the new process in pilot science centers.
  • Designed and presented Division’s new publications training program to scientists and publication staff around the country.

“The new reports team process is a major positive change to the USGS reports processing system, which has been in place for 37 years.”


USGS’s Water Resources Discipline implemented a streamlined reports publication process that sped up its publication process. “A recent significant announcement by Dr. Robert Hirsch, Chief Hydrologist for the implementation of the new reports team process, is a major positive change to the USGS reports processing system, which has been in place with the agency for the past 37 years. This denotes a major “paradigm shift” for our agency for the publication of our reports products; a change long overdue that will greatly expedite our report process time while maintaining or enhancing overall quality. Once again, thank you for your excellent contributions to our agency report reengineering process.”

Daniel P. Bauer, Chairperson, Division Reports Team

Trinidad/Tobago coastline

Government of Trinidad and Tobago &
The University
of the West Indies

(Port of Spain, Trinidad)

Co-authored the communications campaign plan to inform families of former slaves about a new program to clear up their “cloudy” titles to former “crown” lands that were transferred to them at the end of colonial rule in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Challenge

Due to the transfer of many land parcels at end of colonial rule from colonial families to freed slave families who worked and lived on the land, many land titles were considered “cloudy” and open to dispute, which inhibited legal land transactions. Jonathan helped the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, as part of its planned land adjudication program to review and reauthorize titles for all land parcels, design a communications campaign to inform the population of this program and solicit their input to improve the adjudication program.

The Solution

  • Designed a community-based approach in which program representatives would meet with local communities in town hall meetings to explain how the program works and answer questions.
  • Recommended these communities make non-binding recommendations regarding the rightful owners and boundaries of land parcels within their communities.
  • Helped design a multi-pronged media campaign to inform residents living on former crown lands of the new adjudication program via print, radio, Internet, and television media outlets.

I found your personality and approach to international consulting that of a patient and thoughtful collaborator. You take the time to understand the issues and consider the implications of your actions and opinions before offering them.


The Government of Trinidad and Tobago approved our plan.
“In Trinidad and Tobago, you showed the perseverance and sensitivity to tackle a new methodology of land rights adjudication, through community mobilization. Thanks for the work you have done for the Afghanistan and Trinidad and Tobago.”

J. David Stanfield, Project Director

“Sometimes we never know how we affect the long-term development of the countries, governments, organizations, and individuals we deliver our services to, but I do know that in the short-term, your presence, ideas, and solutions have been very well received by the international clients for whom we provide services.”

Lynn M. Burns, Chief Operations Officer