Jeri Elayne-Smith

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Management, Seaver College

Jeri Elayne-Smith will continue her extensive academic career at Seaver College, after departing her most recent post as associate professor of management at California State University, Channel Islands. In her opinion, honest and ethical people who are independent thinkers make the best managers, as well as those who have a clear vision, are strong communicators, and loyal to their team of employees. "Good managers make sure their employees have the resources to be excellent at their job and they mentor and develop them, sometimes causing them to go elsewhere in the organization if that is where their next career step should be," she explains.

After completing her bachelor's degree in computer science at Spelman College, she earned her MBA from Case Western Reserve University, where she also completed her PhD in organizational behavior with an emphasis on differences in diversity learning and development between black and white graduate students.

She is also owner and principal consultant of DLPA Consulting, Inc., an organizational development consulting firm specializing in face-to-face and computer-mediated pre-diversity/inclusion education, diversity/inclusion education, small group dynamics, and train-the-trainer program design.

We ask: What is the most common advice you give as a consultant?

When I first talk with prospective clients, I tell them to look at all of the organizational antecedents for a successful intervention as well as at the direct and indirect likely consequences of the intervention before they hire me. I try to get my prospective clients to a) see the whole organization as a system before hiring me, and b) to build the necessary preliminary and follow-up supports so that the intervention has a good chance of being successful.

Jeri Elayne-Smith