After graduating from college, Diego looked for a mentor in the tenuous niche between business and social justice. His search led him to Harvard Business School where he studied adaptive organizations with Dr. Rosabeth Moss Kanter and Dr. J. Richard Hackman. In the summer before his second year of graduate school, Diego interned at Apple Computer and interviewed twenty-two visionaries in the computer science field. Read on to learn about Diego’s computer support for self-managing teams research.

To complete his Bachelors degree, Diego enrolled at Antioch University - San Francisco campus, a satellite of the small liberal arts college in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Under the advisorship of Tony Smith, Diego majored in Computer Systems & Business Administration utilizing his experience running Friends Software. He completed his BA in 1984, graduating from college at the age of 28.

Searching for a mentor in the tenuous niche between business and social justice, Diego was led by Tony Smith to the work of Dr. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a sociologist at the forefront of innovative business management and change management techniques. In 1987, Diego applied to Harvard Business School (HBS) to study with Dr. Kanter, working on independent research projects under her tutelage in his second year.

“There is much evidence which shows that organizations and individuals which move from being self-centered to caring about serving others are more flexible and adaptive. As organizations focus on the needs and requirements of their stakeholders, orienting the functioning of their operations to this end, their business grows and prospers” (Toward a Learning-Based Organization: The Need for a New Organization Information Architecture, HBS)

“The attitude of serving creates a need for feedback information in order to determine how well you’re doing and how you can improve. This information, if systematically disseminated and integrated throughout an organization allows for the continual adaptation of an organization to its changing environment, which can become the basis of an organization’s strategic competitive advantage. The effectiveness with which an organization responds to its changing competitive environment will be the degree to which it will meet the needs of the stakeholders it serves” (Toward a Learning-Based Organization: The Need for a New Organization Information Architecture, HBS).

In his first semester at HBS, Diego was introduced to Dr. Kanter’s colleague Dr. J. Richard Hackman, an organization behavior maven in the areas of team self-management and dynamics. Under Dr. Hackman's guidance, Diego began his in-depth work on understanding the foundations of adaptive self-directing and self-correcting organizations: Self-Managing Teams.

“I was really interested in understanding how authoritarian structures of management could be transformed by team self-management to become adaptive organizations, concepts that were being promulgated through Rosabeth [Moss Kanter’s] and Richard [Hackman’s] work. I found it all really fascinating, given my passion for social change work and seeing how corporations could have a positive impact.” -Diego

In the summer of 1988, Diego interned with Apple Computer’s Strategic Technology Group where he interviewed twenty-two visionaries in the computer science field as part of his study of where the computer industry was headed in the next ten years.  His interviews included Doug Engelbart, the inventor of the mouse and windowing at Stanford Research Institute; Alan Kay the project manager and person responsible for the personal computer at Xerox PARC; Ted Nelson, the inventor of hypertext and hypermedia; and Ivan Sutherland, one of the top graphics designers. His 48 hours of recordings with these industry visionaries highlighted important concepts in the areas of computer supported cooperative work, interactive multimedia, object-oriented programming, and transparent network computing. This internship led to Diego’s work on developing computer support for self-managing teams, a research project he completed under the guidance of Dr. J Richard Hackman in the spring of 1989. One of his papers was later published in the Journal of Organizational Computing in 1994. Diego’s graduate work on adaptive organizations with Dr. Rosabeth Moss Kanter and Dr. Hackman led to his recruitment at Hewlett Packard Labs where he worked on developing what he later called Team Server technology.

Diego sees his unique contribution to the field of adaptive organizations in his innovative segmentation and scaling work, exhibited specifically through the Sustainable Agriculture Certification And Traceability System (CATS) and the Academy for College Excellence (ACE). Learn more about Diego’s segmentation (Segmentation Example A: CATS // Segmentation Example B: ACE) and scaling (Scaling Example A: CATS // Scaling Example B: ACE) work.

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Alleviating Poverty


Technology Enhanced Learning Systems & Organizations