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Pepperdine | Graziadio Business School

About Donna McIntosh-Fletcher


I'm Donna McIntosh Fletcher and I had the privilege of being in the Beta Class, so second class of the MSOD program. We had the blessing of helping design the programs. Currently and at that time and still I'm the founder of a consulting firm that's been going for 45 years. The McFletcher Corporation, I am the CEO and an author.

I had decided a few years before MSOD that I needed to do all I could do on my own and then I would go back for more academic learning. When the time came for that, back in 1975, all I could find was a program at Stanford that dealt with organizational factors and it was a very boring program, very standard, very structured. I had been doing a lot in communities and large group organizational change and it didn't fit. Someone told me that a program was being created and was in the beginning formation, with Pepperdine University, and a person was ... San Jose putting together the practical part and David Peters from Pepperdine for putting the really solid content and particularly the research. So I sought it out and joined it for the Beta class.

I never valued the thought or the concept of legacy at all until an aunt of mine, who was kind of the matriarch of our family, had asked me to help her to write her book on her legacy and that she wanted the family on down over the years to know what the McIntosh family stood for. From helping to write her book for her I realized how important it is to take what you believe in and your principles that you've found that work or don't work and what you knew that needs to happen and from what God has created us for.

From that I realize, it is important to make sure that what I discover through all my years of life, both what works and what's not worked so well, that I can share that. So that's not just with family but it's with communities I've worked with, many other organizations and people, including those in MSOD, very much a family as well. In terms of what I would like it to be, I want it to be around what I have learned through principles and values and in the workplace how to make sure there is a valued workplace with principles that utilizes the people and that the stock market is not the customer but our people and those who've created it and the customers are really who we want to make sure we're caring for. And then that same principles within our family to pass on down, grandchildren today, those that will be here long after me. But I learned that from my aunt.

I think the contribution that is I'm far from finished. Something I started as a child, when I was going to what was called John 3:16 Mission in Portland, Oregon as a nine-year-old and for the first time in my life I saw very poor people and Gypsy girls that had to play in water fountains and mud and I'm going, "Nobody should have to live that way". And even earlier I saw the first heroin addict I had ever, at age five, and said, "Nobody should have to live like that". From those experiences I've spent my life working with homeless, I've spent my life working in drug recovery programs, I did my MSOD research, in fact, with a drug recovery program called the Pathway House. As a child, then I've said with that and still work with the homeless to not be homeless.

The contribution then in the same thing as I came to the conclusion as I did a lot of community development work around the nation, and some around the world, and said, "You know what? People spend most of their time at work, that's where I need to contribute. If I can help the places they work be better places for people and for people to really be able to contribute and be fulfilled and the companies really make it". So I switched and that's part of why I went to the MSOD program was to learn more about how to make the impact and really make workplaces places of value and that's what I've been doing. Yes, I've written, I've researched, I've published, the latest book is on realizing the promise of your work. I'm hoping that everyone will continue and with the divided times that we're going through worldwide, wow, I so hope that I'll live long enough to get us through this time so that the generations to go beyond in all countries will have a chance to work of value. That enough?