Episode 004: Jim Tamm, Lawyer, Judge, and Educator

Image of Jim Tamm

Jim Tamm

I had never heard of Jim Tamm prior to this summer. I hadn’t particularly thought about collaboration, and the effect and cost of defensiveness. During the conference I was at, Jim gave the closing keynote. He has an amazing presence, funny, clear spoken, and his message felt meaningful.

Through my day job, I contacted Jim with some follow-up questions. It shouldn’t be surprising, but he is kind and generous and willing to help. Jim has an amazing background, which you can read about in his biography below. Below I’ve included Jim’s TEDx talk about collaboration (YouTube).

This is episode is full of great insights and thoughts and is well worth the listen. One of my favorite moments is hearing about Jim’s dad, who he talks about as one of his mentors.

This is Jim’s backstory…

Official Bio

Prior to becoming a lawyer and judge, Jim Tamm worked for the General Electric Company. A graduate of the GE Management Program, Jim worked in California, North Carolina and New York. After leaving GE Jim was an attorney for the US National Labor Relations Board. Jim moved from the NLRB to become Legal Counsel to the California Public Employment Relations Board, a position he held until he was appointed as San Francisco Regional Director for the California PERB. Jim was Regional Director for four years and then left to become a judge.

For most of his career Jim Tamm was a Senior Administrative Law Judge for the State of California with jurisdiction over public sector disputes in the workplace. In that role he has mediated over 1,500 labor disputes, including more school district labor strikes than any other person in the United States. His legal decisions have impacted national labor policy in the US and he has authored training materials that have been published in fourteen languages. The English edition of his book, Radical Collaboration, has been on Amazon’s top seller lists for workplace, negotiations and organizational psychology and collaboration books for most of the past nine years.

After retiring as a judge, Jim became a managing director of BCon-Will Schutz Associates, a company specializing in developing human potential in organizations.

Jim is currently on the faculty of the International Management Program of the Stockholm School of Economics, the Management Education Program at NASA, the Leadership Academy of the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Wallenberg Institute in Sweden. Jim also teaches collaboration skills in MBA programs in Lima Peru, Panama City Panama and Mexico City. Jim has had a diverse client base of international organizations ranging from the United Nations, NASA, Toyota (in Europe), IBM, Novo Nordisk, the US Army and Navy and Boeing, as well as global organizations in the financial services industry, higher education, government and non-profit sectors.

Jim is one of the designers and original faculty members of a highly successful training program designed to enhance collaborative work environments in the public sector; a program that was underwritten by the Hewlett Foundation and the State of California. The California Senate, the California Assembly and the California Public Employment Relations Board have all honored Jim for his work building more collaborative employment environments.

Jim is President of RC Group, LLC with training partners in 18 countries. He specializes in building cultures of collaboration within organizations and training other consultants and trainers how to teach collaborative skills. He can be reached at JimTamm@RadicalCollaboration.com or the website www.RadicalCollaboration.com.

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