Gary Merrill | Michelle
Why Emergent Systems?
About the Scrub Jay
Emergent Systems is Gary Merrill,
an experienced consultant and facilitator who specializes in evoking
creativity and team problem-solving, and Michelle
Merrill, a naturalist who has studied marine mammals and tropical
primates in their native habitats. Guy Leflar co-founded
Emergent Systems with Gary in the 1990's. They sought to bring together
their knowledge and experience around applied behavioral science to
evoke the creative potential of organizations. The unique addition of
Michelle's background in anthropology and evolutionary biology brings
new perspectives and tools for understanding dynamic systems and how
they deal with change.
GARY MERRILL (M.S.) has over 20 years of
professional experience as
a management consultant, group facilitator, educator and organizational
leader. Gary's practice is focused on increasing the viability, vitality
and sustainability of organizations and businesses through consulting,
leadership education and coaching. He has provided consulting and training
services across a broad spectrum of public and private sector organizations
throughout the country.
MICHELLE Y. MERRILL (Ph.D.) has
taught and lectured on evolutionary biology, social networks, anthropology
for groups ranging from junior high school students to advanced university
and professional audiences. She studies animal behavior, evolutionary
biology, tropical ecology, complexity and social networks, and is actively
involved with groups that focus on the future of technology and society.
Her recent work has focused on how to teach communications and team-building
skills to high-risk community college students. Her previous research
focused on the evolution of social learning, culture and the origins
of technology. She studied orangutans in the
Sumatran rainforests and bonobos in central Africa.
She is Gary's niece, and has been working with Gary to design this
website and our workshops, and is available
to deliver presentations and keynotes. Michelle
is also available to coach you on presentation preparation, using Power
Point presentation software and incorporating images in your presentations.
Michelle's C.V. (as .pdf); other website:
GUY W. LEFLAR III, has over 25 years experience
in the areas of change management and the development of sustainable
people systems. He is now retired, but continues to advise Gary and
Michelle on the work of Emergent Systems. He has pioneered innovative
approaches to teaching empowerment which are now used by several major
corporations. Guy's work in diversity comes from a grounding in community
building. His efforts have helped organizations of all sizes focus on
the power of diversity in the natural world and the ways it creates
conditions for sustainability. more background...
You may contact Guy at (713) 523-3312.
About the Scrub Jay
The California Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma californica)
plays an integral role in the oak woodland
ecosystems of costal California. These jays depend on oaks for
shelter and nest sites, and for a source of storable food in the
form of nutritious acorns. The oaks, in turn, rely on jays for
seed dispersal. The jays harvest and cache acorns when they are
at their most abundant. While they eat many of these seeds, some
germinate in the sites where they are cached (often at a great
distance from the mother tree). The jays are thus creating more
of the habitat that sustains them, just as the acorn production
of the oaks supports a robust population of the jays that allow
the oaks to spread and sustain their population.