Who We Are

Barry Oshry

For over thirty years Barry Oshry has been on a single-minded quest to unlock the mysteries of power and powerlessness in social system life. He began his work in the 1960s at Boston University where he developed large-scale organizational simulations for undergraduates in business. Throughout the 1960s, Oshry continued his research at BU and at NTL Institute's Management Work Conferences and Community Laboratories. In 1970 he created the Power & Leadership Conference (Power Lab) and since the mid-1970s he has developed and conducted organizational simulations with Tops, Middles, Bottoms and Customers that have been used to create "system sight" for organizations and institutions throughout the world. Oshry is a recipient of the David L. Bradford
Educator Award.

In 1975 Barry and his wife, Karen, founded Power & Systems, Inc. in Boston.

Considered a pioneer in the field of systems thinking, Barry has been invited to address numerous national professional conferences. He has written extensively on power and systems change and other social system phenomena. Among his writings are THE POSSIBILITIES OF ORGANIZATION, IN THE MIDDLE, and SPACE WORK. His recent book, SEEING SYSTEMS: UNLOCKING THE MYSTERIES OF ORGANIZATIONAL LIFE, has met with critical acclaim. His newest book is LEADING SYSTEMS: LESSONS FROM THE POWER LAB. Barry's most recent writing project is the musical play, "WHAT A WAY TO MAKE A LIVING."

Karen Oshry

As Vice President of Programs and Services, Karen is often the first person customers talk with when setting up a workshop or presentation or when deciding to come to a program. Karen spends much of her time on the phone or email, describing programs and publications as well as responding to customer's specific questions -- and she enjoys doing it. Karen also provides coaching about which program best meets an individual's or organization's goals. As a design partner in all of Power & Systems' programs, she is adept at working with customers to tailor programs to meet their needs and to match them with the most appropriate staff person. She remains the ongoing contact with them.

In addition to being Barry Oshry's first editor, she enjoys cooking, eating, traveling, taking long walks with Barry and reading. She also loves to spend time on Cape Cod. She volunteers regularly at The Women's Lunch Place, a shelter for poor and homeless women in Boston.

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