Dr. Robert R. Blake and Dr. Jane S. Mouton, the founders of Grid International, formerly Scientific Methods.

Grid International (formerly Scientific Methods) was founded in 1961 by Dr. Robert R. Blake and Dr. Jane S. Mouton, two renowned pioneers in management consulting. They specialized in organization transformation by developing interdependent relationships as a core feature of organization culture. Their exclusive Grid methodology for organization transformation is proven for mobilizing human effort and igniting capacity building, leadership development, change management, conflict resolution and performance improvement in any business or industrial setting.

Blake was an active participant in groundbreaking group dynamics research following WWII as a Fulbright Scholar at UK’s Tavistock Clinic, the National Training Laboratories, Harvard, and The University of Texas in Austin, Texas. He wanted to apply the breakthrough group-based (versus expert-led) learning in organizations. After joining forces with Dr. Jane S. Mouton, they developed the exclusive Grid Organization Transformation methodology.

Blake and Mouton published their initial findings in the now famous 1964 Harvard Business Review article, “A Breakthrough in Organization Development,” which was also included in Harvard Business Review’s 1998 “Business Classics: Fifteen Key Concepts for Managerial Success.” They followed with the first edition of The Managerial Grid book later that year, followed by five editions over the next 40 years. Their work with Exxon took them around the globe, and their work quickly expanded to industrial, airline, medical, energy, and countless other industries.

Harvard Business Review also published Blake and Mouton’s “Overcoming Group Warfare” in 1984, and republished it in 2009 in the Harvard Business Review collection: “Harvard Business Review on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.”

Blake and Mouton’s work was most recently cited in the Harvard Business Review article “What’s Needed Next: A Culture of Candor” by James O’Toole and Warren Bennis, 2009. The authors cited Blake and Mouton’s work with NASA that examined NASA’s findings on the human factors involved in airline accidents.

Grid methodology accelerates the haphazard process of developing trust and transparency around shared standards of performance excellence in relationships. Participants often comment that they come away with more practical insight for performance improvement and skills after a few hours than in a career’s worth of training. And this doesn’t mean a social event that focuses on morale or team building. It means challenging people in their own workplaces to use candor and transparency as the path to define shared standards for excellent performance.

A devoted team, Drs. Blake and Mouton built a management consulting firm with offices in 40 countries. They published 135 books, 460 professional journal articles, and 290 book chapters (visit our Publications page for more information). They constantly engaged in worldwide client work with millions of participants in a myriad of industries

In his autobiography Dr. Blake summed up how human effectiveness emerges and how it might be enhanced:

  • Providing an objective methodology for evaluating behaviors accelerates teamwork development by externalizing personal judgment and reducing false assumptions.
  • Synergistic teamwork opens the door for capacity building, personal motivation, and shared accountability.
  • Candor, trust and transparency, and relying on continuous critique and feedback increase the quality of contribution.
  • High performance teamwork norms can continue even if team membership changes.
  • Effective teamwork can happen very quickly when the conditions are right.
  • Satisfaction from effort comes far more from teamwork than in its products or its achievements.

Below is a sample of the awards and distinctions that Drs. Blake and Mouton, and Grid International, received over the years.

  • Seven of the top ten leading U.S. companies were engaged in Grid Organization Development – The Conference Board.
  • Robert R. Blake and Jane S. Mouton were identified as two of the six most influential behavioral scientists by The Conference Board.

Awards and professional distinctions of Dr. Robert R. Blake, co-founder of Grid International:

  • Lectured at Harvard, Oxford, and Cambridge Universities.
  • Worked on special extended assignments at the Tavistock Clinic, London, as a Fulbright Scholar.
  • One of the founding members and participants of the National Training Laboratorie.
  • Dr. Blake was a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a Diplomat in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
  • Elected to the Human Resources Hall of Fame.
  • Chosen as a Management Laureate author, publishing his autobiography entitled The Fruits of Interdependence for Enriching a Career.”
  • Writings were selected for inclusion in Great Writers on Organizations by Derek Salman Pugh, David J. Hickson: 2000.
  • Awarded Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century – (2003, 2nd ed).
  • Korzybski Memorial Address, “From Industrial Warfare to Collaboration: A Behavioral Science Approach, 1961; Conceptual Foundations for Strengthening Leadership.”
  • Book of the Year Award – Productivity: The Human Side, American Management Association.
  • James A. Hamilton Book Award – The New Managerial Grid by the American College of Hospital Administrators.
  • Best Writing Award – American Society for Training and Development.
  • Military Review – Award for Advancement of the Military Profession Through Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Military Writing.

Awards and professional distinctions of Dr. Jane S. Mouton, co-founder of Grid International:

  • Honorary member of the faculty at the Institute of Business Administration and Management in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Best Writing Award from the American Society for Training and Development (1961–1962).
  • Book Award from the American College of Hospital Administrators for The New Managerial Grid (1980).
  • Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing (1982) for Grid Approaches for Managerial Leadership in Nursing.
  • Book of the Year Award from the American Management Association (1982) for Productivity: The Human Side.