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The Howells Group

Richard Howells, Senior Coach and Consultant (503) 246-2929

Richard Howells, Senior Coach and Consultant

Philosophy Statement

When I served on the Executive Team in a mid-sized organization, I found the executive role to be daunting. There was a pretense of smiling, unified faces, but an undercurrent of competition and even mistrust. We all tried to think and act strategically, and to support one another. But in truth, we competed for the CEO’s attention, for budget/resources and for visibility. At times I struggled to find my authentic voice and to be heard by my peers and my CEO. And at the same time, those who reported to me expected me to take care of things, to fight for our department and shine the light of recognition on them. Within myself, I had to battle with my own ego needs and work to be aware of when I was acting form the good of the enterprise versus when I was pushing my own agenda. I bring this history to executive coaching.

My philosophy is to build trust with others and to dig for the truth. I want to know what’s really going on. I want to explore both the inner and outer worlds of those I coach. The outer world is the external organization and all its complexities and challenges. The Inner world is who a person is being and how he/she can be authentically powerful and effective. When I consulted with my first university, I learned that it was different from every for profit and non-profit I’d worked with. Then I worked with a second university and saw a similar pattern: decentralized power, endless debate and slow movement to action, focus on process far more than results, and decision-making that could grind any issue into dust. I learned that only by challenging assumptions and exploring new ways of thinking and acting could I help catalyze movement toward a transformational kind of change. In all kinds of clients I’ve brought organization development and executive coaching expertise. I’ve led or facilitated strategic planning, visioning conferences, team building, process improvement, certification projects, goal setting programs and leadership development. I look at organizations as complex adaptive systems and bring a living systems perspective to my work. I seek to understand how the “system” and the culture impact individual, team, department and college performance. It is against the above backdrop that I offer myself as a coach at WSU and anticipate fascinating and leadership shifting dialogue as a coach, leader myself and human being.

Areas of Expertise/Results

  • Executive and Leadership Coaching
  • Organization and executive team development


  • Culture change and development

Experience/Selected Projects

  • 13 years as director of training and organization development, executive leadership, SAIF Corporation 6 years as a transformational change consultant at CSC (Computer Sciences Corporation) Consulted with BP Oil, NASA in Houston, Hughes Space and Communication senior leaders and many others.
  • 16 years in private practice at Richard Howells & Associates, and as partner with The Howells Group.
  • Early in my career, multiple years as a teacher in a public school setting and consulting with school systems, principles, superintends and boards.

Credentials & Certifications

  • MS in Education from U of O, emphasis in Organization Development
  • Experience using many types of assessment instruments (LPI, Strengthsfinders, Leadership Agilities 360)
  • 16 years creating and using survey feedback tools
  • 30 years specializing in diagnostic interviews

Selected Clients

Allstate Insurance, GE Capital, Iowa Electric Services, Illinois Power, OxyChem, NASA (Lockheed-Martin), Raytheon, MeadWestVaco Corporation, Cadence Design Systems, Liberty Northwest (Insurance), BP (energy), Pierce Transit, Banfield Pet Hospitals, Wieden+Kennedy, R2C, Planar, Intel, Marylhurst University and George Fox University.

Washington State University