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Leslie Yerkes - Catalyst Consulting Group, Inc.. Cleveland, OH, US

Leslie Yerkes

President / Founder | Catalyst Consulting Group, Inc.


Thought Leader, Consultant, Author and Speaker on creating organizational cultures that fully engaged the best of the whole person.



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Leslie is an organizational change consultant, nationally recognized speaker, best-selling author, and thought leader on the positive, high-performance workplace. In her work as an organizational development / change management consultant, her goal is to be a trusted advisor and resource for strength-based development of business culture and human resources.

She founded Catalyst Consulting Group, Inc. in 1987. Her philosophy is simple: People are basically good, well intentioned, courageous, and able to learn. Her outlook places front-and-center the enormous performance potentials unleashed when human resources are recast as: strength-based, inner resources. Thus for Leslie, the whole person who comes to work is paramount.

Her work is focused on organizational change, strategic planning, hiring and selection, and sustainable workforce performance. Her consulting work has supported success in diverse industries and non-profit organizations.

As a speaker and facilitator, Leslie has traveled throughout the United States and Europe and brought her inspirational and playful sensibility to bear on memorable presentations, workshops, and keynotes. She has spoken before many national groups and associations including ASTD and EAPM.

Leslie earned her MS in Organizational Development at Weatherhead/Case Western Reserve University. She graduated cum laude from Wittenberg University. Leslie has taught at John Carroll University, Baldwin Wallace College and she is on the adjunct faculty at the Dively Center for Executive Education at Weatherhead School of Business, Case Western Reserve University.

Leslie is co-author of the best selling 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work (Berrett-Koehler) and is the author of Fun Works: Creating Places Where People Love to Work (Berrett-Koehler); Beans: Four Principles for Running a Business in Good Times or Bad (Jossey-Bass) ; They Just Don't Get It: Changing Resistance Into Understanding (Berrett-Koehler); and Beyond Kicks Carrots: Motivation for the 21st Century (Norma Sustenere Publishers.)

Fun Works, published in a revised edition in 2007, is considered a cornerstone of the research and work in the field advancing the competitive and human advantages of the positive, high performance workplace.

Industry Expertise (10)

Corporate Leadership


Business Services

Training and Development



Management Consulting

Human Resources

Corporate Training


Areas of Expertise (5)

Managing for Motivation - Beyond Kicks and Carrots

Managing the Generations; the Ins and Outs of Intergenerational Motivation

10 Tips for Finding Your Balance When the World is Rocking and Rolling!

Developing Advanced Workplace Culture

Leadership Teamwork and Change

Accomplishments (6)

301 Ways to Have Fun At Work (professional)


Leslie Yerkes and Dave Hemsath offer ideas for instilling an element of fun into various business functions-from office environment, to meetings, training, communication, hiring, recognition, team building, and "simple acts of fun." In addition to the fun ideas in these chapters, a series of side bars, called "fun facts," "fun quotes," and "fun resources" offer humorous and interesting facts and statements about the effects of fun on workplace performance and job satisfaction. BESTSELLER

Beans: Four Principles for Running a Business in Good Times or Bad (professional)


Beans is the story of The El Espresso, a legend in its own time in Seattle and a coffee company that has prospered by intentionally staying small, inspiring fanatical customer loyalty in the process. Learn about "the Four Ps" and how applying these universal principles can reenergize employees, customers, and leaders.

They Just Don't Get It!: Changing Resistance Into Understanding (professional)


If you've ever wondered why your ideas haven't been received or acted on in the way you expected, this book will reveal your own personal responsibility in helping others understand your intentions. Examining the root source of the problem, it details five keys to "getting it." The five simple steps will teach you how to communicate your ideas better, and how to motivate others to pull together and achieve your highest goals in any situation.

Fun Works: Creating Places Where People Love to Work (professional)


revised 2007. Leslie Yerkes illustrates eleven principles--from capitalizing on the spontaneous to hiring good people and getting out of their way--that will inspire you to inject a sense of playfulness and joy into your workplace. Full of real-life examples, strategies, ideas, resources, tools, tips, and techniques, Fun Works will help any company in any industry become a place where people love to work. BESTSELLER

Beyond Kicks & Carrots, Motivation in the Twenty-First Century (professional)


Motivation is the tool, the essential driving force that starts projects and gets us going. Without motivation, nothing happens, no work gets accomplished. What secrets to long-lasting, intrinsic motivation lie beyond the uses of kicks and carrots? The answers lie within this short, practical book., with 50 pages of high impact info about the nature of motivation and how to fire up and re-charge your workforce. Above all, it's short, sweet and full of useful tools.

Keynote: European Association for People Management (professional)


Closed the 2011 conference in Istanbul, Turkey, with a keynote on Fun at Work and Positive Leadership.

Education (2)

Wittenberg University: BA, Education 1979

Weatherhead School of Management, Cru: MS, Organizational Development 1988

Focus on Positive Organizational Development

Affiliations (1)

  • Northeastern Ohio Human Resources Professional Society

Sample Talks (2)

Fun at Work: Creating Places Where People Love to Work

Learn the formula for long term success and on-going sustainable employee engagement through achieving the balance of fun/work fusion. 11 Principles for creating organizational cultures where individual can bring the best of their whole selves to work each day.

10 Tips for Finding Your Balance When the World Is Rocking and Rolling!

Drawing on her experience, research, and openness to possible answers—no matter where they may show up—author and organizational consultant Leslie Yerkes offers ten compelling tips for growth in the midst of dramatic uncertainty and anxiety. Each is commonsense on one hand, and, on the other hand, each is a gentle reminder about various ways you can support your own wholeness and personal vision in times when the world seems to be at its most unpredictable.



  • Keynote
  • Panelist
  • Author Appearance
  • Corporate Training


5000 to 15000 *Will consider certain engagements for no fee