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+1 (847) 818-9880 - john@estradaconsulting.us

"When results are important, people make the difference"


Professional Services

Executive Coaching


We provide customized Executive Coaching to clients looking for a competitive edge, whether investing in their current position, or looking for additional opportunities. We help  you navigate all options to secure your meaningful outcomes. 

Executive Search & Interim Placement


Executive Search, Interim Placement, and staffing with particular focus in the marketing, IT, technology, and human resources domains. 

Human Resources and Change Management Consulting & Training


 HR Processes, Safe & Respectful Workplace, Diversity and Inclusion, Performance Management, Change Management. ERP Implementation, and Global Human Resources functional design

Who We Are



John Estrada provides Executive Coaching and Human Capital Consulting to clients looking for a competitive edge, in a collaborative culture with a straight forward voice, leaving them feeling empowered and focused. 

A business partner with extensive success and knowledge of commercial and operational aspects, who happens to be some trusted human resources professional. Over thirty years of human resources, organizational development, and consulting experience. Focus primarily in the telecommunications field, but with critical experiences in healthcare, pharmaceutical, transportation, energy, mining, and education fields. 

Specialties: Interim HR Support, Executive Coaching, HR Processes, Performance Management, Change Management. Global Human Resources in the Leadership Selection and Training, as well as the services arena, and strong OD, and operations expertise. 

Solid support with Executive Search and staffing with particular focus in the marketing, IT, technology, and human resources domains. 

Excellent results-oriented career consulting demonstrated through numerous positive coaching outcomes. 


Kathleen Fell, Ph.D., is a multi-faceted business professional and Business Anthropologist with years of experience in numerous roles within organizations. She has worked or consulted in the pharmaceutical, automotive, oil and gas, not-for-profit, telecommunications, and academic arenas. Her natural mentoring and advising nature has been sought by executives, co-workers, non-natives, and fellow academics. Her knowledge of how culture influences business systems as well as individuals has been presented to various audiences within the business and academic fields. Her easy style of communicating has allowed her to present differences as assets to be used fully in the business environment. After working for years in the oil industry as an electrician, Kath began her academic journey in understanding how different groups in an organization interact. She studied at University of Pittsburgh and Wayne State University to get dual degrees in Business and Anthropology. She uses the tools, methods, and theories of Anthropology and Business to create a business environment which is fully utilizing its work force and the work force is fully cooperating with the corporate strategies. Kath has won awards at every stage of her journey for her excellent coaching, communication, mentoring, and leadership. She graduated with Highest Honors from University of Pittsburgh and Wayne State University. Through her excellent communication and presentation style she is capable of bridging academic knowledge and the work environment to bring collaboration and success to both employees and organizations.



" The Safe and Respectful Workplace Workshop, designed and delivered by John Estrada, is a key component of RF IDeas’ ethics and compliance curriculum. John’s latest delivery preluded the recent multitude of news stories about misogynistic behavior in the workplace and informed our employees of the severity of the problem before it received sustained national attention. I highly recommend periodic delivery of this course to reiterate and reinforce our company’s commitment to the fair and respectful treatment of all our employees"  

Maribeth Chick, HR Head ,  RF IDeas, Inc. 


"At a critical time early in my career, I was split between two very different paths. John provided valuable insight as an objective, third-party consultant and friend; ultimately, he revealed the best path for me personally. He's honest even when it's difficult, and pushes boundaries to inspire growth. He listens, understands, and augments my training; such maneuvers have been incredibly invaluable in my career. I highly recommend John as a career coach because over many years, he has made lasting impressions on me, which stimulated an incredible career trajectory and financial reward".
Patrick Dolezal
Equity Research Analyst at LifeSci Capital, New York, NY

" Skolnik is a manufacturing company located in Chicago. Having worked with John for several years, the impact that he has had on Skolnik talent development, and strategic planning, has been critical to our progress and success. John has developed trusting relationships with our executive management team and has been able to recommend, and implement, strategies to improve our interpersonal corporate relationships and performance".

Howard Z. Skolnik

Chariman of the Board, Skolnik Industries, Chicago, IL

" John is a highly regarded HR professional with a passion for people and both individual and organizational growth. He has a very astute way of reading organizational trends and has a much refined style of communication that excels in the complex organizations he engages in.

His international understanding is tops in the industry and I believe that all of us that has had the opportunity to work with John wishes that he continuously was around working with us.".

Dan Westin

Project Director, Cogent Analytics



The “MeToo” Movement…….Is Your Organization Ready? 12/22/2017


It is rare today to check your social media feeds, pick up a newspaper or listen to the news and not hear something about the 'MeToo' movement’s tidal wave of exposing surprisingly wide-spread harassment and in some cases, weak protections for women. Nearly every organization is affected. Our news feeds are chock full of episodes of unwanted sexual advances, bullying, downfall and ultimate terminations of many corporate and government leaders, along with costly monetary payouts that can be bound to confidentiality agreements.


Many organizations are scrambling to review and update their employee policies and training programs, so they can be prepared for any potential fallout. But is updating training and employee policies enough? 

Examining the organizational culture to address overall attitudes and behaviors may be the lever that would most benefit the entire organization. Some clients who already have Safe Workplace Training or Diversity and Inclusion Training need to look at their cultural norms particularly in the current environment. Many organizations have training programs that are often over 5 years old and perhaps no longer relevant.

Because an organization's culture, not just its policies, is often the driver of establishing the work environment, many clients may not have looked closely at their own cultural base. This includes the organization’s behaviors and norms, 'Mission, Vision, Values' statements and even physical work environments to better understand what has worked well previously as well as what may not work or even be appropriate now or in the future. 

Does your management team and employees have the same answers to these questions? 

· What is the organizational culture from the views of all stakeholders?

· Does the organization have a record of responding to issues already surfaced?

· Is leadership aware and engaged? Walking the talk? Has the tone been set from the top to clearly communicate what is acceptable behavior? And what is not?

· What non-verbal communications are in play? Are interactions appropriate?

· Do employees believe the company has open communications? Are focus groups required to better understand the employee pulse?

· Are employees confident there wouldn't be retaliation if they complain? Are there safeguards already in-place to protect those who voice concerns?

Our environments change constantly, as do social norms. Organizational leadership changes (sometimes generational gap between leaders and a newer workforce) may cause executives to be out of step with their workforce. The risk is not understanding the changes or culture that are causing angst within the organization. The elephant in the room may be asking: Is your organization exposed? Do your leaders believe they are positioned to counter any litigation, poor employee relations or negative customer impacts if an employee says, “Me too”? 

Based on our experience, we advocate for closely examining your organizational culture and leadership behaviors as well as taking the temperature of your workforce with employee surveys or focus groups. Anything less may not produce the outcomes you and your leaders and need to proactively maneuver through this sea change of the “MeToo” movement.

Below are suggestions on ways to limit exposure:

· Identify what protocols should be in place. No matter how painful or embarrassing it is, bring up the scenarios of what an organization should do if faced with an accusation. 

· Conduct a cultural assessment. Has your value proposition and employee base changed substantially in the last 5 or 10 years? Do your mission statement and value proposition address the current workforce? Is your leadership decision-making style and collaboration style anchored in the current culture?

· Assess non-verbal styles (touching, patting, personal space) and establish clear expectations to keep them in check. Open physical work environments can blur the lines of appropriateness among employees.

· Avoid potential conflicts with simple audits of the organization’s policies and training curriculums. 

· Identify subtle queues within the workplace for what is and is not tolerated and what’s not. Do not leave it open to interpretation. 

· Avoid costly Employee Relations disasters and litigation by proactively reviewing your cultural levers.

John L. Estrada & Associates LLC is experienced in conducting cultural assessments, designing risk mitigation strategies, training design/implementation, as well as leading change management initiatives. We invite you to contact us and to discuss any aspects of this article.

Recent Article June 28, 2018

Communicate, Communicate, and Above All Else, Listen!


With unemployment at less than 3.7% (Chicago area, less elsewhere) the war for talent is not just heating up, it's burning up! 
Just this week I had a couple of colleagues tell me their sad stories about retention of key talent, recruitment for top talent. One colleague shared with me that their star Business Development Director had submitted his resignation. When I asked him about what they did to counter and retain him, he said they did everything. I inquired what 'everything' is, he said they offered a 20% base salary increase (he was already receiving 30% increase); promised a salary review in one year (that might be only a 3-10% increment); and a one time $2000 retention bonus (like salt on a wound). All of which he declined.
I did ask when the last time the manager had a career discussion with Business Development Director? He said when his last salary review was conducted in January. But I said not about salary but specifically about career, and he said 3 years back. I said that this is more proof that good employees never leave companies, they leave managers. Not having regular career discussions at least quarterly to keep your talent engaged and updated is a sure way to have them lose interest, and become an easy target to get poached.
However, a couple of lessons learned here. If your organization hasn't updated their salary ranges lately, best to do it now. It certainly helps to be current with salary structures to help retain key employees and attract new ones. And if employees aren't feeling included because of lack of manager feedback, you might revisit your talent management processes to ensure that all talent knows where they stand.
A week back another colleague was bemoaning the fact that they can't recruit a skilled process engineer with experience to replace one they lost over six months back. I inquired about the salary and requirements and quickly realized that they were trying to get someone now at 2012 salary range. They need to be current and competitive or they will never fill that slot. As many organizations have been beefing up their benefits to retain and attract talent, many haven't reviewed or updated their current portfolios. The latest is offering student loan relief, which can be hugely attractive to a fresh out, or even someone who is still paying student loans eight years after graduating. This engages that talent to ensure they reap the maximum benefits.
And above all, communicate, communicate and listen. Having a minimum of quarterly (if not more) discussions about career and performance is not a guarantee to retain, but certainly keeps your employees engaged and feeling wanted and rewarded. It always surprises me on how often managers forget that one of their most important duties is to manage their talent. Frequent communication pays dividends in this regard.
Lastly, a simple audit of your current sourcing, recruitment, and talent systems is a great way to ensure that your recruitment and retention for your organization is fresh, attractive, and current. Anything less is subject to derailing your talent pool and your organizational budgets and goals.
Our group offers human Capital Management process audits and consulting advice. We'd be pleased to partner with you for your continued success. Please email us at john@estradaconsulting.us





Najera Consulting


 The goal for each one of our services is to uncover the exceptional potential in our clients and their organizations.  

 We help take the anxiety out of running your organization by developing, clarifying and implementing high objective strategies that will allow you to out perform your competitors. We are passionate about inspiring change and helping you break out of the cycle of ineffectiveness by thinking differently about your organization. 

Integrated People Solutions


Integrated People Solutions sets the standard for Retained Executive Search. We believe the best way to positively impact our clients’ performance is through providing them with high quality leadership.

 Our core business is identifying, assessing and recruiting leadership talent into our client’s key positions in support of their business plan. Our fresh approach to executive search includes behaviorally based interview processes and assessment tools, precise candidate evaluation and systematic talent delivery. We often hear from our clients that our approach yields seamless execution of the impossible search. We are uniquely positioned to deliver future leaders for our clients.  

Business Staffing of America


 Business Staffing of America, Inc. delivers a focused set of staffing services requiring the participation of seasoned H.R experts who identify and implement distinctive staffing solutions for each of our clients. Guaranteed satisfaction is our promise to you. It’s risk-free placement of talented, dedicated people who are the perfect fit for your workplace or your money back. Period. 

Human Resources Management of Chicago (HRMAC)



 HRMAC began in 1915 with a group of seven people who met informally to discuss common problems, but within a few months, it had grown considerably and became known as the Employers' Advisory Group. This group became formally organized and instituted corporate memberships.

The Employers' Advisory Group had several more names and for a very short period, was a chapter of a national group. The chapter hosted the national organization meeting in Chicago in 1921 for 2,000 people. In fact, on the first day of the event, the wait staff at the conference hotel went on strike. Bag or box lunches were obtained and lunch was eaten at the delegates' seats in an auditorium.

The organization then became known as the Industrial Relations Association of Chicago and kept that name until 1982 when it became known as the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago.

Human Resource Management Association of Chicago

HRMAC is Chicagoland's premier resource for advancing workplace strategy and leadership. HRMAC membership is comprised of nearly 750 Chicago area organizations with a network of over 7,000 HR Professionals representing small private companies to multi-national public corporations from every business sector. With an unmatched tradition of fellowship, education and leadership, HRMAC is the oldest human resources organization in the country. Having recently concluded its 100th anniversary celebration, HRMAC remains committed to serving the human resources community and advancing the impact of progressive HR strategies on business success. 

What is happening in our world


Change Management Projects

Selected to assist the CIO of a large Orlando, Florida based regional healthcare organization on restructuring and transformation. Pleased to help with the  change management processes to achieve successful outcomes.

Speaking Engagements

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