Tonianne DeMaria Barry
Tonianne DeMaria Barry’s career spans the fashion industry and government agencies, nonprofit associations and Fortune 100 corporations, start-ups and international development. With undergraduate and graduate degrees in history and public history respectively, her academic training lends itself well to Modus, where she is forever helping clients investigate exactly Why and How things happen, and how to improve them going forward.
Not unlike Jim, Tonianne draws from a multidisciplinary background. She began her career buying, merchandising, and marketing for high-end retailers. In New York City’s dynamic fashion industry, she came to understand budgeting and margins, inventory/merchandising/and promotional planning, vendor negotiation, and supply chain management. She had to successfully forecast under constant systemic pressure from angles as disparate as designers/manufacturers/and media, international trade regulations, capricious consumer markets, outsourcing in Asia, staffing and training sales and merchandising teams, and even the impacts of climate change on textile production and consumer demand. While each of these “systems” was unique unto itself, their interdependence and impact on related systems quickly became obvious.
Since moving to Washington DC, systems thinking continues to underscore Tonianne’s every endeavor. Whether she is compiling a bibliography for the House of Representatives, providing research for political documentarians, writing corporate histories, creating benefits programs, establishing the framework for a learning organization, or conducting a full-on Lean transition for knowledge workers, she recognizes that there are systems comprised of the individual, the organizational, and beyond that intertwine to create the context of value-creation.
She has drawn from these experiences to assist clients as varied as The World Bank, The United Nations, Comcast, The Library Corporation, Trimble, and the State of Washington leverage the stories and values embedded within their culture. Merging her history and business backgrounds she’s helped individuals gain a clear understanding of their past and present contexts to establish priorities, achieve goals, and make informed and innovative decisions. With her Federal and State clients especially, Tonianne has bridged the gap between historic and current systems, giving government workers, their leadership, and their stakeholders much-needed transparency into the context in which their processes emerged, the impacts of variation on those processes, and how to improve those processes in ways that will be sustainable.
Along with Jim Benson, she is co-author of Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life (winner of the Shingo Research and Publication Award, 2013) and the upcoming Why Kanban Works. She is likewise co-founder of Kaizen Camp, the continuous improvement un-conference with events held worldwide.