H B Gelatt was regarded as an expert in decision making. Notably he was the creator of Positive Uncertainty, a philosophy of decision making in uncertain times.
In 2021, HB’s final decision making framework was published — Future Sense: See the Forest and the Trees. It was the culmination of his 60 years of studying, speaking and writing about decision making. As H B would say, now more than ever it is time to “see the forest and the trees” as you create the future within you. What lies behind you and before you are important. But what lies within you is crucial.
In 2001, H B and his wife, Carol Casey Gelatt, co-founded Gelatt Partners to assist individuals and organizations change, grow and succeed. In 2003 they co-authored the 2nd edition of the popular decision making book Creative Decision Making Using Positive Uncertainty. As he did throughout his career, H B devoted his later years to writing about his approach to decision making until his death on June 3, 2021.
H B’s career encompassed a range of distinguished activities. He was Senior Research Scientist for the American Institutes for Research, Special Consultant and Trainer for the National and California Occupational Information Coordinating Committees, the College Board and the Kellogg Foundation Adult Learning Project. H B was a columnist for The Systems Thinking and Chaos Theory Newsletter and frequent keynote speaker to professional groups and organizations throughout the United States, Canada and Japan. Earlier in his career, HB was Director of Guidance and the Professional Renewal Program for the Palo Alto Unified School District.
Many honors came H B’s way recognizing his work in the fields of decision making and career development. The awards included the Lifetime Achievement in Career Development Award from the California Career Development Association, the Professional Resource Award from the Career Planning and Adult Development Network for outstanding service as a resource to the career development profession, the Clarion Model Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession from the California Association of Counseling and Development, and the Distinguished Professional Service Award from the Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors.
His educational background included doctoral and master’s degrees in counseling psychology from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Jose State University.
There was much more to H B than his career and passion for decision making. The other loves of his life were his family and friends, eating Carol’s cooking, enjoying nature, music, spectator sports (especially the Golden State Warriors, SF Giants, SF 49ers and Stanford football, baseball and basketball) and the continuous reinvention of H B.