Mel ToomeyMel has been in and around the change business for a long time. He is one of the few practitioners who can honestly measure his contribution to our field in decades. But the extensive time he’s devoted to understanding the dynamics of change pales when compared to what he has learned and passed on to countless others. His insights and perspectives go far beyond knowledge of concepts and techniques—he is a source of true wisdom.

Mel approaches the change process through his unique focus on leadership as a distinct profession. He has been associated with and/or has formulated four different platforms that allow him to engage his work:

  • Scholar in Residence at the Graduate Institute (
  • Founder of the Generative Leadership Group (
  • Founder of the Center for Leadership Studies (
  • Lead faculty for the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program at the Center for Leadership Studies

The first time I heard Mel speak, I found his views on leadership and change to be penetrating, challenging, and compelling. Over the years, he has been an important resource for my development and it’s an honor to have this opportunity to introduce him to those who might not be familiar with his work.

In the first segment, Mel talks a little about how each of his integrated platforms functions and what led him to this kind of work.


In segment 2, he talks about what it means to “act in the face of no agreement,” why he thinks leadership is more an art form than a science, and why leaders are inherently dissatisfied with their work.


In segment 3, Mel talks about managing change vs. leading change, and the critical elements of a change manager’s knowledge base (in addition to methodology).


In the last segment, he describes the part innovation plays in leadership and the change process.


You can learn more about Mel’s work by visiting

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paradigms, art and science, mindfulness, learning as a foundation of our work

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