Co-Founder and President
Phil LeNir is president of CoachingOurselves but thinks he is still just an electrical engineer working on the incredibly complex challenge of helping organizations develop their leaders. He co-founded CoachingOurselves with Henry Mintzberg after adapting Henry's ideas on management education for use directly in his place of work.
Phil LeNir has a Masters in International Management and a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal. He also almost completed his Bachelors in Music from Concordia University but quit during his second-to-last semester to start an internet company in 1994.
Prior to CoachingOurselves, Phil held senior management positions in software firms specializing in speech recognition. He developed a patent in speaker verification systems and was responsible for developing speech recognition systems used by, or some might say inflicted upon, millions of people each year.
Phil has authored numerous articles on leadership development and even one on a novel multithreaded computer architecture. He also wrote a book on social and informal learning for management development which, much to Phil's surprise, has done well in Japan.
Jonathan Gosling is Emeritus Professor of Leadership at the University of Exeter and directs or advises on several management and organization development programs. He is an activist for reform in management education, Is a visiting professor of philosophy at a major Chinese university, and directs an annual intensive workshop employing many of the methods and approaches that underpin CoachingOurselves. He is currently supporting malaria elimination initiatives in Southern Africa and is lead faculty with the Forward Institute. He is a keen sailor, racing and cruising.
Warren Cohen is the VP of Business Development for CoachingOurselves. An engineer by trade, Warren has been involved in various management roles as well as entrepreneurial endeavors for over 20 years, including developing an environmental packaging product for high-tech applications.
He has a keen interest in helping people develop, having been a coach and motivator for national sports teams, as well as a father to Olivia (4) and Alex (7), helping them develop into resourceful, resilient, and respectful young people.
Topics Coordinator and Editor
Kara Johnston has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Queen’s University, Kingston, and a Diploma in Voice Performance from the University of Toronto. She has, among other things, been a private teacher in a music school and a Community Mental Health Worker. After doing some research for one of Henry Mintzberg’s books, she became the first hiree for CoachingOurselves.
When not working on topics and other assorted tasks, she keeps busy being a mother, a yoga aficionado, and an outdoors enthusiast.
Translations Coordinator, Marketing, Editor
Caitlin Downing is our amazing and talented polymath, our jack of all trades. She fills in all the gaps and skills that the rest of team lacks, and then learns new ones as new needs arise.
Right now she is on maternity leave and probably never getting more than 1 hour of uninterrupted sleep at any one time, but will one day forget about all that and feel like it all happened so fast.
SIMON P. DESJARDINS
Marketing and Communications Director
After his studies in communications at Université de Sherbrooke, Simon worked in the advertising industry and has been a communication specialist for different clients. He sees marketing and communications as a creative tool to make businesses grow and to reach people. He was quickly charmed by CoachingOurselves’ approach to management and deeply drawn by its values for social change and forward thinking.
When his mind is not working on new strategies and marketing ideas, he is in a recording studio, travelling, or seeking new music from around the world.
I have been an academic most of my working life. After receiving my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal (1961), I worked in Operational Research at the Canadian National Railways, and then received a masters and doctorate from the MIT Sloan School of Management in Boston. In 1968, I returned to McGill, where I joined what is now called the Desautels Faculty of Management. I currently hold the Cleghorn Professorship of Management Studies, having been half-time since the mid 1980s, and have been a visiting professor at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, London Business School in the U.K., Insead in France, and H.E.C. in Montreal.
I devote myself largely to writing and research, over the years especially about managerial work, strategy formation, and forms of organizing. In 2004, I published Managers not MBAs, in 2007 Tracking Strategies, in 2013 Simply Managing, and in 2015 Rebalancing Society, the implications of which are now my central focus. I am also completing a monograph entitled Managing the Myths of Health Care.
I have worked for much of the past two decades, in collaboration with colleagues from Canada, England, France, India, Japan, and now China and Brazil, on developing new approaches to management education and development. The International Masters in Practicing Management has been running since 1996 and the International Masters for Health Leadership since 2006. Both are rather novel ways to help managers learn from their own experience. I teach in these programs and otherwise supervise doctoral students, restricting my public speeches mostly to conveying a particular message or visiting a place I wish to see. In 2007, four of us developed CoachingOurselves.com, which brings all these efforts to natural fruition, by enabling small groups of practicing managers to develop themselves and their organizations in their own workplace. At CoachingOurselves, I work with Kara helping review and edit all the modules, with Phil to help him with direction and ideas, and I've written about 17 modules myself.
In recent years, I have shifted toward more general writing, including commentaries. On my 75th birthday, 2 September 2014, I began publishing a weekly TWOG (tweet2blog: @mintzberg141 to mintzberg.org/blog), as “provocative fun in a page or 2 beyond pithy pronouncements in a sentence or 2.” I like to write short stories, a few of which are on this site: I hope to publish a collection of them one day. Some years ago, I published a spoof on the foibles of flying. I also collect "beaver sculptures".
In all, I have published about 170 articles (listed on this website, with annotations and, where available, web links), and 17 books. Honors have included election as an Officer of the Order of Canada and of l'Ordre national du Quebec, selection as Distinguished Scholar for the year 2000 by the Academy of Management, and two McKinsey prizes for articles in the Harvard Business Review. Honorary degrees and other awards are listed in my C.V. You can also see a piece I wrote on my career (1993 autobiography). If you are interested in how I research and write, please see Developing Theory about the Development of Theory.
I continue to spend my public life dealing with organizations and my private life escaping from them. This I do on a bicycle, up mountains, atop skates, and in a canoe, with my partner Dulcie, my daughters Susie and Lisa, and now my grandchildren Laura, Tomas, and Maya.