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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Thomas Gilmore

Thomas Gilmore, Principal, CFAR, has worked as a management consultant for 45 years, and has been a prolific writer throughout this time. One of CFAR’s five founders, Tom consults to significant changes in complex organizations, often in connection with leadership transitions. He has written extensively on issues of leadership, large group engagement processes, reorganizations, downsizing, and team building. Originally trained as an architect, Tom brings a unique perspective to the process of analyzing organizational problems and drafting solutions. He sees the links between the external context and the present issues in the organization. He links the business imperatives with the dynamics among individuals on the executive teams facing tough, far-reaching decisions.

His particular specialty is leadership transitions, and he has worked with corporations, governors, universities, liberal arts colleges, foundations, associations, and healthcare organizations to help them to seize leadership transitions as a major strategic opportunity to strengthen the organization. Tom’s extensive writings on a broad set of management issues emerge out of the consulting work he and CFAR have done. He extracts lessons from the particulars of a client situation and expresses them in a form that can be shared with other CFAR consultants, clients and the greater world of business thinkers. He is the author of Making a Leadership Change: How Organizations and Leaders Can Handle Leadership Transitions Successfully, cited by Frances Hesselbein—former CEO of the Girl Scouts and Founding President of the Drucker Foundation—as “the best book I know on this subject… I use it today—the most helpful gift I know for a leader in transition.” Tom is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Wharton School and in the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and for many years was a faculty member in the Consulting and Coaching for Change Program offered by Oxford and HEC. He is one of the founders and a member of ISPSO (International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations), serving on its board for three years.

Overview and Bibliography (2019 PDF