Dr. Tonnie van der Zouwen MCM (1956)
Since 2002 I have worked as an independent consultant, operating from a network
of colleagues. I support organisations and communities of professionals in
change processes, in order to
develop individual and collective abilities with
the goal of increasing effectiveness. In these processes my role ranges from
that of a consultant, facilitator, coach and trainer to researcher. The Creation
of new connections by matching people with ideas, participative change methods
and new methods for putting theory into practice are all part of my approach. My
services include interactive processes and products, such as the LSI-training,
building informative websites like this one, and organising conferences for
professionals. See also
What is my story? After finishing my degree in Ecology at Utrecht University, I
wanted to work as a researcher. However, the environment was not yet a hot item,
and there were very few jobs in that field. So I became a biology teacher at an
agricultural school. I learned a lot from my colleagues, from working with
groups and how to organise and give effective lessons.
In 1990 I switched to environmental consultancy. At first with
a regional engineering firm, later with multinational organizations. My first projects as a
consultant were assignments from environmental government departments: quality management, research and development of environmental
legislation, investigations and environmental audits. In those days I made an evaluation of the perceptions
of environmental rules for Small and Medium Enterprises. Confronted with the
ambiguity of perceptions with the parties involved, I felt the restrictions of
my position as an expert. Why did the
implementation of the solid designed strategies and programmes often fail in
practice? After an initial period of three years, I decided to follow the Master of
Change management course at Sioo (a
leading institute in the Netherlands for research and learning routes on consultancy).
deeply into world views, change strategies, and learned to work with
participative methods like Large Scale Interventions. In doing action research I rediscovered my
passion for research and writing.
In March 2011 I finished my PhD research on the sustainable
effects of LSI, at the
University in the Netherlands.
I am a member of the
Society for Organisational Learning,
the Future Search Network, the
Open Space Network, the
Dutch Association of Consultants Ooa,
and the Academy of Management.
For more information please see