Ken Otter


Ken Otter, Ph.D. As a life long surfer, Ken Otter lives life in motion, more improvised than choreographed. Professionally he designs and facilitates innovative and transformative learning experiences for people in both academic and practice settings. Linking traditional and contemporary knowledge as well as art and science, Ken promotes personal and social practices that cultivate artistry, integrative health and wisdom in individuals, organizations, and communities globally. Always looking to partner, present areas of focus in both research and practice include: global leadership development, multi-stakeholder collaboration and innovation, and expanding relationality in organizational life and leadership through teaching, coaching and facilitation.

Presently, Ken is Co-director of The Leadership Center at Saint Mary’s College and Associate Professor in Leadership Studies. He is also core faculty at the Tamalpa Institute in the U.S., at Tamalpa Korea in Seoul, South Korea, and guest faculty at the Université Terre and Mer in France, and principal of Leadership Learning Arts.

Ken’s educational studies include somatic, counseling and organizational psychology, expressive arts therapy, adult development and learning, and leadership. In addition to both a M.A. and Ph.D. degree, he has been earned certificates in Leadership Development from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and in Executive and Organizational Coaching from Columbia’s Teacher’s College. Presently, he is completing an advanced training in Social Presencing Theater with Arawana Hiyashi.


Educating Managers-as Coaches: The Role of Transformative Learning
This theoretical paper discusses the specific challenges posed to educate managers to be effective manager-coaches. We first explore the requisite skills and capacities that managers need to effectively coach their employees as part of their managerial responsibilities and the challenges that this added portfolio of responsibilities pose. Second we review the implications for managerial coaching education, pointing out the role of transformative education.

Ethical Dilemmas in Coaching: From Deviation to Transformation

While ethical dilemmas can be apprehended as deviation for sound practice, this paper explores their potential for individual, organizational and industrial transformations. By tapping into the transformative learning and adult development literatures, we discuss why and how a higher order of consciousness, e.g. an ability to better embrace complexity, equips coaches to use dilemmas as a springboard to meaningful and transformative change in organizations.

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