Christopher Dawson, PhD

Senior Partner

Dr. Christopher Dawson has served as a trusted advisor to C-suite executives for over 30 years, focused on this question: Given this strategy, what capabilities, culture, leadership do we need to successfully execute to our future vision?   Dr. Dawson has subject matter expertise, numerous proprietary tools and methods in strategy implementation, talent management, organization design, culture change and executive effectiveness.  His book Leading Culture Change: What Every CEO Needs to Know, published by Stanford University Press in 2010, continues to be in high demand.  The book is a working field guide outlining essential basic principles along with many unique solutions for special challenges.  It is a useful handbook for both experienced and aspiring CEOs, filled with many real-world case examples.

Although he has consulted to a diverse collection of industries across the globe, in the last ten years his focus has primarily been in Silicon Valley, up and down the West coast, and Honolulu.  He has hands-on industry experience in healthcare, financial services, real estate development, and all manner of technology firms big and small.  He has helped small to medium-sized early stage companies scale-up their capabilities in the service of reaching the next growth plateau (LinkedIn, Electronic Arts, ngmoco).  He has consulted in Fortune 500 companies (Dow Chemical, VISA International, Dole Foods) on talent management and culture change challenges; with small community hospitals (El Camino) and large healthcare systems (Kaiser Northern California; Jewish and St Mary’s in Louisville, City of Hope, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford) around physician leadership development, organizational structure and systemic integration.

He has a well-honed gift in guiding executive teams to higher levels of leadership effectiveness by coaching leaders and members in applied use of best practice tools and methods.  Aligning ‘actual,’ with ‘spoken’ executive behavior is a critical first step that many leadership teams never achieve.   So many executive teams generate unnecessary work by ignoring lateral dependencies rather than working through the matrix of shared execution.

No matter the engagement – from large scale enterprise transformation, to leadership team coaching, to executive coaching, Dr. Dawson makes sure that observable and measurable business results are the defining success metrics in framing the scope of work and evaluating his engagements.


  • MBA, Pepperdine University, 1996-98, with specialization in Strategy
  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, CSPP-Berkeley, 1981. Licensed (inactive status) in California 1983
  • MS, Counseling Psychology, San Jose State University, 1976-78
  • UC Santa Cruz, Psychology, 1974-76, BA Psychology
  • Antioch College, Yellow springs Ohio, 1970-73

“Chris has a well-honed gift in guiding executive teams to higher levels of leadership effectiveness.”

Reach Christopher Dawson