Eric Ellis


Eric is a people strategist with significant experience in the areas of organizational change, training and development, and employment practice development. He has translated his passion for human behavior into an 18 year HR career where he has worked for noted software companies such as MathWorks, HubSpot and WorldCare Inc. For many years, Eric’s role involved helping employees deal with the .com bust of the early 2000’s. This intersection of innovation and failure was a rich place to grow professionally. Eric became passionate about Design Thinking in 2010 after reading “The Creativity Crisis” in Newsweek. He found this new definition of creativity to be unique and loaded with potential for innovation in the corporate world. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Music, an MBA in Design Thinking from California College of the Arts and is currently pursuing his MSOD at the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University. Eric is also certified in Meyers Briggs and is a Level 1 & 2 certified Emotional Intelligence facilitator.

Eric is based out of San Francisco, CA.

Why did you decide to work at Kotter?

The humanity of it all. Beyond the science is a heart and passion for people.

Who is your favorite leader?

Carole Sanford – The Responsible Business changed my life. I believe that her research and writing about sustainable business is the future of work. Carole’s quote, “…developing employees is about drawing out, lifting up, and developing the inherent capacity of people to lead and create” best describes my approach to work.

What in your background helps you in this job?

Several years of improv dance and acting class helps me on almost a weekly basis. It is important to be responsive, light on your feet, and able to adapt to any situation.

What’s got you thinking right now?

GRIT – the book by Angela Duckworth – and its intersection with urgency. Where Design Thinking intersects with change. How to design an optimal change experience…

Share something about you that would most surprise people.

Mowing the lawn is my favorite domestic chore. I love the satisfaction of seeing a well mown lawn. I do some of my best thinking pushing a lawn mower.