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Founder: Steven F. Freeman, PhD

Dr. Freeman has been a pioneer in developing the discipline and practice of organizational resilience, i.e., an ability to cope with unanticipated adversities, an understanding which emerged from an acclaimed field study (pdf)[1], with colleagues Larry Hirschhorn and Marc Maltz of World Trade Center firms in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The team documented how day-of-attack devastation was just the beginning of difficulties and losses[2], from which many firms could not recover. Yet they also observed success: a second award-winning paper (pdf)[3], details the astonishing recovery and towering success of one small investment bank nearly obliterated in the attacks and laid the groundwork for a theory of organizational resilience.

     Freeman has honed this emerging experise in Crisis Preparedness to complement prior work in Creativity & Innovation. The dual disciplines provide a uniquely comprehensive perspective on both managing the unexpected and the relationship between crisis and opportunity.

     Freeman brings exceptional experience, knowledge and analytical abilities to the task of comprehensively identifying -- and preparing for -- potential impending crises. including extensive practice social systems sciences with Wharton’s Dr. Russell Ackoff and system dynamics with MIT’s Jay Forestter, John Sterman and Peter Senge. Freeman's academic ahievements include ....

     Freeman has served as faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in a variety of positions since 2000, but his experience extends well beyond the ivy towers, having worked in a wide variety of jobs up and down the corporate ladder, undertaken several entrepreneurial initiatives, and leadership in a social movement. He has also taught and worked extensively throughout Latin America (a region that has much to teach us on coping with crisis).


As of 2013, Freeman will be focusing and sharpening his gaze as he o embark on the new Crisalis venture -- to help you identify what’s most important, prepare for the greatest threats, and seize the opportunities that are emerging from the new crisis era increasingly upon us,

  most of these diverse interests and minimizing academic obligations t

remarkable recovery of one

Larry Hirschhorn and Marc Maltz 


at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has served in a variety of positions since 2000.

ly broad educational background and



[1] Selected for inclusion in the Academy of Management's Best Papers 2003

[2] In addition to doing all the work of an extremely demanding regular job (investment bankers commonly work 80 hours per week) with a decimated workforce, affected firms also had to: manage often paralyzing grief and guilt; attend and speak at a steady stream of funerals; help support family of lost colleagues, construct temporary workspace and work around the inevitable and inefficiencies of these temporary facilities; rebuild new long-term facilities; attempt to recreate new team synergies (or more often, accept the loss of these synergies); refinance; assure investors, clients, employees and other stakeholders of continuing viability; reconstruct records; and hire new hands top to bottom.

[3] Academy of Management's Best Practice Paper 2003