Kay Peterson

Founder and CEO

Kay Peter­son is the founder of the Insti­tute for Expe­ri­en­tial Learn­ing, a board-cer­ti­fied coach and an orga­ni­za­tion­al devel­op­ment con­sul­tant. Kay lives as a life­long learn­er and brings an approach of curios­i­ty, cre­ativ­i­ty and inspi­ra­tion to her clients. Her pre­vi­ous career roles have includ­ed: clin­i­cal nurse spe­cial­ist, sales man­ag­er, start-up entre­pre­neur, fam­i­ly-busi­ness own­er, CEO, and pres­i­dent of a health­care and library board. It was not until Kay “learned how to learn” with expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing that the lights went on regard­ing how peo­ple change and devel­op. Now, Kay deliv­ers a cre­ative and direct approach to help lead­ers and pro­fes­sion­als to reach their high­est poten­tial at any point in their careers with­in orga­ni­za­tions that are delib­er­ate­ly using the pow­er of learn­ing and devel­op­ment to thrive. She applies the val­ues and ideas of expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing with clients and in her own life.

Kay’s goal is to put expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing on the agen­da of every orga­ni­za­tion­al change and devel­op­ment effort and any­one look­ing to enact per­son­al change. Her research on learn­ing flex­i­bil­i­ty is con­tribut­ing to the already vast body of evi­dence about the pow­er of learn­ing to trans­form lives. Togeth­er with David A. Kolb, Kay has devel­oped a new Team Learn­ing Report that pro­motes team effec­tive­ness by help­ing team mem­bers to iden­ti­fy their strengths and link them to the team learn­ing process, and help­ing teams to employ a shared mod­el of team learn­ing.  With Kolb, Kay has also devel­oped a Learn­ing Style Flex­i­bil­i­ty Pro­file 360° Assess­ment that pro­motes per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment by mea­sur­ing skills asso­ci­at­ed with the Learn­ing Styles of the Kolb Learn­ing Style Inven­to­ry 4.0.

Kay designs and deliv­ers cus­tom pro­grams for indi­vid­ual devel­op­ment and team effec­tive­ness to sup­port those who are work­ing to simul­ta­ne­ous­ly become more com­pet­i­tive and col­lab­o­ra­tive. She has worked with pro­fes­sion­als in health care, law, ser­vice, finance, man­u­fac­tur­ing, man­age­ment, engi­neer­ing, IT, edu­ca­tion and non-prof­it set­tings. Kay also serves as a Mas­ter Coach at Case West­ern Reserve Weath­er­head Exec­u­tive Education.

Kay earned a Mas­ter of Sci­ence degree in Pos­i­tive Orga­ni­za­tion and Devel­op­ment and an MBA from Weath­er­head School of Man­age­ment at Case West­ern Reserve Uni­ver­si­ty, a Mas­ter of Nurs­ing degree from Emory Uni­ver­si­ty, and a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence degree from Van­der­bilt Uni­ver­si­ty. She is a board-cer­ti­fied coach and Pro­fes­sion­al Cer­ti­fied Coach with the Inter­na­tion­al Coach­ing Fed­er­a­tion. She has earned a Cer­tifi­cate in Appre­cia­tive Inquiry in Pos­i­tive Busi­ness and Soci­ety Change, a Cer­tifi­cate for Devel­op­ing Lead­er­ship through Emo­tion­al Intel­li­gence for Coach­ing and Sus­tain­able Change, and is cer­ti­fied in the Hay Group Emo­tion­al and Social Com­pe­ten­cy Inven­to­ry and the Lead­er­ship Cir­cle. Kay has com­plet­ed post-grad­u­ate train­ing at the Gestalt Insti­tute of Cleve­land in Gestalt Coach­ing, Train­ing and Somat­ic Stud­ies.  Kay com­plet­ed the coach­ing pro­gram in Adult Devel­op­ment at the Cen­ter for Lead­er­ship Matu­ri­ty.  Her cur­rent research explores the dif­fer­ence in indi­vid­ual con­trib­u­tors and lead­ers at dif­fer­ent points in their legal careers through a lens of learn­ing style. Her work in expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing has been pub­lished in Har­vard Busi­ness Review Guides, Forbes, TD Mag­a­zine, OD Prac­ti­tion­er and the Jour­nal of Expe­ri­en­tial Learn­ing. She has co-authored two books with David A. Kolb titled How You Learn is How You Live: Using Nine Ways of Learn­ing to Trans­form Your Life (Berrett-Koehler, 2017) and How You Learn Is How You Live: Per­son­al Devel­op­ment Guide (2017).

Kay can be reached at peterson@experientiallearninginstitute.org.