Leon de Caluwe biography and theory

Leon de Caluwe - Toolshero

Leon de Caluwe (1950-2019) was a Management Consultant and Professor of Change Management at the Vrije Universteit (VU). Together with Hans Vermaak he co-created the Thinking in Colors theory.

Biography Leon de Caluwe

Leon de Caluwe studied social psychology at the University of Utrecht and he graduated in 1975. He obtained his doctorate (Ph.D.) from Tilburg University in 1997 with his doctoral thesis ‘Learning to Change: an evaluation study into the design and impact of a large-scale cultural intervention using gaming simulation’.

After he had completed his studies, Leon started working as a management consultant and he has been working at Twynstra Gudde consultancy since the early 1990s.

Free Toolshero ebook

In 2001, Leon de Caluwe was appointed as a professor at Vrije Universiteit and managed the Center for Research in Consultancy which studies the role, interventions and effectiveness of management consultants.

He also became senior partner at Twynstra Gudde in Amersfoort.

His book Learning to Change received the “Best-book-of-the-year 1998” award and he was granted the public award from the Council for Management Consultancies and the Dutch Association of Management Consultancy Firms.

De Caluwe specialized in change processes in which the human factor plays an important role. He developed the ‘gaming’ method in the Netherlands. In addition he adopted the so-called thinking in colors which he con-created with Together with Hans Vermaak.

The National Survey into Change Management which he developed with Willem Mastenbroek, was published in 2005 for the first time.

Leon de Caluwe quotes

  • “The words change and management do not fit well together. There is often a large overestimation of the feasibility of change.”
  • “In ideal organizations there is a good balance between what managers do and what employees want.”
  • “People change when they don’t clash. When you’re connected, we’re most likely to understand and influence each other.”
  • “Rule 1 is: people don’t change. But sometimes they do. And that’s rule 2.”

Join the Toolshero community

Publications and books

  • 2013. Exploring the Professional Identity of Management Consultants (Research in Management Consulting). Information Age Publishing.
  • 2013. Towards Organizational Development for Sustainable High Quality Medical Teaching. Accepted for: Perspectives on Medical Education.
  • 2012. Gaming Research in Policy and Organization. An Assessment From the Netherlands. Simulation and Gaming, 43 (5), p. 600-626.
  • 2011. Developmental space for groups working on innovation. Human Resource Development International, vol 14, no.3, july 2011,
    p. 253-271.
  • 2011. Research in the policy and organization sciences with gaming/simulation. Simulation and Gaming Journal.
  • 2011. Fifth International Conference on Management Consulting. Academy of Management.
  • 2011. Leren in spelsimulaties. In Handboek human resource development (pp. 474-491). Bohn Stafleu van Loghum.
  • 2010. Why Simulation Games Work – In Search of the Active Substance: A Synthesis. Simulation and Gaming, 41 (6), p. 824-843.
  • 2010. The Future of Organization Development: A Delphi Study among Dutch Experts. Journal of Change Management, vol. 10, no. 4, p. 393-405.
  • 2008. Management Consultants and Competencies: What Do They Need in Their Assignments?
  • 2008. Why do games work? In search of the active substance. Deventer, Kluwer.
  • 2007. Management Consultants, Colorful Ways of Looking at Change. Journal of Change Management, December, 2007. Vol.17, nrs. 3-4
    . p.243-254.
  • 2007. Intervening and Changing: Looking for Meanings in Interactions. Wiley.
  • 2007. Using gaming simulation for change of organizations and for change of corporate culture. Kriz W., Gaming Simulation and Organizational Change. Wissenschaftlicher Verlag.
  • 2006. Linkages between individual characteristics relating to change and learning. Develop, Vol. 2, Fall, p 24-31.
  • 2006. Onderzoek naar competenties van organisatie-adviseurs in verandertrajecten.
  • 2004. Change Paradigms: An Overview. OD Journal. Volume 22. Number 4.
  • 2004. Thinking about change in different colours. Dynamics of organizational change and learning, 197-226.
  • 2003. Last Stage of Product Development: Interventions in Existing Operational Processes. Creativity and Innovation Management. Vol 12, number 2, June 2003.
  • 2003. Learning to Change. A Guide for Organization Change Agents. Sage Publications Inc.
  • 2002. Changing Organisations with Gaming/simulation. Elsevier Reed.
  • 2002. Prevailing perspectives on change. In Paper submitted to Management Consultancy Division, Academy of Management, for the 2002 Conference in Denver, Colorado.
  • 1999. Ten islands of learning. Twynstra Group.
  • 1999. The use and effectiveness of gaming/simulation for strategic culture change. INTERNATIONAL SIMULATION AND GAMING RESEARCH YEARBOOK, 7, 156-168.

How to cite this article:
Van Vliet, V. (2010). Leon de Caluwe. Retrieved [insert date] from Toolshero: https://www.toolshero.com/toolsheroes/leon-de-caluwe/

Published on: 01/06/2010 | Last update: 05/15/2024

Add a link to this page on your website:
<a href=”https://www.toolshero.com/toolsheroes/leon-de-caluwe/”>Toolshero: Leon de Caluwe</a>

Did you find this article interesting?

Your rating is more than welcome or share this article via Social media!

Average rating 4 / 5. Vote count: 4

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Vincent van Vliet
Article by:

Vincent van Vliet

Vincent van Vliet is co-founder and responsible for the content and release management. Together with the team Vincent sets the strategy and manages the content planning, go-to-market, customer experience and corporate development aspects of the company.


Leave a Reply