Michael DeWilde is Director of the Business Ethics Center at the Seidman College of Business and an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Grand Valley State University. He is a regular speaker at conferences, the recipient of a major grant from the Kellogg Foundation, and winner of a 2007 Pew “Teaching Excellence” award. Prof. DeWilde teaches the MBA Business Ethics course, Ethics, Theories of Human Nature, Eastern Philosophy, and the Community Working Classics seminar, which received the 2002 national award for “Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs” from the American Philosophical Association. His latest article, published in the July 2010 issue of Philosophical Practice, is titled "Art, Aristotle, and Ambiguity: Notes from an Accidental Consultant." In November of 2010 he was a keynote speaker at Northwestern University's Brady Center for Ethics and Civic Life, and in October of 2010 an invited speaker at Grand Valley’s inaugural TEDx conference on Sustainability. In February of 2011 he delivered a series of talks on applied ethics at the University of Pondicherry in southern India. He has a chapter on the importance of introspection for developing leaders in the forthcoming book Social Responsibility, Entrepreneurship and the Common Good to be published by Pelgrave Press, and is also now a Research Affiliate professor with the ESC Rennes School of Business, Rennes, France. For many years he has taught meditation out of his home, and has consulted with West Michigan businesses as an executive coach. His work has been featured in the Grand Rapids Press, the New York Times and Inc. Magazine, among other places. He holds degrees from Harvard University and Grand Valley State University.
What I Do
My consulting work is an extension of my teaching, which brings together work in ethics, organizational and evolutionary psychology, literature, management theory and leadership development. I have been hired to foster culture change in businesses, to help young professionals develop, to clarify how stated values and observable behaviors might go together, and to write. As it was portrayed in the rather unfortunate and badly edited 2006 NY Times article (no fault of the Padnoses or the managers there, who were also misrepresented) my work might well appear elitist, a regrettably fair conclusion from that piece. It is, though, in fact, anything but. I am wholly interested in how people and organizations actually work, and what works for them as they seek to change to suit their own definition of “better,” not my definition. My approach is pragmatic and draws on what will help, not what will offer only theoretical explanations. The same writer who wrote the Times article wrote a much better and more representative piece later in Inc. magazine on the Koeze Co., a company I also consulted with for a period of time. Since “communication” and “conflict-aversion” are the two issues I am asked to address more than any others, it seems important here to acknowledge that both take time, patience, humor and perseverance to improve. A good consultant, I’ve come to think, is someone who listens relentlessly and carefully, not least in an attempt to take his own advice.
- “Introspection as Moral Courage: Entrepreneurs, Leaders and Social Responsibility” (Book Chapter)
- "Art, Aristotle, and Ambiguity: Notes from an Accidental Consultant" (Article)
- “Mindfulness Meditation and Conflict: Helping Leaders Overcome Defensive Behaviors Through Bare Attention” (Conference presentation)
- “Students, Inmates, and the Impulse to Change the World” (Invited Talk)
Full selection upon demand
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616 331-3612