Mitch Kusy, PhD

Antioch University
Home Faculty Directory Mitch Kusy, PhD

A 2005 Fulbright Scholar in Organization Development, Dr. Mitchell Kusy is a full professor in the Graduate School of Leadership & Change at Antioch University. A registered organization development consultant, Mitch has consulted with hundreds of organizations nationally and internationally; he has been a keynote speaker around the globe. Mitch has helped create organizational communities of respectful engagement, facilitated large-scale organizational change, and engaged teams through assessment and team-designed actions—all with a focus on improving organizational culture and long-term return on investment.

He previously headed leadership development for American Express and organization development for HealthPartners. Following these corporate experiences, Mitch was a full professor at the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, where he designed the doctoral program in organizational development.  Previous to his latest research and book on toxic personalities, Why I Don’t Work Here Anymore, Mitch co-authored five business books—one a business bestseller. In 1998, he was the Minnesota Organization Development Practitioner of the Year. He resides in Minneapolis and Palm Springs.



Organization Learning and Development

PhD in Leadership and Change

  • Doctorate: Organization Development. Collateral Field: Industrial Relations. University of Minnesota, 1986
  • Master’s: Industrial Relations. Collateral Field: Management Development. University of Minnesota, 1984
  • Master’s: Social Work. Specialty: Psychiatric Social Work. University of Wisconsin, 1974
  • Bachelor’s: Providence College, 1973.

My professional work in helping clients improve organizational cultures through large-scale, real-time change has transcended into my life work with our outstanding PhD students at Antioch. The sharing of their challenges and opportunities provides a backdrop for this learning community to better understand how to build organizations of everyday civility, team performance, and financial success.

  • A Mixed-Methods Study of Toxic Personalities in the Workplace (Kusy and Holloway, 2009)
  • A study of the most significant leadership mistakes leaders make and how they recover.
  • Research study of the leadership practices that propel leaders to success.


Why I Don't Work Here AnymoreKusy, M. (2017). Why I don’t work here anymore: A leader’s guide to offset the financial and emotional costs of toxic employees. Boca Raton: CRC Press / Taylor & Francis Group.

Kusy, M., & Holloway, E.  (2009). Toxic workplace!  Managing toxic personalities and their systems of power. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.  Translated into Portuguese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

Allen, S., & Kusy, M.  (2011).  The little book of leadership development: 50 ways to bring out the leader in every employee.  Washington, DC: AMACOM.

Essex, L., & Kusy, M.  (2007).  Manager’s desktop consultant: Just-in-time solutions to the top people problems that keep you awake at night!  Mountain View, CA: Davies-Black Publishing.  Translated into Korean, Polish, and Spanish.

Kusy, M., & Essex, L.  (2005).  Breaking the code of silence: Prominent leaders reveal how they rebounded from seven critical mistakes.  Lanham, Maryland: Taylor Trade Publishing/Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.

Essex, L., & Kusy, M.  (1999).  Fast forward leadership: How to exchange outmoded practices for forward- looking leadership today.  London: Financial Times-Prentice Hall.  [The 3rd best-selling business book in the US re: “What Corporate America is Reading.”  Knight Ridder-Tribune News Service, April, 2000].  Translated into Russian.

Journal Articles
Kusy, M. (in press). Why I don’t work here anymore: Leader beware! Leader to Leader.

Kusy, M., & Holloway, E. (2014, March-April).  A field guide to real-time culture change: Just “rolling out” a training program won’t cut it.  Journal of Medical Practice Management.          

Kusy, M., Diamond, M., & Vrchota, S.  (2015, July-August) Real-time culture change improves Lean success: Sequenced culture change gets failing grades. Allen, S., & Kusy, M.  (2011, July). Journal of Medical Practice Management, 29-33.

Kusy, M., Diamond, M., & Vrchota, S.  (2015). Why culture change is critical to Lean initiatives.  Healthcare Executive.

Holloway, E., & Kusy, M.  (2010, Summer). Detox your workplace: A culture of respect can add to our company’s bottom line.  Marketing Health Services, 24-27.

Holloway, E., & Kusy, M.  (2010, May-June). Disruptive and toxic behaviors in healthcare: Zero tolerance, the bottom line, and what to do about it. Journal of Medical Practice Management.

Keynote Addresses Delivered

Kusy, M. (2018, October 13). Toxic behaviors diminish personal well being and performance: How to design cultures of civility that mean business. Creating Healthy Organizations Conference, Costa Mesa, CA.

Kusy, M. (2018, November 1). Everyday civility is no longer a “nice to have.” Dealing with toxic personalities means business success. Navigate Forward Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Kusy, M. (2018, December 14). Your top performer is toxic. What’s your next move? Business Leaders Forum. Minneapolis, MN.

Kusy, M. (2017, March 8).  Understanding everyday civility and toxic behaviors: What these meant to your business and your bottom line.  University of St. Thomas National Signature Event for Leaders, Minneapolis

Kusy, M. (2013, May 10).  Increasing everyday civility: Evidence-based practices to improve patient safety, service, and performance.  Leadership Symposium, Michigan Community Dental Association, Bay City, MI

Kusy, M.  (2013, May 23).  Toxic behaviors. American College of Healthcare Executives, Portsmouth, NH.

Holloway, E., & Kusy, M.  (2010, May 24).  Toxic behaviors & incivility in healthcare: Research indications.  Radiology Business Managers Association Summit Conference, Colorado Springs, CO.

Kusy M, & Holloway, E. (2012, April 22).  Toxic workplace! Managing toxic personalities and their systems of power. International Society for Performance Improvement, Toronto.

Kusy, M.  (2007, February 18).  When leaders run amuck: Recovery 101.  Human Resource Institute of New Zealand, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND.   

Kusy, M.  (2005, May 4).  Mistake recovery: What every leader must know.  International Executive Conference of the Pacific Group of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Cairns, AUSTRALIA.

International Conference Presentations

Holloway, E., Kusy, M. (2011, October 29). Workplace civility: A whole systems approach to leadership ethics and a culture of respectful engagement.

Kusy, M., & Holloway, E.  (2010, July 8). High performance, resilience, and managing difficult personalities.  Chevron Corporation Executive Series, Perth, AUSTRALIA.

Kusy, M., & Holloway, E.  (2010, July 12).  Toxic personalities and their systems of power.  Integral Development Seminar Series, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA.

Kusy, M. (2010, June 23).  Executive development at TV New Zealand.  TV New Zealand Annual Executive Conference, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND.

Kusy, M., & Holloway, E. (2010, July 12).  Respect and the bottom line: What research reveals about toxic behaviors.  Integral Development Conference, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA.

U.S. Conference Presentations. Excluding Keynote Addresses

Kusy, M. (2013, March 6).  Toxic personalities make toxic teams: Research and practices about what HR must do to impact everyday civility.  HR Connection, San Jose.

Holloway, E., & Kusy, M. (2013, March 28). Managing toxic personalities and their systems of power. International Society for Performance Improvement—South Florida Chapter, Webinar.

Holloway, E., & Kusy, M.  (2009, January 27). Dealing with toxic & disruptive behaviors at work. Prosthetic Representatives Training Conference, Atlanta.

Holloway, E.,  & Kusy, M.  (2012, October 15-16). Toxic workplace! Managing toxic personalities and their systems of power. American College of Healthcare Executives, CEO Circle, San Antonio.

Holloway, E., & Kusy, M.  (2012, October 15-16).  Toxic behaviors & incivility in healthcare: Impacting patient safety, productivity, and the bottom line.  American College of Healthcare Execs., CEO Circle, San Antonio.

Kusy, M, & Holloway, E.  (2012, August 27).  Toxic personalities & their systems of power.  Millcreek Community Hospital Board Conference, Toronto.

  • 2005 Fulbright Scholar in International Organization Development
  • 1998 Minnesota Organization Development Practitioner of the Year
  • 3rd Best-selling business book re: “What corporate America is reading: Fast Forward Leadership
  • American Psychological Association
  • Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • The Organization Development Network
  • Minnesota OD Network
  • The International Registry of Organization Development Professionals
  • Organization behavior: What it means. How to change it.
  • Organization development: A systems approach to organizational change.
  • Creating cultures of everyday civility: Dealing with toxic personalities through systems interventions
  • Strategic planning: Large-scale and real-time
  • Organizational culture change: A multi-disciplinary, multi-level focus
  • Team development: Assessment, action, and evaluation
  • Multi-source feedback systems: Design, development, and action
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