Jeff Melanson
Jeff Melanson is a Canadian executive who has spent more than 15 years working in the arts and culture community, as well as in the public sector. A past President and CEO of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO), Jeff is passionate about using his business and entrepreneurship expertise to build creative organizations, as well as more vibrant communities. He is also passionate about speaking on topics related to the arts and our universal creative spirit. Jeff currently leads Creative Change Management Consulting (, a firm that delivers consulting expertise to the creative and business sectors.

Entries by Jeff Melanson

No Quick Fix

(1) Comments | Posted May 18, 2017 | 11:41 AM

We spend much of our lives confronting problems and challenges. It seems with every passing day or news cycle there are new pressing issues that demand our attention and thought. And yet, how often is this thought deep and reflective, as opposed to kneejerk and quick?

Have we trained...

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Creative Inspiration: Tallinn, Estonia

(0) Comments | Posted May 18, 2017 | 11:06 AM

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the relationship between organizational strategy and city building (more on that in my next post). I do find it interesting how many cities and countries set strategies to encourage creativity and innovation without fully exploring or being aware of what other places...

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Creative Hubs Can Be Drivers Of Innovation For All Society

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2017 | 2:04 PM

Recently, I was invited to Estonia to speak in its capital at the Tallinn Music Week Creative Impact Conference. That's right -- a major Estonian music festival also hosted a concurrent summit on society, creative economies and city building.

The music festival and summit is produced by a talented...

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Our Limits Are What We Make Them

(0) Comments | Posted April 6, 2017 | 4:15 PM

Today, as I struggled to hold two three-minute plank sets, my mind wandered and I wondered what the record might be for the longest time anyone has ever held a plank. (For those unfamiliar with a plank pose, you basically hold the top of a push up with a straight...

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How A Listening Tour Can Change Your Workplace

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2017 | 11:39 AM

Years ago, a professor challenged me with an assignment that changed my life. The assignment was to find a park bench to sit on for one hour and to record in writing every sound that I heard. From birds chirping, to leaves rustling, to the distant rumble of traffic; I...

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What Do You Value?

(1) Comments | Posted March 27, 2017 | 12:14 PM

I've never been one for small talk. I much prefer to get to the heart of the matter and find a true connection to another human being beyond what the weather is like today, or which team played where or won what. I am much more interested in who people...

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Good Luck?

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2017 | 4:41 PM

In my last Huffington Post piece on Happenstance, I discussed the importance of remaining open to and honouring the role of chance in our lives. While I strongly believe this is true, I also believe it is difficult to acknowledge or differentiate between good and bad luck in...

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Thinking Beyond The Box On Evolution

(3) Comments | Posted March 13, 2017 | 2:53 PM

When we consider the concept of evolution, we often get lost in the debate between religion and science. Regardless of which side of the debate one agrees with, it is clear that our planet, our various species, and our societies have experienced significant evolution over time.

Oxford Dictionaries defines...

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The Role Of Happenstance In Innovation

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2017 | 4:06 PM

Are you totally in control of your life? How much of your life resulted from serendipitous events, and how much is the result of deliberate action? How many of those details or interactions did you or could you have planned? Or, did life beautifully unfold to deliver these circumstances to...

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Think Big!

(0) Comments | Posted February 28, 2017 | 4:46 PM

Fear and worry is, unfortunately, a part of everyday life. Fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of our comfortable lives being disrupted, displaced, or disassembled. As Mark Twain famously said, "I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened."

In all of my years...

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Out Of The Ordinary

(0) Comments | Posted February 15, 2017 | 4:31 PM

I remember reading Phoebe Gilman's award winning children's book "Something from Nothing" to my three children. It is a great book that Gilman herself describes as a story adapted from an old Jewish folksong about a tailor who makes his old coat into a jacket, vest...

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Are There Downsides To Being A Quick Learner?

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2017 | 5:56 AM

Remember doing multiplication tables in school? We were presented with 100 math problems and a limited time to complete them. The task was designed to measure accuracy and speed. If you were "gifted", you were able to do complete the math problems both quickly and with precision. If you faltered...

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'Shedding' Our Resistance To Change

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2017 | 4:34 PM

Recently, I have been thinking about how we "shed" the old to make room from the new in our lives, organizations and society. I have also been thinking about why we might block, resist or neglect change when we know it is necessary and essential. If we know what doesn't...

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Human Intelligence: Everyone's Creative World

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2017 | 2:53 PM

For years, I have been captivated by Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences - a theory focused on the many varied ways humans make sense of the world or express intelligence. As presented in Frames of Mind, his groundbreaking book, Gardner advocates for a recognition that...

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The Medium Is The Message

(2) Comments | Posted January 18, 2017 | 2:59 AM

As the famous Canadian media theorist, Marshall McLuhan, suggests "the medium is the message". While we most often apply this quote to communications or technology, I like to think of its application to the design of everything from city streets to textiles. I often wonder about the assumptions buried within...

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We Are All Artistic Beings Who Need The Arts

(1) Comments | Posted January 11, 2017 | 11:51 AM

It's interesting to read of developments in the field of genetics where scientists are looking for DNA markers of artistic or creative genius. There has been work done by scientists at the University of Helsinki which point to genetic markers that may have identified Beethoven's musical genius long before he...

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