Roger S. Burton

Executive Coach


Mr. Burton currently works with educators, activists and students with some focus on the California educational community and some focus internationally on questions of STEM education.  This work includes individual coaching, process design and facilitation, culture change, strategic capacity and reflection. Over the past decade Mr. Burton’s primary focus has been educational systems, inter-generational dialogue, capacity building for faculty, and educational transformation. Mr. Burton was a lead in a multi-year research and practice initiative funded by the National Science Foundation with a particular focus on the transformation of STEM education and culture.  This work was trans-disciplinary in nature which means that a good deal of it was community organization beyond the boundaries of the educational system. During this time Mr. Burton has also been lightly engaged with various industry clients particularly in the areas of professional and personal development and conflict resolution. Mr. Burton is currently focused on leadership development, systems thinking and capacity building with K-12 professionals. This includes work with individuals, teams, service organizations and directly with populations being served. He is currently focused on California.

Mr. Burton is an author of various publications dealing with questions of complexity, change, emergence and resilience.



For the past 30 years Mr. Burton has been working as a systems change consultant and change catalyst with many of the world’s largest corporations and organizations.  Before starting his own practice in 2000, Mr. Burton was a Partner with CSC/Index. His work has included the CEO executive suite and the shop floor across a wide variety of industries and endeavors.  Mr. Burton has worked or lived in over 45 countries to date. Some example clients and areas of focus are listed below:

BP – Mr Burton co-designed and facilitated the research and learning process by which BP created their Alternative Energy Divisions and helped them work through the strategic and organizational difficulties of growing that organization over a period of 5 years.  He has worked extensively with BP since the 90’s across many businesses and geographies with a particular focus on refining and safety from 2001-2008.

Internal Revenue Service – When the United States Congress mandated the modernization of the IRS, Mr. Burton was initially responsible for the cultural and leadership changes necessary for that shift from a police organization to a service culture.  This included ‘coaching’ the Presidential appointee and senior team of the IRS, building the broad leadership process across the top 300 IRS leaders, process design for the dialogue components of the technical modernization and working with the team directly accountable for the IRS relationship to the federal oversight bodies.  His work on the relationship between the IRS and the (then) GAO was cited by Congress as a model for all departments.



China – Mr. Burton has been involved in a variety of sustainability and learning efforts in China and between China and the U.S.  These range from working on the business and service models of small NGO’s to work with large Chinese entrepreneurs, SOE’s, State Ministries and multinational corporations active in China on questions of growth. sustainability and capability building.



BMW– Mr Burton helped to create the initial Innovation Lab at BMW in Munich, assisting them in making real the first and second person practices and processes needed for consistent innovation. Among other things this Lab was instrumental in the re-design of the Mini-Cooper. Mr. Burton was asked to serve on the Board of Austin Rover as a result of this work (but declined).

Post Merger/Acquisition – Mr. Burton has worked with a variety of large corporations on successfully dealing with the implications of merger and acquisition.  Like sustainability initiatives, the vast majority of mergers simply fail to produce their intended results. Mr. Burton designed and facilitated the processes for the redesign and integration of the post-merger R&D functions at both Astra-Zeneca and GSK.  He was actively involved in the change architecture related to the mergers and shifting landscape associated with the deregulation of utilities in the US during the 90’s. He assisted BP in working through post integration and leadership issues related to their Amoco merger.

Industrial Safety – Mr. Burton has worked with a variety of organizations (BP, St. Gobaine, BMW, etc.) on the question of the deeper culture of safety and how to functionally address this. Mr. Burton’s work typically includes individual, team, and leadership development and is approached through capacity and change methodologies consistent with systems thinking and action research.

Labor Relations – Mr. Burton has co-designed and implemented dialogue and capacity building processes for what have been considered breakthrough labor agreements and relations in Europe and Australia.  He is trained as a mediator and works extensively with conflict resolution, often with an emphasis on dialogue processes and capacity building to prevent recurring conflict