Henning Zorn



Why do teams matter to you?

Innovation and problem solving these days come from multidisciplinary teams, rather than individuals. While potentially being more effective in these areas, divers teams face significant (start-up) challenges.

From your experience what makes a team great?

Team diversity, be it professional, cultural, religious, gender, age or other, is an internal representation of the external VUCA* world: one of high volatility, uncertainly, complexity and ambiguity. Such environment triggers a fight or flight attitude; exactly the opposite of what effective cooperation is about.

The recognition of the destructive impact of ‘me’ versus ‘them’ oppositions makes strong teams, ready to develop strategies for internal and external challenges.

*VUCA was introduced by the U.S. Army War College


Educated as Corporate Anthropology (MSc), Drama Teacher (BC) and Accredited Coach I have + 25 years of experience as international management and communication consultant. I worked for the KLM Training Department and for the Royal Tropical Institute as Cross Cultural Management Consultant before founding Zorn Consultants in 2001.

Together with Jeremy and Henk I created Connection Scan, a diagnostic tool for team communication patterns.

I am a co-creator of a hands-on Performance Management System.

Born and raised in Germany, I moved to The Netherlands in 1976. Married to a Mexican our family lives mainly in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and, for a lesser part of the year, in Oaxaca, Mexico. I’m fluent in English, Dutch, German and fair in Spanish.

Most enjoyable career moments (in no particular order)

For about 10 years I facilitated the WWF Leadership College, a global initiative facilitating the transition of dedicated professionals into project leaders. The College was a blended learning initiative in which groups of about 25 ambitious specialists from different backgrounds and regions co-developed their leadership competences. During a college cycle of 12 months a group would meet face-to-face twice for about 10 days and cooperate virtually during the in-between period. Methodologically it was interesting to combine online and face-to-face learning. In terms of development it was rewarding to see participants developing their leadership competencies by online coaching.

After having been employed by KLM between ’86 and ’91 I facilitated their two-week management program as external consultant between ’06 and ‘12 before training internal trainers to deliver the program. Again, supporting and challenging participants’ leadership development for a two-week face-to-face period followed-up by online coaching was personally very rewarding.

Our recently developed Performance Management System has helped teams and groups realizing their potential. By integrating the development oriented approach of competency management with the outcome oriented one of performance management we help managing expectations for both, leader and implementer.

What I like about my work is to challenge beliefs and (unconscious) bias in order to open new horizons and set foot on unknown territory.

Participants tell me that they take away personal growth and hands-on tools.


  • MSc Corporate Anthropology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • BC, Drama Teacher Diploma, 1st degree teacher’s qualification, AVEK, Leeuwarden
  • Accreditation as Practitioner Coach, EMCC / EQA, European Mentoring and Coaching Counsel

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