Colin M. Fisher is a scholar, author, and teacher of team leadership, creativity, and improvisation. As an Assistant Professor of Organisations and Innovation at University College London, Colin teaches executives, graduate students, and undergraduates about leading teams that foster creativity, learning, and effective decision-making.

His research deals with leading, helping, and coaching teams and individuals in situations requiring collective creativity, improvisation, and effective decision-making, with a focus on how temporal issues (e.g., timing, rhythm, development over time) shape group processes and outcomes. His research has been published in leading journals, such as Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Perspectives, Academy of Management Review, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Small Group Research, Organizational Dynamics, Negotiation Journal, and Harvard Business Review, as well as in several edited book chapters. He serves on the editorial boards of Small Group Research and Psychology of Creativity, Aesthetics and the Arts, as well as on the Scientific Advisory Council for the Institute of Coaching. Previously, Colin served as an Assistant Professor and Peter Paul Career Development Professor at Boston University’s School of Management.

Colin received his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and M.A. in Social Psychology from Harvard University/Harvard Business School. He also studied improvisation in the arts at New York University (M.A.) and jazz trumpet at New England Conservatory of Music (B.Mus.). In his work as a professional jazz trumpet player, Colin was a long-time member of the Grammy-nominated Either/Orchestra, with whom he toured the U.S., Europe, and Africa and recorded several critically acclaimed albums.

Featured Publications

AMP CoverFisher, C. M. & Barrett, F. J. (2018). The experience of improvising in organizations: A creative process perspective. Academy of Management Perspectives. Advance online publication, doi: 10.5465/amp.2017.0100.  Link




Fisher, C. M.,Pillemer, J., & Amabile, T. M. (2018). Deep help in complex project work: Guiding and path-clearing across difficult terrain. In press at Academy of Management JournalLink  Download  





Kahn, W., Barton, M., Fisher, C. M., Heaphy, E. D., Reid, E. & Rouse, E. D. (2018). The geography of strain: Organizational resilience as a function of intergroup dynamics. In press at Academy of Management Review.  Link   Download




Fisher, C.M. (2017). An ounce of prevention or a pound of cure? Two experiments on in-process interventions in decision-making groups. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 138, 59-73.  Link Download



HBR Cover

Amabile, T. M., Fisher, C.M., & Pillemer, J. (2014). IDEO’s culture of helping. Harvard Business Review, Jan/Feb, 54-61.  Download