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Wisdom Out

Oakland, CA, USA

Partners U-Z

Wisdom Out (Oakland, CA, USA)

Wisdom Out: Sustaining Transformational Change

Wisdom Out is a leadership and organizational development company that helps people, teams and organizations sustain transformational change and bring their best initiatives to deep implementation where they can make a real difference.


Our Vision

Inspired and sustained leaders and organizations that are resilient, optimistic and renewed in order to have energy for meaningful work that has a positive impact within the organization and for a greater good.


Our Mission

Wisdom Out helps people, teams and organizations do more of what makes them wise, resilient, happy, innovative and successful.


About Wisdom Out

In 2000, when Wisdom Out founder Elle Allison-Napolitano began her doctoral studies in Organizational Learning at the University of New Mexico, she came across a line in a book that read, “Wisdom is the pinnacle of adult thought” (Merriam and Caffarella, 1999 Learning in Adulthood Jossey-Bass). The idea that wisdom is the pinnacle of adult thought was particularly intriguing to Elle. For if it were true, then wouldn’t we want to encourage wisdom in leaders, who presumably would create organizational cultures where wisdom would flourish?

Having worked as a teacher, school principal, assistant superintendent and educational consultant, Elle wanted to expand her experience. And so she decided to research the nature of wisdom in nurses–a vulnerable workforce where demand for skilled nurses, exceeds availability. The insights that emerged from her research with nurses led to actionable applications for all organizations and provide the foundation for the professional development provided by Wisdom Out for leaders, teams and organizations...


About Elle Allison-Napolitano

Elle Allison-Napolitano is founder of Wisdom Out, a professional development company specializing in leadership and organizational learning and a hub for research and information about the nature of wisdom in individuals, couples, leaders, and organizations.


Elle Allison, PhD.

Originally educated and employed as a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent, Elle started her professional development and consulting business in 2000. Elle founded Wisdom Out in 2006, just as she was completing her PhD. in Organizational Learning from the University of New Mexico. Her research about the nature of wisdom in nurses revealed they had an astounding ability to transform adversity into growth, which in turn contributed to meaningful work and happiness in life. These findings convinced Elle to broaden her scope and continue to research, write, and speak about wisdom in individuals, teams, and organizations in new and varied contexts.

Building on her original wisdom studies, Elle’s research and fieldwork has led to discoveries about how to leverage organizational practices, processes and structures for sustainable change, leadership and organizational resilience and the development of transformational leadership.

NSA Logo Elle has authored several books and journal articles on leadership, wisdom and resilience including Flywheel: Transformational Leadership Coaching for Sustainable Change (Corwin Press, 2013), Bounce Forward: The Extraordinary Resilience of Leadership (Corwin Press, 2013), and the three book series Renewal Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2009, 2010, 2011)

Dr. Allison-Napolitano has worked with clients in education, health care, business, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Elle is a member of the National Speakers Association and is a graduate of National Staff Development Academy. She reaches a diverse audience by delivering engaging and informative keynote addresses and seminars on leadership and organizational development, leadership coaching, and wisdom.

Elle lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their very old dog named Ole’.


Personal Statement from Elle

The work I do through Wisdom Out is motivated by the same reasons that I do almost everything: to help leaders and organizations do more of what makes them effective, happy and wise, and remove whatever diminishes them and prevents them from being great. As a practitioner in organizational learning, I have a passion for understanding how people and systems learn and adapt in order to accomplish desirable goals. As a simple and highly practical person however, I’m not satisfied with studying ideas. What I really love is inventing practical tools from the best ideas “out there” as well as from my own research and fieldwork, and then teaching people how to use them so they can accomplish big things.

Although I am always learning (I frequently find myself on steep learning curves, sometimes to my chagrin), these themes run consistently through my work:

  • Wisdom
  • Leadership resilience and organizational resilience
  • Leadership development
  • Meaningful work for the greater good
  • Passion and innovation
  • Leadership for sustainable change
  • Organizational learning
  • Transformational change
  • Coaching and mentoring skills for leaders
  • Personal and organizational renewal


I am deeply grateful to be doing work that energizes me and gives me a place for creativity and innovation. It is my passion to help others do the same.



Oakland, CA, USA