Don Dunoon spent the first nine years of his working life as a health services planner, after which he served as community affairs manager for Australia's national broadcasting organization, the ABC. In both of these environments, health service and broadcasting, Don became increasingly aware of the capacity of many ordinary people to exercise leadership. Whether these were operational health workers developing new service responses to emerging community health problems, or broadcasters stretching the envelope to get new programs funded and to air, there was leadership being conducted by people who had little or no formal authority. This observation led to a question that has shaped Don's work ever since: What knowledge and practices could enable the exercise of leadership at all levels of hierarchical organizations?
In the late 1980s, Don returned to academic studies, specializing in organizational behavior. In particular, he explored the interface between organizational learning and leadership. Since completing his graduate degree, Don has furthered this interest through his own consulting practice, New Futures, helping organizations and groups apply learning-leadership principles to deal with contentious problems more efficaciously. He also coaches individuals, contributes to academic programs, and conducts workshops and seminars on the subject of leadership.
Through the combination of his keen observation skills, academic training, and direct, applied experience, Don has developed a concept of leadership that is distinct from management, and deeply rooted in learning. Learning-centered leadership has truly been, and continues to be, Don's passion. Don lives in Sydney, Australia, with wife Jennifer and children Bridget and Liam.