The Reinvention Team

Hand Picked Experts, Visionaries operating at the top of their game. Discover your new business partners.

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Jeff Melanson

Creative Entrepreneur | Global Strategist | Disruptive Change Agent | Keynote Speaker

Jeff Melanson is a Canadian business executive who has worked for the past 20 years leading and growing organizations through massive change and expansion, both in the creative industries and the public sector. Jeff is known for his approaches to meeting disruptive innovation with bold strategy and innovation.

Lauded internationally for his creative entrepreneurship approach to leadership, Jeff has an unmatched ability to see opportunity for organizations that others miss. With his proven methods for finding hidden talent and opportunity within an organization to out-of-the-box strategic and financial growth opportunities for organizations, Jeff has led The Royal Conservatory of Music (Dean), Canada’s National Ballet School (Co-CEO), The Banff Centre (President), and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (President and CEO) through strategic change and on to tremendous organizational growth.

Through these positions Jeff has developed the ability to not only demonstrate how creative leadership can transform any organization, he has a proven track record for finding the dynamic growth potential that traditional business practice overlooks. He has transformed struggling organizations into success stories and industry leaders. Using fresh methods, Jeff offers businesses a completely new perspective on their organizational structure, strategic planning, growth opportunities, infrastructure visioning, funding and fundraising, income diversification, business development; and employee/team listening and engagement.

Jeff holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. He is also a frequent strategist, guest panelist and lecturer on disruptive innovation, design thinking, creative economies, city building, and creative entrepreneurship across North America and around the world. Jeff is also the creative columnist for innovation and business strategy for HuffPost.  He was the first arts leader to be appointed one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™ for 2009, and in 2010, Jeff was named Wilfrid Laurier University’s MBA Alumnus of the Year. In November 2010, he was appointed special advisor on arts and culture to the mayor of Toronto.  He is a recipient of a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Recent Projects

  • Perth Airport – Facilitated an exploration of how disruptive innovation could disrupt or benefit the strategy for the airport. Explored the relationships between technology, innovation, strategy and the mission/vision and values for Perth Airport and strategy. In the process, new strategic opportunities were explored and transformational revenue growth opportunities were identified.
  • Toronto Symphony Orchestra – Served as President & CEO for one of the world’s great orchestras. The TSO presents over 130 concerts each year and serves audiences of over 230,000 and more than 40,000 students in public school outreach initiatives. Mandate included creation of a new strategic plan, significant annual fundraising, and creating renewed energy around artist development, commissioning, new creations, youth orchestra, and community engagement activities. Results included a record fundraising year, landing the largest single investment in TSO history, creation and co-hosting of a new radio show Sunday Night With The TSO (#1 show in its timeslot serving 44,000 listeners each week), attracting significant new audiences and consistent record attendance, as well as delivering breakeven performance and beginning to pay down the accumulated deficit of the TSO.
  • Ontario Place – Development of a global music incubator and performance site to showcase and launch emerging talent. In collaboration with industry and artists of the highest renown, reimagining the development, launch and business models of music and musicians.  Developing strategy and also responsible for funding the large scale capital project and building the business and staffing model for the incubator.
  • The Banff Centre – Served as President of the world’s largest creativity incubator serving 4,000 artists, 2,000 mathematicians, 2,000 business leaders and over 20,000 conference participants. Lead the strategic development of content capture/dissemination (radio, webcast, IPTV, TV, press, digital media, etc.), creation of the Peter Lougheed Leadership Institute (creative industries management, design thinking, arts education, social enterprise, indigenous leadership), artistic programme renewal (revised faculty, artist support, commissioning, specialized capital acquisitions, etc) and campus redevelopment strategic priorities.
  • Canada’s National Ballet School – Served as Co-CEO of one of North America’s most prominent ballet schools. Responsible for strategic management, board governance, fundraising, marketing/development, new product/service development, human resources etc.
  • The Royal Conservatory of Music – Served as Chief Executive for one of North America’s largest community arts schools. Responsible for strategic management and implementation, fundraising, concert/event programming, academic/artistic programming, new product/service development, financial planning and performance, collective bargaining, and faculty performance evaluation.

I believe that the greatest opportunity for future transformation in our businesses and personal lives lies in unrealized potential. The human imagination is our unlimited natural resource and I love working with individuals and organizations to transform their sense of possibility and purpose. I work with visionaries to make the impossible possible.

-Jeff Melanson

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