UCL School of Management

Colin Fisher

Associate Professor
Office location
Level 38, 1 Canada Square
Rm N4


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

Colin’s 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, Harvard Business Review, Negotiation Journal, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Organizational Dynamics, and Small Group Research, 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.



PhD supervisor to:

Research projects

Timing of Team Coaching Interventions

When to intervene to help a team can be as important as what to do.

Helping Creative Teams

Teams doing creative work often need external help. Who do they go to?

Creativity, Improvisation, and Organizations

Not all creativity in organizations is planned -- improvisation plays a key role in contemporary organizational life

Team Leadership

Team leadership is not only the domain of individual team leaders. Authority for key leadership functions can be shared over time.
Selected publications
Fisher, C. M., & Barrett, F. J. (2019). The experience of improvising in organizations: A creative process perspective. Academy of Management Perspectives. doi:10.5465/amp.2017.0100 [link]
Kahn, W. A., Barton, M. A., Fisher, C. M., Heaphy, E. D., Reid, E. M., & Rouse, E. D. (2018). The Geography of Strain: Organizational Resilience as a Function of Intergroup Relations. Academy of Management Review, 43 (3), 509-529. doi:10.5465/amr.2016.0004 [link]
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, 53-73. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2016.11.004 [link]
Wang, L., Han, J., Fisher, C. M., & Pan, Y. (2017). Learning to Share. Small Group Research, 48 (2), 165-189. doi:10.1177/1046496417690027 [link]
Fisher, C. M., Pillemer, J., & Amabile, T. M. (2017). Deep help in complex project work: Guiding and path-clearing across difficult terrain. Academy of Management Journal. doi:10.5465/amj.2016.0207 [link]
Amabile, T. M., Fisher, C. M., & Pillemer, J. (2014). IDEO’s culture of helping. Harvard Business Review (Jan/Feb), 54-61.
Fisher, C. M., & Amabile, T. M. (2009). Creativity, improvisation, and organizations. Rotman Magazine (Winter), 40-45.
Wageman, R., Fisher, C. M., & Hackman, J. R. (2009). Timing is everything: The importance of finding the right moment in leading teams. Organizational Dynamics, 38, 192-203.
Fisher, C. M., & Amabile, T. M. (n.d.). Creativity, improvisation, and organizations. The Routledge Companion to Creativity (pp. 13-24). New York: Routledge.