Peter Finkelstein, M.D.

Peter Finkelstein Although trained as a physician and psychiatrist, Peter has worked for the past fifteen years helping organizations achieve higher performance by examining and changing their internal dynamics, leadership and team practices, and culture. What connects his work as a business consultant with his training as a physician is the universal element of discovery and diagnosis—not at the individual level, as in the practice of medicine, but at the organizational or team level that is so closely connected with business performance.

As the head of his own consultancy, Upstart Logic, Peter brings a wide range of knowledge and experience to leadership development in general and to organizational consulting in particular. He has worked with some of Stanford’s and Silicon Valley's most talented and successful scientists, entrepreneurs, and executives. With a particular interest in how individuals and groups achieve the high levels of coordinated effort required for organizational success, Peter is expert in fostering successful teams and high-performance cultures. Ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 technology and pharmaceutical companies, Peter’s clients have included VMware, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Agilent Technologies, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Scios, Johnson and Johnson, Guernsey Engineering, Eli Lilly, Lexis-Nexis, FMC, Laird Technologies, Cisco Systems, Abbott, General Dynamics, and The New York Times.

Starting in 2000, Peter has worked with Professors Charles O’Reilly of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Michael Tushman of Harvard Business School, extending their ideas about organizational congruence, problem-solving, and what is known as the ambidextrous organization. In late 2007 Peter, Charles, and Michael, along with Andrew Binns, formerly of McKinsey and IBM, formed Change Logic, LLC, a consulting firm dedicated to applying those ideas to challenges faced by today’s corporations.

For the past twelve years Peter has also worked with the Leading Change and Organizational Renewal (LCOR) executive course at both Stanford and Harvard, designing and participating in the action learning component of the course, facilitating work groups, and training other facilitators in the action learning approach. He has taught the LCOR material in both on-campus courses and follow-up onsite workshops with participating companies. In addition, Peter has served on the faculty for the American Leadership Forum in Silicon Valley, and has worked with M.B.A. students in the Leadership Development Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he currently serves as Director of Action Learning. Since 2007, Peter has and taught a course in the psychodynamics of executive leadership at the Gestalt Center in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

From 2000 to 2002, Peter was head of corporate development for Critical Point Software, a natural language software company that he cofounded with Jeff Davitz, Ph.D., and Brant Wenegrat, M.D.

During his residency in psychiatry and a post-doctoral fellowship at the Stanford University Medical Center, Peter conducted original research on the social psychology of medical work environments in general and the anatomy lab in particular. His findings, published in Inside Doctoring (Praeger, 1986) and The Clinical Clerkship, coauthored with John Engel and Peter Ways (Sage, 2000), have helped shape curricula at many American medical schools and contributed to a fuller understanding of how doctors learn and work. After completing his fellowship, Peter practiced psychiatry and psychotherapy in Woodside, California, studied psychoanalysis, and continued to teach and supervise residents at Stanford. Peter earned his B.A. in literature at Columbia College and his M.D. at Michigan State University.