About me CV/BIO


My drive: curiosity leading to a deep understanding and simplicity as the ultimate sophistication.
As a scholar, as well as a consultant, trainer, coach and speaker I am driven by the curiosity to understand complex issues by studying the research, finding the underlying mechanisms, which when really understood often are simple. 
I deeply distrust mere opinions, including my own and especially from people who do not really know the subject. 

Then I look for the practical applications of this knowledge and burn the midnight oil to find ways to share these insights in lectures, workshops and writing for students, professionals, managers and the public at large.

I like Steve Jobs description of this process: “If you read the Apple’s first brochure, the headline was ‘Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication.’ What we meant by that was that when you first attack a problem it seems really simple because you don’t understand it. Then when you start to really understand it, you come up with these very complicated solutions because it’s really hairy. Most people stop there. But a few people keep burning the midnight oil and finally understand the underlying principles of the problem and come up with an elegantly simple solution for it. But very few people go the distance to get there”

Short Bio

Theo Compernolle is an independent international consultant, executive (team)coach, trainer and key-note speaker.

He is an adjunct professor at the CEDEP European Centre for Executive Development. 

He also consults, teaches and coaches professionals, managers and executives in a wide range of (multi)national companies, professional services firms and training institutions in many different cultures and countries. 

He holds these sessions in English, Dutch and French. 

He has held the positions of Suez Chair in Leadership and Personal Development at the Solvay Business School, Adjunct Professor at INSEAD, visiting professor at several business schools and Professor at the Free University of Amsterdam. 

As a medical doctor, neuropsychiatrist, psychotherapist and business consultant, Theo studies research from very different fields including medicine, biology, psychology, neurology, physiology and management. He then burns the midnight oil to integrate this information into a coherent whole and to find simple ways to pass on this knowledge, in a memorable way, to all kinds of professionals. His clients often call his sessions “Science made simple and useful”. 

Theo was first drawn into the world of business after the publication of his PhD about stress caused quite a stir in the media. 

Since then he has become an expert on the emotional and relational aspects of leadership and enhancing the resilience of executives, executive teams, organizations and families with a business, especially in times of conflict, stress and change. 

He has published several non-fiction books and more than a hundred scientific articles. Three of his books ao. "STRESS: FRIEND AND FOE. Vital Stress Management at work and in the family" became bestsellers and long-sellers.

He has also been the director of several inpatient and outpatient departments.

He is a co-founder of 

- EFTA (European Family Therapy Association)

- Instituut voor het familiebedrijf -also former president-

- ELP (Executive Learning Partnership)  -also former president-

Theo gained a Ph.D. on his research into stress from the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands). He is certified as a psychotherapist and as medical specialist in neuropsychiatry and psychotherapy. He trained at the universities of Amsterdam (The Ne­therlands), Leiden (The Netherlands) and Pennsylvania (USA) where he was a fellow. He graduated as a Medical Doctor from the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium).

Smashword interview with Theo

Scientific biography and bibliograpy (through 2000)

Narrative biography