I was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa amidst powerful social and political change. As the region underwent decades of border wars, communities fractured and society collapsed led by an unstable regime.
Into this foray, I was unwillingly conscripted into the military after completing an undergraduate degree in the social sciences. The years ahead were forged by bloody, asymmetric warfare and a population striving for its freedom from an apartheid system. This brutal and historic period gave me profound insights into command and control environments rocked by violence. I realized very quickly the vital role strong leaders have in navigating all forms of conflict to achieve positive outcomes. Communication is not only the difference between life and death on the battlefield, it is the fundamental tool we use long after the battles are fought.
During tumultuous periods of transition in South Africa, I pursued a graduate degree in business, and thereafter worked as a consultant applying strategies for managing conflict specifically in companies struggling to grow and adapt. Inevitably, the need for change and the lure of stability led me to travel across North America where I finally settled.
By 1988, I was working for a large Canadian bank where I created investment fund support materials, and later, a comprehensive program for financial planners. Soon after, I founded my own boutique consulting company, BelEsprit Inc. in 1990.
Since then, it has been over 30 years of robust growth and development, a constant evolution of courses and workshops, leadership seminars and personal coaching. The pace is always dynamic and my commitment to clients solid.
The fundamental truths revealed in battle, whether in the war rooms of generals or the boardrooms of CEOs, always come down to how and what we envision!
Formally educated in South Africa, Keren graduated with a BA in the social sciences and an MBA. He obtained the CSC and Investment Funds designations as well as the psychometric MBTI® accreditation.
Keren is currently affiliated with the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Graduate Program in Conflict Management as an adjunct faculty member. He has taught courses on organizational behavior, decision-making, and negotiation.
Keren has decades of experience in the field of organizational design, conflict management and leadership development. He currently works within a variety of industries from financial services to engineering, and with different levels of clients. They include C-Suite executives, portfolio managers, young professionals, entrepreneurs, and the US Marines. Operating out of Toronto, Keren maintains a client base across Canada, the US, and Europe.
Keren served on the board of a downtown community school [2007 – 2012] including as President. He is now an advisory board member on the Canadian Basketball Academy, an organization providing sports and educational opportunities for at-risk kids.
"Keren's focused attention and practical insights helped me understand ways to improve my communication and the management of conflict."
"Ext. Marketing Inc. has been working with Keren and BelEsprit Inc. since our company’s founding almost eight years ago. Keren’s business knowledge and insights have been instrumental in helping us make some of our most important decisions over that time. And this guidance has helped – and continues to help – drive our company’s success"
"I met Keren shortly after joining an exciting and fast-paced tech startup. Amidst the daily pressures of making deals and growing the company, he helped me build my capacity to manage the relationships, skills and opportunities that elevated my performance. Our conversations were inspiring, and today I can rely on Keren to help guide my career to the next level."
"Keren has been an important resource for my partner and me as we have grown our business over the last ten years. Keren’s calm demeanor, thorough approach and excellent listening skills make him an invaluable sounding board. I look forward to continued partnership going forward."
"As Head, Fund Services Canada for RBCDEXIA Investor Services, I engaged BelEsprit for Team and individual coaching sessions. Overall, the coaching results were outstanding.
The first was to consciously consider the impacts of a decision in a single business unit, to the downstream or upstream impacts to another business unit(s). The result was improved communication between business units and enhanced trust between individual business leaders..
The second was active insight into one's true relationships with peers and superiors and what part the individual played in creating, changing or improving these relationships. It was a very powerful and effective look in the mirror for the team..
"I have known Keren for many years and worked with him on many occasions – first, as an agent for organizational change and more recently as an executive coach for one of my clients, a leading global company."