Dr. Fernando Flores

About Dr. Fernando Flores

Dr. Fernando Flores is undoubtedly the father of ontological coaching. He is recognised as a leader in the world of business process design, coaching, innovation, cognition, and education. His work laid the foundation for much of the current understanding about action workflow and commitment management theory.

Fernando Flores was born in southern Chile. After a distinguished business career, he was appointed to a number of ministerial positions with the Allende government, including Minister of Economics and Minister of Finance. During those years, he initiated a national project called CYBERSYN to apply cybernetics to the management of Chile’s productive systems, one of the earliest attempts to use computer communications for large-scale management.

While serving in the government, he began formulating the ideas that later would lead to the development a clearer articulation of the underlying question of how human beings work together to integrate and coordinate activities and began to form the foundations of the ontological approach.

Following a coup against the Allende government in 1973, he was Imprisoned for three years where he continued to reflect on the important question of how people work together to get things done, and began to formulate his ideas about communication and linguistic theory further expanding his thoughts on the ontological approach.

Following his 1976 release, he moved to San Francisco and began work as a researcher in Stanford’s Department of Computer Science. There he met Dr. Terry Winograd, and together they wrote Understanding Computers and Cognition: A New Foundation For Design, recognised by Byte Magazine as one of the all time 20 most influential books on Information Technology.

In 1977, Dr. Flores began an interdisciplinary Ph.D at the University of California at Berkeley under the supervision of such internationally recognized scholars as John Searle (philosophy of language), Stuart Dreyfus (Operations Research), Hubert Dreyfus (Continental Philosophy) and Ann Markussen (Management Theories). In 1979, he wrote and defended his dissertation "Communication and Management in the Office of the Future", which became the foundation of the ontological approach.


Re-Invention and Policy

Dr. Fernando Flores speaks to the constant need for adaption in the world today and how we can re-invent ourselves.

There are a large number of videos of Fernando Flores available through YouTube, however nearly all of them are in the Spanish langauge. If you wish to view these videos, they are accessible through this link to YouTube.


Fernando Flores has written extensively on wide variety of subjects from computer technology through to innovation and trust. His latest book, Conversations For Action and Collected Essays, involves a series of previously unpublished papers from his early work and outlines his thinking on linguistic action, listening, the coordination of action, trust and moods. This is a must read if you want to go back to the roots of the ontological approach.

Published Books

More of Fernando Flores...

There are many references to Fernando Flores, here are a few that you might find interesting: