About Dr. Key

Martha Kathryn (M. K.) Key, Ph.D.
Founding Principal
Key Associates

A clinical-community psychologist, Dr. Key has over 30 years experience helping organizations with people issues. She has published widely and is a nationally-recognized speaker on topics such as leadership, systems thinking, customer-mindedness, releasing the creative spirit, mediation as a method of healing differences, collective visioning, and working through change. One of her recent books is Corporate Celebration: Play, Purpose and Profit at Work with Terry Deal. Another is Managing Change in Healthcare: Innovative Solutions for People-based Organizations, with McGraw-Hill. Prior books include co-authored The Manual for Designing Change in Healthcare and Thought Packages That Produce Results: Just-in-Time Modules for Continuous Improvement.

Her newest book, The Daily Practices of Leading Others, is available from this site and online.

Professional Experience

  • Founding Principal, Key Associates
  • 1997 to present
  • Vice President, Center for Continuous Improvement, Quorum Health Resources, Inc., Nashville, TN
  • 1990 to 1997
  • Administrator, Medical Department and Director R&D, Equicor, Nashville, TN
  • 1987 to 1990
  • Senior Psychologist, Metropolitan Clinic of Counseling, Inc., Nashville, TN
  • 1987 to 1988
  • Department Head and Director, Corporate Communications and Human Resources, The Commonwealth Companies, Nashville, TN
  • 1984 to 1987
  • Consulting Psychologist, Consultation and Counseling Services, Nashville, TN
  • 1983 to 1984
  • Founder and Director, Shibui Design Company, Nashville, TN
  • 1981 to 1984
  • Branch Administrator, South Branch and Director of Program Evaluation, Dede Wallace Center, Nashville, TN
  • 1977 to 1981
  • Chief, Program Evaluation, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Nashville, TN
  • 1976 to 1977


  • Ph.D. and M.A., Psychology, George Peabody College, Vanderbilt University
  • B.A., Psychology, Phi Beta Kappa and cum laude, Vanderbilt University
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University, 1979-2002

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