Tonianne DeMaria Barry

Passionate about “the future of work,” Tonianne facilitates the creation of business environments that are more humanistic than mechanistic. Ones where effectiveness is valued over productivity, where learning and continuous improvement is ongoing and where innovation can take hold. Where interdependence and collaboration become the norm, so that more connected and sustainable organizations can emerge. She champions business as intellectual and social ecosystems, so that at the individual level, healthier/more fulfilling and integrated lives can result, the effects of which can prove profound to both business and by extension, society.

Along with her creative partner Jim Benson, she is author of “Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life” (2013 recipient of the Shingo Research & Publication Award), and “Why Kanban Works.” She is also co-founder of Kaizen Camp, the continuous improvement unconference with events worldwide, and co-founder of Modus Institute.

Her appreciation for the “future” of work results from her grasp of work’s agricultural and industrial past. She sees the precariousness of imposing yesterday’s labor models/mindsets/expectations onto today’s knowledge-workers, and the counter-productive if not damaging effects they can have on the organization and society as a whole. Her academic training in history informs her understanding that it wasn’t the creation of agricultural, industrial, or today’s knowledge “tools” but more specifically, it was their democratization that proved – and will continue to prove – revolutionary.

Forever asking “Why” & “How” things happen, she helps her clients uncover/analyze/interpret their institutional artifacts. Leveraging the stories and values embedded w/in an organization’s culture she helps them establish priorities/achieve goals/make informed and innovative decisions. Much like Personal Kanban, she wants people to acknowledge their past and present contexts, appreciate the interconnectedness and flow of events, and extract lessons from emerging patterns so they can not just plan better for the future but rather, so that they can create better futures and live more purposefully.

In her spare time, Tonianne can be found exploring the world of single malts, enjoying a Central Park hot dog beneath the Bethesda Fountain, or finding magic in the mundane through the lens of her Nikon.

She can be reached at