I’m Kevin Simmons. I help organizations create happier, more productive, and more innovative workforces.

How it all started

I was born and raised in the SFBay Area, the third of four children. My two older sisters taught me my first lessons in exclusion and belonging. I’ve been fascinated with it ever since.

In college, a friend said I should try out for a play, which was all it took: I was an actor, singer, and opera singer for twenty-five years. Then, when my two children were small, I started twenty years of teaching high-school drama, choir, and humanities.

I’ve been a speech and performance coach for twenty years and counting.

I’ve been part of many, many groups doing creative work. The first requirement for such work is belonging-safety, which is both a top-down and lateral creation.

Belonging-safety says “you are accepted here because you are human, like me; flesh and blood and bone, like me; capable of greatness and folly, like me.”

When groups have belonging-safety, they feel freedom to explore, invent, make mistakes, learn. They can freely move between personal and group identities. They catch fire with the fuels of individual inspiration and distributed cognition. They have flow. They are curious, committed, creative, and compassionate.

You could say, their work feels a lot like…play.

Enter Playtobelong

Playtobelong is my response to the crisis around workplace belonging today.

  • 90% of executives say belonging is one of their top business issues.
  • 15% say they are actually doing something about it.

I imagine that’s because they don’t know how.

I do.

I’ve played in and led thousands of hours of games and exercises developed by masters in actor training.   These activities dissolve boundaries between and rehumanize people. They create group cohesion. They promote the low social and high intellectual friction organizations need to innovate and thrive. They reward vulnerability with camaraderie. They practice conflict resolution in safe and sacred space.

They are play. (Click here for more about what’s in it for your organization.)


Playtobelong. Because together is better than apart.