What do you do and why do you do it?
I blog, coach and speak at events. But sometimes it feels like I’m a sounding board, therapist or trusted mate. Titles mislead often.
Essentially, I really enjoy being of help to others, I get great satisfaction from that. I particularly enjoy moments when people realise the power their mind has to overcome problems it also, innocently, created.
What’s your background?
I’ve worked in the change and development space since the mid-80s. I’ve seen up close what does and doesn’t work when implementing different waves of new ideas such as Total Quality Management (TQM,) Process Re-engineering, Lean, Digital, Agile, Competences, Culture Change and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP.)
Sector wise I’ve got a pretty eclectic background. I’ve had the privilege of helping senior teams:
- Turn ‘high-stakes” infrastructure programmes around in the public sector
- Make new manufacturing facilities profitable sooner than planned
- Transform levels of customer satisfaction in a media business that itself was the subject of a media storm
- Identify and develop future leaders in parts of the NHS and central government tax and regulatory bodies.
I grew up in South Wales, am the eldest of three brothers, went to a “comp,” became a civil servant, qualified as a management accountant, then left to follow my curiosity about how people create value, leaving how the numbers account for it behind.
What’s the worst and best thing that’s happened to you?
I got married and divorced at a young age and was estranged from my two daughters for 24 years as a result. We’re reunited now but what we describe as “the missing years” were hard for me psychologically and gave rise to several bouts of depression. I’m grateful for the fact these are rare now.
Reuniting with my daughters after such a long gap was a day I’ll never forget and made me feel whole again.
What do you do to relax?
I enjoy watching international rugby union and spending time with my growing family.
Walking and riding my bike (without wearing Lycra) is fun too. I like to devour a good book, I don’t always read but do so obsessively when the mood takes me.
Most of all I enjoy being fully present with nothing on my mind, just being a witness and observer of my thoughts as they come and go. Some think this is a bit like day-dreaming and I ‘get’ that, but I find it helps a lot.
What scares you and what are you most proud of?
Not much scares me anymore. Though I note I can consume myself with questions about Artificial Intelligence at times. I wonder whether we’ve thought through its implications on what it means to be human and how we cohere as citizens in a society that’s dependent on it.
I’m proud of the fact I do a job I love. Almost to the point where there is no boundary between work and home life. I like being a student of how my own and others’ experience unfolds. I don’t ever want to retire from this work.
I’m also proud to be a Co-Founder of The Mindset Difference. Our work has inspired this Blog.