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what I do

Organisation consulting

Professional background

I am an occupational psychologist who worked for over 50 years as an

organisation consultant advising boards of organisations on leading and

managing complex strategic change. I also worked with individuals,

including young people, making decisions about changes in their lives.


My clients included private and public sector organisations and public/private partnerships.


I mostly worked on my own but had a number of associates for large projects or specialist areas.


The nature of my work

I saw my work broadly as facilitating, illuminating and accelerating the process of change for organisations and for individuals.  Typically my work consisted of three inter-linked areas: 

I have a number of beliefs about how effective change happens in organisations, and the role that a consultant should play to enhance this effectiveness. These underpinned my approach to consulting.  Simply put, these beliefs are:

  • That organisations need to create their own answers rather than be given answers if they are to create commitment and meaning which will really lead to action and change.  My approach was to be a facilitator and catalyst. I clearly distinguished my expertise from that of the leaders and would hold back from giving  advice on the business of the organisation itself.

  • That change is a learning process for individuals, teams and organisations. This means that appropriate feedback, unlearning, coping with "limbo", relearning, step-size of progress and pace of change are essential if change is to happen.  My approach was to make informed judgements about and give advice on all these aspects of learning in helping to design and implement any change. For learning to take place it is essential that people do it for themselves.  My approach was not one of a "teacher" but of a catalyst for learning who provides support and feedback.  

  • That it is necessary to get a good balance between directing and involving people in change if there is to be true engagement, alignment of energy, creation of synergy and use of talent.  Typically organisations direct in favour of involve. My approach was to help organisations judge the right balance in the circumstances and help them to choose appropriate ways of involving people, and to model the sort of organisation they want to be in the way they go about the change process itself. 

Confidentiality has always been key to my work.  I often worked with multiple clients in one organisation and used a simple rule that whatever is said by an individual belongs to them,  and I did not repeat it to anyone else except at their request or with their agreement.  Often I was involved in collecting views from a number of people within an organisation.  Any synthesis shared would be non-attributable.  As a Fellow of the British Psychological Society I am bound by their Code of Ethics.


My approach was tailor-made to individual client organisations since each situation is unique.

The management of complex change

My work involved helping organisations to:

  • clarify what they are hoping to become, 

  • map, design and modify the route, 

  • engage people throughout the organisation in contributing and creating personal meaning to direction and strategy through dialogue and involvement.

  • live through the journey,  review progress and learning and modify the direction and route accordingly.

This work could involve long term relationships with organisations as they live through complex change. 

It often involved working with:

  • start-ups of newly created organisations 

  • effective working across different organisational boundaries, across different stakeholder groups and  in private/ public partnerships 

  • mergers and acquisitions

  • creating, reviewing and /or implementing direction and strategy  

  • changes in culture 

  • growth 

  • governance

The management of complex change
The nature of my work
Developing the top team

Developing the top team

I worked closely with the top team in helping them lead change effectively whilst running today's business. This often involved working with them on:

  • their role, 

  • the way they add value, 

  • their focus and priorities,

  • their effectiveness

    • as a team, 

    • as decision-makers and communicators, 

    • as leaders who give consistent signals to the organisation and are open to feedback and adapting themselves. 

It also involved helping them to work together to create a shared destination, engagement of the organisation and a journey plan described above, as well as to draw out joint lessons as progress is made.  Designing these is not something which can be done effectively by one person in the top team.  The thinking needs to be done together to create ownership, meaning, commitment and action. 


My work here was often done in a series of workshops (linked over time forming part of the organisation's "journey plan") which I designed, together with the top team, and facilitated.

Coaching leaders and potential leaders

I worked individually with the top leader and other top team members helping them to explore in a safe, challenging and supportive way, their approaches to and effectiveness in leading their organisations.  This often involved helping them to, for example:

  • choose what they focus their time and energy on


  • look at how they communicate


  • articulate direction, priorities and key messages


  • solve tricky problems


  • create possibilities and options


  • talk about their worry list


  • handle stress

  • manage the key relationships in the organisation effectively

  • receive and use constructive feedback

  • manage personal transitions

I also worked with young people aspiring to become top leaders on their direction, choices and development.

Coaching leaders and potential leaders
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