How it all started...
For much of my professional life I’ve fought an internal struggle between two parts of me. One part of me prioritised career advancement, and was prepared to sacrifice passion for status, recognition and rewards. Whilst this drive for achievement has served me well in conventional success terms, another part of me was calling to serve my passion for learning, mastery and teaching. Even when I suppressed the voices inside me, they still surfaced as an attraction to new challenges, people and ideas. I even fell into an informal side gig as curator and passionate sharer of ideas, initially with friends and later with peers and their referrals.
I soon realised that I was facing a false dichotomy. It happened mid career, when I was leading the effort to build new organisation capabilities for a rapidly expanding, global telecoms company. I don’t recall the exact moment, but a realisation awakened in me that, “the more I am myself, the more successful I am.” As that thought percolated, I began to understand that I had stumbled on a new source of confidence in my ideas and talents, that had previously eluded me. In the following months and years, feedback from colleagues and collaborators continued to reinforce my self belief. I began to realise the real skill of change was the ability to influence the mental architecture of a change situation. I didn’t know it then, but this was the genesis of Neurojitsu.
My curiosity about ideation, and how it drives change, coincided with a time in my industry of strategic uncertainty and leadership challenges. I was thrust head-on into facing this challenge with a three year posting to Spain to facilitate a transformation in the company’s leadership capability, organisation and culture. I continued my habit - from my consulting days - of voraciously reading, picking the brains of top consultants and academics and having ‘meaning of life’ conversations with my peers. I began to realise that these conversations played the most critical role in leading thought on the more ambiguous, complex and intractable problems that we were facing. I learned that strategy and change happen as a continuous process of dialogue and emergent thought, as ideas and trust are exchanged and deepened.
Over the next ten years, synchronicity would lead me from one lesson in ideation to another, though I wasn’t connecting the dots consciously. I went from immersion in the craft of wooden boatbuilding whilst on sabbatical, to enjoying two HR Director positions in companies facing complex change and growth challenges. Then I became a headhunter recruiting executives for private equity owners looking to scale entrepreneurial businesses. I continued to delve deeper into the workings of the mind through behavioural economics, psychology, NLP and neuroscience and even evaluated the teaching systems of my hobbies from sailing to kung fu to motorcycle race schools.
In 2015 I took the decision to go full time developing Neurojitsu as a learning system for change leaders.
I have worked as an international executive, headhunter and organisation development consultant in the telecoms, industrial and FMCG sectors and for private equity investors. My expertise includes leadership assessment and development, change management and building talent bench strength. I have lived and worked in the USA, Hong Kong, Europe, the Middle East and Russia/CIS.
As a headhunter, I specialised in helping private equity clients find entrepreneurial and proven executives to scale international businesses. As Senior VP Human Resources at Grohe AG, I was a member of the leadership team that steered their growth and secured a successful exit for the investors.
I also held senior roles in National Grid’s transmission business, and in Vodafone’s global HQ and Spanish subsidiary. During my consulting career, I built a successful training practice from scratch, and supported blue chip clients in their efforts to acquire and develop the best international talent.