I am originally from Birmingham, in the Midlands of England, but I went to university in Scotland, where I studied English Literature… which possibly explains why I use so much imagery and metaphor in my coaching and development work.
The early years of my career were spent in retail management and then the security industry, where I held a number of operational and general management positions… and learnt a lot about working with people, leading teams and running businesses.
I discovered my real vocation, in Learning and Development, back at the start of the 1990s, when I was asked to join Securicor’s National Training Centre, developing materials and working on management development programmes, and I’ve stayed in the profession ever since, picking up experience and a whole range of professional qualifications (such as a post-graduate Diploma in Training Management and an MSc in Management Development) along the way.
For several years I was Head of Executive Development at Securicor as it grew from being a well-known UK company into a very large international service business, and in 2004, when Securicor merged with Group4Falck to create Group4Securicor (now known as G4S, with over 600,000 employees worldwide) I became Group Head of Executive Development for the new organisation, and was instrumental in the design and practical implementation of many of the global integration processes for senior executives that contributed to the success of the merger.
I designed and facilitated a wide range of highly effective and influential leadership and organisational development initiatives within G4S, most notably the G4S “Global Leadership Programme” for the Group’s carefully-identified ‘high-potential’ population. This was the outright winner of the “Best Executive Development Programme” category at the HR Excellence Awards in 2006.
In 2007 I chose to go ‘part-time’ with G4S, so that I could set up my own practice, to bring my skills and experience to a wider audience, and I have subsequently worked with many organisations in a whole range of sectors, such as PwC (professional services), Facilicom (facilities management), Britvic (food and beverages), Nationwide (banking), BT Openreach (telecoms), CSM (sports marketing), Syngenta (crop protection), Staffline (recruitment and workforce management), and several others.
I have worked on learning and development, talent management and organisational change initiatives (either with G4S or with my growing list of independent clients) in the UK, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.
My life is definitely not all about work, though, and I make a virtue out of getting as much laughter, fun and enjoyment out of every situation as I possibly can; as someone very famous once said, “It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive!”
I’ve been married to Jane since 1986, and we have two grown-up daughters (Chloë and Grace). I’ve always been an active sportsman, and I was still playing competitive hockey until I turned fifty. I am now learning all I can about fly-fishing, and I try to do plenty of walking each week… as well as some seriously challenging long-distance walks, too – in June 2016 I walked on my own for two hundred miles, across twelve days and ten counties, from my home in Surrey all the way to the village of Alsop en le Dale in Derbyshire’s Peak District – and I try to watch as much top-class international or European rugby union as possible.