It is often said that life is a journey. My journey has taken me back and forth from London, to the Home Counties and the English Midlands. In the process I obtained my mechanical engineering degree; worked as a design and development engineer in the automotive supply chain and on tractors; moved into both technical and sales management in the spring industry; and finally ended up back in the West Midlands to run the UK sales, technical support and distribution operation of a German specialist spring manufacturer.
As UK General Manager I successfully grew this niche business turnover almost eight times over ten years. In addition I improved the quality management system achieving BS5750 certification as part of my strategy to mark the business out as a high quality supplier.
In 1993 I became an independent coach, trainer and consultant sharing my knowledge and experience of business, organisations and quality. In today’s fast-changing world I think of us all on a journey of learning and development adapting to an ever-changing situation. As my journey has continued I have come to think of myself as a ‘guide at your side’ of clients that I work with on their journeys. Like any guide I know the territory. Only you as my client can make that journey.
Central to my way of working is a Solutions Focus. Using this approach my clients find solutions faster, usually by doing more of what works for them. It is an approach that I first came across taught as a powerful counselling therapy by a colleague at the University of Birmingham. Between 2000 and 2006 I was Programme Manager there of a management development programme run in the Centre for Lifelong Learning. This one-year part-time programme was designed for local government managers and led to a University Certificate in Management and Communications.
As well as managing the programme I taught a number of the one-day workshops and facilitated part of the Action Learning that supported these work-based learners. This experience showed me that faced with solving specific workplace challenges true learning takes place only when new knowledge is applied.
As a coach and consultant my most powerful tool is asking good questions that help clients to work things out for themselves. My good questions are based on the core business and organisational ideas of W Edwards Deming among others. An American, he was renowned as a quality guru but his thinking has major implications for the whole of business and organisations. I came across his work as I set out in my own business. It changed my life.
Deming’s summarised his body of work for transforming the performance and quality of organisations under four headings: Appreciation for a System, Understanding Variation, Theory of Knowledge and Psychology. You can read more about the man and his work in the ‘And More’ resource section of this website.
I became an author in 2005 when I published The Gist of Process Mapping to support my ‘Hands-on Process Mapping’ training workshops. In 2007 I published Picture Your Business, which provides a big picture within which to relate all business processes to one another and, most importantly, to the customer. Most recently in 2014 I co-authored the e-book Simply Manage that expands to look at the whole of management. You can read mare about these books in the ‘Author’ section.
Mine has been a fantastic learning journey and a joy to learn and work with many great friends. I wish you good luck on your learning journey. If you feel I can help do give me a call.