Brian Woodhead, former Customer Services Director, London Underground Ben Renshaw, Leadership Consultant Jess Fraser, Arup Kathryn de Kort, Arup The presentation began with a rather disconcerting but powerful reflection on the mindsets of the presenters: they were each asked to indicate what kind of day…
How would you describe what you do?
After nearly six years as the Head of Organisational and Leadership Development for a FTSE 100 business I’ve returned to my old consultancy firm. As such I am now freer to focus on what I adore doing – helping leaders become the best they can be; through developing their self-awareness, humility and passion for leading others. I love working with clients on group or 1:1 inspiring and transformation change solutions. It really drives my purpose.
What was your first role as a business psychology practitioner?
When I first completed my MSc, delivering leadership training to sales managers. It was really here that I got a deeper understanding of the impact that leaders have on others. Previously I’d worked with good bosses and bad bosses, and I worked so much harder for the good. So it was here that started my passion for developing leaders.
What has been your greatest role or achievement so far?
Delivery personality training while on a cruise ship. Which sounds really great. And it was. I was fortunate to run a development project, and part of that was working overseas. I got to know the big 5 and the Greek islands!
What has been your biggest challenge as a business psychology practitioner?
That there isn’t enough time to help everyone. Now that I’m back in consultancy, its trying to focus on the parts of the business that I hope I add value to. However, I do keep being pulled back into the IT and Accounts departments. So I’ve got to learn to delegate.
Which advice has helped you the most?
I think it came from my MSc tutor, Dr. David Biggs. He told me I would never (as a training consultant), take on ideas, products, or concepts that hadn’t been rigorously tested and researched. And that’s helped me to help clients by only working with solutions that are evidenced based, or if not, what their limitations are.
If not business psychology, what would you love to do?
Space shuttle commander, definitely. Retired now, of course.
How do you spend your spare time?
With my family. Always the best thing to be doing. Whether that is visiting the beach, or quite typically just chilling out. Never far from good food, and a good book.
Who do you most admire, and why?
George Lucas, as a visionary storyteller. He created a universe of characters, ideas and expressions. Metaphors that we can relate to in our own real world stories, challenges and successes. I love the idea of the hero journey, and use a lot this imagery in developing others.
What, for you, does the future of business psychology look like?
I think that as the working world becomes more complex, and technology and change accelerates, there is now more than ever a need to understand people at a deeper level. Advances in technology, e.g. in brain science help us in our profession. Ensuring we help people through evidence-based approaches to find the solutions they need.
You have recently been certified by the ABP, how did you find the process?
Great. Really helpful to draw together difference experiences into a useable people centric approach to understanding what a business psychologist does.
Music Choice of the Day:
Presto. By the band Rush.