Stuff in my head!


There is a lot of stuff in my head right now!

I wrote a blog yesterday about questioning my reliance on 4 box models and dichotomies, and I’m questioning that because I am really starting to explore my practice and what I work with. As an Engineer, turned internal consultant I sort of fell into this world which is why I hesitate to call myself a Learning and Development practitioner. I have learnt a lot in my 12 years in this world, and possibly much more than many who have been in it longer.

So I have another 15-20 years in this space that I work and I want to work differently. Achieve the same outcomes, better individual and team effectiveness but maybe work in a different way so that I help build better, more robust and sustainable outcomes.

What do I find myself curious about?

I am finding myself really interested in dialogue and leadership conversations, and I’m coming round to the thought that in simple terms its about advocacy, inquiry and exploring possibilities. I see a huge potential for both individuals and teams to explore and develop these behaviours, competencies, skills alongside personality and emotions.

My work over the past few months in the area of Wellbeing and resilience has led me down a path to explore more brain coherence, how we manage our energy, and positive psychology.

I have been on and off for years around mindfulness. First introduced to it in the early 90’s whilst working for Glaxo, its coming back very much into my current thinking as well as finding a space for my own thoughts in a busy time in the Perry family.

All of these thoughts are merging and colliding with one another right now, and Amazon seem to be doing rather well out of me at the moment, and my Evernote reading is getting larger by the day.

All good. Oh look puppies…..

Seriously, a lot of exciting things to mull over and I am working to bring some “product” to market in these areas. So watch this space. (This is a public commitment to drive me to do it by the way!!!)

I would welcome any thoughts, suggestions or you are just curious. It all helps me, and I hope in an indirect sort of way you too!


My name’s Ian and I’m a 4 box addict!

Excuse the analogy but I admit to the fact that I have had an over reliance on 4 box models and dichotomies.

Its something I have been noticing for some time, and also noticing that I’ve started to become more comfortable not having to use them to explain my work and interventions as a coach, facilitator and leadership development practitioner.

I recognise that I used models, modified them, overlaid them and experimented with a wide range of models and psychometric dichotomies in my work, and I have been left wondering who is that for. Them or me?

Its probably been me if i’m honest. Wanting to look credible, to be seen as an expert, or just helping them to overcome my insecurities when I might be working with a difficult group.

But we know the world is not about 4 boxes, nor do we want to constrain people to one of 4 boxes to explain their style or approach to conflict. We know we live in a world that is more complex and unpredictable, in fact its constantly emerging.

I also recognise that I am working with Leaders to get them to challenge their need to be in control, to know the answer or to be seen as the expert. I am colluding with them by role modelling the behaviours I am getting them to challenge.

So over the coming months I’m going to work to a different drummer, and look to get back to working in a  different language.

What do you think?


My son Luke who is 12 is “Lazy”. Since about the age of 3, we have called him “Lazy Luke”. Why walk when you could be carried, use “I cant” as an excuse not to do something, and this has carried on to current day when he had great plans for halloween, and when he talked about “we”, that meant Mum and Dad doing it for him because he could not be bothered to learn how to cut a pumpkin, to make fairy cakes, or to prepare icing. He will clearly go a long way with his mastery of delegation!

But this blog is not about Luke, its about us and our professional lives. This blog has been brewing for some time, and refers to the laziness we have for how we use language and our laziness in really determining and communicating what we mean, or to really determine our expectations of others.

Too often its my perception that we fall into the laziness of not really being bothered to clarify what we mean. Is that because we don’t want to, or is it because we can’t actually clarify what we mean?

What makes me bristle is the way we throw cliches and management faddy words around in particular on social media. I wonder how much we really understand and maybe more worrying is whether people really believe all the hype and blather that is spouted? Just like the “emperors new clothes”, how much do we challenge, question and seek to understand? My fear is that we perpetuate the myth, fantasy and “bollocks” that seems to occupy the way we describe things that occupies the twitter sphere and social media space.

Top of my “bristle list”

authentic leadership
inspirational leadership
being strategic
anything to do with leadership – too much blather!
So back to where I started. I asked Luke to make his bed a couple of weeks ago, and apparently he could not put the duvet cover on. After much huffing and puffing last night, he finally put his cover on. He knows how to do it now!!

The General


“Good-morning; good-morning!” the General said

When we met him last week on our way to the line.

Now the soldiers he smiles at are most of’em dead,

And we’re cursing his staff for incompetent swine.

“He’s a cheery old card”, grunted Harry to Jack

As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.

But he did for them both by his plan of attack.

Siegfried Sassoon

For the many that were poorly led, I will remember you! RIP