What’s he like then?
Someone who helps others to see themselves and those around them in new ways. He loves to empower people to reflect on who they are, what they do, how they do it, and the impacts they make.
Exudes a passion for working with others, and is well-known as a facilitator and coach who injects infectious enthusiasm and energy into conversations, and who in turn energises those around him.
Loves to be a catalyst for change which really transforms the way people work and act, which is sustained and which enables people and organisations to continue to grow.
Curious. He likes us all to let go of the need to be ‘experts’ and instead, to enjoy the freedom and creativity of adopting the ‘beginner’s mind’. He loves to instil this curiosity in everyone he works with.
A great proponent of the power of suspending judgement in conversations, to allow ideas to grow, and to encourage accepting novelty and innovation. He loves this openness, this accepting of new ideas, and the beauty of serendipity.
A traveller, adventurer, philanthropist and humanitarian, and when he’s not working with organisations in the developed world, he can often be found living and working with urban and rural communities and NGOs in places such as Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Venezuela and Columbia.
Loves playing piano, he loves jazz, he loves performing with his trio and quartet at jazz clubs and festivals around the world, and he loves taking requests!
What’s he done?
Alex has a rich career history which includes working in the commercial sector for many different types of organisations in business and industry, and also as an educator and academic, with universities and business schools around the world.
Alex’s early career was in the fields of environmental sciences, environmental policy and management, sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. He worked with leading business organisations and consultancy practices in the 1990’s, with many of the world’s most prominent thought leaders addressing climate change, pollution control, energy management, renewables, waste and resource management, environmental economics, environmental impact assessment, and environmental management systems including ISO14001 and EMAS.
In the 2000’s, Alex moved into the university sector, where he was responsible for leading commercial consultancy and training programmes, and working as Programme Director for a suite of Masters programmes in sustainable development, environmental policy and management. Alex is a Visiting Professor in Sustainable Development and Transformational Learning with ULAB university based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and he continues to work as an associate with a range of universities and business schools in the UK.
During Alex’s time in the university sector, his work extended beyond the technical, policy and managerial dimensions of environmental sustainability, into areas of behavioural change, leadership and innovation, finding new ways to bring about transformational change in response to environmental and social challenges and opportunities.
Alex continues to be passionate about working in the interface between consultancy and applied research, drawing on evidence and outcomes from world class research projects, and using that data and knowledge in the design and delivery of cutting-edge, pragmatic and solution-focused work programmes for organisations. He often works with organisations to provide individuals and teams with deep insights into improvisational behaviours and skills, as a way of enhancing team cohesion, communication, collaboration, and leadership
Alex works with many different corporate and public sector organisations across Europe, the Middle East and beyond. Alongside this, Alex continues to lead a range of international development programmes with communities, charities, universities and NGOs in Africa, Asia and South America.
Alex has a parallel career as a professional jazz musician. He is a composer, performer and recording artist, and he appears regularly on stage at jazz festivals and clubs around Europe. He also connects his life as a jazz artist with the improvisational work of Improwise, using live music as an integral part for experiential learning programmes for leadership development.
Why does he bother?
Alex believes that we all have the potential to dig deeper, to grow, to stretch ourselves, and discover new levels of brilliance. He believes that as leaders, we all have the capacity to empower those around us in the same way, to stretch individuals, teams, organisations and entire communities.
Alex has a parallel belief that there is a huge interconnectedness between people and the planet. He believes in the continual quest to grow our organisations and communities in ways which are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. He believes in our ability to find new ways of living and working within the limits of ecological systems, which require us all to draw on our innate abilities to be profoundly creative and empathic.
Alex believes that people in organisations and communities can be empowered to take control of their own lives; to be able to ask great questions and to find solutions which are imaginative, powerful and pragmatic. He believes these same approaches are relevant, regardless of whether you are part of a business organisation, or a remote rural community in a developing country. We can all be empowered to find solutions which are imaginative, powerful and pragmatic.
Alex believes that many solutions can come about by enhancing our abilities to listen and sense more, and by having better conversations. Alex is driven by the belief that there are simple and powerful ways to develop our abilities to listen, empathise and empower each other, that build on the art of conversation and collaboration, which can bring about huge shifts in the ways we live and work together.
Alex believes our ultimate driver should be about finding joy in all the things we do. He asks himself and all those around him, does this thing bring you joy? The exploration of what joy is, where you find it, and why you seek it, helps drive Alex and those he works with, to find new ways of thinking, living and working.
Is he qualified?
Alex started his academic career with a BSc Honours Degree in Environmental Sciences, which led to a national award and First Prize for Innovation in Environmental Research, awarded by the UK’s Institution of Environmental Sciences.
Alex has a Visiting Professorship at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) working with ULAB’s Institute for Sustainable Development. Alex is also a regular contributor to executive education programmes designed and delivered by London Business School, and by Ashridge Executive Education, part of Hult International Business School.
Alex is trained as a Solutions Focus Coach, he is a Member of the Association for the Quality Development of Solution Focused Consulting and Training (SFCT), and a Member of the Association for Solution Focus in Organisations (ASFIO).
He appears regularly as a guest speaker at academic and practitioner conferences throughout the world. He is currently writing a new book on the application of improvisational behaviours and skills to programmes for leadership, change and innovation.
Some quotes to know him by …
“There’s no such thing as a wrong note”
“If it ain’t broke, break it”
“In the mind of the expert, there are few possibilities. In the mind of the beginner, there are many.”