What do you do and how did you get in to it?
Currently I run a small consultancy company with my wife specialising on performance improvement for organisations through developing people and people capability. I also serve as the CEO of an educational charity in Birmingham focusing on services for education and schools. Prior to that I was CEO of The Institute of Leadership and Management. I got into learning, education and training through an interest in education and the impact it has on people’s lives. Education and learning takes time, but it is one of the most powerful forces for positive social change we have.
What have you been working on most recently?
Most recently I have been spending a lot of time working with the head of our local school on how we support his leadership, talking to a number of professional bodies about areas of their work and doing what I can to support Maudsley at Work with its mission and activities.
What do you perceive to be the biggest challenges in Mental Health and specifically in Workplace Mental Health?
Stigma and assumptions. Most common perceptions of mental health are negative and driven by dramatic and sad events covered by the media. Mental health issues in the workplace are very common but the discussion about them is not common. Getting the conversation going about mental health is probably the best thing we can do at the moment, looking to remove the worry about talking about it that many have.
What do you consider to be the most exciting development in Mental Health at present?
I think the number of celebrities who have “come out” and spoken about their mental health issue over the past few years is probably one of the best things for helping understanding about it. The idea of “if they can, then maybe I can” is strong and I hope provides people with mental health issues to come forward and discuss them or seek professional help.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Professionally, it was probably the very complex work I did with UBS (a large bank) setting up a multi-channel customer education service. It was hard, difficult and mostly in languages I did not speak. The end result was worth it.
About the Board
What has been the biggest challenge of being a member of the board?
Finding the time to support, agree and set direction, unblock issues we face but not get in the way of the day to day activities.
What have you enjoyed most about being on the board?
Watching the organisation develop and get a clear sense of purpose and direction.
Looking forward to the 2016
What are you looking forward to most about this year as the New chair of MLaW?
Us genuinely being an member of the Maudsley eco-system and recognised for the important role we play in its overall mission. I think we are getting there, but still more to do.
What would you say to convince people to take MLaW training?
Work is really all about people – and the mental state of your people is just as, if not more, important as their physical state.
Just for fun
What has life taught you?
However bad it might seem, it will pass and there will be a tomorrow.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Other than playing with my two young boys I spent a lot of time studying wine recently (it started as a hobby and got out of hand!), cycle around the Oxfordshire countryside and continue to try to find time to write things that may or may not get published.
Where would your dream holiday be?
Probably travelling New Zealand for a month with my family – seeing the sights and visiting the vineyards.
Describe yourself in three words.
Passionate, philosophical, generous