Managing Director, OR Talent (USA)
Before you worked as a psychologist for business, what were you doing?
I was a clinical psychologist in adult mental health in north Manchester. The mid to late 1990's was a pretty exciting time to be clinical psychologist. Manchester in particular was at the forefront of research into psychological treatments for anxiety disorders and severe and enduring mental health problems like schizophrenia. When I qualified, I was part of a like-minded group who worked together in researching new treatments into social anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and anger control problems.
Why did you choose to practice psychology in business?
Working in mental health services I found that, far greater than the challenges my patients used to present, were the difficulties of working in multi-disciplinary teams that did not always function effectively. I realised that no matter the quality of my 1:1 clinical work, I was only as good as the team around me. Yet there was not the time – or the inclination – to apply our skills to the system in which we worked. When I found out that some pioneering clinical psychologists at ORConsulting were doing this kind of work with organisations, I was intrigued. I basically badgered them for years until they finally employed me in 2004.
Tell me something you've learnt about the world of business
In high performing organisations it's often surprised me to find that, behind the scenes, it is not the well-oiled machine I was expecting. In fact sometimes, it can look downright chaotic – an inevitable consequence in those businesses which are constantly pushing boundaries and working with the art of the possible. The key is these organisations have great people who ensure it all comes together when it matters.
If your client only remembers one thing after working with you, what do you want it to be?
Who thought developing self awareness could be so enjoyable?
MA (Hons) Psychology, Edinburgh University. D.Clin.Psy, Manchester University.
Chartered Clinical Psychologist.
Career History: ORTalent (2010 - present). ORConsulting: (2004 – present). Clinical Psychologist/Consultant, The Keil Centre, Edinburgh, (2001-2004). Clinical Psychologist, Adult Mental Health, North Manchester General Hospital, (1998-2001).