Hello, I’m Steve. “Can Scorpions Smoke?” is a question I blurted out in a moment of improvisational blankness that then became the title of my MSc dissertation, my blog, this website, my business and my book!
My mission is to be playful with not knowing. I’m interested in spontaneity and creativity and experimenting with how these natural human processes can lead to social change.
I’m fascinated as to how life (particularly in organisations) really work versus how it is supposed to work and I believe that, at their core, an organisation is simply a bunch of flawed but willing human beings engaged in complex process of relating that is as predictable as it is unpredictable. I am particularly interested in ‘stuckness’ and specialise in finding different, creative, unusual and often counter-intuitive ways of disturbing stuck patterns that individuals, groups and organisations find themselves in.
I have worked in industry for almost 25 years on both sides of the fence as a global Senior Leadership and Organisation Development Director for a large multi-national blue-chip and as an independent working in a large range of sectors from pharmaceuticals to digital, from telecoms to transportation, from retail to local authorities, from academia to third sector. My work has taken me to various places in the UK and Europe as well as trips to the US, India, the Middle East and Asia. My work is heavily informed by gestalt psychology, the complexity sciences and creative practices such as performance improvisation, art therapy and masks. Since 2013 I have worked with a wide variety of people at the following organisations:
I had great fun at Ashridge Business School in the UK where I achieved an MSc with distinction in Organisational Change and Consulting, writing my dissertation on the subject of spontaneity in organisations. I return to Ashridge as a visiting faculty to talk on the subject of change, complexity and improvisation. I am also visiting faculty at The Metanoia Institute for their Gestalt OD Masters Programme. I have trained extensively in gestalt practices with a variety of different teachers such as Bill Critchley, Gaie Houston, Simon Cavicchia and The London Gestalt Centre. I have also trained in performance improvisation with the likes of Keith Johnstone (Loose Moose, Calgary), Jason Chin (iO, Chicago), Neil Mullarkey (Comedy Store, London), John Cremer (The Maydays, Brighton) and learnt masks with Steve Jarand (Trance masks), Strangeface Theatre and Trestle Theatre. In 2015 I completed an art therapy foundation programme with the British Institute of Art Therapists.
Nice to meet you
PS: The duck in the logo and the illustrations in my book and in a number of my conference presentations comes from my daughter, Maya, who is Chief of Imagination for CSS and my personal creativity mentor. She was 6 when she proudly became a published illustrator via my book.