What do You Do?
We are at a networking event; you come up to me smiling and ask me what I do. I immediately make an excuse and spend the rest of the time in the toilets. This is how much I loathe this question.
IN SHORT I CUT THROUGH ALL THE CRAP (BEIGE) SO YOU CAN SEE NEW IDEAS, POSSIBILITIES AND INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS (PURPLE) .
I’m a polymath for sure, I love doing lots of things and my knowledge and learning is wide and far-reaching. Essentially, I investigate, de-tangle and make sense of behaviour, identity and stories so that people can make smarter and wiser choices and decisions, always with a dash of creativity and innovation.
What I do often depends where I am
I’m an imaginer – my first job ever was at Disney World. I’m obsessed with positivity and creativity and the difference it can make in the world.
I’m an investigator – I spent 10 years in the police and have a thirst for facts, evidence and the real truth.
I’m a innovator - I spent 28 years working with young people and predicting possible future trends.
I’m an experienced truth-seeker (10 years in the police)
I’m a knowledgeable youth expert (28 years in youth participation)
I’m an ardent creative (10 years finding creative solutions and 5 years creative visual storytelling)
I’m an accidental Futurist (Over 15 years consulting with companies on future trends)
... and a life-long lover of breaking the rules, ignoring societal norms and busting bias.
I’m also a book lover, a TV/Film addict and an Instagram mother
And the longer form answer is: (It’s OK to leave now or join me in the toilets)
· I bust biases, challenge the status quo and investigate new ideas, future possibilities and perspectives.
· I help people think differently about themselves, each other and society and as a whole.
· I devise and implement highly imaginative concepts, re-examine public statements and discover the truth, so people can cause amazing things to happen.
· I get you out of your own way so that you can see new ideas, possibilities and innovative solutions and make great things happen.
· I encourage people, business and organisations to be purple in a sea of beige, because great things deserve to stand out.
And I believe in the power of stories, ideas and possibilities. I believe that things are never what they seem and that we should ask deep questions of ourselves and others if we are to forge ahead and create change.
How do you do it?
· At heart I’m an Investigative Behaviourist (Truth seeker). I am the person always asking why. My early days in the police and Walt Disney World made me obsessed with human behaviour and I learnt to quickly analyse situations and predict the most probable outcome. I still do this all the time (even in the queue at the supermarket) but most of my work is aimed at young people/Generation Z. My desire to get to the truth and predict possible future outcomes led me to develop a framework for behavioural change, which I have successfully used for over 20 years.
· Some call me a futurist because I tend to predict trends before they happen. I’m always asking what’s next and get overwhelmed with the creative possibilities I see before us. I love social media as a creative outlet and have supported my own daughter to create a career for herself as a content creator. We started a business training publishers and authors for the next wave in publishing, all before she was 21.
· I’m also a mind changer (note that I did not say mind reader, but I’m pretty good at that too). I’m obsessed with social norms and the cognitive biases we all hold. I have a fresh and new perspective on most things and you will often find me out there by myself, spouting an unpopular opinion. I don’t do this to be rebellious (although I am); I do it to make people think differently.
· I’m a creative who loves to Innovate. It has taken me years to admit to this but I am creative soul, an idea factory who seems to always be one step ahead of the game. You can witness this in the creative business I run with my daughter.
· I’m also a huge TV and film addict, which on the surface doesn’t seem important until I tell you that I am trained in Cinema Therapy. I believe in the power of visual story telling as a catalyst to change hearts and minds and I often use the archetypal patterns in film-making in my work.
So now you can see why I’m hiding in the toilets - I don’t fit into a box, I can’t succinctly answer your question of what I do and furthermore, what am I doing at this networking event anyway?
Where and When
I am based in the UK but have and do work worldwide. Location is not an issue and a lot of my work is done over Skype.
I prefer to be involved at the beginning of projects as my framework makes sure you are asking the right questions in the first place, however I am a great problem solver and don’t panic in a crisis.