My primary interests
I am particularly interested in the following areas (both for their own sake and for the inter-relationships between them):
- Information & decision-making
- The environment
- Creating better homes
- Political & constitutional reform
I was born, and grew up, in Doncaster in (what was then) the West Riding of Yorkshire. My parents were both civil servants and I am the youngest of their three children.
I currently live in North Yorkshire with Helen (my wife of over 30 years) and Archie (our golden retriever). Helen and I have two grown-up “children” both of whom seem to be doing ok and are currently “living the London life”.
My education and qualifications
I attended Doncaster Grammar School leaving with A’ levels in Economics, French and Mathematics/Statistics. I went on to complete a degree in Operational Research & Management at Hull University. Somewhere along the line I also managed to complete a Master of Science in Information Technology & Management at Sheffield Hallam University.
I became a Member of The Institute of Management Consultants in 1994 and a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy in 2002.
My work experience
I have almost 40 years’ experience as an entrepreneur, consultant and educator – the “edited highlights” of which are as follows:
Satellite Management International (1984 – 1989)
I co-founded Satellite Management International with a university friend and his father. The company provided live television coverage of business & other events (including innovative medical procedures), and transmitted them live by satellite to viewing locations throughout the UK, Europe & the rest of the world before satellite television was a “thing”.
My primary role was developing all of the company’s finance, administration, project management & information systems from ‘scratch’ and then “computerising” them, which was a bit of a challenge given that the ubiquitous “personal computer” has only just been launched when the company was formed. I also developed what I now believe to be the earliest computer program for calculating the elevation & azimuth of communication satellites based on the longitude & latitude of any given reception location.
Doctus Consulting Europe (1990 – 1994)
I joined Doctus Consulting Europe after being the only successful applicant for a role they advertised at the very top of the front page of The Sunday Times appointments section and which (they said) attracted thousands of applicants. With the benefit of glorious hindsight I don’t think they ever actually intended to recruit any employees. I’m pretty sure their marketing strategy was to create the impression of being a successful and growing consultancy business by advertising for new consultants in the same forum as their potential clients were advertising for senior staff. It’s actually not a daft strategy. Regardless – they eventually offered me a job.
Doctus specialised in big performance improvement projects (commonly referred to at the time as “business process reengineering”) and whilst the working conditions were miserable, the experience I gained was beyond comparison. I got to conduct numerous business analyses in support of new business development (in a wide range of industries) and work on major change management programmes (mainly in the nuclear power industry) with access to the boardrooms of major industry players.
Leeds Metropolitan University (1994 – 2004)
I started working as a part-time lecturer in 1994. I subsequently became a full-time lecturer and then gained promotions to senior lecturer and principal lecturer, ultimately assuming overall responsibility for the strategic & operational management of all Masters’ level provision for the School of Information Management including the design & development of new courses, structures & modes of delivery.
Really Clever Homes (2004 – 2016)
I set up the Really Clever Homes business out of a combination of my interest in home building, renovation & improvement and an interest in e-commerce (arising from a Master of Science course I had managerial responsibility for creating whilst at Leeds Metropolitan University, but about which I actually knew next-to-nothing).
The business thrived and developed a moderately successful track record selling home automation & control technology and multiroom audio-visual systems, initially to small-scale property developers and self builders and then to a wider “retail” market. In June 2016 I took the decision to wind the business down in an orderly fashion.
Business consultancy (2016 – present)
Projects undertaken for small & medium-size businesses include:
- Development and support of new online business for an independent jeweller.
- Creation of website content and development of marketing campaigns for an online electrical wholesaler & retailer.
- Development of click-and-collect business solutions for fast food and ‘bricks-and-mortar’ businesses.
- Development of business dashboards for various clients.
Higher Education lecturing, tutoring, supervision & course development (2022 – present)
Since returning to work in higher education my major roles have included:
- Strategy, Enterprise & Sustainability Tutor at Manchester Metropolitan University responsible for postgraduate dissertation supervision.
- Associate Faculty member at Leeds University Business School responsible for postgraduate dissertation supervision (Business Analytics & Decision Sciences), undergraduate dissertation supervision (Business Management) and postgraduate lecturing & seminar delivery (Advanced Management Decision Making).
- Professional Skills Academic Tutor/Supervisor and Group Project Supervisor at the University of York responsible for postgraduate personal supervision, professional skills tutoring & assessment, and group project supervision.
- Enterprise & Innovation Senior Tutor at York St John University (London campus) responsible for tutoring of postgraduate ‘Venture Creation Lab’ students and supervision of postgraduate ‘Business Consultancy Projects’.
- Development of new ‘Venture Creation Lab’ for postgraduate students at York Business School.
- I am “appointable” as an Associate Lecturer for entrepreneurship/innovation and marketing modules at The Open University.