When Keith was not even 10 years old, he was taking a more than passing interest in the study of human behaviour. “My mother was a teacher and my father led the Youth Service. They were keen observers of people and I realise now we used to talk about team and group dynamics with real enthusiasm. I didn’t equate it to something I could dedicate a career to then – it was great fun!” After a degree in International Politics, he attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and subsequently served in The Falklands, Sarajevo, Northern Ireland and elsewhere.
In the military, I learnt a great deal about the human condition – the light side and the dark side. I also got to truly understand what it takes to lead and the remarkable potency of high performing teams.
Keith resigned his Commission in 1995 and after a short and rather modest career in the Search industry, he studied Organisational Behaviour at Birkbeck College, London University. “Suddenly I was having similar conversations to the ones I used to have with my parents all those years ago – I realised this was what I wanted to dedicate my career to, and it formed the basis for everything I have done subsequently.” As a Partner at the Global Search Firm, Whitehead Mann, he began to master the dark arts of leadership assessment, Executive Coaching and High Performance Team Development. His work focused on Post Merger Integration, Private Equity Management Due Diligence and Leadership Transformation.
In 2004, Keith set up the London office for a specialist Leadership Consultancy and helped lead its development into the Board Rooms of the top 100 companies in the FTSE, developing Board Evaluation techniques and Leadership development programmes. “I became particularly interested in Board and Executive Team dynamics” says Keith. “I saw these groups as often the most problematic teams behaviourally and that fascinated me. I felt this was where I could have the most significant impact on an organisation’s performance, sustainability and culture.” His reputation as an Executive Coach grew, having coached CEOs and other business leaders across sectors and regions.
Keith joined Oliver Wyman in 2018, with the clear intention to extend this impact throughout client organisations. He has helped build new inclusive approaches designed to unleash organisational performance and drive transformation. He continues to support with the development of high performance at Board and Executive level, but equally finds the time to adore his two young children, who seem to be taking an interest in people watching and the study of human behaviour.