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4D Leadership

4D Leadership – Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development

Twenty years ago the accumulation of skills, knowledge and experience (‘horizontal development’) was sufficient for business success. Today, it’s not. 4D Leadership – Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development, offers a new approach of ‘vertical development’.

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Personal development

ona dead big

The org-chart is dead: bridges, bottlenecks and everything in between

Connectivity is no longer defined by reporting lines – employees connect up, down and across departmental boundaries for functional, social and strategic reasons. This interconnectivity is not reflected in the traditional organisation structure and, if anything, is hindered by it.


Body image and emotions: what’s the connection?

Our views of our body image – what’s on the outside – are directly affected by our emotions on the inside.

ONA Marketing (2)

Podcast: Organisational Network Analysis and the future of HR

“In a world where we need speed, hierarchies have to be challenged. Working collaboratively through networks is essential for the future.”

Politics, Profits and Paradox

Well what a week in Westminster. Not so much a partridge in a pear tree more like four kingdoms un-united, three parties fighting, two divisive views and a premiership gone pear-shaped.


Why Wellbeing Initiatives Fail … And What You Can Do About It

Organisational spend on wellbeing continues to rise, but despite pouring more cash into the issue and a massive increase in the profile of mental health in particular, the problem if anything appears to be worse.


The robots are coming – AI anxiety: Why you’re not alone and what you can do about it

It’s no wonder people feel anxious. Faced with predictions that 20-50 percent of all jobs will disappear as a result of developments in artificial intelligence (AI) over the next 10-30 years, we would all be forgiven for being concerned about the future. The headlines might be doom-laden, but I am much more optimistic, and here’s why …

successful person

Brilliance without burnout?

There is a cultural narrative we reinforce about what success looks like, and what we have to do to achieve it. But what is the cost of actually living your life like this, and does high performance really have to come with dangerous consequences? What really happens when you are operating from a continuous position of extreme stress? Can we improve our resilience and capacity, and achieve brilliance without burnout?
The answer is yes. Here’s what we’ve learned about winning in the pressure performance paradigm. Optimal performance requires an integrated approach that extends beyond what you do to your results and behaviour. But where do you start?

changeboard awv2

Complete Coherence @ Changeboard Future Talent Conference

We thoroughly enjoyed this year’s Changeboard Future Talent Conference. It was a day full of thought provoking conversations and a lot of laughs, not least thanks to the amazing Lenny Henry! In the afternoon, Alan Watkins, Complete Coherence’s CEO, ran an interactive session with Alastair Campbell and Geoff McDonald about the importance of mental health, and what businesses can do to help break the stigma. Here are our key take-aways from the session.

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The biology of leadership

Your questions answered about HRV   Leaders today need boundless supplies of energy if they want to shape their future, deliver on their ambition and realise their purpose.  Making the right strategic choices also requires them to be clear thinking and coherent.  The latter is more about the quality of their energy than the amount …Read more

Why leaders stop developing

Blog: Why leaders stop developing and why they must not

Business leaders are under enormous pressure to deliver results. Often the sheer enormity and complexity of the challenge they face is overwhelming.

transforming lives

Blog: Transforming lives

We know many people who have found great benefits in our completely coherent approach. We see this most directly in our client work, but sometimes we hear from someone we’ve never even met.

Make a new years resolution to have more energy

Blog: Make a new year resolution to have more energy

We often start the New Year with a lack of energy. This year, make your New Year resolution to have more energy, all year. Key to increasing your energy levels is to train your biology, read on to find out how to hack your biology…

What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

Blog: What to do when you feel overwhelmed

Dr Alan Watkins features in Success Magazine on ‘What to do when you feel overwhelmed’. “Did you wake up with a sinking feeling this morning? Maybe your to-do list got longer. Maybe you’re frustrated by lack of time. Maybe you’re tired because you didn’t get to bed early. Whatever it is, you’re overwhelmed. When you feel overwhelmed, …Read more


My mum, coherence and me

  At Complete Coherence we’ve have been looking into the effect that Heart Rate Variability (HRV) on business performance for over 18 years. It’s a matter very close to our hearts (sorry for the pun!). It’s also a fundamental part of our work with leaders as we help them improve their resilience and capacity. Luckily …Read more

Your heart brain connection

Your heart-brain connection

The connection between our minds and bodies has always fascinated me, and I’m not alone. The theme is popular in movies – Limitless, Inception

How I came to realise the importance of being over doing

How I came to realise the importance of being over doing….

We’ve all been there, you’ve had a really busy couple of weeks at work, you’re exhausted and then someone says something that upsets you, frustrates you or just gets on your nerves. You then spend the next 12 hours feeling really distracted and unable to focus on the task at hand – ‘the doing’. Your …Read more

Are you a Cookie Cutter leader

Are you a Cookie Cutter leader? What authentic leadership really means

I once led a two-year development programme for ten high potential leaders at a major car company. To be accepted on to the programme at all was tough; a rigorous five stage selection process weeded out those who said they wanted to develop from those few who were committed to doing so. By the time …Read more

What is mindfulness and how does it help

What is mindfulness and how does it help?

As someone who has had a mindfulness practice for over 10 years, I’m always amazed by the lack of clarity around what mindfulness is and how it will help. There always seems to be an air of mystery around it and how it works.

Stop blaming others

Stop blaming others and start owning the solution

Back in 2003, I was asked a question by my coach that changed the course of my career.  The question:  What makes you think the organization is sexist? With that question, and my inability to give a credible answer, something changed for me. I stopped attributing every slight, real or imagined, to sexist behavior in …Read more

The recipe for a happy life

The recipe for a happy life

What’s your recipe for a happy life? If you’re like most people it will be something like … if I have enough money, I’ll be able to do want I want and then I’ll be happy.

Negotiation success is all about accessing another dimension of leadership

Negotiation success is all about accessing another dimension of leadership

Negotiation skills workshops have to be one of the most popular training courses in recent corporate history. Executives sign up hoping to acquire all sorts of skills and manoeuvres to get a great deal.

Blue Ocean illumination

Christmas … make it a time of goodwill and appreciation

As we trim the tree, pimp the presents and truss the turkey, Christmas carols remind us of the need for ‘good will toward men’ – acknowledging of course that men really means people…


The evolving answer to the question: why am I here?

A vital aspect of an individual’s vertical development is to understand and live their ‘personal purpose’. It’s the answer to the existential question: Why am I here?  If you ask someone to consider this question, most respond by describing their job, their role at work or say something about supporting their family. None of these …Read more

Biological basis of flow

The biological basis of flow

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi first drew our attention to the idea of a flow state in the early 90s and since then the concept has caught on. Most people have observed sports teams in a state of flow. A state in which a team suddenly achieves a level of brilliance and fluidity that is noticeably different from …Read more


A new approach to conflict

I usually take one of two approaches to conflict – accommodation or avoidance.  Those are the approaches with which I feel most comfortable. But a recent experience (and some helpful coaching) enabled me to put into practice a new approach to conflict management – an assertive approach. Someone was behaving aggressively towards me. Instead of …Read more

Tears of a clown

The tears of a clown

The sad passing of Robin Williams reminds us of the paradox that is true of far too many comedians; those that make us happy are often the saddest of all. For me, this paradox hints at a deeper issue with the way we see mental health. In fact, the problem isn’t ‘mental’ at all. In …Read more

Mega data to insight

From mega data to life-changing insight

Watching Dara Ó Briain’s BBC TV programme, Science Club, the other evening with the family, I was fascinated by a story about how an Australian business woman who was a “Big Data” expert in industry had been able to cut through the mountains of physiological data gathered from a premature baby and got to the …Read more

Blog- Avoiding the christmas lobotomy copy 1007x671

Avoiding the Christmas Lobotomy

What on earth made you think your wife wanted that? Christmas can be a time of terror and panic for many men. I hate to stereotype, but it appears that few male executives have either the time or the inclination for Christmas shopping. Many don’t have any real insight into what their wife really wants …Read more


The fog is clearing and the clock is ticking

Every few weeks there is a media flurry over the issue of climate change. Is the planet really heating up and are we to blame? The way these stories are reported it is often, for the average citizen who is not an expert in these complicated matters, hard to know what the truth is. But …Read more

Ken Wilber and Dr Alan Watkins

An Inspirational Encounter

Recently, I had the great good fortune to meet a truly exceptional person. In fact, it’s a man who has provided much of the inspiration for the work I do with business leaders. Ken Wilber. Working with true greats is a privilege and an inspiration. It’s happened to me a few times in my life. …Read more