Mike decided to take a break from writing books in 2015 and the emphasis of his work is firstly on three large and exciting client projects - each one about facilitating complex processes for the leadership of a pre-eminent business - and secondly on converting some of his most popular live seminars into video courses. You can take a look at progress at Mike's online effectiveness training site.
Two very different books this year. The final element in a planned quadrilogy of project management books, The Influence Agenda covers stakeholder engagement. And then, at the end of the year, Mike's biggest book so far... Powerhouse
Mike dedicates a lot of his time to client service, but also enjoys the launch of two more books: How to Speak so People Listen, based on his successful presentation skills training programme and coaching and, after a very long wait, the introduction to project management that he had long wanted to write, How to Manage a Great Project.
For the first time, Mike is forced to turn down requests for appearances, as his diary quickly starts to fill, six months ahead, sometimes. With the launch of his two most important books to date: Smart to Wise and The YES/NO Book, this is an important year for Mike.
With three more books published and two commissioned, Mike now needs to allocate more time to his writing. He reluctantly resigns as a director of Kent Trainers and wishes his former colleagues well. After many years commenting sporadically on BBC television's "The Apprentice", Mike starts a popular Apprentice blog.
With three further books published in the autumn (after Mike's first book last year), Mike can finally call himself an author. Time for a new passport? Profession or occupation is no longer on a British passport.
Management Models Pocketbook is published and Mike is hooked on the writing process. This is also the year Mike marries Felicity and his best man uses the opportunity of a wedding speech to gently pull Mike's leg about his first book.
As a two-year run of articles for Training Journal comes to an end, Mike has an idea for his first book. When he looks up the publisher's address to pitch the idea, it turns out they are based in the town he and Felicity plan to move to. Freakish or fated? 2008 also sees the birth of Mike's and Felicity's daughter.
Mike has been speaking to business audiences since the late 1990s, but in 2007, he started seminar tours, first with Practical Project Management and then with Practical Time Management too. He starts to build a national reputation as an energetic and entertaining speaker who packs a lot of information and insight into his keynotes and seminars.
A turning-point year when Mike met five important people: his four co-directors in the business they found together, Kent Trainers, and his wife to be: Felicity. Building a new company and a new life in parallel! Over the next few years, Kent Trainers really thrives, and so does his life with Felicity.
2002 - 2005
Mike builds Thoughtscape as a business, coaching, training and supporting clients in making change happen. Mike starts to widen his focus from project management to the other business skills he learned as a full-time project manager.
Mike wanted to focus on how people respond in times of change, whilst his employer wanted him to continue delivering technical project implementation. It's time for a change: Mike knows that if he wants to learn more and move in his own direction, he must leave Deloitte. A sad-happy year.
1997 - 2001
Mike is increasingly recognised as a thought-leader and able team leader within the Project and Programme Management division of Deloitte Consulting. Joining as the 13th member in 1995, it proves to be lucky for Mike, as the team thrives, and grows to over 80 by the time he leaves. His own work includes leading projects for General Motors, BAA, Vodafone, and Transport for London.
1990 - 1997
Mike leaves academic life in 1990, for the excitement of management consultancy. He quickly specialises in project management, working with increasingly bigger clients on steadily more complex projects. Mikes talent for getting things done gets him noticed. He grows the reputation for never missing a deadline.
1983 - 1989
Mike enjoys the rigour of a scientific training in two of the UK's finest academic Physics departments. He also realises that he is passionate about communicating and craves the excitement of getting things done. He leaves academia with a BSc and PhD in Physics.
Trust the Process: My Moment of Truth
Some people would think it stuffy and dull to focus on process and systems. And it could certainly appear to be at odds with my interest in the very human skills of communication, but I have seen first-hand how process can save a career.
Picture a professional struggling to make sense of her client’s complex environment, with no feel for how she could bring order to it and help her client deliver significant and important change. This was her first important client-facing role and one that could set the tone of her whole career with our firm.
My role as her manager was to help her find a way to succeed and my solution was a two-hour coffee break. Amid the detritus of empty coffee cups and Danish pastry crumbs emerged diagrams, pictures and mnemonics summing up a few simple project management consulting processes. Simple in concept perhaps; but encapsulating a lot of powerful methods and careful thinking.
I have a passion for making the complex seem simple.
A month later, and a checkpoint meeting revealed a wholly new picture. Order had emerged as the consultant was able to ask a few vital questions and start to structure the answers she found.
Step-by-step, when we choose the right process, we get the right result. But more than that, the process gave her the confidence to be herself and apply her own knowledge, skills, and insights to the problem, free of a sense of being overwhelmed by the problem.
The world of business is full of buzz words and jargon, but process has real meaning. I learned three things in my consulting career:
- I enjoy helping people to learn, as much as I enjoy doing things myself,
- I have a talent for clearing the fog around complex situations and ideas,
- ... and always trust the process.
Learn about my working practices...
... in an interview I did with Let's Make Chutney
. Mike Clayton - business (Print quality)
Mike Clayton - business (Web quality) .
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Mike Clayton - relaxed (Web quality) .
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Mike Clayton - juggling (Web quality)
Mike Clayton Head shot - fun (Print quality)
Mike Clayton Head shot - fun (Web quality)
Mike Clayton Head shot - fun (White background)
Mike Clayton - informal (Print Quality)
Mike Clayton - informal (Web Quality)
Mike Clayton - speaking (Print Quality)
Mike Clayton - speaking (Web Quality)
Mike Clayton - sailing (Print Quality)
Mike Clayton - sailing (Web Quality)
"Over the last two and a half years, Mike's involvement has had a significant impact on our approach to project management. The staff he trained are now delivering 90% of projects to time and budget (previously below 50%). Senior staff have taken their sponsor role more seriously and are having regular meetings with project staff on progress."
Head of Projects and Property Planning, National Trust for Scotland
Mike is an experienced project manager and business change consultant
Formerly a Senior Manager with 12 years at Deloitte Consulting, Mike specialised in the delivery and integration of complex change in a diverse range of private and public sector organisations. His experience includes leading roles in a £60m programme for BAA plc, two major projects with The Post Office, an extensive infrastructure project for Transport for London, and keystone projects for MoD, General Motors and Local Government. He was Director responsible for the launch of a new business for Vodafone Mannesmann. Working in and leading a wide variety of highly successful teams has given Mike valuable insights into organisational change, team-working, and leadership skills. He presents a personal point of view and real tools from 13 years of consulting and management experience. This is combined with knowledge gained from working and training with some outstanding leaders in business and personal development.
Project Management and Organisational Change Management
Why are these so often treated as two disciplines?
To Mike, the management of projects and change are two ends of a single spectrum. At one end are the "hard" skills of scheduling, estimating, monitoring, budgeting, and the numerous disciplines of traditional Project Management. At the other end are the "soft" skills of dealing with people - project team members, stakeholders and bystanders. These are the people on whom the success of your project - and the change it's designed to create - depends. Dealing with agenda, sensitivities, concerns and outright resistance is not really the "soft" stuff at all. Really, that's the hard stuff! Between 1996 and 2010, Mike has trained over 4,000 people in the skills of project management - all the time emphasising the importance of balancing your project management and getting the people aspect right.
Mike specialises in integrating change at the personal and organisational level.
Hear Mike share his expertise on:
- How change works
- Creating change
- Integrating change
- Personal change
- Knowing what change you want
- The language of change
- Coaching for change
- Why do we resist change (and what can we do about it?)
- Motivating change
- Innovate to change
- Develop people to change
- Three gifts for change
- The vision to change
- The keys to planning for change
- Top tips for leaders of change
See some of the topics Mike has developed for his audiences.
Mike's Books about Project Management
Mike's books about Project Management are:
Read Shift Happens! ...Mike's blog on all things related to change, projects and risk. ... and you can also follow Mike on Twitter.
An Astonishing Array of Great Clients
It has been my privilege to work with some fabulous people and some great organisations. I have provided advice, consultancy, facilitation, coaching, training, seminars and keynotes.
I have some great testimonials, which you can see here.
Many of my clients choose for our relationship to remain confidential. Among those I can name are:
- Kimberly Clark
- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
- Pearson International
- Trend Controls (Honeywell)
- Beazley International
- Thomson Intermedia
- Sussex Enterprise
- Reynolds Porter Chamberlain
- Holman Fenwick Willan
- TE Connectivity
- North Highland (formerly Qedis)
- ERA UK
- In-house Training Company
- Nash Management Consultancy
- Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
- Ministry of Justice
- West Sussex County Council
- London Borough of Bexley
- London Borough of Sutton
- London Borough of Islington
- Business Link for Kent
- Kent University
- London Borough of Lewisham
- Woking Borough Council
- London Borough of Tower Hamlets
- Guildford Borough Council
- Salford Metropolitan Borough
- Big Lottery Fund
- Royal Town Planning Institute
- CABE Space
(Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment)
- National Trust for Scotland
- Carbon Trust
- Community Housing Cymru
- Leonard Cheshire
- War on Want
- Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD)
- Bicton College
- Renaissance South East
- Renaissance North West
- Museums Association
Hear me talk about my passion for writing and speaking,
with clips of my seminars.
... and hear other people talk about my project management seminar.
You can contact Mike directly, or with the contact form below...