NICK ALLEN

Fortunate to grow up in a Norfolk farming family that embedded in me a love for nature and the outdoors, I went on to study environmental sciences and take a master’s degree in environmental physics. After a period in marketing, I decided to broaden my understanding of the people side of business and completed a postgrad course in business psychology at Birkbeck University, London. Joining Castleton Partners in 1989, a London-based business psychology practice, I cut my teeth on training and development projects. Castleton was a UK pioneer with 360-degree appraisal and assessment – I immediately fell in love with the methodology.

In 2002 I took a postgrad diploma in executive coaching, one of the first in the UK. With my scientific background and interest in 360s, clients are not surprised to discover that I have a structured approach to coaching. My work is best suited to more conventional leadership and career development projects where clients are considering development action in the context of future challenges – be that a promotion; change of role or function; or a strategic change. I believe that the power to imagine different futures and to see oneself in a variety of scenarios is vital to prepare for the unforeseen. Then, with 360 it is possible to get informed and independent views on how you are perceived, and where you could best direct your development energy.

My practice is international and covers major commercial sectors, particularly with professional firms in Europe, Russia and Kazakhstan. In the Middle East, I have worked with bankers and oil executives; in Europe in financial services, insurance, transport and infrastructure.

I also provide pro-bono coaching to young high potential designers and creative industry leaders, including film directors, composers and scriptwriters, and have worked with a number of sports governing bodies and not-for-profit organisations.