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People often say they find it hard to pinpoint what I "do". So do I...

I usually summarise it like this - I'm a:

  • Physicist by education and passion;

  • Operations and Systems Manager by experience;

  • Systems Thinker and Developer by practice.

Actually, I have qualifications in Mathematics, Physics, Management, Leadership, Anatomy and Physiology and Massage.

Wait... Massage?! Yes, I practiced remedial massage alongside senior management positions for many years! This is, in fact, the key to what ties all of what I "do" together - it all revolves around systems, especially complex and non-linear systems - and one of the best teachers of such things is the human body.

My interests have always spanned many different areas. I've pursued a number of different avenues, both professionally and personally and gained a large amount of varied and valuable experience. Prior to Systemic Creative, I held a range of managerial and directorial positions with local, regional and national scope. These roles have included time in the Retail Catering, Skills Training, Logistics and Mental Health sectors. I've also produced and managed a couple of music festivals, a series of fair-trade fashion shows and various community events for fun, charities and local businesses.


Currently, in addition to Systemic Creative, I'm a Non-executive Director at My DIY Ltd., a postgrad researcher in quantum electronics, a member of the Institute of Physics and of Mensa.

I have an insatiable curiosity, which is what has led me to explore so many different spheres of life, and, coupled with intelligence, is what gives me the ability to learn quickly and solve new problems effectively - essential in the context of consultancy. I thrive on, and indeed need, variety.


I've had lots of successes and plenty of failures. I don't pretend to know everything. I know what I'm good at and what I'm not. I won't offer to help you with marketing or fundraising because I'm not particularly good at either.

In a consultancy context, I know about systems, people, organisational dynamics and strategy, and about pulling it all together to create harmony, fluidity and consciousness in an organisation. And that brings results. I've repeatedly turned businesses and services from loss to profit and then doubled or tripled that bottom line. Feel free to ask for references!


I've often found myself in a leadership position, and over the years, I've honed my leadership methodology to facilitate an environment in which I tend to be able to focus on just three things from myself and my teams:


1. That we operate in  accordance with our values and ethics, fulfil our mission and work towards our vision.

2. That we deliver what we have agreed to deliver, in full.

3. That we are able to demonstrate that we have delivered it, and report on it, using good quality, accurate data.


I leave everything else about the way people do the job to be up to them, within the natural limitations of the scenario at hand. I pick people for my teams who have enthusiasm, passion, intelligence, innovation, energy and grit. These are not the qualities of robots, and so I do not expect people to act like robots. I want people to contribute their intelligence and abilities to build the consciousness of the organisation as a whole in a culture of mutual leadership where everyone is inspired by everyone else.

This brings an element of randomness, constant change, thinking on your feet and sometimes it feels chaotic. But my teams get fantastic results, time after time.  As Roy Lilley puts it, the job of a manager is to facilitate good people to do great things. The job of a leader is to empower people. 

And above all, I believe in people being empowered. We all have so much we can learn from each other - learning is never a one way experience. I've been incredibly lucky to work with many wonderful, inspirational people, all of whom have been my teachers, both knowingly and without realising it.

This is why I founded Systemic Creative. I now have the opportunity to support many more organisations to grow, and in doing so, continue to grow myself. Please visit The Cornerstones page to find out more about the underpinning ethos and methodology of my work, or visit The Programme page to find out about our ground-breaking and highly praised Organisational Development Programme.

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Andrew Smalley
Founder and Director
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