He is committed to smooth running operations. Thus alongside concern for the product, he pays a lot of attention to the process of getting there, and to relationships between the parties involved.
The success he has enjoyed is in good measure a result two key strengths: working collaboratively, and working effectively across organisational boundaries.
His leadership style is based on the cooperation of team members/ stakeholders gained by building relationships of trust. Thus the expertise of each member can be pooled. From this base differing or conflicting positions can be negotiated. This does depend however on leading with authority based on a vision and clear objectives.
He gives painstaking attention to the needs of the client with relationships always based on respect, trust and support. Solutions are borne out of collaboration where he is able to facilitate the client’s own creative thinking as much as providing all the solutions himself.
He is effective at entering new territory – a pattern that has characterised his career. He has proven ability to deal with “pathfinder” projects – pushing at personal and corporate frontiers. Thus in addition to operating out of a rich seam of experience, he can be offer services that explore what lies beyond the familiar.
He has an eye for detail, sustainable concentration and an analytical mind giving him the ability to deal thoroughly and effectively with complex situations.
PROBLEM SOLVING & DESIGN
He thrives on problem solving and likes nothing more than the opportunity to design. He enjoys working strategically but is able to turn his attention to detail and has endless patience that can be deployed where necessary to get it right. This ability to work at all spatial scales means that he flourishes at urban design because it demands precisely this skill set.
He believes strongly in explaining the rationale for a proposed solution. This is counter to two very prevalent trends in architecture and urban design. Firstly the tendency to create a professional mystique where “pronouncements of the master” expect to go unchallenged. Secondly the tendency to assume that reliance on good practice avoids the need to explain the benefits of a solution. His commitment to explanation means that a scheme can be meaningfully challenged and adjustments to make it better are therefore easily allowed. It also means that more parties will be inclined to align themselves with the scheme if they understand the rationale.
He take trouble to “design” communication. This has been honed through the experience of writing many reports, facilitating stakeholder workshops, making presentations, producing exhibition material and publicity brochures, lecturing and success in academic writing. He subscribes to the rigour of simple effective communications. It underpins everything else and in particular the ability to explain a position.
Although one of his strengths is that he is more versatile than most, he is fully aware of his limitations and will always try and ensure that a client is matched with the best person to do the job, even if his role is diminished as a result. This could take the form of adding colleagues with the necessary expertise to the team, or passing the work altogether to a more appropriate person.