Craig Simpson

Partner

Craig Simpson, Partner

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Craig combines business insight and psychological depth in helping organizations define, select and develop the future leaders they need to deliver their strategic objectives. A clinical psychologist by background, he has expertise in leadership strategy, leadership assessment and development, succession, executive coaching, team and organization development.

Background

In over 18 years, Craig has consulted to large, high performing, fast-growing and forward-thinking organizations that include some of the world’s leading brands. He leads an international team of consultants who pride themselves on their collaborative approach, innovative edge and transformational impact on the leaders and organizations with whom they work.

Over the course of his career, he has held numerous leadership positions in boutique consulting firms. He builds long-term partnerships with his clients, immersing himself in their business to understand and develop the distinctive leaders they’ll need for the future. He works collaboratively with HR and business leaders to design and deliver scalable, high-impact assessment and development solutions.

Previously, Craig was based in the UK as a Senior Consultant with O.R.Consulting, an international boutique consultancy of clinical psychologists. For 8 years, he worked globally designing and delivering leadership and senior team development programs. Craig established OR’s leadership assessment practice, relocating to the US in 2011 to lead its expansion.

His first consulting role was with the Keil Centre, a Scottish boutique firm of psychologists. Here, Craig led the clinical psychology practice and established a specialist trauma service for first responders. He stood up the firm’s executive coaching practice and consulted to organizations on behavioral safety and wellness at work. His groundbreaking work with BP on stress prevention was recognized with a European Safety Award.

He began his career as a clinical psychologist in Manchester, UK, where he specialized in the treatment of anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress and personality disorders. He also led research projects on innovative treatment approaches in each of these fields.

Sector/Functional Experience

Craig has worked around the world with leaders and their teams in organizations across sectors including consulting, banking and financial services, retail, airlines, Federal government, automotive, construction, manufacturing, oil and gas, technology and Formula One racing.

Leadership Assessment Approach

As a behavioral scientist, all of Craig’s work is research and data-driven. However, at its core, he sees leadership assessment work as deeply human. He seeks to connect with leaders at a personal level, understand the world they inhabit and provide them with deep insights and career-enhancing feedback that empowers them to achieve their full potential.

 

Craig leads a team of seasoned consultants to design and deliver assessment solutions that predict success and accelerate leaders’ development in line with the company’s strategy. He has a particular specialty in creating leadership simulations that deliver a high impact development experience and help organizations build a bench of leaders equipped for the challenges around the corner.

Leadership Development Approach

The organizations with whom Craig works have typically ‘seen it all before’. They’re looking for innovative, impactful development experiences that will stretch and challenge their leaders and equip them for tomorrow’s challenges. Craig partners with academics, business schools, tech developers, business analysts and other consultancies as a force multiplier to keep his thinking fresh and methods cutting edge.  He creates a psychologically safe environment where leaders develop a deep insight into themselves and others, are challenged to step outside their comfort zone and gain insights and behavioral skills they can apply immediately. Clients appreciate his passion, psychological insight, humor and flexibility to ‘work with what’s in the room’.

 

He has designed and facilitated enterprise-wide leadership development programs to accelerate transformation, strengthen leadership capability, build culture, break from legacy mindsets and behaviors, drive innovation and improve the employee and customer experience.

Team Development Approach

Craig’s philosophy is that when teams get the behaviors right, the business takes care of itself. His work with teams is tailored to address the what – the real world strategic challenges facing the team – and the how – the behaviors and dynamics that underpin the team’s effectiveness. His work leverages 4 research-driven factors linked to team effectiveness (1) Commitment – Being focused and accountable to one another (2) Alignment – Being committed to a shared purpose (3) Cohesion – Being united and committed to one another’s success (4) Process – Being open and working through barriers to success. He has worked with teams across 3 continents at all levels – from the C-suite to frontline delivery teams.

Relevant Leadership Assessment Assignments

  • LT Development: Design and delivery of leadership assessment and development experience for CEO and Leadership Team of a Fortune 500 consulting firm to support CEO succession planning, individual leader development and team effectiveness.
  • Leadership Strategy – Working with senior leaders in manufacturing, healthcare, Federal government, consulting and financial services to ensure they have the right leaders, in the right roles at the right time. Aligning leadership and talent requirements with global macro-trends, industry context, organizational strategy and desired culture.
  • Building the Leadership Pipeline
    • Simulation-based development center for European bank to identify and develop high potential future leaders at 3 levels – emerging leaders, mid-level leaders and future senior leaders. Over 600 leaders assessed enabling data-driven talent decisions and targeted development of future leaders.
    • Designed and delivered a program to assess leadership potential and inform the development of 2,000+ leaders in one of the largest Federal government agencies. Designed developed key stakeholders to facilitate an enterprise-wide talent review to identify future executives.

Relevant Team Development Assignments

  • High Octane Team Development – Engaged by the Managing Director of a Formula One Racing team to improve team cohesion and overcome driver rivalry that had cascaded through the team. Input spanned 6 months involving one-on-one coaching with team leaders, offsite workshops focused on individual and team effectiveness, aligning team roles and accountabilities. The team went on to win the Driver’s Championship that year.
  • Leadership Team Development – Has worked with dozens of teams around the world to help foster alignment and overcome barriers to team effectiveness.

Relevant Leadership Development Assignments

  • Culture Transformation: Co-designed and delivered a high-stakes development progam for a premium global airline whose leaders had been pushed to the limit through a series of successive crises.  The Outstanding Leaders Program focused on the top 250 and was subsequently rolled out to over 4,000 leaders. The business credits the program with turning around the culture, no industrial action for 8 years, 73% of observers indicated they had seen positive change and transfer of learning into the workplace. Progam received 2 industry awards.
  • Mindset Shift: Co-delivery of the ‘Winning Mindset’ culture transformation program involving intensive leadership and senior team development at a leading, premium automotive car manufacturer. The focused was on developing leaders to inspire their people and re-connect them with the passion, heritage and winning ways of the brand. The business has re-positioned itself as a leading player in the premium car market.
  • Executive Education: Associate Professor at European Business School where delivered programs to MBA students and executives on leadership communication skills, emotional intelligence and conflict resolution.

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • MA (Hons) Psychology
  • Clin.Psy (Doctorate in Clinical Psychology)
  • Chartered Clinical Psychologist, British Psychological Society
  • Member, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Member, Society for Human Resource Management
  • Adjunct Professor, IEDC School of Management
  • Certified in psychometric testing
  • Frequent keynote speaker and presenter