Alex is the driving force behind PRISM. He spearheads the commercial development of the instrument and provides support to its extensive global distribution network.
He is passionate about the role neuroscience plays in helping people understand how to develop themselves and others. He is a firm believer in using the power of coaching to unlock potential, alter mindsets and bring about sustainable change. He coaches with genuine enthusiasm and sincerity, combining PRISM insights with an intuitive understanding of human behaviour. Whether working with individuals or teams, he aims to support as well as challenge and has an unpretentious, pragmatic style which is a far cry from the perception many have of coaching.
Alex started his career with a major FMCG organisation, progressing rapidly to the leadership of stores with a turnover in excess of £25million per annum. Alex was involved in a variety of projects bringing a combination of strategic thinking and practical approaches to developing the business. He played a key role in leadership development and is particularly proud to have been the ‘coach of choice’ for many and the inspiration behind a cultural shift from Directing to Coaching across the organisation.
Alex’s interest in the brain, neuroscience and, ultimately, PRISM was prompted when his son Peter was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 4. Put simply cerebral palsy means that a part of the brain (the cerebrum) is damaged, and this results in a loss of movement, balance and posture (palsy). In Peter’s case the overriding view was that the damage to his brain would mean that he would struggle to live a normal life and would almost certainly be confined to a wheelchair.
It is at times like this when you can accept the status quo or you can look to change it and one specialist seemed to have an extraordinary answer; if you keep Peter in a wheelchair he will never walk again, however if you let him attempt to walk however uncomfortable this is for him (and you) he will gradually find a way to do it. On the surface this seemed unbelievable, however, determined to make a difference, Alex, helped by his wife and their elder son James, committed to a unique series of daily exercises, walks and a special type of ‘football’.
For months nothing changed, Peter was still unstable, falling over uncontrollably, unable to get up… and then a magical moment happened. Peter, impatient to be helped up, crawled to a garden wall and managed to stand up unaided. From this point onwards, over months and years, sometimes agonisingly slowly, Peter began to walk properly. Then he began to run short distances and even kick a ball. He still fell over occasionally but was able to get up completely unaided. Now, at 22, Peter drives, walks long distances, plays football and tennis, in fact has a full and normal life.
This, though occasionally feeling like a miracle, is not. It is something called neuroplasticity, the remarkable ability of the brain to change. In Peter’s case, it changed to bypass the damage and find ways to help him do the things he wanted. Neuroplasticity makes change possible, although it takes total commitment, tenacity and, of course, a positive mindset by all concerned. Peter’s exercise routine started when he was 4 years old and continued until he was 11.
Peter’s truly remarkable achievement in overcoming what is normally a lifelong brain condition, is a powerful, real-life account of how the brain has the ability to repair and change itself physically for the better. His commitment to his exercise routine was undoubtedly encouraged by the fact that Alex and his elder son James are addicted to extreme sports, such as abseiling and whitewater rafting, which eventually led to James volunteering as a coastguard, an activity which Alex would dearly like to undertake himself if time strictures were less demanding.
Alex’s personal experiences of Peter’s amazing recovery, and his own knowledge of the brain gained through PRISM, have made him realise that so much of our thinking about the way the brain works has been very limited and that, as a result of his own experiences, he can help people to push back their personal barriers in so many different ways. This is where he continues to find his own fulfilment at the present time.