• Managing Partner


    Professor of Management Practice and leadership expert integrating science and academic/theory with real-world application to solve difficult problems and achieve results. John has extensive experience in diverse global business, corporate, economic, linguistic and cultural contexts.


    John Grisby FHEA CMBE CMgrMI MA

    John is both a Professor in Practice Leadership/Management and Managing Partner at Grey Matter Global Ltd., a leadership strategy consultancy for the fourth industrial revolution. He helps prepare/shift sports businesses and leaders from pre-digital age skills '3.0' to digital age '4.0'. He is an expert integrating unified science and academic/theory with real-world application to solve difficult problems and achieve results.

    Accredited and Certified to Consult, Design, Deliver, Assess, Diagnose and Enable

    HE Fellow
    (FHEA)

    Chartered Member
    (CMgr MCMI)

    Certified Management
    & Business Educator

    Sports Leadership/Management Development and Performance

    John was a (US) state ranked athlete in three sports. Like most athletes in the USA, he was introduced to physical and mental performance approaches in early development. He learned/developed approaches like mental focus, mental toughness and the 'Inner Game'. He later
    co-delivered a project with Myles Downey to establish the 'Inner Game of Coaching' in the world of professional sports coaching (football,
    rugby and tennis.

     

    Competitive Sports Experience (USA)

    • Ranked Ski Racer (State)
    • Ranked State Tennis Play Doubles (State)
    • Semi-Professional Collegiate Triathlete
    • Competitive Ultra Endurance Runner
    • Happily 'retired' and uncompetitive in sports since 1992
    John has published a practical guide book for next-generation leaders in sports, Games You Can Play - Experience the Meaning of Winning in Sports 4.0 (Michael Terrence Publishing 2019). He has published business and sport leadership articles internationally, which include; Chartered Management Institute Insights (CMI), Global Professional Tennis Coaching Association (GPTCA), International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching (IJSCC) English Rugby Football Union Technical Coaching Journal (RFU), and the Journal of London Football Coaches' Association (LFCA).

    Professor of Practice (Fellow HEA)

    John is a Professor of Practice at the University of Bedfordshire Business School. His works at faculty executive level with the Dean and Associate Dean to deliver the business school’s Employability and Enterprise and Practice-based strategy (UK/Europe/Middle East). His multi-faceted role combines advisory, consultancy, development, design, and deliver on a broad range of projects which include; Business School Impact System, Small Business Charter, Innovation Bridge, ICT Escalator, Innovation & Enterprise, Executive MBA UK/Oman (Part-Time), Executive Education and guest lectures.

    Corporate Leadership Strategy, Development and Performance (Executive Coach EMCC Senior Practitioner )

    His expertise in Executive Coaching for Performance was developed as a member of Faculty at The School of Coaching founded by Myles Downey a pioneer in executive and corporate performance coaching industry. As Faculty/Consultant/Coach he led Open Programmes and was responsible for consulting, designing and delivering leadership performance programmes in companies including; Sky, NFU Mutual, National Grid, British Gas, Freshfields, NHS East of England and Lloyds TSB.

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    Clarity is Power in 4IR
    (the Fourth Industrial Revolution)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Industry & Business 4.0
     

    We partner with private and public sector clients to design transformational learning experiences that prepare and shift leadership mindset to make complexity clear and solve difficult problems. Our extensive background working in global markets gives

    unique insights to critical issues, leaders face on multiple levels.

  • Purpose
     

    The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4.0)

    Each of the three industrial revolutions has caused different demands on management and leadership. We are now entering a fourth industrial revolution where business leaders need skills to match the environment. What worked before will need to be different from what’s coming in the age of ‘Digital’, ‘Complexity’ and ‘Problematic’.

    Business leaders in the first three industrial revolutions relied on physical instinct, tactical knowledge and technological innovation to solve problems. In the fourth industrial revolution accelerated change and complexity mean a leader will also have to rely on adaptive and cognitive abilities I.e. ‘Digital Mindset’.


    These abilities are not well recognized yet in organisations or leadership but will make the difference between effectiveness, success and failure.

  • Leadership 4.0
     

    Activate and Develop Leadership Capacity/Capability
     
    Make Sense of Complexity | Lead/Manage Through Change | Solve Difficult Problems

    Being an effective leader is now a life-long process and continual personal development is crucial.
     

    The *World Economic Forum describes the Fourth Industrial Revolution as the 'perfect storm', resulting in significant change, transformation, disruption and impact. By 2020 (and beyond) every industry and sector will require new and

    improved leadership skill sets:

    1. Active learning 
    2. Creative thinking
    3. Critical Thinking/Analysis/Sensemaking
    4. Complex Problem Solving/Problem definition
    5. Leadership and Social Influence 
    6. Emotional Intelligence 
    7. Judgement and Decision Making  
    8. People Management 
    9. Cognitive Flexibility 

    *World Economic Forum - The Future of Jobs Report (2018)

    To learn these skills requires continual practice and rich interaction solving real problems. Leaders who come to us are highly skilled, accomplished and recognised in their role/sector. Typically they are looking for premium services to build capacity and improve capability at critical points in leadership execution and journey. We offer premium services focused on delivering results, which benefits include:

    • Ability to clearly understand complex situations and develop sustainable strategies.
    • Making and taking the right decisions to implement and deliver critical agendas.
    • Developing/activating and leverage capacities/capabilities to effectively lead in a 'digital world'.
    • Becoming an 'adaptive' bottom line problem solver.  
    • Transforming self, teams and others. 
    • Increasing the significant value of role as a leader (financial, performance, skill, development and visibility).

    Skills 2025

    Report 2020

  • Approach and Framework


    We use comprehensive, functional methodologies that can be applied cross-culturally, industry and geography. Solutions are carefully selected and designed in context to align human, technological and organisational components in one clear direction.

    I. Holistic (Diagnostic and Assessment)
     

    We first look at the leader in context - to better understand the problems they face - role, sector and industry. We do this by conducting diagnostics/assessments to analyse ‘reality/current state’. This helps us see the gaps, problems, blind spots, problems, white spaces, that have an impact on effective leadership. This process allows us to recommendations, advise, develop and design appropriate capacity/capability solutions.

    II. Theory Informed/Practice Lead
     

    We practice ethnography and take the latest research in human sciences that informs leadership practice and how it impacts in the real world. Our careful selection criteria require research to build on existing evidence/methodology, be widely applicable and relevant to shaping the future. Subject areas include; social sciences, business, economics, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, psychology, social science, anthropology, human behaviour and adult development.

    III. Practice Lead Methodology
     

    01. First Principles is the act of boiling a process down to the fundamental parts and building on the natural foundation 'truth'. Applying this type of thinking rigorously emphasises the scientific understanding of humans, problems, complexity and leadership in their evolutionary context.

    02. 'Best in Class'
    The highest current performance level in the industry, used as a standard or benchmark to be equalled or exceeded.

     

    03 Evidence-Based
    The best available practitioner expertise, research, assessment, and diagnosis. Evidence-based methodologies are aligned with resources in a manner that is compatible with an organisation’s characteristics, state, needs, values, preferences and context.

    IV. Design and Delivery Principles
     

    Blended Learning/'70-20-10'. Combining traditional and innovative ways professionals effectively learn and develop - highly focused on practice in the role, organisational and sector context.

    V. Real World Integration/Implementation
     

    Our methodology and solutions have been fully integrated commercially applied for over five decades on a global scale in the most complex and volatile socio-cultural-economic conditions.

    • Geopolitical: South African Democratic Transition and Israel/Palestine Peace Process.
       
    • Sport: South African Springbok Rugby, USA Olympic Track & Field, American Professional Football (NFL) and American Youth Soccer Academy. 
       
    • Business: Southwest Airlines. Whole Foods, QIWI Plc (Russia), YPO, Thompson Group (Reuters/ Learning), CFR Risk Management & Insurance Services, Henco Global, Gava Capital, Criotec, Nutec Group and FRISA.