Hi! I’m Andy Currie, Chief Curiosity Officer at Think Distinct (I get to give myself that job title).
For nearly 25 years, I've applied a functional, behavioural and psychological approach, to study how managers learn to lead. And for nearly 25 years I've stress-tested from the inside, the typical leadership development programmes the mainstream brands provide in the UK and internationally.
I'm often asked where did all this start?
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As an 11- year old kid, I wanted to be a superhero. There were bullies at school and I needed to protect myself and my friends. I took up martial arts and got hooked on the idea that a small difference could create big effects. My interests developed into the psychology and philosophies of the martial arts, mind, and body. It wasn't long before I learned that many martial arts were filled with theories, myths and romantic ideas that collapsed when you really stress-tested them. I committed to developing a more critical, evidence-based approach and became a trainer in functional martial arts, self-defence and personal development.
My intense appetite for learning and testing things evolved to include a wide range of psychologies, personal development and philosophies, especially behavioural applications such as learning how to learn, personal change, high-performance coaching, and therapy.
My first degree was in Engineering, and my first job was in I.T. but as my interest in human skills grew, and I switched to studying psychology. I still taught martial arts and shifted my career through Recruitment, Learning & Development, Coaching and Consultancy.
While I qualified in Psychology, I happily tested less mainstream psychologies. I studied Neuro Linguistic Programming with one of the creators of the field and six of the original developers. I studied Mindfulness, Meditation and Clinical Hypnosis with the London College, and developed an interest in more formal fields such as Systems Thinking, Family Therapy, Communication Theory, Cybernetics and Complexity Science. I studied with academics, popular motivational gurus, even a shaman or two, and all the while applied the same critical approach. I wanted to test what they offered with an open mind but again found lots of myths, mistakes and silly ideas. But I did begin to find an approach that could truly help people learn and develop.
As the years passed, I continued to learn and focused professionally on organisational life. I developed as a facilitator, trained as a coach, and helped managers, leaders and teams through the challenges they faced. I continued to stress-test the conventional wisdom and found once again there were many myths, out-of-date models and lots of dogma, that really confused and slowed how managers learned to lead. Managers would share with me their frustrations. Most leadership training, they'd tell me, was either mundane common sense, that reproduced the same old problems, or vague and unworkable advice.
Those years were a great opportunity to listen, learn, test and respond, to all those managers' frustrations. It was real lives that most strongly influenced the development of Think Distinct.
In the mid 90's I began studying the field of DBM® (Developmental Behavioural Modelling) with it's creator, researcher and developer, John McWhirter. DBM® is a comprehensive methodology for describing, working with, and changing behaviour and a field that studies all forms of natural and formal models. I specialise in applying DBM ® as a powerful and precise way to understand and change all forms of organisational behaviour. Leadership in particular.
For nearly 25 years now, I've helped thousands of professionals across the UK and internationally to learn and lead. I've been the architect of many successful, large-scale, strategically aligned, leadership programmes, and coached hundreds of executives, senior managers, leaders, and high-performing teams across a diverse range of sectors.
I've had the privilege of working with banks, nuclear engineers, cloud technology specialists, police, software companies, military and defence, retail, insurance specialists, national health, local government and elite sports teams. I've worked with start-ups, businesses scaling, through mergers and downsizing. Through it all, I love to see people change, grow, succeed in business and most of all, build the life they want to live.
I'm certified as a Professional Behavioural Modeller, and I'm an advanced practitioner in applied Developmental Behavioural Modelling ® and Systemic Consultancy and Therapy. I have been both an explorer of Re-Modelled NLP and a healthy critic of mainstream NLP, Certified as an NLP Trainer and Twice Certified as Master Practitioner. I'm also certified as a Systemic Coach, and qualified in numerous psychometric tools. I'm certified in Clinical Hypnotherapy with the London Colledge of Clinical Hypnosis and a practitioner of Ericksonian Hypnosis and change, and a graduate in Psychology, with honours in Social Psychology.
Along the way my associates and I still bend, stress-test and break conventional wisdom, de-bunk the bunkum, raising a new standard in functional skills development.
Think Distinct emerges out of all of this and more. A unique consultancy, committed to reality and precision, that helps individuals and organisations develop a productive advantage, through deeper thinking skills, learning how to learn, and Leadership for the 21st Century.
We build high-precision behavioural programmes delivered with a twist and lashings of sound business acumen to deliver measurable results.
I speak regularly around the UK, as a guest on podcasts, and BBC radio talking on topics such as self-belief, leadership and the changing nature of careers.
Think Distinct has been re-inventing organisational learning and personal development since 2002.
I love my amazing family
I love learning.
I still train martial arts.
I've never been a superhero.
Now, I'd love to hear, what's your story?