Nick is currently the co-founder and the CEO of leadership consultancy Switch On and co-founder and Chief Transformation Officer of its sister sustainability agency FutureMakers. He is an advisor to CEOs and top teams at organizations like Unilever, LEGO, Grosvenor, and Microsoft and, with his colleagues, supports Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 organizations to unleash transformative leaders, change mindsets, and regenerative sustainability. Nick draws upon their advanced leadership curriculum, disruptive innovation methodology, and unique transformative sustainability approach to meet keynote briefs—covering purpose, transformation mindsets, storytelling, regenerative business, and ESG. Sensitive to cultural diversity, he has delivered customized keynotes and workshops from San Francisco to Shanghai. His ideas are routinely called imaginative, rigorous, bold, important, and transformative.
Nick has been a geek about human development all his life, captivated from age 13 by the central challenge of leadership and innovation: to change ourselves and, in doing so, change the world. As well as lecturing at Yale, Oxford, SciencesPo, and LBS, Nick has been a psychological coach on two TV shows, coaching celebs (MTV) and addicts (BBC). He has written five books on leadership, wisdom, and transformation. Nick has been featured in the Financial Times, The Times, The Economist, and The Guardian and has advised major governments on innovation. Originally a medic, Nick received a Triple First (summa cum laude) in Medicine and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge before studying clinical medicine at UCL. Nick pivoted into brand strategy and consumer psychology for Playstation and Nike at TBWA/Chiat Day, a top 5 global ad agency specializing in disruption. Aged 24, Nick was blown away by the democratizing force of tech and left the safety of employment to become a lifetime purpose-led entrepreneur.
Founded in 1999, his first start-up was a creative management consultancy that initially supported dot comes to transform business plans into successful customer-focused businesses. As the boom went to doom, they transformed the company to become a world-class disruptive and digital-first innovation consultancy. Evolving a sophisticated innovation method that fuses scientific rigor with creative rebellion, he has since led c.100 breakthrough innovation projects for orgs like Microsoft, Diageo, Disney, Novartis, Vodafone, Genentech, and the BBC (resulting in the most successful TV show in history). After years of navigating resistant mindsets and cultures—and grokking the unsustainability of 99% of commercial innovations— he reinvented and retooled the method to deliver sustainable, yet still exponential, products and business models. He then spent many years unfolding a Self-to-System curriculum to ensure leaders can wield such powerful tools to unlock their full potential. Over 100,000+ leaders—from orgs like Intel, Syngenta, Unilever, Boots Walgreens, AstraZeneca, Zalando, and HSBC— have used elements of the curriculum, moving towards mastery of both the inner and outer games of leadership.
Since 2000, Nick also founded a purpose-led media production company in Los Angeles that developed network TV shows on transformation as well as the world’s first peer-to-peer transformational coaching platform for BBC Learning. He also co-founded a social enterprise that delivered accessible empowerment and leadership programs for unemployed youth and young adults from marginalized Black and Asian communities.
Nick has developed these early prototypes within Switch On’s Leadership Innovation Lab, which designs scale-able and digital tools and toolkits to empower and elevate leaders at low cost. They are currently in stealth mode scoping an AI-led platform that will provide the leaders who want to change the world—but can’t access cutting-edge coaching and development—with personalized leadership journeys that support them.
The leadership and innovation programs and products that Nick has developed sit atop Bio-Transformation®, an original theory co-developed by Nick for unlocking concrete change in individuals and organizations as fast as humanly possible. Bio-Transformation® uses the latest brain, behavioral, and complexity sciences—along with wisdom and practices from timeless philosophies—to work with, not against, human biologies and cultures. Nick was a server at McDonald’s at 16, a science teacher in Zimbabwe when he was 18, and a bookseller at Daunt Books in London. He has beaten entrepreneurial burn-out, learned to master a debilitating chronic condition, and has survived three recessions as a start-up founder.
- Breakthrough, Change & Transformation
- Innovation, Mindset & Culture
- The Futures (Business, Education, Work, Society & Talents)
- ESG & Net-Positive, Sustainability
- Resilient, High-Performing Teams
- Transformational/Adaptive Leadership