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Caryn Vanstone

Caryn’s work focuses on adaptive, emergent change in global organisations and UK Government Agencies and Departments.  This work is enabled by 20+ years of deep study and practice in the area of psychology, sociology and applied neuroscience.

Caryn is currently working on global leadership and culture change programmes for one of the world’s largest engineering companies – seeking shifts in ownership, speed and social innovation throughout the many divisions.  This work is responding to challenges raised by the sheer speed and depth of change being brought on by digitisation, radically different customer purchasing and collaboration requirements, new competition and innovation, and employee expectations for more democratic engagement.  She has also been working in the finance, banking and technology industries in the last 10 years - often working with deeply stuck dynamics which have given rise to major ethics and performance issues. 

She has spent the last 2 years coaching senior executives and change agents in a key governmental agency.  She also leads a secular UK, North American and German joint change and development programme for Catholic Monasteries facing into the challenges following IICSA.  This aims to raise dialogue, transparency and rigor of internal challenge, to courageously face change and eliminate child sex abuse in their school and parish environments.

Her work is typically described as “viral” in nature – creating and enabling social movements and experimentation to support a new balance of BAU and rapid innovation/change.  This blends the application of “rapid prototyping”, “anti-fragile” and “behavioural nudge” approaches with appreciative inquiry, storytelling and improvisation, which helps stuck organisations increase speed, disciplined accountability, creativity, sustainability and relationship quality while reducing cost, waste and bureaucracy.  This is supported by direct leadership development interventions such as coaching and peer-to-peer action learning and challenge groups, based on an action-inquiry mindset and the authenticity to speak "truth to power" with compassion and clarity.

Caryn’s style is to be “fully in” with her clients – building strong, caring relationships, intimacy and trust, through which her natural creativity and sense of fun engages people while doing often difficult and challenging work.

She has been invited to give keynote presentations at conferences in Europe, the US, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, on her innovative approach to high-engagement, generative strategy formation and change, sharing the stage and working platform with people like Harrison Owen, Ralph Stacey, Peter Senge, Diana Whitney, David Cooperrider, Peter Block, Frank Barrett, and most recently Prof Fiona Murray, Dean of Innovation of MIT Sloan.  She has an MSc (Distinction) in Organisation Consulting gained in 1999.

Caryn has supervised and taught since 2000 on the ground-breaking Ashridge Masters in Organisation Change (AMOC).  She is an Adjunct Faculty at Exeter University Business School, where she teaches ecological, adaptive approaches to leadership, innovation and organisation.  Caryn is an accredited Coach with Global Associates, working with Leadership Action Logics.

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