Is this the right place?

Let’s find out.

My name is Alan Arnett.  I’m a seasoned thinking partner and coach helping leaders navigate challenging situations.

I can show you how to:

– make progress when life gets messy and there are no easy answers

– connect and align the other people you need to be involved

– stay resilient and resourceful for yourself as things change

I’ve worked in many sectors, in many different situations, and almost all of them have involved handling disruptions in some shape or form..  These can come from anywhere – technology, markets, mergers, changes, projects, innovation, people … or just life’s extraordinary events. 

And you might be responding to them, or creating your own. 

Whatever’s needed, it’s how you approach things that counts.  Life throws us challenges and then, as Marshall Goldsmith wrote, “What got you here won’t get you there.”  What got you here isn’t wrong. It’s just not enough anymore. You need new ways to make progress.

I show you new habits that help you handle the messy complexities, the tensions between people, and the stretch for yourself. If that sounds at all relevant to your situation, you’re in exactly the right place.

The territory

I started my career in engineering design and development, learning how to solve complex problems.  For a while I moved into software, learning how to get useful value from smart technology.  I’ve spent the majority of my career consulting and coaching, after realising that the biggest challenges in technology and business all have people at their heart. And I’ve learned that, while there is good advice out there, it’s often hard to find practical ways to apply it to the challenges we face when disruptions hit.

I decided a long time ago that needed to change, hence I’ve been researching and experimenting with this stuff for 30 years now. Through all the fads and theories, there are some things that have endured. We are learning more about solutions, and I’m always tinkering and evolving, but the core aspects of the territory we have to travel are always the same, because they are part of being human. They show up every time we do.


Life gets messy because business has lots of moving parts and dependencies. The individual elements seem clear enough, but getting them to work together in the face of changing contexts creates ambiguity and uncertainty.  When we handle that badly, we try to ignore it, or to control for every eventuality, and neither work. Handling uncertainty well means paying careful attention to what’s actually happening, focusing on clear intentions, and then essentially taking things one step at a time and learning as you go. It’s not what we’re used to. It takes focus and practice, and it can be learned.


Messy situations surface peoples’ different ideas and perspectives.  The differences create tensions, and it gets harder to resolve them well.  When we handle tensions badly, we either avoid the conversations, or defend our current assumptions and position. Handling tensions well means listening carefully, both to understand the other views in the conversation, and to look for things you didn’t know which might change your ideas. It also means looking for ways to align actions with other people, even if you don’t agree with them. It’s not what we’re used to. It takes focus and practice, and it can be learned.


In the busyness of dealing with uncertainties and differences, we can run out of space for anything else.  Especially paying attention to ourselves, our energy, and the things we really care about.  We get stretched, and when we get stretched we either pretend everything’s ok when it’s not, or get stuck rerunning habits and excuses. Handling stretch well means noticing it in ourselves, pressing pause so we can step back and refocus, and expanding the range of options we give ourselves. In a world of confusion, the place we have most influence over is always close in, but it’s not what we’re used to. It takes focus and practice, and it can be learned.

I’ve learned, both personally and with clients, that working with uncertainty, difference and stretch requires both art and craft.  It’s easy when everything is clear, people agree and you are in your comfort zone. But life has it’s ups and downs. Things come in and out of focus. Uncertainty, difference and stretch are facts of life. Let me show you some useful ways to handle them well.


It starts with a conversation. Contact me to ask about:

  • Informal chats to discuss the art and craft of navigating challenging times
  • Coaching packages to help you with current or upcoming challenges
  • Tailored interventions to accelerate the impact of key projects or teams
  • Events, workshops or talks

You can connect with me using the links to Twitter or LinkedIn below, or email me using alan at this web domain.

“All change, even very large and powerful change, begins when a few people start talking with one another about something they care about.”
Margaret J. Wheatley

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