Chris Blakeley

Chris Blakeley


“My work is about helping people at all levels stay in control of their organisation, rather the organisation taking control of them. To me it’s all about combining pace of action with depth of thought. Unless we are able to access our deeper insights about what really matters and action these with conviction and respect, we end up chasing the system, not leading it”


Chris is the founder of Waverley Learning and is responsible for the leadership development and change management practice. He has been working as a development consultant since 1989, specialising in the cultural and human aspects of change. For example one of his first assignments was to advise on the cultural integration issues of the SmithKline Beecham merger. The continual theme of his work over 20 years has been helping leaders appreciate and handle the human aspects of change – in themselves and others. Chris is 60 years old, married with 2 children.


MSc in Organisational Behavious from LSE, MBA from London Business School, MA in English from Cambridge University, WPF Certificate in psychodynamic counselling, SWR Diploma in Counselling (person centred and CBT). Principles of Integral Coaching, Transformational Narrative Coaching Accredited Spiritual Director (Oxford). MIPD. BPS Level B Psychometrics (SHL, MBTI, CPI).

Experience and credentials

Chris specialises in helping leaders refresh and renew their vision and focus and to retain this clarity in how they manage their attention and make effective choices in the day to day. He also helps leaders discern and orientate their leadership around their natural strengths rather than strive to be something they are not. His empathetic but probing style helps people face openly and courageously into where they are sensing a need to change and to unlock real energy for this change and the resources/relationships available to them to achieve it. He is also an experienced Spiritual Director and has a developed capacity to listen deeply to what is going on spiritually for people as well as emotionally, cognitively, practically and relationally.

Examples of recent work

  • Leadership team coaching in Defence, Insurance, Travel and Retail Sectors
  • Major culture change and leadership development programmes for entire leadership communities in several private sector and not for profit organisations
  • 3 phase Leadership development programme for Partners in leading “Big Four’ professional service firm
  • Current and recent coaching assignments include:
    • FD and COO in £3.6bn global organisation
    • CEO’s of leading science/defence/rail/charity/insurance organisations
    • HR Director in leading Travel Brand
    • Founder and leading partner in rapidly growing Media and Advertising Firm
    • Sales Director for UK FTSE food manufacturer
    • Several assignmentsfor leaders in transition at different levels and in different sectors
Waverley Learning are very vested in what they’re doing, very committed. They’re dynamic individually and collectively, they are 100% invested to the learners when they go into a program, it really is a sense of ownership of the experience that I don’t necessarily always see with every other vendor or learning partner that we use.
Lisa Smisek - Director of Learning, Kearney
There’s a credibility and a humility that you just sense when you’re engaging with Waverley Learning. I’m personally very drawn to that.
Karen Brown - Director of People and Talent, Tearfund
It is the extent to which Waverley Learning understood all the requirements, the innovation that they brought, the talent they brought. Their whole style takes the frantic pace at which we work out of the equation, the messages comes through really clearly. They’ve tuned into the challenges of our organization and made observations that have given us added value. It’s always based on our needs.
Alison Maher - Head of Learning, GWR
Their Developing Skills course consistently gets the best feedback of any standard developmental course that we offer. They’re clearly doing something right in terms of engagement, for those individuals to realise their own development within that situation. Waverley Learning listen to what’s going on, the chats that they’re having with my colleagues. They’re able to play that back, this is what’s going on in your business. As an organization, they provide great insight into to us.
John Probert - Director, Mercer
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