Warren grew up in Wigan, Lancashire and comes from a family of Miners and Mill Workers. He fully expected to leave school, secure an apprenticeship and work with his hands. However, the pits closed, he left school with disappointing exam results, little confidence and failed to secure an apprenticeship.

He knew he had to re-sit his Maths and English O-Levels and went to 6th form college. He found that given the right environment, encouraging teachers and high expectations he was a very capable student. Given his teacher at high school said he wasn’t bright enough to do A-Levels or consider university, he had never considered further education.

The assumptions held by his teachers at 6th form college and their encouragement meant that he challenged this powerful belief about what was possible and he signed up for A-levels. One of those courses was Psychology; driven by a desire to make sense of the particular social experiment he had just been the subject of….

Warren has gone on to become a respected leader, strategist, policy advisor and clinician – this was definitely not the script he left school with.

This experience still drives Warren today.

Create the right conditions for success, make people feel safe and valued and they will reach their potential. Fail to challenge the status quo and subject someone to low expectations and negative attitudes at school or in the workplace and they will undoubtedly fail to reach their potential.

Sadly, versions of this scenario are still happening every day; in our schools, in our public services and in commercial organisations of all kinds. Children, teachers, clinicians, professionals, managers and patients or service users are failing to reach their potential. At WLA, we are helping to create the conditions for better outcomes in organisations, and for the people they employ and care for.