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Ashridge Consulting

Chris Nichols, BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, DMS, FCMI, FRSA
"In organisations, in strategy, no-one knows much for certain. Doubt received wisdom. Look through as many windows as you can reach. Have more and better conversations. And keep learning! "
Chris Nichols

Chris is a local who went global – working in 40 countries and living on three continents before returning to his roots. “Family and a sense of place matter a lot to me”, says Chris, “This grounded sense of self and place enables me to embrace the unknown in my work”.

Chris’ work has taken him into many firms and sectors. He has worked in pharmaceuticals and health, engineering and construction, professional services, banking and finance, energy and utilities, and telecoms. Chris has also worked extensively in the non-profit and government areas, including local government, central government, charities and trade associations / professional bodies.


  • Strategy, strategic thinking and strategy facilitation
  • Sustainability – organisations, society and the environment
  • Facilitation of strategic, organisational and personal change
  • Creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Personal and leadership development for mid-life and senior leaders
  • Action learning and coaching
  • Team development / group dynamics and conflict issues


Chris’ current research and writing focuses on three themes: A re-casting of the meaning of strategy: “We need a more embracing conception of strategy to face the challenges of this century.” The application of psychological thinking to organisational conversations: “Psychological models offer helpful windows to look through to invite insight about better discussions.” Creativity, complexity and innovation: Chris helps teams to think in different ways about their strategic and process options.

Chris’ approach to his work resonates with his approach to life; “I’m curious about everything” he says. He has studied widely, from poetry to strategy, from sciences to mythology. “Two things really guide my work” Chris says, “A fundamental optimism about the ability of people to learn and do good work, and disbelief that any single form of expertise holds the answer to life. Insights come from unexpected places – and part of the work I do is to help clients to look in both expected and unexpected places and extract the best learning they can. Genuine inquiry beats the pretence of knowing hands down.”

Nicholls, C. (2014) 'The Three Lenses: The craft of leading complexity', 360 - The Ashridge Journal
Hardman, P.,Nichol, C. & Saraf, N. (2013) Engage - the secret to successful implementation of BS11000, Railway Strategies, January.
Hardman, P. & Nichols, C. (2012) Engage - the secret to strategy success, Business Matters, 28 September
Hardman, P. & Nichols, C. (2011) Engagement: What it's all about, in Whitehead, J. (ed.) , What you need to know about strategy, Capstone, Chapter 8, April ISBN978 0 857 08101 8
Hardman, P. & Nichols, C. (2011) Engage - the secret to strategy success, HR Magazine Most Influential, September
Download How To Look Deeper
Nichols, C. (2010) How To Look Deeper, Converse, Issue 7, pp. 37 - 39