Faced with a difficult challenge, there’s a tendency for executives to reach out to external management consultants to help them. The consultants, themselves entrenched in the same industry mindset that created the problems in the first place, typically follow the well-healed approach of:
– analysis by ‘benchmark’
– recommendation by ‘analogy’
– implementation by ‘fiat’

However, rarely does this help tackle the challenge effectively, because it:

  1. tends to result in pretty obvious recommendations… at best
  2. instils little buy-in, ownership and genuine commitment from the people at the coal-face charged with implementing the recommendations
  3. inhibits new ways of thinking and doing from permeating throughout the whole organisation

It is my strong contention that key challenges should be addressed directly by executives working together as a high-performing executive team.

However, if your executive team is like many I’ve worked with over the years, it’s a collection of strong individuals who sometimes work at cross-purposes. As you know, a poor-performing executive team breeds competing agendas and turf politics, inhibiting the focus and coordinated effort required.

Left to their own devices, individuals don’t just magically coalesce into a high-performing executive team.

What’s necessary is a formal development programme; one which allows executives to discover:
i) how they currently function as a team
ii) what they need to do to develop into a more effective one

Utilising my background in physics and management consulting, and my deep interest in psychology, I’ve created an innovative programme revolving around a 3-day executive team workshop. Here, executives follow a structured process and work together to address key challenges facing the organisation.

This might sound like any other executive team workshop; the difference however is the strong focus on thinking from first principles and working together. Throughout the workshop, I sit down with each executive individually and give him/her painfully honest and detailed feedback, and together we formulate a plan for maximising their contribution to the team for the remainder of the workshop and beyond. It takes a lot of skill and experience to do this effectively.

The workshop culminates in a prioritised list of initiatives the organisation needs to undertake, as well as an action plan detailing exactly how this will be done. I write these outputs up into a concise report, distributed to all executives post workshop.

The workshop is supported by a series of one-to-one coaching sessions with each individual executive, once every quarter. For UK/European based clients, my preference is to hold the sessions at the Reform Club in central London, where we have the option of including a superb lunch:

These coaching sessions can begin before or after the workshop, depending on the specific client situation.

I can provide additional training on ‘thinking from first principles’ and ‘executive communication skills’ if and where necessary.

I’m a seasoned facilitator, trainer and coach, having worked with many clients across the globe:

To learn more about how I can help foster ‘a healthy sense of collegiality, mutual trust, and respect for performance’ in your executive team, just scroll below.

– Mani Sandher


On this high-intensity 3-day workshop, executives work together to address key business challenges, following a structured process:

As well as creating truly innovative solutions, they leave with an extensive problem-solving toolkit, and the skills necessary to apply it going forward.

The workshop is intensive, challenging and certainly no ‘walk in the park’, with assumptions, beliefs and mental models all tested and teased apart continuously. But participants find it immensely stimulating and engaging, and tend to remember it for years after.

The systematic structure of the workshop, along with my particular facilitation style, tend to act as a ‘safety net’ for participants, giving them license to fully release their intuition and creativity.

Some clients have used the workshop as a very productive ‘executive retreat’.

Feel free to contact me to discuss running a from first principles workshop in your organisation.


coming soon…


Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are all in harmony.’
– Mahatma Gandhi

Striving for such congruence is arguably the best path to achieving a truly fulfilling professional life. Applying from first principles thinking, we arrive at the following model:

  1. working with passion
    – what’s important to you?
    – what do you believe to be true about you, about others, and about the world?
    – what do you want to be famous for?
  2. contributing your unique talent
    – what do you find easy that others find difficult?
    – which activities make you lose track of time?
    – what preferences do you have in the way you think, and the way you do things?
  3. offering real value
    – how can you combine what you have a passion for, and what you have a talent for?
    – how can this add value to others, and create an economic return for yourself?
    – what do you need to do to make this a reality?

My approach to coaching is based on a series of stimulating face-to-face conversations, predicated on mutual credibility, respect and trust. Although the atmosphere will always be relaxed and friendly, expect me to challenge your assumptions, beliefs and mental models throughout.

We’ll think through constraints to achieving your goals from first principles. We’ll employ tools such as psychometric tests and 360° feedback too, but only where we feel they’ll add real value.

Feel free to contact me to discuss how you can construct a truly fulfilling professional life.