Hi, I'm Ben.

Helping your organisation improve creative problem solving.

Like Captain America (in no way), only with more crayons

A little bit about me

  • PhD Student in Management, Lancaster University, UK.
  • Visiting Academic at the University of Auckland, NZ.
  • Business Analyst & Project Manager
    at British Sugar Plc.
  • APM & ITIL v3. certified.
  • Enthusiastic rock climber, cook, cyclist, bassoonist and conductor
Man stands in middle of road precariously for selfie in tourist hotspot

What I am good at...

my skills

Problem identification & Requirements engineering

Identifying problems is essential to organisational success. All too often problems are identified and only the symptoms treated. Or worse, the problem is mis-identified resulting in time and resources wasted.

Requirements engineering includes not only the identification of the problem, but the derivation of effective project specifications that resolve the problem.

My previous experience includes working as an APM certified project manager and business analyst on a £7m ERP upgrade project. This area has formed the core of my PhD providing a detailed understanding of how teams identify and resolve of problems.

Distributed work strategy

The term distributed working describes a team or organisation that collaborates from multiple locations. There are different magnitudes of distribution, from fully distributed teams that rarely meet face to face, to teams with the freedom to work from home several days a week, yet still retain a limited office presence.

Distributed working affords a valuable alternative to traditional co-located office-based working. Organisations benefit from reduced overheads as teams no longer require as much expensive office space. Employees meanwhile benefit from a greater work-life balance.

My PhD enables me to advise you on how best to introduce and manage distributed work practices in your organisation.

... being creative in both

Creativity is key to the way that teams recognise, identify and come to understand problems and opportunities. My aim is to help your organisation recognise the importance of creativity, and better incorporate it into your practices and culture. E.P.Torrance, an expert on the subject defines creativity as:

"A process of becoming sensitive to problems, deficiencies, gaps in knowledge, missing elements, disharmonies, and so on; identifiying the difficulty; searching for solutions, making guesses, or formulating hypothesis about the deficiencies: testing and retesting these hypotheses and possibly modifying and retesting them; and finally communicating the results." 1

Your organisation

- and where my skills fit in

My academic hat

- the focus of my PhD

My PhD aims to prompt discussion about the need for traditional office work. Is it possible for organisations to have teams that work from home and who still tackle complicated projects? Are such teams capable of complex socio-cognitive tasks like designing that require both interaction and creativity and that are typically complicated in co-located design studios.

For my research I have run an extensive series of experiments that compare the performance of local/co-located and remote/distributed teams as they address a number of collaborative creativity activities. These activities are both abstract and complex requiring teams to approach them as problems that require understanding and resolving. I study how these teams think and work together to make sense of the activities as well as differences in creative performance.

Not just work

- what I get up to in my downtime


I love the mental and physical challenge that climbing provides. I take every opportunity I can to get out climbing in the Lancaster area and the Lake District. I especially enjoy the freedom that traditional rock climbing provides, allowing you to explore the landscape in your own way, finding your own approach to a route whilst leaving without making a mark on the crag.


I have been cycling since I was four and have never stopped. Some of my earliest memories are of watching Le Tour de France. I'm happy to leave the epic rides to the pros, pursuing the title of enthusiastic amateur instead. I have enjoyed building up various bikes and look forward to summer days riding not only on my local routes around Lancaster but further afield as well.

Music & Conducting

I can recall the day someone came to school to show us various woodwind instruments, amongst them the bassoon. I have been playing the bassoon ever since. I am very fortunate to have been part of a wide range of talented ensembles, including several tours of europe. I have recently started to conduct some of my former ensembles. Learning to conduct has taught me a great deal about team management and motivation.


I love cooking and taking the time to learn about and find good ingredients. My family have always been foodies, with summers spent harvesting anything and everything on my parents allotment, to my Grandmother who re-branded Thursday as baking day. These days my navigational landmarks are bakeries, butchers, cafés, restaurants, pubs, bars and any other eatery.