sparks the imagination
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about me

Alistair Delves is your 2nd brain.

A brain that sparks the imagination. A brain that delivers insights. A brain for new perspectives. A brain for solutions. An extra brain for the journey ahead. A plug-in strategic resource . A brain that can be activated day or night; 24/7.

Alistair Delves is passionate about helping leaders of large and small businesses as well as start ups to perform at their best whatever may be happening inside or outside of the organisation. He helps them to better navigate their businesses through the turbulence, ambiguity and change of the modern world.

He gives each leader the helicopter perspective where they glimpse the future by seeing the bigger picture. As leaders they start thinking more imaginatively. They start to believe again. They become more energised and more focused. They reflect, recalibrate and divine. They reconnect with their essence, become more confident and start to envision the future in a manner that resonates with all their stakeholders.

Boxed-in thinking gets consigned to the scrap heap of history.

These leaders define their legacy no matter what. They are the true stars by making their teams the heroes.

They stand tall. They are resolute. They are unstoppable. They are inspirational. They forge the future.

If you want to be an extraordinary leader not just a run of the mill one, then let’s meet up for an informal chat. No pressure. Just fun.

Email me, Alistair Delves, at so we can sort something out.

What if Alistair Delves became your 2nd brain?

working with companies across the globe


S K Pack Group China
Prudential Corporation Asia
The Brand Union
The Global Notice Board
The Chartroom
The Maritime Trust
New PHD/ Compass
J&B Fine Wines
Central Office of Information
Diageo Fine Wines Europe
Champions Club
Precise Detail Limited
Cambridge Online Learning
Cambridge International Examinations
The Talent Providers
The Mind Catalyst
Phoebus Associates
Eggs Benefit
Executive Development Consultants
Hyde & Partners
Kitt Peters Extraordinary Events
Cogent Elliott
Ogilvy & Mather London
Ogilvy & Mather Warsaw
The College of Law
Intergenerational Foundation
Four Points Consulting Limited
Blumberg Partnership

J. Walter Thompson
Burkitt Weinreich Bryant
Mc CannErikson
Euro RSG Skybridge
Grey Advertising / GSK
Grey Advertising/ P&G
Savell Bird Axiom
PDS Computer Software
New York Life
The Villa Book
Delegates Select
Future Builders England
Microloan Foundation
Gizmo & Widget
David Pilton Advertising
Jo Bird & Company
The Big Group
Auckland Micro Limited
Langham Works Direct Marketing
Connect Water Systems
L’e Marquis –St Tropez Luxury
PD Consultants
French living
The Charity for Civil Servants
Vrankham Pommery


Alistair’s special value is that he can get one to think through one’s challenges with a new clarity and arrive at instructive perspectives and insights on how to move forward. He does this by listening deeply, focusing totally, asking great questions and offering wise observations

Andrew Link Consultant 2012-14

Alistair is thoroughly professional and probing in a friendly and unthreatening manner. It is true to say that I found the 2nd brain support pleasantly provocative, uncannily useful and good fun. I’d recommend it to anyone.

Tim Chater | KOJI drinks 2013-154

“Y2B helped provide clarity on our change strategy at a time of great uncertainty and in particular provided us the opportunity to focus on the short and medium term challenges we faced providing us the platform to address them with confidence”

Mark Cross Communications Planning Director at the COI 2009 – 2010

The journey embarked was transforming, thought provoking, insightful. But most importantly there were avenues out. I was left feeling that I could now move forward from my crossroad. A timely reflection plus actions of where I have been and where I could go. I would definitely recommend Alistair it was fabulous.

Patricia Dolor, Primary Care Contract Manager, NHS London 2014

“A session with Alistair Delves clears the mind of clutter, concentrates you on the essentials and leaves you refocused and ready for action!”

Imogen Burton Director of Business Development, College of Law 2011-13

Alistair has helped provide great reality on my plans and also provided some really useful tools to help understand where my time is spent which had a great impact in helping me prioritise how I split my time between the different parts of my life.

Julie Talbot Consultant 2013

“Ravi and I often refer to our discussions with you. It is still the content and conclusions of those very discussions that continues to spark our imagination and fuel our journey – so you have definitely left a legacy!”

Aahuti Rai – Joint founder of Four Points Consulting Limited 2010-13

Alistair’s dynamic sessions are the ultimate in brainstorming. Always challenging me to look at things from different perspectives often giving me clear direction or important food for thought. It is invaluable to have someone with Alistair’s breadth of experience to bounce ideas off and talk through everything from strategy to problem solving.

Rick Brown Entrepreneur and owner of Dulwich Bakery 2013-14

‘Rarely do you have the privilege, not to say luck, of meeting someone who can bring clarity of thought and direction/perspectives to your life across a whole range of business and personal decisions – Alistair Delves is such a person.’

Derek Prentice Customer First Consultancy 2012-14

I have completed 2 programmes with Alistair, separated by 10 years and with very different goals. The consistent value has been to enable me to get quickly to the core of what had seemed complex and intractable issues. All of this is made possible by a gentle but insistent process of questioning, clarification and reflection which never dilutes your accountability for the outcome but enhances the perspectives and objectivity of your judgement. You can learn a lot about yourself.

Nick Hyde Managing Director of Diageo Fine Wines Europe 2010-14

Today’s cries of pain: “no time to think”, “too busy to plan”, “too much data not enough time” so what? You have to stand back to see the wood from the trees, but you also need help to see clearly. Alistair does not impose himself; he helps you find your solution to your problem or opportunity. He helps you dig out what you really think and helps you face the truth. He then helps you find your own answer and helps you face the truth. It’s weird working with Alistair; an almost out-of-body experience where at one and the same time you think subjectively and consider objectively I hate consultants who are so bloody smart they come to you with their answer, their proprietary tools, and as often as not leave with the top job. Alistair isn’t the hero of the piece, you are; he helps you find the answers to your problems. The service industry is unforgiving, it gives you very little space to think; and I don’t mean taxi time between meetings, I mean focused, concentrated, uninterrupted time. Time is at a premium, so when you’ve found some you have to use it well. That’s where Alistair comes in. He gives the sessions shape, keeps his eye on the objective while making sure you explore, and helps you find the solutions yourself. Nothing distracts you from the job at hand. I found my sessions with Alistair invaluable. The clearest thinking is done when there is no hiding place, when you have to face the truth of the situation and provide the answer yourself. He’s the best facilitator in the business.

Marek Jezewski General Manager Ogilvy Warsaw 1997- 1999.

“It is quite magical how Alistair helps to co-create insights and how over a matter of time these insights connect up to become reality. I rarely take notes when I meet with Alistair – the true power of our conversations resonates at a much deeper level and ends up manifesting itself in my daily thought processes.”

Aahuti Rai Founding partner of Four Points consulting Ltd 2010-13

“Your 2nd Brain helps me to take an omnigenous view of my business and what I want to achieve allowing me to target my resources to the best effect.” I have very much enjoyed working with you and hope that we will be able to again in the future”

Chris Taylor Reed Founder of Aukland Micro Limited. Projects 2010 & 2011

“Alistair’s special value is that he can get one to think through one’s challenges with a new clarity and arrive at instructive perspectives and insights on how to move forward. He does this by listening deeply, focusing totally, asking great questions and offering wise observations”

Andrew Link of Andrew Link Consulting. Project 2011-12

“It was a pleasure to work with Alistair over several months; I benefited from his energy, insight, friendly yet challenging perspective and real world experience. I would recommend him strongly.”

Jon Bridges Director IPPM Ltd. Project 2011

“I found Alistair’s approach refreshing and effective. He is an extremely good listener who asks penetrating questions. Through our interactions and over a period of several weeks, I was able to step back and take a good look at my business, goals, attitudes and my life in general.”

Graham Simon Founder of Delegates Select Project 2011

“The support that Alistair provided was invaluable when Tenacious setup the South African office. By listening and questioning our motives and actions, he was able to focus our minds on the tasks at hand and provide the tools and skills required for our future projects.”

Haydon Farrar Tenacious Limited (UK)

“Alistair’s relaxed manner and penetrating questions leave you feeling you’ve had a very good conversation and know exactly the steps you should be taking. This from someone who also mentors senior people!”

Mike Walsh Director Velti Project 2011

“I found Alistair’s approach refreshing and effective. He is an extremely good listener who asks penetrating questions. Through our interactions and over a period of several weeks, I was able to step back and take a good look at my business, goals, attitudes and my life in general.” Graham Simon Delegate Select Alistair is a great listener and suggester – my sessions with him helped us both come up with ideas to move the business forward that have been enormously helpful. He both moves you to the big picture and makes you think through the detail.

Angus Hanton Founder of Intergenerational Foundation 2012-15

Dear Alistair,
I want to express my great appreciation of the coach-mentoring you have given me over the last 6 months. You offered me a helicopter view of my business, but a times it felt more like a bungee jump – sometimes observing from altitude, but at others inspecting in close proximity. You challenged my limiting self-beliefs, stimulated my ambition, broadened my perspective and, crucially, reinforced my resilience. I am extremely grateful for your interest, insight, patience and confidence in me. I feel my business has taken a quantum leap forward in the time we have worked together.
Thanks you,

Gordon Watts founder of Leadaculture Project 2011

“Alistair Delves gives so much that it is hard to capture in a sentence or two. Good business strategy, worldly experience, an understanding of what makes people tick, all delivered with tremendous enthusiasm. However thinking back what he gave me was some space to reflect and reach clarity on a way forward.”

Dr Max Blumberg Founder of Blumberg Partnership; Research Fellow, University of London 2011-12

“They say two brains are better than one and Alistair certainly proves the point. He brings clarity and focus to muddied waters.”

Sara Fielding ‘Growth & Value Consultant’ 2012-13

“I worked with Alistair during spring 2013 when I was taking stock of ten years as an independent communications consultant. My wide range of client interventions had contributed to a reduction in the clarity of my presentation to prospects. Alistair helped me examine the elements of my offer, prioritise them in line with their potential and my goals and reassemble them with greater focus and distinctiveness. He achieved this through a combination of thoughtful listening, direct but non-threatening questioning and generally creating a relaxed space for deep reflection and purposeful resolution. He helped generate and then boost my own energy and momentum, contributing to a change of pace and a refreshed approach”

Paul Tredwell founder of the Bigfoot consultancy 2013

“Alistair goes beyond being a second brain. He challenges every boundary / thought, inspires you to be the best you can be and does this in a truly delightful and engaging way.”

Ravi Rai Founding partner of Four Points consulting Ltd 2010-2013

“Alistair has a rare talent. His ability to identify the specific point of inflection and co-create tremendous clarity is second-to-none. We have explored many seemingly intractable issues and discussed diverse actions that have always moved me forward. This big brain approach, aligned with impeccable confidentiality, is then followed up with meticulous attention to detail, providing reassurance that you are always in safe hands. A true professional.”

Simon Phillips, Creator of the MAD Button, Author and OD Director 2012

Alistair has been an inspirational mentor to me over a number of years. your 2nd brain has helped me establish my ecommerce business and taken a huge amount of interest in its development. We are now poised to sell the business, and Alistair has helped formulate a suggested plan of action to help the purchaser take the company to new heights. Of all Alistair’s many talents I would emphasise his uncanny ability to listen to a myriad of worries and doubts, and then cut to the very core of the problem. Whether it be short term problems, or long term strategy, his considered counsel is always relevant. Tough truths are often hard to take, yet Alistair’s shrewd advice is always given with his unique brand of good humour. I cannot recommend your 2nd brain more highly.

Adam Norton Founder of Gizmo and Widget 30th March 2010

Alistair takes me up in a helicopter to see challenging issues in a new perspective. I find his insights and recommendations invaluable and highly supportive.

Peter Ryan CEO of Microloan Foundation

I’ve found that having a 2nd brain by my side has been an incredibly effective way of coalescing my thoughts and helping me to focus. Working with Alistair and having access to his unique insights and perspective at looking at things has proved to be of enormous benefit to me enabling to not necessarily charge at something head on but to explore different avenues. I would have no hesitation in continuing to work with my 2nd Brain and indeed deem it a necessity!

Garth Delikan Founder of The Lifestyle Guy 2011

“Your impact has been incredible and worth every penny”

Adrian O’Connor CFO PCA by text on 19/12/09

“Alistair Delves’ involvement in the development of RubberDuckMag.Com has been invaluable – and truly inspirational in transforming a great idea into an outstanding idea, with a robust framework and focussed direction. Alistair is treated very much a part of the team; hopefully for a very long time indeed.”

Jon Saxon – Founder 2010

“We used your 2nd brain to help the agency unearth a new strategic route. We explored positioning and people development in a program that lasted around 6 weeks. Alistair is a great listener but rigorous that we faced the issues honestly and completely. He manages to create an encouraging, open environment with powerful focus. He always can disentangle the important from the trivial. Our programme was a success and was implemented fully and within the timeframe.”

Hywel Davies Founding Partner DLCF Project 2003

“Alistair’s tremendous listening skills, and ability to pull insights from an organization helped us enormously leverage the assets we were able to bring to our Clients’ business. He has a creatively distinct way of conceptualizing issues and opportunities. This enabled us to quickly meet the needs of our Client, both strategically and executionally, in the way we organized and equipped our team”

Piers Yeld Internal Business Director at Grey Advertising Project 2002, 2008, 2012-14

“Alistair Delves is a highly professional business man whose services I have used and benefit from a number of times. I have the greatest respect for his 2nd Brain strategic consultancy which has helped me clarify significant business issues and provided key insights to raise some projects to a new level of success. Importantly, Alistair is a great listener and possesses an unwavering skill to sweep aside the camouflage of encumbered strategic development to get back to action orientated plans. I believe that his product is unique. His approach is wonderfully charismatic and his thinking is extremely broad – he gets the highest praise from me and I, like so many others who have included him on their team, will continue to draw great benefit from his contribution. I have no hesitation whatsoever in acting as a referee, he is an individual and a very nice man to do business with”

Clive Holland Executive Managing Director Grey International Project 1999; 2001; 2003

“As the Director of Strategic development for Reuters Media I commissioned your 2nd brain on a couple of strategic projects. As we were in the throes of a repositioning I needed an extra brain to help facilitate the development of some key initiatives. Critically, Alistair brought clarity to these issues, highlighted some key opportunities and enabled me to present an alternative but informed view to the team and expedite an agreed position without the hassle usually associated with internal reviews. What I particularly liked was the way I was given space to formulate ideas and crystallise my thinking with Alistair playing a crucial enabling role. Through his listening and re-referencing programmes I was able to proactively manage the strategic agenda and achieve my overall mission.”

Geoffrey Wheating Director, Strategic Development, Reuters Media UK & Ireland Project 1999; 2000

“I have worked with Y2B a number of times over the last several years and expect that I will continue to use their unique approach into the future. They have provided extremely valued support at critical moments under a variety of circumstances. One example was helping align the management board of an integrated agency through a difficult period of transition. After a period of in depth listening across all levels of the company, Y2B’s diagnosis and assessment was very accurate and incisive presenting a challenging strategy on the way forward back to the board. Under happier circumstances, I hired Y2B to help integrate a new team into a new media agency joint venture. The process was a very motivating one for all involved and was essential in providing a successful integration which left everyone with a genuinely enthusiastic and positive attitude on the future. At the same time Y2B provided a new management team with a wider view on its future plans and a practical programme for achieving them. The most recent experience was to support my own consultancy as it conducted the most in depth customer consultation ever conducted by an industry media research currency which was under severe scrutiny at the time. I asked Y2B to help draw together the customer feedback and act as a sounding board for the development of my own thinking. As always the experience of working with them was extremely positive and enjoyable and helped me maintain clarity and direction in the formulation of the strategic recommendations back to the board. Y2B are very user friendly and represent a positive force under any circumstances. I have no hesitation in highly recommending them.”

Mark Cross founder of MC2 Projects 1994; 1997; 1999; 2001; 2004

YOUR 2nd BRAIN Jo Bird and Co Ltd employed the services of Alistair Delves at a time when the Company was at a crossroads and lacking direction. It was vital that an outsider came in to give an overview of the business – its origin, market, product base, strengths and weaknesses. We didn’t know where we were going and were rapidly ending up somewhere else! Alistair started by simply observing and listening to management and their assessment, and applied equal importance to the views of production staff. The result was a clear definition of where the Company had lost its focus and a structured approach to the future. The result has been dynamic and we are now keenly focussed on our niche markets, the customer is king, and we have turned a hitherto ailing Company into a model of success. Indeed our Export achievements in the last three years has resulted in the Directors being invited to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party – unthinkable in the late 1990′s. Alistair’s refreshing and original approach, clarity of thought and good listening skills have served us very well and we would not hesitate to recommend him.

Jo Bird, founder of Jo Bird & Co. Ltd Projects: 1993; 1997; 1998

“Alistair has a great ability to listen and then reflect back to you the critical issues you need to be addressing. He helps me see the wood, not the trees, and then we focus on how to ensure the wood flourishes.”

Richard Gutch CEO of Futurebuilders England Projects 2001/02; 2002/03; 2004/05; 2005/06

“I have known Alistair for nearly twenty years as a business colleague, a client and a trusted friend. Unique is a much-overused word, yet Alistair really does bring to a business relationship a unique range of skills and abilities, underpinned by insights and an original approach that provides the opportunity for a fresh look at issues. Alistair’s approach makes you think, to reconsider not only the approach to an issue or problem, but often from a viewpoint that had never been on the horizon let alone your agenda. Such an approach is of course challenging, but Alistair always brings a calm and user-friendly approach to the task in hand. Above all there are three key features of Alistair Delves work that I have come to value: his refreshing and original approach; his great listening skills; and access to his brain that enables him to put it all together to deliver results.”

Derek Prentice founder of Customer First Formerly Deputy Director of Consumers Association Projects in 1992/3; 1999/02

“I have known Alistair Delves for some 23 years. When I was the IDV client & he was with Y&R I always valued his calm measured firm and rational responses to all my wild and whacky suggestions. He was more than an agency man but rather in my mind a valued member of my team. Over the last couple of years we worked together on a number of start up initiatives and I valued his ability to listen carefully (a lost art for many) followed by his conceptual and strategic thinking, leading to sound commercial solutions. He is always user friendly, focused and a true SECOND BRAIN.”

James Espey CEO of Cambridge-Online- Learning; CEO of Mimecast 2001/02

Appointed as CEO of Euro RSCG Skybridge, I inherited a company with a number of critical business issues. In particular, a dysfunctional management team. I needed them to be able to work as a cohesive unit as well as harness the strengths of their respective departments. I commissioned Alistair Delves and Y2B to implement a programme that could achieve this. The Y2B approach was extremely thorough, not just relying on my perspective on what the problems and issues were but spending significant amounts of time with each management team member. A two day workshop, prepared and moderated by Alistair was then carried out. This ensured every member of management could express their views, make worthwhile contributions and collectively agree on key goals and the steps needed to reach them. The authority, knowledge and experience that Alistair brought to the table ensured that all the team regarded the process as extremely productive and enlightening. The final report produced by Y2B became a blueprint for management focus and activity for the remainder of the financial year and beyond. Management decision making improved, team work blossomed and the company overall moved up a gear. I would have no hesitation in commissioning Y2B again to help with strategic or managerial issues that need ‘a grown up, outside perspective’ and would recommend them to any company that could benefit from this unique resource.

John Hackney Chief Executive, Euro RSCG Skybridge

Alistair is a special guy. He’s much focused, smart, a great listener, both diplomatic and direct, as well a being a very good lateral thinker. He has a strong work ethic and a vast array of experience to support this. He has an ability to look big picture as well as help with the detail, as appropriate. Thoroughly professional and genuinely caring of his clients and their agenda.

Guy Insull, Founder of Champions Club Community (2010)

I have been working with “Your 2nd Brain” for over five years now. Alistair Delves manages to find an opportunity in every situation and enables me to focus on the key factors that drive the business. Alistair Delves is a living legend.

Edward Marquis, Villa Book (2005-2010)

I have worked with Alistair for 5 years – an invigorating experience. From the very beginning each session with Alistair had specific actionable take-aways – no fluff. My view of how to manage my career has evolved for the better with Alistair’s help. I am now much more confident about the future, about my abilities and about how to deal with ambiguity – all thanks to Alistair.

Adrian O’Connor, CFO PCA 2010

Alistair Delves
is your 2nd brain

18 Tritton Road
West Dulwich
SE21 8DE

phone: 07899 756 084


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