Strategy Facilitation & Executive Coaching

Pioneering Leadership

Working with Risk & Uncertainty

Jamie MacAlister,  founder of Blonay, accredited executive coach, top team strategy facilitator, business school professor …

Author of “Risky Strategy” see blog at :

Currently leading Hult Ashridge research into “Pioneering Leadership”

Specialises in understanding and working with personal character attributes which impact how you as an individual or team can work most effectively with risk or uncertainty, or if you are a natural pioneer, how you lead more effectively.

This website features a free self-assessment tool, the Blonay Character Profiler, which is based on a uniquely simple articulation of character attributes as expressed by the Apostle Paul to his friend Timothy, with the words: “For God did not give us a spirit of fear,  but a spirit of boldness,  of love and of self-discipline.”  This is also described in the book “Risky Strategy”  designed to create a profile of personal preference on three character dimensions:

  • Bold Creative – the courage to be creative and promote change
  • Empathic – the ability to relate well to others
  • Self-disciplined – acting with integrity and diligence


“Based on research carried out with Ashridge Business School, as well as case studies
 of the strategic decision-making process in action, Jamie MacAlister takes the subject out of the textbooks and brings it engagingly to life. Drawing on lessons from Apple to Procter & Gamble, from Napoleon to Nelson, from Roger Federer to Sir Alex Ferguson,
and from Pythagorus to Sir Isaac Newton, Risky Strategy provides a new and dynamic perspective on risk, demonstrating how and when to take the right risk”

The story suggests that strategy is inherently risky, and that leaders and their organisations need strength of character in order to take the right risks in making strategic decisions. It explores the different ways in which leaders work with risk, and introduces us to formal analytical “elephants” and informal intuitive “tigers”. It looks at risk as variability and as crisis – and how this flows through to financial and reputational risk. It examines illusions and mind games that can throw us off the scent.

It draws on the philosophy of winning, from business, military and sport perspectives. It considers how leaders select the right variables, and combine analysis with intuition to take smart risks. It looks at how they innovate, and how they mitigate the risks of innovation. It considers what makes organisations better at dealing with risk, and what helps us as leaders to feel safer with it.

An underlying theme is the role of business in solving global social and environmental problems, and addresses the question: “Is business part of the problem or part of the solution?” And concludes with the challenge for business pioneers and natural risk takers to become more effective social problem solvers.

Risky Strategy

This is a culmination of my experience as a Strategy Consultant for over twenty years, and research at Ashridge on how leaders work with risk, and most recently, looking at risk in the global supply chain, in the context of addressing the issues of modern slavery.

My thesis: “Good strategy is about taking the right risks” . This raises questions like: “How do we experience risk?” and “What defines right?” This is the journey that we are embarked on…..

This book is available at:

Book Author, Jamie MacAlister

Risky Strategy Book- Events