About Us

Dr Kieth Deats

Dr Kieth Deats

MBA DrBA (Bus Econ)

Business Growth Specialist & Executive Business Coach

My Mantra

“Making the Impossible Possible”

I’m a Doctoral Practitioner graduate from the World Class DBA Business Economics programme at University College Cork, where I was supervised by renowned Harvard Professors Robert Kegan ret. (Head of Adult Professional Development) and Eleanor Doyle (Co-Chair of Harvard Business School’s Knowledge Generation Council and a member of the Harvard Hall of Fame). My significant academic and practice credentials are further complemented by graduating from the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business with an Advanced Management Post Graduate Diploma in Advanced Business and Executive Coaching, an MBA from Newport, and study in Adult Training and Continuing Education, Neuro Linguistics, Industrial Relations, Negotiation, Management Accounting, and the Science and Practice of Agriculture. I’m a consummate believer in learning-by- doing, experiential knowledge and lifelong learning. I am a specialist in Next Generation Leadership and Next Level Growth with significant doctoral training in Adult Mental Development and Complexity and Self-Directed Learning.  I update my framework regularly by ongoing and lifelong learning through research and practice from the World’s top Universities and Institutes of Technology, Harvard, MIT and Wharton as my principle resources.  

My approach facilitates the connection of CEO’s, business owners and leaders to individuals and groups in their organisations to fulfil their collective potential to grow their businesses. I achieve this by helping shape, evolve and embed highly collaborative ongoing programmes of change and growth using organically conceived frameworks. I do this by mapping out the psychological, social, and commercial goals that work to achieve sustainable growth and preferred futures with individuals, groups and leaders in their business pursuits.

My work life has taken me on journeys to four different continents and six different countries with an overarching purpose to the commitment of sustainable business growth and prosperity. I’ve led regional economic initiatives, turnarounds of multinationals, family businesses, and small to medium enterprises.  On this journey, I discovered a world very different to the traditional world of business where power, position, and coercive behaviour that I used to believe was how everyone conducted themselves at work.

I have combined my practical experience with learning gleaned through academic study to develop conceptual frameworks that are uniquely designed to understand business performance challenges.  My work explores the changes needed to connect leaders and owners to their business potential and their best possible emerging future.

My Story

I’m South African born of Scottish and German descent. My work life has been influenced by a variety of careers including; being a conscript in counter insurgency, a diamond prospector, a bush pilot, and an Agricultural Economist. I have also spent decades as a business leader with; a major multinational food processing plant, a leader of multi store business of rural trading stores and been the owner of a major contracting division. Through my life and work experience, I’ve learned that the mind-set of the entrepreneur is a critical success factor needed to sustain and grow successful enterprises.

Shared success is based on principles of high levels of equality-based practice, integrity, transparency, and business best practice. I am total believer in the potential of humanity and experiential knowledge, and value diversity as a significant contributor to business growth. My theories and practices of continuous improvement are being used today in the ongoing development of high growth businesses in Ireland and Scotland.

Where I spend my time when not working

I’m nuts about reading, writing and keeping my mind, body and spirit in a place where I am fulfilling my preferred life. It is not uncommon to find me in the countryside, stick in hand, with my dog, crossing a river, climbing a mountain or just walking, breaking trail, or turning left on the path less travelled. I am an un-rehabitable adventurer and have a profound love for the outdoors and nature and can often be found BBQing in the rain or snow in my outdoor kitchen, savouring a good whisky and great conversation-or watching a programme on aviation, or top-class international Rugby.

My biggest achievement in life is having single parented two adult children, who are brilliantly well educated at World Class Universities, and like me enjoy their physical well-being and are amazingly self-critical resilient Modern Day practitioners

‘Ayrton Group have worked consistently with Kieth over the past decade. He brings a unique perspective on business growth, which is unlikely to be found elsewhere. His experience & methods of engaging our Leadership Teams, of helping us understand business growth, as well as leading an exciting journey of high-level long-term growth are unlikely to matched’

Kieran Linehan CEO

‘Helps us think and grow, and connect to the Bigger Picture, sustainable growth and make these connections to our team leaders, and the broader economy. Challenges and supports both achievable shorter-term goals, strategies and tactics very effectively…highly experienced, and self-assured in enabling us to make the most audacious goals possible’

Helen Taylor Partner

‘physically powerful man with great presence and gravitas, yet has a casual easy-going disposition’

Joanne Boyle

‘courageous, self-aware hungry individual who has great Boardroom presence. He is willing to deal with the ups and downs and go journey with clients-seriously resilient individual. ’

Enda Allen

Julie-Anne Griffith

Julie-Anne Griffith

MBA FCMI

Business Coach & Facilitator

My Mantra

“Excellence has a priority over perfectionism, work has to be fun, and I value a coaching culture”

My way of working is informed by; a Post Graduate Certificate in Executive and Business Coaching (EMCC Senior Practitioner level) from Leeds Beckett, an MBA from the Open University Business School, PRINCE 2 Foundation Project ManagementPalladium Kaplan and Norton qualification in Balanced Scorecard strategy execution, and a QQI Certificate in Equine Assisted Learning Facilitation gained at Festina Lente (which means “make haste slowly”).

Core values that influence the way I operate include; being ethical, encouraging freedom of choice, promoting health and well-being of individuals and organisations, and high levels of integrity.  Excellence has a priority over perfectionism, work has to be fun, and I value a coaching culture. I get a real kick out of helping individuals and teams to achieve their full potential.

My background is in; high achieving sales in a rapid growth mobile phone sector, quality systems management (including ISO 9001 and Investors in People), and being brought up in 3rd generation family business I have a strong work ethic.  I am a Fellow of The Chartered Management Institute and an Associate of Intrafocus who specialise in supporting balanced scorecard systems to monitor organisational performance on financial and non-financial measures. Recent CPD also includes, Harvard ed X Unlocking the Immunity to Change and MIT x U Lab: leading from the emerging future.

My Toolkit Includes:

  • Strategy Mapping Workshops to create a shared mission, vision, and values among leadership teams and key staff.
  • Support to establish a Balanced Scorecard to evaluate organisational performance using both financial and non-financial measures.
  • One to one coaching providing support and challenge that; encourages reflective practice, enables increased self-awareness, and offers a safe space in which to explore barriers to change and growth
  • Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and development to accelerate progress with executive & business coaching programmes, and also offers a unique and insightful approach to team building.

I like to work with authentic people who are passionate about what they do, and who want a safe, fun, and highly productive work environment. I’m a capable coach and facilitator with proven ability gained during 30+ years in leadership roles in the public, private, and third sectors. I have spent some of my career working with horses and the remainder in leadership and change management roles in communications and education. It’s great to be able to bring together my passions for horses and helping people achieve their full potential through our Leadership with Horses experience.

‘Being an experienced coach and trainer in the hard-nosed world of business, I thought it was important to explore new ways to get through to tough minded businesspeople who wanted to embrace change and new ways of leading, but were sceptical about pretty much everything. I feel that learning about leadership through working with horses does several things for a leader;

1. Takes them well away from familiar territory and avoids the excuse ‘I’ve tried that and it doesn’t work’

2. The horse cannot answer back!

The leader is therefore left with their own actions and behaviours to examine and no one else to blame. It’s an incredible experience that all good leaders ought to have the privilege of experiencing.’

Rebecca Bonnington

“I came away from the day feeling wonderful. There’s something really special about being close to animals and nature isn’t there.
I remember when we initially approached the horses, that part was probably most powerful. It had been a while since I had been around horses and I forgot how nervous they made me. So I certainly think that was a very important part of the day in terms of appearing confident but also relaxed and unthreatening as you approach the horse.

Also, the grounding thing where we tried to push each other over, that was really quite surprising and effective and is a technique I think about still to this day. It was certainly helpful in not only building my own confidence and self-esteem and giving me techniques to do that but also making me aware of the importance of body language in how I present myself. I think that self-confidence and self-esteem are really key when you’re having difficult conversations and especially with clients as you have to come across as if you know what you’re talking about.”

Leigh Fell

Justin Grace

Justin Grace

BSc (Hons) FCMA CGMA

Senior Project Management Consultant

My Mantra

“help businesses transform and flourish”

I’m a Senior Project Management Consultant with over 20 years’ experience in a variety of international senior leadership roles for varying business sizes and types. This included living in Northern Italy for several years where I was instrumental in turning around a manufacturing company.

Being successful in another business and social culture taught me a huge amount about myself, how the world can work and more importantly, that there is more than one way to get something done. 

I began my career as a Management Accountant working for a small SME in Shropshire, rising quickly through the business to become Financial Director at the age of 28, which gives me a great insight into the engine room of how business works.

My last corporate position was as Managing Director Northern Europe for an operating division of a US conglomerate. This included substantial P&L and operational responsibility for an area covering the UK, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Poland, as well as being a member of the Executive Management team in Paris.

Corporations are fantastic at process and control, SME’s are fantastic at innovation with speed, which is why I now focus my energies and use my skills and experience acquired over the years to help businesses transform and flourish.

As well working in several roles in the business transformation sector I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and also a Global Management Accountant.

‘a rare individual, and a top business leader…an experienced operator, equally effective at the top table as a strategist, and leader, and on the shop floor, with his sleeves rolled up. Justin has led successful multinational enterprises as a CEO, generating both sustained increased growth, and profit’


Dr Kieth Deats MBA DrBA (Bus Econ)

‘role models quality leadership, empowering people to use their knowledge, skills, experience and business judgement to achieve results and will offer his valued support wherever it is requested or needed. A natural mentor who is personable and approachable ’

Samantha O’Brien

‘an excellent MD who had the respect of his team and his customers. He has extensive engineering experience, and this is combined with a great focus on the customer and a high level of strategic focus. I enjoyed his support as a key supplier’

Mark Haslam

‘a dedicated international business leader, with a passion for developing businesses through their people…has the ability to act as a strong leader whilst maintaining strong sense of mentorship. Justin is thorough in detail, while remaining highly solution oriented, he is proactive in approach’

Brett Smyth

‘Justin has a depth of commercial and financial knowledge that has enabled him to deliver to me innovative and rewarding solutions from both a capital equipment and industry leading service perspective. Relentless with his customer focus’

Dave Barlow

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