top of page
Head on warmer_edited.jpg

Christine Lithgow Smith

Founder of Chrisalyst

scroll for more info

Get in touch

About me

As the original wild child you could say I was a bit of a late bloomer. Rather than heading to uni with my pals, at 18 I found myself working in a call centre and making my own way in the world.  Twenty-one years, and one MBA later, I was an award-winning senior leader (Director of Global Transformation) in a FTSE30.  Classic successful turnaround story right? Maybe. Two steps from the top, I realised corporate life wasn't for me.  After understanding the reality of smashing the so-called 'glass ceiling' and seeing what it was like to be on a board, I lost interest. It didn't align with what having a life well lived means for me. And having a life well lived, I have discovered, is what matters most. So, I took a leap of faith and set up Chrisalyst®.  As often happens, that first step wasn't the last. I initially consulted on transformation, qualified as an executive coach to better help my clients, and began receiving requests to design and deliver leadership development programmes.  Along the way I fell in love with a new world - neuroscience: the study of the brain and nervous system.  It helped me to understand myself and others better than ever before.  As someone who, it seems, can't help but change, I'm fascinated by why some of us reinvent ourselves through life and others don't. Why do we do what we do? Turns out, our brains are more in charge of that than I realised.







What has this got to do with transformation and leadership?

Given my background, I can't help but see the connections between this emerging more holistic understanding of human beings as a living system, and enabling transformational change within one (an organisation). In my experience every transformation, including digital, depends on changing the behaviour of people and, often, organisational practises as well. It's people-centred, and to be sustainable it has to come from within. That requires awareness.  Not just self-awareness; it's bigger than that. Successful leaders use awareness of themselves, of others, the organisation, and the context in which they operate; in a dynamic way to deliver results.  This isn't easy, it takes years of practise and feedback to develop well. It also requires a level of humility to enable deep reflection and often can't be done alone, you need the input of a trusted advisor(s).  That's where we come in.

How can Chrisalyst help you?

Developing this awareness and using it to your full advantage can feel personal. More and more, leadership becomes about your inner game. The one inside your head, your mindset, attitude, whatever you want to call it. And that comes from your life, not just work, experience. Sometimes, you have to delve into the depths of your self, maybe even revisit the past to understand why you do what you do today so you can change things. Other times it's a question of time travel. You need to take the data you have about today to predict the likely tomorrows of your business, your own life, or your teams.  All of this involves mental agility, it involves neuroplasticity - it physically changes your brain!  Using my experience and more and more, the findings from my doctoral research into how this awareness develops, we create bespoke evidence-based solutions to help equip you, your leadership team(s), and your organisation to create positive change that delivers measurable results.

My Brain!

(isn't neuroscience cool!?)

My network of associates

Whilst I am personally involved with every engagement, for larger scopes of work, or where I feel it beneficial, I will introduce one or more of my associates.  I've hand-picked a number of incredible coaches and consultants.  Every one of them is brilliant in their own way, brings at least 20 years of hands-on professional experience from various disciplines and, like me, qualified at Henley Business School.  They have all worked with me before; I know them both personally and professionally, so know we are aligned in terms of values, approach, work ethic, and standards.

What does 'Chrisalyst' mean?

Chrisalyst® represents that liminal space between being and becoming.  It was inspired from two words so often associated with change and transformation: chrysalis and catalyst. The former offers a safe space in which to transition and the latter can be a person or thing that precipitates or facilitates change. Together they bring the same thing that our work together will: space to spark.  To ignite your enthusiasm, action, and the realisation of whatever ambitions you hold for yourself, your team, or organisation.

bottom of page