Creative Leadership

Upping Your Elvis is a Creative Leadership capability company. We help businesses change by giving people the creativity, energy and flexibility to improve everything around them every day.

Matt Bolton-Alarcón

Matt Bolton-Alarcón

Read more

Matt Bolton-Alarcón

 +44 7736 635 930

Matt Bolton-Alarcón

Matt Bolton-Alarcón left school and became a banker. Although he enjoyed solving customers problems he couldn’t get on with the itchy polyester suits. He therefore made an about turn and headed off to work in media for EMAP working his way up from creative writer and producer to marketing director. It was here that he learned that keeping creative and fresh whilst answering clients briefs day in day out is both a challenging and damn fun pursuit. In this time Matt worked with clients such as Amstel, ASDA and O2 and was part of a leadership team that successfully turned round one of EMAP’s oldest brands from loss to profit making in 3 years.

In 2006 Matt realised that he loved generating energy in people and pulling out their creative potential and so joined both Jim and Chris in the innovation capability team at ?What If! Matt has designed and delivered large scale capability programmes for the likes of Johnson & Johnson, Boots, Google and Abbott Pharmaceuticals.

Matt has a talent for spotting the hidden potential in individuals as well as helping businesses to get focused on what they really want. He uses humour and empathy to connect with people whether it is in small group sessions or large scale events.

Matt is a keen guitar player and singer having played to audiences of up to 70,000. He lives in Camden Town, London but loves nothing better than heading off into the countryside in his campervan and hanging out with his wife Delia and dog Taco!

“I’ve had the pleasure to work with Matt on numerous occasions over a number of years. Matt has a real passion & talent for developing Innovation capability and his ‘wit and wisdom’ are sought after and valued by all he comes into contact with. Personally speaking, I’ve not met anyone more genuine in their desire & commitment to help you get the best results.”

Chris Baréz-Brown

Chris Baréz-Brown

Read more

Chris Baréz-Brown

 +44 7973 736337

Chris Baréz-Brown

Chris has a rather unusual view of the world in that he knows that everybody is perfect.

As we grow and develop and socialise we can lose touch with that brilliance and often become somebody we’re not. Chris specialises in helping people reconnect with their inner genius and once again become confident in being who they truly are. Although that may seem rather hippy to some, his results produce tangible returns on investment for companies such as Unilever, Coca-Cola, Nike, Roche, Diageo and WPP, who come back time and again for his unique and energetic approach to transforming their people and their businesses.

He combines an eclectic professional background including time in the army, brand management, innovation and leadership development, with his fascination for people and the more esoteric practices of Reiki, meditation, shamanism, hypnotherapy and cider drinking. All of which make his take on work refreshing, simple and inspiring.

Chris has written three bestselling books;- ‘How to have kick ass ideas’ is published by HarperCollins. ‘Shine. How to survive and thrive at work’, and ‘Free. Love your work, love your life’ are both published by Penguin.

He runs workshops from his home in Lyme Regis which have become a thing of legend amongst those who have taken part, not least for the fabulous Dorset cooking, the 35-year-old Land Rover and his rather affable cocker spaniel, Sparky. Chris is determined to inject more humanity back into business which is why he founded Upping Your Elvis in 2009, and as he does what he loves and what he is great at, has never been a happier bunny.

Jim Lusty

Jim Lusty

Read more

Jim Lusty

 +44 7976 432220

Jim Lusty

Jim Lusty’s career began with 8 years in sales and marketing driving successful above and below the line campaigns for Diageo and Coors.

A new millennium presented a fresh opportunity in the shape of building the innovation Capability offering at ?What If! from scratch. During his time here Jim led and developed a highly successful team of creativity practitioners, delivering ambitious and effectual systemic change programmes for the likes of Sky, Google, Disney, Pfizer, L'Oreal and Tesco. Jim has also presented at hundreds of conferences and events worldwide making him a seasoned, popular and adaptable keynote speaker. His success stems from his larger than life personality and his natural ability to energise and engage those who connect with him both personally and professionally.

Jim relishes the challenge of working with individuals and organisations to help them realise their true potential. He makes it simple and fun, creating positive working experiences and achieving maximum impact. Behind his playful approach is a man with a track record for challenging and growing multi million pound businesses and consulting to board level, helping them to accomplish and embed innovative cultures.

England provides many of Jim’s passions, including its rugby team, its beer, its coastline and its fascinating history. A fresher man is hard to find.

“I have worked with Jim on and off for the last decade on a number of high profile projects. He has an acute eye for detail, a strong awareness for the needs of others and a fast mind. He balances both the strategic and emotional demands of people incredibly well and he does all this with a big smile on his face…which is always contagious”

"Jim was amazing, really inspirational, fun and entertaining. I learnt lots and look forward to more."

To develop a culture of creative leadership
we look at your population in 3 distinct groups.


Who need to set direction and create the right conditions.

Read More


Who drive key projects, create impact and coach the rest of the business on how to inject creativity into their work.

Read More


The rest of the people need to understand how they need to show up, get creative and learn some simple approaches.

Read More

Get Your Free
Chapter of "FREE"

 Please update me with news from Elvis

FREE! Love your work, love your life launched June 2014.

Life and work are intrinsically linked. If we want to live an extraordinary life, we have to make our work equally extraordinary.

When your work resonates with purpose, you jump out of bed every morning, excited by the possibilities the day holds for you. Everything else in your life seems to have a glow about it, and you exude much more personal shine. This book is designed to help you feel like that every day. To help you make your work work for you. To feel truly free.

[Read More]

From the blog » Read all blog posts

  • 6 Ways to Nurture Your Creative Leadership Skills

    September 16, 2014

    Over the course of a year we train and coach hundreds of creative leaders in a wide array of businesses from media and entertainment to pharmaceuticals.  Many attend our 5-day mastery workshop and leave with a new-found set of creative…

  • Michelle Charman on how Elvis helped change her life

    August 4, 2014

    We love to hear feedback from folk we have worked with. Recently we received this e-mail from Michelle who was inspired to create her own publishing company. Thanks for sharing Michelle! I’m just writing to thank you for your inspiration…

  • The Power To Create – Matthew Taylor CEO RSA

    July 17, 2014

    Last week, the Chief Executive of the RSA gave his annual lecture, entitled “The Power to Create”, in which he outlined the RSA’s core mission to empower people to be capable, active participants in creating the world we want to…

  • Extract from Free! The Sugar Rush.

    July 15, 2014

    There has been a good deal in the media recently about the dangers of sugar. It is one of the topics discussed in Free! Love Your Work, Love Your Life so we thought you might like to read the extract…. To…

Latest Tweets » Follow UYE on Twitter

Upping Your Elvis @uppingyourelvis

Matt shares his wisdom on the benefits of positivity at work: #positivity

Upping Your Elvis @uppingyourelvis

Good luck to the global FT board who are running their own #streetwisdom this morning.

Upping Your Elvis @uppingyourelvis

Just been playing with the folk at #Amplifi helping think about being #CreativeLeaders during their values week.

Big Upping our client love.

Impact on other people... That is what Upping your Elvis does.



John Van Vleck: “They have actually liberated me. They have brought me out of, kind of an old way of  thinking, and old way of being and helped me realize my creative potential, helped me realize my voice to express that creative potential and help me understand how do I go about landing ideas, how I go about creativity, how I go about impacting other people. That is what Upping Your Elvis has done for me.”

Coca-Cola logo



Anna: The Elvis experience for me, personally, was incredibly inspiring.

Laura: My Elvis experience has been absolutely brilliant.

Susanne: My Elvis experience was amazing, because I found him, I found her, and I found it. I loved it.

Laura: I’ve loved every second of it. I learnt so much about myself, not just as an employee of the Guardian but also as a person.

Trina: I’ve learnt an awful lot about working with people within this group that I really thought that I could take it outside of here, and apply it to my life.

Anna: For the first time, (I have gone on a number of these Management Training, People Management, Cultural Inspiration Courses), this was the first time that I didn’t have to deal with management speaks, so they cut the crap completely, talked in a language that you can understand, and take onboard, and most importantly, share with all of our colleagues, and staff. And I think I can grow, and develop a hell of a lot more that I’ve allowed myself to previously. Secondly, and this is key for everyone, Jim and Chris are bright, smart, and what’s more important is, fun loving people. So we not only learnt a lot, but we had a lot of fun along the way.

Guardian logo



Fru Hazlitt, Managing Director, Commercial and Online; Simon Daglish, Group Commercial Director; Kelly Williams, Commercial Director; Chris Goldson, Creative Sales Director; Ross Faulkner, Creative Sales Director; Kim Gilroy, Account Director

Fru Hazlitt: Obviously, I would like to say that all the transformations that we’ve achieved in Commercial Online Interactive, is entirely due to me, but of course that would be complete bollocks. And, actually, a lot of the motivation, the ideas, and just the kind of support to transform the Commercial Team has come from this funny little company, called “Upping Your Elvis.”

Simon Daglish: Elvis has now become a term in our business, by which I mean that, the general attitude of the business is quite different, and we can see that all around us. So, we’ve done some very, very substantial pitches recently, which we weren’t expect to in, and we have done, and I think that’s on the back of the tools, and the experiences, and the learnings we have taken from Elvis.

Fru Hazlitt: Just the name did it for me. And, just the explanations to why they’re called that does it all for me.

Ross Faulkner: The biggest impact is having other people in the organization that you share the same ambitions, and you share the same goals with, and also having an understanding of what each other’s trying to do for the business.

Fru Hazlitt: When you’re trying to put a lot of people who are resisting change, don’t like change, or think they don’t like change, because they’ve had it, you know, it has to be an experience that – very quickly engages them, and very quickly makes it enjoyable. And, Jim and Chris do that in spades, and they seem like fantastic top blokes who really get it, and are prepared, most importantly of all, to make you believe they’re in the ring with you, and they make you feel like, you know, that they’re in the trenches too. And, they understand what it’s like to, you know, be in the trenches, and then have to get out and go over the top, and you know, and fight all the way.

Kelly Williams: The first thing I saw was a kind of team of people who were a bit lacking in confidence, and a little bit beaten over the last couple of years, and a little bit cynical, suddenly come alive, and get what we wanted them to do.

Chris Goldson: There’s such a big impact for people when they come back from the course, particularly the week away. You can feel that they’ve been on something different, they actually feel very changed, and it’s as they know something that other people don’t. And, the challenge again for the business really, is about how people take that as a responsibility, and share that with others, and make that part of their everyday life.

Fru Hazlitt They really make sure that those leaders, managers, people who’ve got to keep this going, because a critical thing trying to do something with a company like Upping Your Elvis, it’s all very well, but if you don’t walk it every day, you know, in front of people, demonstrating what it is that you mean by transforming the way you do business, and the way we operate, then it’s hopeless. And, what the guys at Upping Your Elvis do, is to really follow up with all the managers, and make sure that everybody is really leading by example, and they do regularly.

Kim Gilroy: Elvis just gets you thinking in a different kind of way.

Ross Faulkner: The time you spend with the people you work with every day is different to any time I’ve ever spent with those people ever before.

I guess the main thing you expect from Elvis is just, “Pow!”

ITV logo

  • Since starting my business, my group of Personal Trainers have delivered over 60,000 sessions. That’s 60,000 sessions being delivered with more “elvis” than last year…that’s pretty cool!

    Chris Burgess, Personal Trainer, after reading Shine!
  • Chris Baréz-Brown’s presentation style sparkled and inspired our team to think differently. His unique and powerful insights have the ability to transform any organization.

    Derek Kent, Chief Marketing Officer, Canadian Olympic Committee
  • A lot of the motivation ideas and support to transform the commercial team has come from Upping Your Elvis.

    Fru Hazlitt, Managing Director, Commercial and Online, ITV
  • It’s not the instrument that makes the music, it’s the player. So much emphasis in the world of innovation and creativity is placed on process, tools and techniques. Chris fully understands it’s the people who make the magic not the structure. Chris is a master at bringing out the creative spark in people to turn dust into something that matters, so that in the words of John Lennon, “We all shine on.”

    John Van Vleck, Global Director, Insights, Ideas and Creativity The Coca-Cola Company
  • So much big talk about transformation… Chris actually delivers it. Time and again. Part art, part gift, part crazy man. He works his magic every time!

    Maria Eitel – Founder and President of the Nike Foundation
  • Chris’s book is a champagne-in-the-veins tonic for jaundiced people who desire to revive the technicolour from a monochrome life. I heartily recommend it.

    Tim Smit, co-founder and CEO of The Eden Project