Ian Coombe Bio

Ian has enjoyed a long successful career in the military and in business.

Army career

The first half of Ian's 20 year Army career was regimentally oriented in field Artillery and Weapon Locating Artillery. It was during this time that he converted a 1 ton truck of technical equipment into a computer program on a hand held calculator, realigned a microphone based Sound Ranging Troop into a Weapon Locating Radar Troop - winning the best troop award in the first year. During a multinational activity, Ian won a US military commendation.

Towards the middle of his career, he trained Army recruits, soldiers and Officer Cadets from the three services and took the top three cadets to three military academies overseas. He was also selected to do a postgraduate degree.

The rewards for his degree were postings in Army and Defence headquarters where he was responsible for Army's $30m software budget, instigated and implemented Army's first Information Management Manual incorporating IT policy and planning documents, introduced Defence's group decision making capability, had the first Army CIO assigned and restructured Defence's decentralised 600 strong IT into one new Program. Ian was also chosen to head a multinational activity involving 320 personnel stationed in 20 countries.

Business Career

Ian retired from the Army to establish his own group decision making consultancy, Know1, which was named because group decisions require the knowledge of key people. It was later noted the awkwardness of answering the phone "Know1 here"! The company doubled every 6 months for 30 months before he moved interstate with family. He still works for Know1!  

His career then focused on advising business owners and CEOs as well as being involved on Boards. During this time, he also helped many start-ups, entrepreneurs and young people starting out. 

Eventually, Ian was enticed to take on the role of Interim CEO for several organisations which also led onto more permanent CEO duties. Interestingly, many of these roles involved large turnaround efforts and IT overhauls. Whilst shy about them, he is immensely proud of the achievements he made against the odds.

Knowing how difficult it is to head an organisation without a mentor, Ian has decided to use his business experience, knowledge and skills to help other CEOs, Managing Directors and business owners through mentoring and coaching. He has joined the largest CEO network in the world, The Executive Connection (TEC), because of its vast network of 21,000 members in 16 countries. He was impressed by its professional approach to deliver proven benefits to the organisations and personal lives of member CEOs - a demonstrable return on investment.

Author Career

Writing has been a constant in Ian's life; from assignments, to briefings, proposals, manuals and books. Most books have evolved from simply structuring thoughts and ideas. Several have been in-house publications and Ian has guided a client through the book writing and publishing process which was achieved remarkably from concept to physical product in only four weeks!

However, Ian's real passion is decision-making and the manuscript for his book "WIKID Power", which details the decision processes needed for superiority that Defence wanted to classify beyond TOP SECRET, is in final draft.

Current Career

Ian's career is now a portfolio career - ideally suited to his passions - comprising three aspects:

CEO mentoring and coaching

Business and decision-making consulting

Board Chair and Director roles



Whilst Ian has a long list of letters after his name, he is proud that he completed all his qualifications part time - whilst still in the work force. Although physically exhausting, his passion to learn ensured the journeys were enjoyable and kept his mind invigorated. Ian always enrolled in subjects where he had a genuine interest - never really having a huge life-plan in mind for the studies. Eventually, they not only made sense, but were very useful in not only a professional sense, but also a personal sense and Ian encourages others to simply follow their interests and passions. 


Ian has been physically active and fit throughout his life but finds it more challenging these days - especially with no children to chase after any more (and no grandchildren yet - no pressure kids). He learnt a few magic tricks for his kids when they were small and considers it important to perpetuate the tradition of Dad jokes since life without fun would not be the same. Indeed, he considers a sense of humour and magic important indicators of a lateral thinker since the punch lines and reveals always come from the least expected perspective.


A more complete breakdown of Ian's career and achievements can be found on his LinkedIn profile.