About me and my work
I work with leaders whose organisations are changing, where human beings are involved in that change. I believe that organisations change one conversation at a time.
The focus of all my work is the people side of change: I work with human beings when they are being human at work. I spend a lot of my time helping managers and leaders have the key conversations they really need to have – with themselves, with their colleagues and with the people who work for them. I help people to notice and pay attention to what is really going on in the here and now, because that is when change happens.
When you find yourself in love with something you’re good at, you never really work again.
Sir Ken Robinson, author and expert on creativity and education
I am based in the Midlands in England, and work throughout the UK, continental Europe and beyond (I have run workshops in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and South Korea).
In practice my work involves:
- developing leadership teams;
- supporting change and transformation initiatives;
- facilitating large group events; and
- coaching individual leaders and managers
Developing leadership teams
I work with leadership teams at board level and elsewhere in organisations. I help those teams to clarify their purpose, reflect on how effectively they work and communicate together and make decisions, and review the impact they have on the wider organisation.
Supporting change and transformation initiatives
For me, change is a natural, creative and on-going process in organisations: it happens all the time. It can’t be stopped and can’t really be ‘managed’ or controlled. I help leaders and managers to try out light-touch ways of building greater capacity for change in their organisations. This includes disturbing established habits and patterns of behaviour, introducing novelty, granting permission to experiment and innovate and creating new connections inside and outside an organisation. I help leaders to keep their nerve when they’re not in control.
Facilitating large group events
I have a particular skill in designing and facilitating large group events. These events can include strategy development awaydays, team-building, post-project reviews and project launch events. I use a range of methods, including Open Space, Appreciative Inquiry, knowledge cafes and more.
Coaching individual leaders and managers
I provide coaching support to individual leaders and managers, sometimes in combination with developing leadership teams and supporting strategic change. I help leaders to face head-on the issues they find themselves avoiding, and help them to slow down, notice more, and support them in making adjustments to the way they work with other people. People I coach feel well listened to, find me very curious about their perspective and their situation, and get a lot of support from me in trying out new ways of working and behaving.
- Facilitating awaydays for the Permanent Secretary and top team of a central Government department to build the team and help them to develop new ways of working.
- Designing and facilitating an awayday for a senior leadership team to launch a review of their three-year strategy.
- Running workshops with staff at all levels – managers, consultants, nurses and porters – in three London hospitals to embed new values and new ways of working.
- Working with the management board of a local charity to create a new three-year strategy.
A bit more about me
I have recently completed an MSc in Organisational Change at Ashridge Business School. This has brought new ideas and approaches into my work, including Gestalt psychology, complexity theory and relational working.
Before running my own consultancy, I worked for twelve years at the Audit Commission, initially in policy and research roles before moving into senior management. In my time there I was personally involved in the merger and de-merger of departments, the launch of new products and services, and coping both with fast growth and with rapid budget cuts. I worked closely with the Chief Executive and Managing Directors on change projects and strategy development. My final three years at the Commission were spent as an internal consultant.
Before working at the Audit Commission I worked in a range of policy and research roles, mainly in the public sector. Prior to that I did some post-graduate study in political philosophy at the University of Arizona, and spent some time as a trainee auditor. My first degree was in Philosophy, Politics & Economics at Oxford University (2:1).
I play bridge, read voraciously, and go geocaching with my children aged 11 and 9. I am a member of a London-based improvisation group. I am also a listening volunteer with the Samaritans.