A bit about me
I bring energy, enthusiasm and excitement to everything I do. My personality is often described as motivating and infectious. I’ve an ability to get the best from people at all levels – whether it’s politicians and partners, or staff and senior managers.
I champion one to one coaching, employee engagement and creative communications.
Before the Coronavirus pandemic I’d set up a new travel blog with my partner about our cycling and campervan adventures, do follow along at Itchy Feet Travels.
I’m now really discovering the wonders of our local environment and the pleasures of home working!
Why 3F? 3F stands for Fun, Freedom and Fame, and reflects my approach to life, what motivates me and what I do.
Fun – Life is too short not to be happy and enjoying it to the full. And I bring my sense of fun to the workplace – it’s part of what makes for happier and engaged staff.
Freedom – I’ve always valued having the freedom to choose what I do. That’s why I believe in the power of coaching to help people find the right path and contribute their best to the organisation.
Fame– I’m far less bothered about my own recognition, but I really believe in helping people and public sector organisations to communicate well and get more credit for the great work they do.
There’s another really essential F for me too – Fresh Air. I find I thrive when I get outside for a hike or on my bike and get my best ideas when out and about. My 90 year old neighbour who cycles everyday is my inspiration for age being ‘just a number’ and clearly showing the benefits of activity!
After 30 years in the public sector I decided to take the plunge and go freelance. It was both scary and exciting to leave my management team role as Head of Strategy, Democratic and Customer Services at Wychavon and Malvern Hills Councils, in Worcestershire. I’ve learnt alot about change after such as long time being ’employed’. I certainly work less and cycle more these days and I love the variety of people I work for and look out for – older neighbours as much as paying clients!
Before 2018 I managed to combine my busy day job with offering some freelance support. I also generated income for Wychavon through providing services to organisations including Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, Worcestershire County Council, Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands, and the Local Government Association.
In my previous role as Head of Strategy and Communications at Wychavon I drove significant change and improvement to achieve accolades such as Council of the Year, IIP Gold and Council-wide Customer Service Excellence as well as some of the best resident satisfaction scores in the Country. This success is very much down to the clear strategy (on one page) and open styles of communication that I helped champion to build pride and get the best out of people.
I interviewed 52 businesses for the Grow in Wychavon book and films profiling the diversity of local businesses and led sessions with all high schools to inspire business and entrepreneurial skills. I also produced Your Career, Your Choice film to help students find their career path
I’ve worked as a consultant to many organisations called upon to inspire and facilitate team away days such as Ragley Hall’s management team building session, the Borough of Poole’s customer and communications team to shape their new strategy and The Trafford Partnership to set out a new communications plan. In Brussels in 2018, I chaired the Future of Magazines conference following my involvement in the previous years’ successful events on the future of direct mail and book printing in Barcelona and Munich.
I have worked with Colleges too such as the merger to create Heart of Worcestershire College and delivered “Resilience and Brilliance for everyday success” training sessions to managers and staff. Other projects have included strategy sessions with City and Islington College’s top team and staff engagement sessions for teaching and office staff at South Derbyshire College.
I am passionate about staff engagement and was commissioned by the Local Government Association to produce and present ‘Thank Goodness it’s Monday!’ – the engagement film that asks the question ‘What makes the difference between someone who turns up to work, and someone who really turns on to what they do?’ To date this has been seen by over 10,000 people, including screenings at national conferences (the Guardian HR Summit and Association of Colleges National conference). I followed this up with an on line guide for the LGA called ‘What to do on Monday.’
I have previously worked as a Mind Gym coach delivering training ‘workouts’ on topics such as performance management, goal getting, influence and persuade and create your own luck to clients including British Gas, Ecclesiastical Insurance and The Trainline. I am a ILM level 7 personal performance coach and love to help people on their journey. I’m especially proud of a film I made on the topic ‘Get a coach!’ for West Midlands Employers (WME) which sells the benefits of coaching. I hold a diploma in NLP too, and now coach other coaches as a Supervisor for WME.
I chaired the team that created the Local Government Association’s New Reputation Guide overseeing the research that set out the 3 big issues and 5 rules of reputation that need to be in place if public organisations are to improve their local standing and get the most credit for the work they do.
My other external work includes the use of my tried and tested tools such as the Reputation MOT and Engagement Test to help organisations improve. These include pragmatic peer review to help organisations move onto the next performance level through review, evaluation and working with existing teams to put the right plans in place. I’ve undertaken corporate peer reviews for the Local Government Association too.
I started my career in market research in the private sector then moved to Herford and Worcester County Council planting trees with young offenders and doing community engagement work. Since then I’ve moved quickly up the ranks completing a Masters degree, a post graduate Diploma in Management Studies and a coaching qualification whilst working in jobs covering recycling and waste management, environmental policy then more mainstream management positions leading the corporate centre.
To relax I run and cycle. I’ve run the London Marathon twice and cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats raising £7k for JDRF, the kids diabetes charity. I’ve also cycled around many countries including New Zealand where this photo was taken.