I believe people have all the resources they need to create vital, human, inspiring businesses and to be fully alive at work.
They simply need to re-connect to their own genius (and to the business' “scenius” to coin Brian Eno’s phrase) and to the story - the animating force that inspired them to go into, or create, their business in the first place.
Having spent nearly two decades in big, corporate jobs, where fearful egos, sat in head-offices in charge of businesses that had the soul KPI-d out of them, I am passionate about creating business cultures where people are at the heart of the value-creation narrative, not numbers.
I describe myself as a co-creator because I believe people have all the resources they need to create vital, human, inspiring businesses and to be fully alive at work. They simply need to re-connect to their own genius (and the organisation's scenius) - to the story, the animating force that inspired them to go into, or create, their business in the first place.
Your genius is your wisdom and intelligence, what makes you feel alive, what brings your meaning to life. It’s your “battery” – the source of your energy and your optimism. That which will power the effort required to keep showing up for work that matters. (For more on our genius see Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk here.)
I help people in business to re-connect: leaders serving on boards and executive teams in massive organisations, small start-ups (and everything in between) and individuals setting out on the path to entrepreneurship. I uniquely blend senior-level, award-winning experience in investor relations and corporate communications (SABMiller Plc, The Weir Group PLC) with M&A, strategy and commercial finance (P&G, WalgreensBootsAlliance). To this I add a dash of L&D, a soupçon of coaching, a sprinkling of facilitation and a big dollop of leadership development. I’ve been described by clients as a “corporate psychiatrist” - besides having a deep appreciation of human behaviour, I believe they hire me because like them, I speak business, but from a place of heart and connection.
How did I get here? Well, it took a long time but eventually I joined the dots up between my undergraduate degree in English Literature (and a dissertation titled “A Psychoanalytic Perspective on the Work of Toni Morrison”), creating a “Finance as Storytellers” workshop at P&G, telling the story of my company’s potential to create value in M&A and as a Head of Investor Relations and generally never being happy until I’d fully understood and got to the bottom of something. I enjoy exploring the fundamental questions in life - one of my favourites being that asked by playwright (The Vagina Monologues) and activist Eve Ensler in her book about her experience of uterine cancer In the Body of the World: “what if security was not the point of our existence?”
The values that drive me are vitality, connection, equality and imagination
I worked out what my values were through hard won experience, which mostly involved trying to stay alive, both metaphorically and literally: I almost died giving birth to my first child, which was the catalyst for the death of my alpha, career-driven former self. Although, it took many years, reporting into leaders driven by fearful egos, and the death of my mother, before, exhausted, I had the courage to re-connect to that literature-loving girl. Undoubtedly this worsened a condition I have called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. You can read more in the book that I am currently writing here - Be Your Own Story: A Guide to Being Fully Alive at Work. I’ve also written a manifesto called Be Your Own Story, which you can read here.
I am a certified NLP and HNLP practitioner; a certified Thinking partner; certifying as a Narrative Coach and as a Certified Professional Coach at Senior Practitioner level with the EMCC; I am certified in the Barrett Values Centre Cultural Transformation Tool and hold a Certificate of Professional Practice from the Oxford Academy of Total Intelligence.
I am on the faculty of WYSE-International, a charity, that works with emerging leaders affiliated with the United Nations' Department for Information. I am a Trustee of the Board of the children's art therapy charity The Teapot Trust and co-founder of The Manifesto Club, which supports and inspires business people to be their own story. I am a chartered accountant and graduated with an MA in English Literature from the University of Aberdeen. I like dancing and clubbing - in my dreams I’m a DJ like Honey Dijon.
People say I am a breath of fresh air
energising, resourceful and able to join the dots across an unusually wide range of subjects. Most of all, I am a wife, mother, daughter and friend. Oh, and Scottish*