I found Victoria to be a gifted and agile co-creator. She has the ability to quickly ascertain the key elements required - whether in a culture change project or while facilitating seminars/workshops or symposia. She also has an empathy radar that never strays into the wishy washy - but ensures the highest level of sensitivity to the situation she’s supporting.
I work as coach, strategic adviser and sounding board, convenor, and companion, for those who seek to create lasting change, whether that is in themselves, in their teams and networks, in the organisation as a whole, or in their role and influence in the system in which the organisation plays a part.
Leaving NatWest in 1997 after a career in finance, exchange traded derivatives and operational risk, I set up a radical new consultancy. The founding essay for Sparknow described it as a 'collaborative enterprise designing spaces for knowledge'. I think I'd reverse that today: 'a knowledge enterprise designing spaces for collaboration' seems nearer the mark. Sparknow retired in 2017, but continues to be at the heart of my work today, helped along by the many extraordinary people I've met along the way.
Since 1997, I've taken on challenges at pretty much every level in a huge variety of cultural settings. Whether expressing the personal narratives of postal workers in the UK, going on mission with the World Health Organisation; convening a strategy season with a museum, running a foresight sprint with the International Labour Organisation; co-creating a mural with a shared services group grounded in first hand stories ; or strategising with multinational leaders and their organisational development teams to design and deliver a different way of being at work together; wherever the work needs to be reimagined I know what it takes to find and embrace a messy reality, find the direction you want to go, translate strategy into collective action, and understand and adapt as things evolve in their own particular way. I'm as committed to making sure that those affected by the change get a say in how it unfolds as I am to leaders changing the way they lead.
Instead of trying to specify it in full detail, you specify it only somewhat. You then ride on the dynamics of the system in the direction you want to go. [Brian Eno, from his introduction to Stafford Beers 'Think before you think']
After nearly 25 years I've still got a thirst to enquire into the forward edges of knowledge management, narrative, tech-enabled transformation, and collaboration in the workplace, and to make a difference through thinking, practice and conversation.
I'm qualified as an ICF coach and currently studying for a Diploma in the Sociocratic Circle Method with the Swiss Sociacracy centre. More here about my coaching practice.
Playing oboe and cor anglais in amateur music ensembles takes up much of my spare time, and I volunteer in a local authority bereavement befriending service.
You'll find a sporadically updated list of some of the more interesting projects here and a vague intention to link things to case studies and writing over 2020.
I'm lucky to have a number of close working relationships with people and organisations, some of them going back decades:
Anecdote - exploring the forward edges of business storytelling with Shawn Callahan
Blacklight Advisory - leadership & coaching with Ajit Menon and Andy Lyon
Fernanda de Uriarte - visual storytelling with Fernanda
Infinite Futures - foresight and the Jigsaw foresight toolkit with Wendy Schultz
Leading Edge Forum - research into reconfiguring the collaborative workspace with Dr Caitlin McDonald
Something More Near - organisational change with David Gunn & Simon Myers
Soziokratie Zentrum Schweiz - working towards the Diploma with Jeannine Brutschin & Suzanne Käser, and in a circle with Monika Megyesi, Nicky Murray & Athina Maria Tsioka
Spanner - tech-enabled narrative, knowledge management and transformation interventions with Will Ross
Photo by Andreea Tufescu Photography