These are challenging times. The world has changed, and whether you lead a charity, a business, or a public sector organisation you will be facing unprecedented demands on your time and your energy. Whether you are trying to survive and to simply sustain your organisation, or you are taking advantage of new opportunities through rapid growth, having someone alongside you to help has never been more needed or more important.
Maybe you're looking for advice, for help making change happen, or for mentor support; perhaps you're thinking about a NED to help move your business forward; or maybe you just want to find someone who knows what it's like to run an organisation with an entrepreneurial approach, and to truly make a difference. Someone who can help you do the same.
If so, you're in the right place. Read on!
I make things happen. I change things for the better. I have been described as a mentor, a master storyteller, a catalyst for change, a problem solver, a confidence builder, a visionary and a fixer. But most of all, I have passion for helping people and organisations grow and achieve great things, and I am skilled at bringing about significant positive change.
My career has spanned all sectors:
10 years in investment banking advising and supporting global corporations with financial risk management
5 years as CEO of a subsidiary of Mars Inc (global confectionery to pet food manufacturer), starting the first ever Mars service business
6 years with The Prince’s Trust, as Regional Director for Yorkshire, East Midlands and the North East, with responsibility for national strategy development
3 years as Chair of a further education college in failing financial health and in need of rescue
8 years as CEO of start up charity, Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, growing the organisation from £400,000 a year to £5.2mio annual income, and from half a dozen employees to more than 150
My 20+ years of senior leadership experience has taught me how to navigate the journey all organisations must take to succeed and survive: how to get from vision to strategy, and from strategy to consistent and successful delivery. I also know what it takes to lead in challenging times and in difficult environments.
In the early 1200s Norway was in the grip of a civil war. The King of the ruling Birkebeiner party died, leaving a baby boy as his only heir. The opposition Bagler party set out to kill the child and take power.
On Christmas Eve, as the Bagler army approached, two of the strongest and bravest Birkebeiner warriors set out on an epic journey. Holding the baby in their arms, they skied across the mountains to safety, 200 miles away. The journey was full of danger, and skiing through the darkness and the blizzards made it almost impossible. But they never gave up, and after hours of the most hazardous conditions imaginable they finally reached their goal. The perilous journey was worth their efforts: at the age of 13 the boy was crowned King of Norway, ruling for an unprecedented 46 years, bringing peace and prosperity to the country.
Every organisation takes a similar journey - a journey which at times is difficult and fraught with danger. I have led organisations on this journey many times, and I can help you do the same.
WHAT I BRING
I have started and grown businesses and organisations in the private and charity sectors, and driven change in the public sector, and I continue to own and develop businesses now. The organisations I have led have experienced transformational change through my approach, resulting in tenfold growth in revenue; recognition in the Times Top 100 Companies to work for; ‘Outstanding’ rating from regulatory bodies; royal patronage; service innovation; and a reputation for doing things differently.
I mentor CEOs and Directors, giving support, guidance and challenge
I deliver specific projects which require senior level expertise for a discreet period. From business planning to organisational change; income generation to brand development; staff engagement to governance. I bring experience and skill in delivering these and more
I conduct strategic and operational reviews of organisations from an objective and experienced view point, providing proposals and action plans for significant and lasting change
My approach is flexible and personalised, never 'one size fits all'. You will face specific challenges which are unique to you, as well as issues which may be shared by other organisations. Together we will build a plan which fits with your needs. Where appropriate I also have a framework, The Birkebeiner Way, which can be used as a whole or in parts for organisational improvement, based on what I have learnt from my leadership journey.
WHAT I DO
WHO I WORK WITH
I work with people and organisations in all sectors who want to change things for the better in their organisation, who are scaling up or improving what they do. People who want to take the journey; who are brave enough to cross the mountains, who have the ambition and spirit to try.
I work across sectors. I stay with leaders and organisations for weeks and months, not just a couple of days. I will be there with you for as long as you need me on the journey.
THE BIRKEBEINER WAY
The Birkebeiner Way is a framework based on the lessons I have learnt over the past three decades – in short, a way of navigating the journey ahead of you. You can think of it as a map to take you safely across the mountains.
The Birkebeiner Way is a 6 step process covering:
VISION: refining your vision so it drives and inspires; capturing your goals and plans on a single page
COMMUNICATION: sharing your vision and brand in a clear and inspiring way to get buy-in from people inside and outside your organisation
PEOPLE: ensuring you always have the right people in the right seats
MOMENTUM: solving issues quickly, making all meetings powerful drivers of actions, and keeping your goals current, relevant and shared by everyone
MEASURES: tracking the right numbers so that with fewer than a dozen of them you know how your organisation will perform in the weeks and months ahead (not the months already gone!)
PROCESS: documenting your key processes so that the important things get done consistently regardless of who does them
WHAT YOU GET
My approach is not one size fits all. You may need a mentor to work with you, someone who has successfully navigated the journey many times. You may need help implementing a specific project or piece of change. Your business may benefit from a NED with broader experience than you have in your organisation now. Or you might be looking for a review of your strategy to help you move to the next level, and a proven framework to use for this.
What you will get is something which is right for you and for your organisation, whatever form that takes. You will get the benefit of my experience and my support.
Most importantly you will get more time for you as a leader so you can focus on the things which make a real difference to your organisation and deliver real impact.
The initial meeting (usually about 60 minutes) is free. During this time, I will want to learn as much about your objectives as I can, tell you more about what I can bring, explore the possible ways we might be able to work together, and ultimately whether we are the right fit. If we are, then I will build a bespoke plan for us to discuss and agree upon.
The cost depends entirely on the plan we agree upon. Some journeys are shorter with a clear end point; others are longer and more complex. Either way, all costs are clearly agreed upfront, so there are no surprises
My approach is not just theoretical. It is evidence based. I am not part of a faceless consultancy firm who have little or no experience of running businesses themselves. I have been there. I have successfully navigated this journey many times. I have experienced the highs and the lows, and I have learned many valuable lessons.
You get the reassurance of knowing that you are working with a person who inherently understands the journey you are on, and the added assurance of a proven model with a framework which works time and again.