About

Aim

The aim of this enterprise is to cultivate more agile and soulful ways of leading in these challenging times. In this way people, organisations and groups become more effective in delivering on their priorities, while including and truly respecting their humanity, and human potential.

In my experience, those organisations and groups who are able to open up to this way of working, start to feel more connected to the purpose and contrbution of their work, and more 'at home' in the organisation or group they are in. They also feel clearer about the give and take involved, and more able to bring their best to the various conflicts and challenges that naturally arise in working with others towards a goal.

As a first step, I am working with leaders in three different ways: bespoke change leadership support inside organisations, in-house leadership training courses, and online or face to face retreats.

My desire longer term is to form a small yet flexible team, and for our team to be generous and dedicated in its work. In this way, leaders who touch our work will be beautifully supported to continue to bring these practices into the workplace in an increasingly powerful yet gentle way.

Esther Cameron

I’m an experienced change advisor, consultant and leadership coach, with a track record of supporting change in people, teams and systems around the world. My change work is about listening into the personal and systemic forces at play, and clarifying with others what’s in flow, what needs attention and how to proceed.

Over the last 30 years I have acquired deep and wide experience of supporting change leaders in a variety of 'live' and often intense change contexts. Through this period I also taught change leaders at MSc level, co-wrote a popular compendium of change management models and frameworks, and was a core tutor/coach on several corporate leadership programmes.

I bring a bold yet kind presence, the courage to name difficult things, and plenty of warmth, humour and improvisational spirit. This sits alongside organisational savvy, good quality change leadership understandings and a trust in the potential of people and systems beyond what initially seems possible.

Since 2009 I have been part of an international community, studying and learning about human potential, personality structures, essential human qualities, true relating and practicing meditation and inquiry. These experiences and learnings have been very supportive to my work in the change field, and significantly influence my practice as a consultant.

In addition to the above, my background includes: a first class degree in Mathematics; several years' experience as an IT Project Manager, Programmer and User Trainer; a qualification in teaching adults; recent psychology and neuroscience studies at BSc level; various trainings over many years in systemic methods in living systems; and as part of my late mid-life crisis, 13 stand-up comedy gigs in London and Manchester.

Publications

Making Sense of Change Management, Kogan Page, 5th Edition, 2019
Essential Leadership, Kogan Page, 2017

Clients

Canaccord Genuity (UK, Channel Islands)
Loaf (UK)
Tata Steel Europe (UK, Netherlands)
Sapref and Stanlow Refineries (South Africa, UK respectively)
UK Civil Service (DfE, DfBEIS, DfT, DWP)
UK Local Authority (Social Care- various locations)
APMG International (Association of Project Managers Group)
Hewlett-Packard Company (UK, USA)
Allied Domecq plc (UK, USA, France, Canada)
Deloitte LLP, Oxfam GB, Microsoft Ireland, University of Bristol
EDF, Diageo (*via primary contractor)

Associates

Longer term I plan to work within a wider network of colleagues. Please get in touch if interested.

A simple, connected conversation is...

intelligently yet simply framed
facilitated in partnership
competently held and led within a clear, trusted, overall process
effective - yet spacious and unhurried
focused on what really matters, here and now
inclusive of even the most charged perspectives
connected to core purpose and values
focused towards next steps, big or small
open enough for people to step in and take responsibility
followed-up with rigour and clarity

Foundational projects

The projects below are foundational to the way I work. In each case I partnered with clients, and in some cases with colleagues, to enable significant, sustainable change .

 
Building Leadership Confidence and Capability

This work began with an initial round of interviews, observations and conversations with a wide range of leaders across the business to clarify the change agenda. This resulted in a broad commitment to a two-year leadership improvement programme within the 6,000 strong refinery.

The next steps included individual and team conversations for the Senior Management Team, designing and co-facilitating a series of Top-100 Leadership Forums, and offering effective leadership interventions/skilling for department managers in this high-pressure context. This work tangibly shifted culture and performance across the organisation.

Partner: Refinery, South Africa
Project length: 18+ months

Post-Crisis Structural Reset

Supported a Social Care Management Team in a large local authority to implement a successful ‘reset’ programme following a critical JAR (Joint Area Review) report. This involved supporting senior leaders and HR to communicate the recommendations, co-facilitating a series of stakeholder conversations to agree an improvement agenda, and coaching key leaders to engage their newly configured teams in revised aims and intentions.

Partner: Dept of Social Care, Local Authority, UK
Project length: 6 months

Improving Organisational Health

Worked in partnership with the Director and Staff Development Head in an internationally recognised meditation retreat centre, to design and carry out a process of organisational exploration and renewal through a series of conversations amongst a complex, multi-disciplined leadership group. This included diagnostic work, acknowledgement of existing patterns and challenges, and the eventual set-up and bedding in of a trusted, effective strategic forum.

Partner: Retreat Centre
Project duration: 18 months

To Grow, Invest or Sell?

Spent time with the CEO of one of the UK’s most successful and innovative online retailers, to explore and think through the various options for further growth, investment and/or sale of the company. This included looking at different scenarios and mapping out the implications on structure, leadership approach and organisational culture. This gave rise to the definition, prioritisation and initiation of a number of preparatory restructuring and improvement projects.

Partner: Online Retail Company
Project duration: 12 months

Growing a New Culture

Designed and delivered an impactful ‘High Performance: One Team’ leadership culture change initiative over 18+ months for a FTSE 100 company. This involved working with the senior leadership team, all the department leadership teams and across departmental interfaces throughout the organisation.

Activities included facilitating a series of conversations throughout the process for the senior team, coaching key change leaders across the organisation and designing and facilitating ‘crunch’ interventions across departments. It also involved running leadership skills workshops, adapting internal processes to make performance and culture shifts visible and partnering with HR team to develop in-house trainers & facilitators.

Partner: Manufacturing Operation, UK
Project length: 18 months

Building a Joined-up Strategic Operations Team

Supported the newly appointed COO in a large government department to form a new, joined-up Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) which brought together eight functional heads. Co-facilitated/coached the team through their first five SLT conversations, provided ongoing leadership coaching 1:1 for key leaders, and guided the design and facilitation of a series of whole team events/conversations. The work led to the definition of several focused and authentic collaboration projects, commitment to targets for delivery/progress and increased ongoing levels of engagement in cross-functional working.

Partner: Whitehall Department
Project duration: 7 months