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Who we work with

We love working with organisations who value people and purpose, as well as profit. If you genuinely care about your people and want them to be their very best, we’ve got the tools and techniques to make it happen.

Clients we’ve
worked alongside

These businesses share an understanding that their success relies on happy, fulfilled people, all championing a powerful common purpose. And they know that culture, support and development are worth more than the most ambitious business strategy in the world.

Keen to find out more?

Check out a few of our case studies.

North Star Coffee

Re-engineering power

The challenge
This certified BCorp coffee roaster in the heart of Yorkshire was set up with a clear goal: to make the coffee industry more sustainable and viable for everyone in the supply chain. Husband and wife owners Hols and Krag steered the business into significant growth, flexing to survive the pandemic, and bringing in fresh talent across the three areas of retail, roasting and online.

But there was more to their dreams. They wanted to create a cooperative, empowered and flat-structured ways of working. Keen to build a shared leadership approach, they wanted to shake up the power dynamic and allow innovation to happen where it was most needed. By bringing everyone together behind a shared vision for the future, Hols and Krag hoped they could delegate more, freeing them to work on the future of the business and develop their own coaching approach to leadership.

The approach
We designed our work with North Star around three key phases.

Phase one was aimed at uniting the leaders around a common purpose and team charter. We introduced skills development around delegation, decision-making, culture and wellbeing, as well as how to take a coaching approach to leadership. A series of off site days gave them time to think carefully about the business, in a fresh way.

In phase two, we delved into one-to-one coaching for all leaders, supporting their transition into the new, cohesive ways of working. This gave them all a safe space to chat about what the changes meant to each of them.

Phase three saw us bring in peer group coaching for the leader group, with one-to-one coaching continuing as needed. The peer groups used the action learning process, devoting a regular day every month to coming together and working on challenges as a group.

All of our work together was tied into North Star’s determination to do more good in the world.

The results
Examples of innovation and accountability started to pop up in all corners of the business. Small changes that made big differences happened swiftly, as individuals started to shift their thinking toward the bigger picture.

People started to think about what else they might be able to contribute to the wider organisation and began to turn problems into creative solutions. And the business continued to grow.

A surprise – but positive – benefit of the work was that Hols and Krag were able to welcome their new daughter Ella into the world. They immersed themselves in parental leave, knowing they’d built a strong team, with clear boundaries, which was capable of leading the business in the short to medium term.

It was heartwarming to see them enjoy more peace of mind as they navigated this major personal change.

Our work with North Star continues.

The verdict
"We decided to work with Jen to build upon work we had been doing to create our purpose and growth strategy. She was the missing piece to our puzzle and helped us to see a way forwards that did not mean myself or Hols simply giving more and more of ourselves to our business. Not only was this a huge relief in the immediate term given the imminent arrival of our daughter, but it also helped us envision a future in which we can enjoy the work we do knowing that our people are empowered and supported. It has been one of the best decisions we have made in the past decade and has liberated us from the day to day, allowing our team to reach their full potential."

Alex Kragioupolos, CoFounder, North Star

Hatch

Creating a people focussed legacy

The challenge
This PR and comms agency had arrived at a crossroads. It had been built with an innovative vision: to deliver great work by carefully crafting a workplace where people could realise their full potential.

However, as the business arrived at a crucial point in its maturity, the three shareholders began to consider its future. They shared a belief that the usual structure of creative agencies is inherently flawed. They also agreed they wanted their legacy to be a business that encouraged opportunity and a place for people to thrive. But how could they make sure their ambitious vision was clear and unified enough to act as a strong and lasting foundation?

The approach
We worked with the shareholder team for three years, as consultant, coach and facilitator.

We agreed on a regular and committed rhythm of offsites, creating the space for the three business owners to work on the business, without the distractions of being in it.

These sessions were designed to facilitate often tough conversations about the future of the organisation. Unearthing their individual and shared hopes would, initially, either unite the agency, or stagnate and disrupt it.

We designed a process to free up the agency’s ways of working, strengthen their bond as a united team, and empower the next level of leaders.

The results
The three shareholders put in a lot of challenging but liberating work. Throughout it all, they stayed true to their commitment to seeing the process through, no matter what. And it’s worked.

They’ve unveiled a major restructure, including board level promotions and a new senior leadership team. All three owners repositioned themselves as equal managing partners, transitioning to work on the future and health of the business, empowering the senior leadership team and board to manage operational and strategic success.

Ways of working were perhaps the biggest notable shift in this piece of work. Relationships and friendships long held and valued inside and out of the agency, were given the chance to evolve. Clarity, trust, honesty, alignment, innovation and commitment all flourished as a result.

Our work with Hatch continues

The verdict
“Our work with Frankly/Jennifer has been invaluable to both our business and individual personal growth. She/they helped us have the challenging conversations that we needed to have in order to take our business to the next level, while at the same time helping us develop a clear path to enable our relationship with each other and the team to flourish. We see our investment with Frankly/Jennifer as one of the most beneficial decisions we’ve ever made.”

James Hickman, Managing Partner

ICF Next

Empowering a leadership culture

The challenge
This growing and dynamic comms agency and engagement consultancy wanted to develop its managers, getting the business fit for the future. As part of the same evolution, they wanted to create an empowered, accountable and mature leadership culture at all levels.

The approach
Phase 1 involved monthly executive coaching for all 12 leaders in the agency. Coaching goals were discussed and agreed between the coachee, their direct line manager and the coach.This made sure the focus of the development work was in line with the direction of the business. The shared development goals created accountability in the organisation as well as with the leaders.

Kicking off with psychometric profiling, the leaders started their professional and personal development with clear responsibility for achieving their own goals.

As they moved into Phase 2, we ramped up the executive coaching and brought the leadership team together to reflect on and develop their culture.

The results
Among the quantifiable outcomes was significantly improved staff retention. The leaders said they felt more engaged, empowered and committed to the organisation. And there was even wider positivity too: managers reported stronger relationships and quicker conflict resolution within their own departments, as well as better working and communication between teams.

The good news continued to snowball. Client satisfaction and retention improved, a boost they linked directly to the leaders’ new levels of confidence and capability. And the knock on effect of happy and loyal clients? Better working conditions for the rest of the teams.

The verdict
“Jennifer took the time to get to know the business and people, to deliver a bespoke programme that supports transformational change. Her natural collaborative style makes her a real pleasure to work with and the feedback and impact of her work was exceptional.

She comes with an amazing toolkit of ideas and ways of working that she can adapt to any business. If you want to engage with someone who will care about the outcome of what she delivers as much as you will, don't hesitate to contact Jennifer!”

Vicky Idle, HR Director

GIPSIL Charity

Helping to unite into one business

The challenge
Community organisation GIPSIL works with children, young adults and families in the most disadvantaged communities in Leeds. Although its overarching shared goal is to support people to realise their full potential, recent mergers with other service providers had left them needing help to come together as a united team.

CEO Julia was clear about her mission: she was determined to integrate the new additions to GIPSIL. She wanted to bring the various services under a single leadership team, working together effectively. At the same time, she was keen to retain the identities of the individual services, which were well-known within their own communities.

The approach
Once Jennifer had led a series of one-to-one interviews with key people, plus two facilitated one-day off-site workshops, the solution crystalised. The leadership team needed a clear strategy to map out the charity’s future, as well as a team charter around their leadership culture and ways of working together.

A twelve month journey followed. The senior leadership team came together once a quarter, off-site, to reflect on their shared mission, discuss the expectations of the leadership team and review their new team charter. We designed and facilitated the sessions to create a safe space for honest and open conversations.

The results
Those quarterly sessions gave the group the time and structure to reorganise themselves around a shared vision for the charity. This unity meant they were, in turn, able to create greater clarity and focus in the wider team.

By working to understand different styles within the team, and by making sure everyone was committed to the team charter, they began to work together more effectively, tackling challenges swiftly and head on.

GIPSIL not only survived Covid, it went on to secure its biggest ever tender and continues to thrive in its communities, supporting people to reach their full potential.

The verdict
“We were a vocal and complex bunch of strong-minded individual leaders. Some had been TUPE’d into the organisation and were not with us by choice.

It wasn’t easy but we were able to agree a framework that held us all to account. Jennifer is comfortable with silence; she didn’t ‘rescue’ us, but has excellent perception and listening skills. She found the balance between high support and high challenge, switching appropriately. I found her to be courageous, her support was invaluable and I appreciated the safe space she created for participants.”

Julia Preston, CEO, GIPSIL

The Onlii

Shaping a conscious start up

The challenge
The Onlii’s story begins with four entrepreneurs setting out on the journey to start their own creative agency. Their mission? To build a conscious and inclusive business. With a shared goal of putting the planet first, and building an agency like no other, they needed help to create a strategy for their first year of leadership.

They knew they wanted their people to love coming to work. They were determined to make equality and diversity the priority, not an afterthought. And they were committed to building their start-up consciously and ethically. We climbed aboard to help them incorporate those values into their formative first year in business.

The approach
We used a variety of processes to help them come together and shape their foundations. We ran one-to-one discovery interviews, spent quality time off site working on the business, slowing the hectic pace of a new business, and took the whole team through coaching work.

All this work brought us to the outcome: a united approach to building a shared vision, values and intended culture.

The results
Naturally, that first year saw plenty of typical start-up chaos. But because we’d paid attention to the whys and ways of working – instead of the what – the team had the boundaries they needed to thrive through the chaos.

At the time of writing, they have grown successfully and doubled their team. They’re creating amazing work for global brands and their B Corp certification is on its way.

The verdict
“Bringing Jen on board to help us with our business strategy at the start of our journey was probably our best decision to date. The work we did with Jen really helped to get us all on the same page. The output being a shared vision and values, which have underpinned and guided all our decision making to this day.

As four leaders that had never run a business before, the work was invaluable as it gave us a structure for our board meetings, and tools to help hold us accountable.

Working with Jen has been brilliant and was 100% worth the investment.”

Rob Minto, Managing Director, The Onlii

Rivus

Building a dynamic leadership team

The challenge
Rivus, one of the country’s largest fleet management solution businesses, came to us at a time of transformation. A buyout by private equity funders had brought radical – and welcome – change and investment.

The board knew that this next phase would need them to invest at senior leader level, creating a strong succession plan. They invited us to help them figure out what they should do next – and how.

The approach
Through our discovery process, we sat down with each of the senior leaders to talk about the reality of their role in the business. We spent time with key members of the board – and chatted to the board as a group.

The resulting information helped us to identify themes around the leadership culture and ways of working, which both enhanced the health of the business and challenged it.

Leader development can be a significant investment, so we were committed to making sure our work would have the desired impact internally, and not just develop great leaders who would then leave.

So, we collaborated closely with the client to create a bespoke leader development programme. This way of working makes sure that the client, the participants and us, the facilitators all share responsibility for the project’s success.

The result
A 14 month leader development programme co-created in relationship with the people inside the business. This included a 12 month, six-module leader development programme for all 24 senior leaders in the business, wrap around check-in days with the leaders and the board working on the future of the business, and a bespoke support package taking the board offsite to work on the business and evolve their ways of working.

Our work continues with Rivus.

The verdict
"Having worked with Jennifer previously she came straight to mind to create a program to develop our senior leadership team. The joy of working with Jennifer and Frankly is that she takes the time to really understand the business, the culture and the challenge you are looking to address before building the program (the Discovery Phase). This creates a real depth of insight and fosters solid relationships with those she will be working with and ensures the resulting program really hits the mark. Not only that, she takes time to build the right resources around the programme in terms of people to really maximise the impact of her work. We have currently finished our discovery phase and have built the framework of the program which I am looking forward to seeing come to life in January along with the significant impact I know this will have on both our business and our senior team."

Victoria Knight, HR Director