Who Do I Work With?2020-09-10T09:42:50+00:00

Who do I work with?

Although I’ve worked extensively in large corporates and the public sector, my real professional focus over the last decade has been mid-sized organisations.

Privately Owned Businesses.

My typical client is a medium-sized, privately owned business which is large and complex enough to have a professional senior management team and employs between a hundred and a few thousand people, though some are smaller. I’ve been involved with sectors as diverse as contract catering, renewable energy, property management and IT. Some businesses are still led by the founder while others have been sold on or are backed by private equity.

Talk to me today about support for privately owned businesses.

Family Business.

I got involved with family businesses almost by accident when someone referred a family business client to me. The combination of business and family dynamics is rather irresistible to a psychologist. I was trained by a family business organisation to understand more about governance issues. I have been involved in succession planning, developing the next generation and in supporting non-family managers within the senior team.

I don’t badge myself as a family business adviser. I find that my clients are always interested to know what would happen in a business like theirs if it was not a family business and that broader perspective is useful.

Talk to me today about support for family businesses.

Professional Services.

Professional services firms are a different beast in terms of privately owned businesses. Firstly, the most senior and experienced people are not necessarily interested in leading the business and secondly partnerships can be difficult spaces to navigate. I understand the difficult balance between winning work, delivering work and managing staff. I’ve worked with senior and aspiring lawyers and accountants on issues around balancing their workload, developing confidence in their judgement when they can’t rely on having the right answer and having influence in a partnership. I’ve also assessed candidates for partnership and other senior roles.

Talk to me today about support for professional services.

Not For Profit.

Not all the organisations I work with are businesses, though many of them have to operate in a commercial environment. I recognise that delivering results is not something that’s always measured in purely financial terms. I’ve worked with the leadership team of Bristol Zoo, for example, and understand the tensions such organisations face between having a mission (in the case scientific and educational) and needing to raise sufficient money by being a visitor attraction. I have also worked with the leaders of several housing associations.

Talk to me today about support for not for profit organisations.

Scaling Businesses.

Growing a business at scale is a real leadership challenge. You need to develop your leadership capability to meet the growing demands of the business. This is particularly challenging for those high tech, high growth businesses that spin out of a university incubator hub who may have very little leadership experience to draw on. I worked with one rapidly scaling business where the amazing leadership team were all 23.

We look at who they are as leaders, and how they might allocate leadership responsibility between them; for example, how do they set strategy, how do they make decisions, who is the public face of the business? Gaining clarity on these issues early on can prevent a lot of aggravation later. We can also look at blind spots in their thinking and who they might need to support them.

I’m happy to talk to businesses on eligible Innovate UK programmes and to scaling business who want to work with me directly.

Talk to me today about support for scaling businesses.


Rescuing a business can be seen as the ultimate leadership challenge. It’s a high pressure, high stakes situation which calls for exemplary leadership skills and resilience. Along with critical financial, legal and commercial considerations, there can be highly sensitive people issues to handle. People’s livelihoods, reputations and possibly family homes are on the line.

Directors may feel (but not acknowledge) an intense sense of shame and humiliation, which can make them defensive. Post-Covid, directors may be able to legitimately say that it wasn’t their fault, but that may mean that shame is replaced by anger and helplessness. There is always a lot of emotion swirling in the system. I believe that there is an important role for business psychology to play in turnaround situations. I am proud to be the first business psychologist to become an associate member of the Institute for Turnaround (the professional body for turnaround specialists). I have advised turnaround firms on leadership and on their engagement with clients and worked with the institute itself on CPD and developing the next generation of turnaround professionals.

Talk to me today about support for turnarounds.

I received six coaching sessions from Caroline as part of an Innovate UK scheme and they were an extremely beneficial experience. Caroline is very good at encouraging reflection and getting you to put yourself in the shoes of others. She was very good at listening to real-life, practical issues I was facing, and asking the right questions to shed light on the situation and let me come up with a solution.”

Jonathan Raines, Mechanical Engineer, Open Bionics

Caroline provided fantastic material which prompted some greatdiscussions and insight into the thinking behind successionplanning for family businesses. Caroline is very professional indelivery and also fun at the same time.

George Bryan, Family Business Consultant and Director of Drayton Manor Theme Park

Succession planning is critical in a family business. Caroline was very important in preparing my son and daughter as they took over the business. She has helped us to better understand the dynamics between us as a family and between the family and non-family directors.”

Geoffrey Harrison, Chairman, Harrison Catering Services

As a firm we’ve used Caroline’s services for years, so we’re aware of and confident of the quality of her work. I don’t hesitate to refer her to my clients when they have a need for some leadership assessment, they are looking at acquisitions and want to assess the people and cultural fit, or there’s a tricky leadership issue to sort out.  Caroline is pragmatic and brings her expertise and experience to any situation in an understandable and useable way with thorough assessments and suitable recommendations.”

Andy Killick, Corporate Finance Partner, PKF-Francis Clark

Caroline brings insightful experience to the work with family business clients ”

John Tucker, Family Business Consultant and Director, International Centre for Families in Business

The bespoke workshops Caroline ran for us made us really think about our interaction with clients and how to work more collaboratively to bring about a lasting solution for them. Caroline introduced models and theory which got the team thinking and talking about how we work as a team and how to best support our clients.”

David Stone, MD, Prompt

Caroline provides tremendous insight into the psychology of business transformation and turnaround. I have found her leadership analysis based on the framework of the Primary Colours Model particularly helpful whenever I am introduced to lead a management team through a transformation challenge.

Ian Parker, Independent Interim Director and Turnaround Specialist

I recently completed a number of sessions with Caroline as part of the Innovate UK Business West programme. Caroline is a great listener and knows exactly how to encourage me to push myself to perform to the best of my abilities. She provided me with new ways of looking at situations, including breaking down what I thought were ‘impossible’ tasks into easier to manage tasks. I’ve noticed myself develop further just over these past few months, and I know it was down to her helpful encouragement and positive outlook.”

Emma Harcourt, Quality Manager, Open Bionics

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