Over 20 years' experience at EY, PwC & IBM as a Chartered Accountant & Certified Management Consultant, working for public & private sector clients, across the UK & overseas has provided me with the platform for launching my own business. Following terrific feedback as a professional development trainer during my recent career at IBM, I knew that I had the confidence & blend of skills & experience to create an exciting new business offering training, coaching, & consulting.
Why Training & Coaching along with Consulting?
Throughout my consulting projects I have always aimed to provide practical solutions to business problems. I saw that greatest success also relied on ensuring that the people affected are comfortable with the change & receive appropriate training. Consequently helping people learn & develop has always been an area I have included in my consulting projects wherever possible.
Training & Coaching
I have provided professional & personal development training to over 2000 people face to face, & over 3000 people online; in both cases international audiences. As part of this work, I developed my one to one skills as a coach & mentor, recently qualifying as a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach.
I have always thrived from the variety of business environments that I have been fortunate enough to experience; an ever present enthusiasm for learning & understanding what makes a business tick & trying to help improve operations.
As an auditor at Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Services I got to learn something about a very wide range of industries: from fashion to fire detection, from charities to construction, from bottled water to yacht brokers.
As a management consultant, my special interest in customer care & contact centres took me across UK Government Departments & Agencies, an airline in Italy, & banks in both the Netherlands & the United Arab Emirates.
Above all, my interest in people, friendly manner, & diplomacy have made me renowned for excellent client relationships, & the ability to build bridges between different parts of organisations or project environments.
"Knowledge & skills delivered the fun way..."
All my training is delivered with high levels of participant interactivity & skills practice, with very little use, if any, of Powerpoint. It is all about the knowledge & the experience, which makes the courses I bring more fun, inspiring & useful.
My Offerings & Approach
Best practice techniques & tools most commonly supported include:
Something else? Having been in at the deep end during consulting projects, I am ready to tackle most areas! Examples include:
So do ask! I will be honest about whether I can help you or not.
To maximise the value the training offers, which can be delivered individually or to groups, I carry out a training needs analysis for you, which can be as little as a short conversation over the telephone to a more in-depth assessment with you & your teams.
To see what might be possible, do please get in touch using the 'contact me' area below. I am always happy to discuss ideas over the telephone, without any obligations.
"Focusing on your strengths..."
When one practices in line with our very best talents we quickly excel – the return on the time & effort we invest can be massive – helping us deliver peaks of excellence.
In short, focusing on your strengths rather than trying to fix your weaknesses is a far better way of planning your life.
The Business Case
The Gallup organisation has studied & developed the field of strengths-based psychology for decades. Results of their research make a compelling case for bringing a strengths-based culture to organisations:
As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach I offer strengths-based development & leadership coaching to both individuals & teams.
All strengths-based coaching begins with Gallup's Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment (learn more here).
For individuals, coaching may provide value in as little as a couple of hours; to others a more extended relationship may be more valuable.
For teams, an introductory session lasting around 3 to 4 hours is a good place to start. Even more value comes from further discussions & workshops with managers & their teams over a number of days.
Also for individuals, I offer career & personal mentoring which may or may not include a strengths focus.
If you would like to know more, I am always happy to offer a free initial discussion by telephone, so please do contact me using 'contact me' area below.
"Surprising solutions are just around the corner..."
When it comes to change, businesses have two forces at play:
Some might try to claim that it should all be about the second point. I feel both are valid: a business can never be the leader in all areas. There will always be new unexpected pressures to adapt to.
Adaptability is one of my top strengths (as measured by Gallup's StrengthFinder assessment), so my career has been dominated in getting involved & helping businesses change.
With long highly varied experience in lots of industries I am ready to turn my hand to many situations. So do ask! I will be honest if I cannot provide the value you require. Core areas of expertise & interest include:
To see what might be possible, do please get in touch using the 'contact me' area below. I am always happy to start talking about ideas over the telephone, without any obligations.
With thanks! All quotes are by kind permission of each person; most of these & more can also be found on my LinkedIn profile
"Justin's delivery surpassed all expectations. His passion, enthusiasm, professionalism, care & execution was a winning formula. The feedback from every single person who attended the events that Justin facilitated was outstanding. His delivery was without doubt world class, with every single team member who attended his sessions commenting on how amazing he was, & how StrengthsFinder was the best personal development tool that gave them real insight into how they could fulfil their potential."
Alison Fisher, Group HR Director, Cox Automotive UK
"Compared to the dozens of trainers I have experienced over the last 20 years, I would rank Justin as one of the best if not the best trainer I've ever come across.
On top of the valuable content of the training, what really impressed me was the excellent quality of Justin in terms of content and communication skills. I have never seen somebody navigate delicate communication challenges so naturally and flawlessly."
Marcel Wulterkens, IBM Netherlands
"I would not only recommend Justin for his outstanding presentation capability but also his personal ability to connect with people. Due to unexpected circumstances I reached out to Justin on a personal work-related matter and he excelled in coaching me throughout the matter. What really struck me was his empathy for my situation. He coached me in a pedagogical yet logical way and provided me with some very valuable tools to use in my day-to-day job."
Philip Ek, IBM Sweden
"I would not hesitate to recommend Justin as a coach. Justin turned out to be a true expert in Gallup's StrengthsFinder. He guided our group through the logic behind the assessment with ease and made the power of the tool easy for us to understand. This made our leadership course not only fun, but ultimately also a real value-add for participants."
Benjamin Rolff, The Otto Group, Hamburg
"I have had Justin as an instructor/facilitator for a number of courses & his enthusiasm is second to none. He always makes his courses fun & energetic, which helps to make them more memorable. Justin also makes his courses a very safe environment, which made me feel comfortable enough to ask questions & contribute without fear of judgement."
Jessica Morris, IBM UK
"I attended a training session hosted by Justin to help improve the communication & presentation skills of our group. He captivated the audience with a creative combination of practical role-play scenarios, interactive group discussions & well-structured self reflection exercises. He breathes enthusiasm into the room & has a genuine desire to teach & help others which encourages everyone to participate."
Adam Wagenfield, Baringa Partners, UK
"I attended two courses led by Justin, & I found him to be one of the most effective facilitators I have met. He has a lot of passion for his work & this is very apparent in how he delivers courses; keeping the course upbeat & energetic. I found the Gallup StrengthsFinder particularly interesting & Justin was truly an expert in this; highlighting the benefits of knowing your talents & how to turn them into strengths. Justin really does everything he can to ensure that everyone gets the most out of any course. His positivity & cheerfulness is contagious & I would not hesitate to recommend him as a coach & trainer."
Jennifer Higgins, IBM Ireland
"Justin is one of those people who puts all of his soul into delivering a message, & he always seems to have a personal interest in whatever he is speaking about. I also feel he sees everyone in the classroom & makes sure he establishes a personal contact with each person. His friendly teaching style creates a safe & allowing atmosphere where you're ready to push yourself a little harder."
Kristina Emanuelsson, IBM Sweden
"An amazing ex-colleague who puts passion in everything he does and what's more.. Justin has a great ability to transmit it to other people. It's amazing how contagious this is. Keep on doing this!"
Vera Muça, UniCredit Italia
"It's hard to speak about Justin because you have to be there and feel it. His delivery and energy is amazing, really embracing you into the course & leaving you with the feeling of true achievement & ability to go out, to the real world, & perform like you've never done before. I'm lucky and grateful for having had this chance!"
Miguel Moura, IBM Portugal
Blogs below may also be posted on my LinkedIn profile
A strong moral compass & commitment to ethical behaviours guides my work. Professionally this means:
I am also committed to delivering my work more environmentally. This means:
I know this might be a bit unorthodox, but when I come across businesses that I feel are brilliant & in line with my values, I feel compelled to share! Of course, there are huge numbers of business that I could include here: I have focused on smaller growing businesses that I am a customer of & feel a sense of loyalty towards. Two are in the UK, & one operates in the UK, NL, BE, ES & DE.
Please note that inclusion in this list is entirely my own personal choice: their inclusion does not indicate any reciprocal endorsement from them of my services.
Ecotricity - the UK's greenest energy supplier
If you live in the UK, you might like to consider switching to Ecotricity for your electricity &/or gas. I think they are fantastic, not just because of their green credentials, but because of their customer service: data from Ofgem & Which? puts their customer service top in their industry. As customer care is one of my core areas of consulting experience, & because of their environmental values, I feel compelled to recommend them! They are typically a bit more expensive than other suppliers' deals; I feel the additional value I receive makes that worth it. Take a look at their website here, & if you decide to switch, I would love to hear from you & get excited about it! If you mention RAF-U4G7J when you join you can choose an additional incentive up to £50 in value, which we both get. Ask for what is on offer when you call.
Pact Coffee- totally delicious coffee by post
A good coffee each day gives me a huge amount of pleasure; those wonderful 'ahh ooo' moments to savour! So I was thrilled when I decided to try Pact Coffee, a business started by entrepreneur, Stephen Rapoport in 2012. I love their coffee! Pact's mission is for coffee to become a force for good, focusing on quality, buying at source & paying at least 25% more than Fairtrade prices. Their website explains each coffee & they score at least 84 on the Specialty Coffee Association of America scale. This compares with 65-80 for commodity coffees more typically sold. Learn more about the SCAA scale here. Pact's lighter roasting style (even for their espresso beans) results in wonderful flavours. Price: typically their coffee costs about double a supermarket packet. I definitely get the additional value from the higher price. If you would like to try Pact coffee, you can sign-up at their website (& cancel anytime). Using JUSTIN-SUPERCOFFEE as the voucher code will give you £3 off your first bag (my next order will also be reduced by £3). Also worth mentioning, customer service is great: they have always fixed any issues promptly & generously.
Anything else? I prefer beans to the ground option because they keep longer. If you are using Nespresso® pods, Pact recently launched compatible pods. Like other alternative pod suppliers, Pact are not allowed to use the aluminium pod. Plastic pods are therefore the norm: some people report that their machines can struggle to pierce plastic pods. If the pod is slightly puffed-up, one user found piercing the front helped. If you are satisfied with how your machine handles other plastic pods, then it's probably worth trying Pact's pods too.
Triodos - Ethical banking & investing
I have often tried to direct my investments towards ethical options, & there is a good range of ethical funds that one can choose from. Tilney Bestinvest supplied me with this useful guide to download which I have found interesting & helpful. Nevertheless, I was looking for something even 'greener'. Triodos Bank seems to offer what I was looking for: every organisation they finance makes a positive difference, socially, culturally or environmentally. Furthermore, they have a 100% policy of transparency, publishing details of every organisation they lend to or invest in.
The Triodos Sustainable Pioneer Fund invests primarily in shares of small and midcap companies that are listed on worldwide markets & which are engaged in innovative & ground breaking activities in the field of sustainability. The fund may invest a maximum of 33% of the investment portfolio in large cap companies. The fund focuses on sustainable energy (climate protection), environmental technology (clean planet) & medical technology (healthy people). Each of these themes represents between 15 and 45% of the investment portfolio. Additionally, the fund invests in companies that are considered clear leaders in corporate social responsibility within their respective sectors. This category represents between 5 and 25% of the investment portfolio.
To me this appears to be 'greener' than other ethical options, & so I decided to invest money in this fund via their tax efficient (UK) ISA vehicle. It appears that there is money to be made in sustainable investing, but it is not without risk & I have this feeling that the rewards may not be as large as some non-ethical options. Nevertheless, I want to support it & I hope to make a better return than saving the same sum in a bank or building society savings account where rates of interest here in the UK are so low.
I am excited about expanding my relationship with this pioneering bank.
The above commentary about Triodos & Triodos investments is solely my personal view & should not be relied upon for investment decisions; it is not guaranteed to be free of error & it does not constitute financial advice. As usual, returns are not guaranteed; the value of your investment may rise or fall, & you may not get back the amount originally invested. If you are in any doubt as to the suitability of an investment you should consult an authorised professional financial advisor.