Clients speak: working with The One Leadership Project


Stuart Dawson – Director of Shared Services, Vail Williams LLP

Vail Williams Logo“The One Leadership Project is supporting our cultural change programme, working closely with the Exec team and the project team, as we become an employer of choice and a great place to work delivering excellent and innovative services to new and loyal clients.

The One Leadership approach helps us to bond closely, get everyone energised around the work we are doing and impact we are making, and enabling us to energise the whole business.

Their style helps us appreciate each other and our strengths, talk about what we need to talk about, get clear on where we want to get to and how, and feel confident enough to take on big challenges ourselves.

The insights, models and experience in ‘making big change happen’ help us find clarity when we are in danger of getting lost. Their personal touch enables us to rediscover motivation when we tire, and get ourselves together when we may feel like taking actions in different directions.

The facilitation helps us steer our way through complex challenges and difficult conversations. Their experience keeps us focused on what is important to the success of the work.

Their full grasp of the factors required to make change successful and to stick equip us with the skills to navigate the business and support the people in it to achieve.

They are able to bring out the best in people and inspire them to achieve more. I would not hesitate to recommend them to people who want to do something big together, and to people wanting a conversation that can clear the thinking and lift the spirits.”


Dr Tony Whitbread – CEO, Sussex Wildlife Trust

Sussex Wildlife Logo“Our environment faces many challenges. These are mirrored by leadership challenges in organisations looking to make a difference, with highly motivated and dedicated staff, but having to deal with inevitable consequences developing and delivering the inspiring vision with limited resources and handling the complexity and pressures of work.

Working with The One Leadership Project we find ways through the problems and unlock potential for a higher ambition.

We get the personal and team support insight and tools that make a real difference.

The effect for myself as CEO and the SMT has been immediate.

This work is even more important as we re-visit our sense of shared endeavour to make real an ambitious vision for the Sussex environment.”


Phil Mulligan, CEO, the Landscape Institute

Landscape Institute Logo“The work we do makes a real difference to people and to society…We need to modernise, be attractive, develop; and that can be difficult. We have to keep a whole range of different opinions, perspectives and interest happy within one organisation.

Where One Leadership I think are at their greatest…

is where where we have a large group of people who disagree or don’t have a shared vision; One Leadership are able to get progress and movement.

My experience of working with them is every time they have created some magic…Every time we have exceeded the results that we could possibly have hoped for. There has been a real sense of purpose and achievement. It’s meant I’ve been able to progress on agendas that are vital.

They’re called One Leadership and they help us create one team to address our challenges.”


Kevin Bowring – England Rugby’s Head of Elite Coach Development and former Wales Head Coach

England Rugby Logo“The workshop had me thinking harder and deeper about myself, my motives, my values, and my leadership than I have for ages! This was one of the most thought-provoking workshops I’ve ever been to. Excellent.

Millions of people play or watch sport each week. This gives sports coaches a leadership role way beyond the technical aspects of trying to win. This was the thinking that led us to commission the One Leadership Project to run a workshop at Twickenham. Twenty two of England’s top rugby coaches spent the day exploring “Beyond Winning: what does it mean to be an elite coach?

The day was a thinking space for these elite coaches, away from day-to-day pressures, working together on big questions like ‘What can rugby lead for in the world?’ and topics such as personal legacy.

We learned how to create a powerful environment for listening and thinking together. It was good to hear what others care about, to recognise that others have the same challenges and values, and to help each other learn. It reminded us of what we value most – and to lead from that.
Alister and Neil led the workshop with a quiet, strong presence, introducing powerful ideas in a congenial and interactive manner, always with a view to creating a rich learning environment for the coaches.

They gently persisted with ideas they knew to have value even when some participants were at times uneasy about where it was all going. It takes courage to forge ahead with some pretty macho rugby types when I know some were thinking “isn’t this all a bit pink and fluffy”. However, I know for a fact that those coaches who made these comments were all feeling deeply moved, inspired and challenged by the end.”


Katie Ghose – CEO, Electoral Reform Society

Electoral Reform Society Logo“Bringing together 30 staff and Board members to talk about the fundamentals (vision, mission, values) of our organisation felt like a massive challenge. By the end of the day we had reached consensus.

on a vision for our 100-plus-year-old organisation and were well on the way to clarifying our vision, values and mission.

We were presented with some deceptively simple but powerful ideas to encourage profound listening and strong bonds to form quickly. These methods and habits helped to create an open and productive conversation between individuals with strongly held passions and views.

What stood out was how much we achieved in a few hours – the quiet style and efforts to encourage all to participate was just right for a new team, and the collaborative work with my colleagues in advance was spot on.”


Rupert Simons – CEO, Publish What You Fund

Electoral Reform Society Logo“One Leadership have been most useful at identifying organizational obstacles to meeting our goals. In particular, they helped us to isolate and then address areas of agreement and disagreement.

They surfaced the differing attitudes in our staff towards a key issue, and where this hindered our ability to present a joint front and in negotiations. The coherence and coordination of our certainly advocacy improved as a result.”


Andy Bradley – Founder, Frameworks4Change

Framewoks4change Logo“Alister and Neil have developed a formula for catalysts which has a quiet magic; all who spend time with them feel elevated, confident and capable as a result.

The One Leadership Project is big hearted and brave, daring, vulnerable and fiery. Neil and Alister know the systems must shift and that it will be catalysts who do the shifting. They are embodied humility and courage because what they do is not about them; it is about me and you and every one of us.

I know that their outstanding contribution through the vehicle of the ‘One Leadership Project’ will enable many people to re-imagine what is possible for themselves and the world.”

Frameworks4Change works for a vision of consistent compassion in care settings. In February 2012, Andy was identified by The Observer newspaper and NESTA as one of Britain’s “50 new radicals” for his catalytic capability and leadership. We’re proud to be developing The Compassionate Leader programme with them, with clients in the care and health sectors keen for this type of support and development to bring about cultural change.


Kosha Joubert – President, Global Ecovillage Network

Global Ecovillage Network logo“Allowing me space to reflect from a greater perspective is so important. There are so many demands and expectations. These conversations are an important part of gaining inner comfort.

It’s helping me to be more calm in the midst of a lot of things happening. I really enjoy the way it feels like a dance together. I find the reflections very helpful. And I love the questions. Together it allows joy and laughter.”


Sean Kidney – Chair, Climate Bonds Initiative

Climate Bonds Initiative logo“Alister helped me navigate through the personal shoals involved in starting up what became the Climate Bonds Initiative; he coached, cajoled and supported in a way that…

made a real difference to my effectiveness and resilience. The organisation is now powering ahead, as is my own role; if you get the chance, use him!”


Tiina Harmaja, PCC – Co-founder, Business Coaching Center Finland; Past President, International Coach Federation Finland

Business Coaching Center Finland logo“Neil is a great advocate of professionalism in coaching but at the same time he is awaking a deeper consciousness like no one else in coaching scene I know. And even if he is sending an important message he is doing it by warmth and humor.

Each time the audience has been in awe. They leave inspired, full of good intentions and big agendas after hearing Neil’s message. Wherever he is, I’m the one who is going to sit in the front row and make notes – once again.”


Patrick Ballin – Director of Mile One Ltd

“Alister is an exceptional individual who exemplifies “backbone and heart” – he offers the challenge, passion and energy needed to create positive and lasting change for people …

organisations and the environment; and at the same time compassion, support and empathy. He’s one of the brightest people I have ever met, hugely curious about people and the world at large; and is a natural, relaxed facilitator who is driven to enable everyone in the group to contribute to their fullest capability. He has rapidly become a trusted advisor, collaborator and friend”.


Professor Frans Berkhout, Professor Melissa Leach and Professor Ian Scoones

Negotiating Environmental Change book“We pay tribute to the work of Alister Scott for being the inspiration behind our greatest adventures…”

from the Preface of Negotiating Environmental Change published by Edward Elgar, 2003.

Frans, Melissa and Ian were co-Directors of a £20m programme of international academic research on sustainability in the 1990s, funded by the UK Research Councils.


Take the next step

To discuss how you can make big change possible, call us on +44 (0)208 123 0121 or send us a message.