What’s she like then?
Clients say she’s kind and challenging in equal measure. She’s ambitious on behalf of others and has high standards; it’s about bringing our best and not shying away from what’s really possible. But with a large dose of compassion and patience for the reality and complexity of organisational life.
Olivia spots the ‘gold’ in people they might not be seeing, the hidden resources. Having grown up with a sense of social activism she believes in the power of us all to make a difference in our worlds, and naturally sees the gift that people are. Combined with her structured and pragmatic nature, she sees opportunities for bringing things to life in day-to-day operations.
She’s been grateful for the insight and feedback she’s received in her life and career and brings that same spirit of generosity to others. She loves groups and organisational patterns so it wouldn’t be unheard of to see her draw up her version of what she’s noticing might be going on. She likes working with metaphors and pictures to get at the unspoken or hard-to-articulate experiences. She brings her love of language and clarity to sharpening our collective understanding of what’s really going on.
Olivia is comfortable with ambiguity, confusion, anxiety, along with the stuff of humans we might not be used to sharing with each other. She treats these moments with care, respect, and recognition. Although terrible at navigating geography in the physical world, she is someone to trust when a group is feeling lost in their work and is often most creative in those moments.
On a good day you can also expect a great sense of humour and joy.
What’s she done?
Olivia has worked in-house as an OD Consultant and Lead in the energy sector, freelanced in Europe, Asia, and Australia, and travelled extensively with colleagues in a few international consultancies over the years. She has taught and supervised other Consultants at Masters level on an international programme, and offers supervision or ‘extra-vision’ to colleagues and clients alike.
She has worked across industries and sectors, from grass-roots movements to FMCG, financial services, fin-tech, governmental organisations, and life sciences.
She works largely with senior leaders and top teams, integrating purpose, strategy, values and culture in coherent ways. Until recently Olivia worked with Sheppard Moscow where she led many talent and leadership programmes.
She designs leadership development experiences and pathways, facilitates and consults to executive teams on their development, Coaches individuals and groups, and offers 1:1 Consultation to think together with clients over complex issues.
Olivia’s work really began when she trained and volunteered as a youth leader at sixteen years old. This led to her running the same youth organisation when she was twenty-one, teaching her a great deal about leadership and management and how to develop others. For the first part of her career she continued on to run conflict transformation projects in the community, working with schools, police, teachers, parents and youth workers. She has been consulting and working with complex dynamics ever since.
Why does she bother?
Early in her career Olivia started to experience barriers she couldn’t yet name: politics and hierarchy, envy and competition, a clash of belief systems, protectionism and loyalty. She wanted to understand how it was possible for people to create disharmony and incongruence when they seemed so passionate about the same goals, had such good intentions, and were highly capable.
This set her off on a ten year phase of studying, researching, and teaching to sharpen her understanding and skills.
She sees many people committed to their work but struggling to bring the fulness of their abilities and creativity to life; she cares about providing opportunities for that to happen, for us to figure out how we can live, work, and thrive alongside one another.
She believes that by understanding what’s really going on beneath the surface, being aware of the conscious and unconscious processes that impact us all, that it’s possible to transform entrenched patterns of experience.
Is she qualified?
Olivia has a Masters in Organisational Analysis and has been on Faculty at Masters level at UEL and Alanus University. She has a PostGrad in Conflict Resolution and Mediation from Birkbeck College, University of London.
Her undergrad was in Philosophy and Classical Civilisation which she enjoyed immensely for the challenge and interrogation of thinking: it trained her mind as a social scientist and thinking partner.
She’s also a certified Mediator and qualified in numerous profiling tools: The Leadership Circle Profile; the LDF (vertical development) from Harthill; the Hay Group/Korn Ferry Suite of leadership and climate assessments; Belbin Team Roles.
She believes her years working with young people in the community gave her more training than any other work.
Some quotes to know her by…
“Wisest is she who knows she does not know”