Julie is a GameShift Thinking Partner. Based in Edinburgh, she is often seen with her dog, her paddleboard, or both.
A consultant, coach, and facilitator – Julie is very interested in “culture in organisations and the authentic development of leadership potential.” She has a particular curiosity about how leaders enable and disable others, how they differ in what they say they do and what they actually do”. She’s passionate about her work – “I love it, it’s endlessly fascinating”.
Julie is a self-confessed learning design geek. Her design work for development programmes is underpinned by her interest in fields such as Instructional Design, Dialogue, Positive Psychology and Human Behavioural Change; it’s then brought to life through creative processes such as writing, movement, group work and individual reflection.
She brings a lot of her creativity to the work she produces. When she coaches and facilitates, she says, “intuition and heart – the feel and sense of the situation” are part of the vital data she draws on.
Julie is a brilliant developer of people. “I love bringing people together, testing things out, supporting them to challenging their practice. Encouraging them to think: What More? What Next? What Else?” She loves the messy, live learning edges of work. This makes her a great partner in times of change.
She describes how she thinks her skills and energies combine to make good things happen:
“I think I am a natural contrarian. If a group is really quiet, I’ll encourage the creation of energised spaces for discussion and thinking together. If a group is gregarious and high energy, I’ll work with quieter, more reflective spaces. For me, it’s always about looking beyond the status quo and being curious about it. My value is often in bringing difference.
For example, I’ve worked on large-scale digital transformation programmes where much of the language, value and budget has been heavily focussed on timelines, outcomes, risks maps and deadlines. The people element, how they might resist or embrace digital potential – can get sidelined. By pushing for ways to value and articulate how people feel, designing interventions specifically to understand what might be lost or gained; then find ways of translating the stories beyond the gangt charts, the possibility of successful delivery of these large-scale projects increases.”
Julie comes to this work with a strong foundation in HR/ OD roles. She has an MA in English & Sociology, undertaking the rigorous catalyst of the Ashridge AMOC programme– the MSc in Organisation Consulting -in her late 30’s. Her work has taken her all over the world, working closely with a real variety of sectors – “I work with Ballet Companies, Steel Producers, Homeless Service providers, NHS leaders and Universities. The work differs, but there are strong similarities in what we need and want in our working lives.”
Julie has faced a lot of change and challenge in her life too, with 2013-2014 being particularly memorable as a time where “debt, divorce, parental early-onset dementia, a dissertation and then the death of a loved one” all had to be worked through. “I came out of that time with a lot of insight – life experience that built my compassion, resilience and strength – but more importantly, I came out with humility and a willingness and ability to sit with distress. As challenging as it all was, I am a better coach, friend, sister and all-round human for it.”
Her experiences, creativity and slight irreverence, along with the rigour of her relationship-focused practice makes her a brilliant partner to have with you in times of change. Julie invites people in, and she helps them to fly. Maybe she’s exactly the thinking partner you need with you on your change journey.
GameShift – a Thinking Partner in times of change