Recently I was lucky enough to attend Jake’s Co-Creation Retreat in Glastonbury. As a retreat owner and facilitator I am very aware of what makes a good retreat and how important it is to provide a fluid and friendly environment for people to really relax into. Jake and her Co-creators totally achieved this and much more. The highlight for me was the Constellation Workshop that Jake led. It was expertly held and the support was so effective as to be invisible – I was incredibly impressed by her skill and calm competency. It was a very memorable experience all round.
Anna Tolson, Managing Director,Vital Detox
Participants on Centrica Energy’s Emerging Leaders Programme began their development journey by stepping out of the office and in to the studio. Participants spent Day 1 of their programme with APOD. Just a selection here of reflections on how it was for these guys to be taken out of their usual environment: Hear the ELP 2011 and 2012 on the apod music tracks too….
· That even though I was apprehensive I was able to get stuck in
· If something scares me, just jump in, it will be alright
· No matter how nervous I am, it is ok once I begin – I can do it
· The only blocker to myself is myself
· The value of raw enthusiasm
· If you work in a team you can achieve anything
· When I push myself I can really move through the fear into enjoyment
· It’s ok to take risks
· That I can access courage inside myself
· If you create a great environment you can achieve anything
· That it’s good to let go!
· If I give myself time, I can be creative
· Sometimes not feeling safe is OK – the adrenaline rush and sense of achievement is worth it
· My own stubbornness got in the way – I was my own blocker
ELP 2011 participants, Centrica Energy
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
“Getting the best out of yourself and maximising your potential is never easy. And it is never something you should do on your own. You need external challenge by someone with the right blend of experience, professional insight and common sense. Someone guaranteed to produce the right question to unlock a rich discussion, whether about a current situation or your long term goals. Jake is a phenomenal coach who always delivers the goods.”
Stephen Hillier, Director Skills Group, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
AAH Pharmaceuticals Ltd
“I have worked with Jake for a relatively short period of time but have achieved more clarity of purpose and energy than I have experienced in many years. From the first meeting Jake has been supportive and has really understood me and my values and has helped me to use my strengths to develop and exploit self-improvement opportunities. Just appreciating what I have achieved and what I am capable of achieving in the future has made me even more determined than ever in both my business and personal life. Just about every aspect of my life and my approach to obstacles has changed. I am now in control and can choose my direction and purpose.”
Philippa Sage, National Account Controller, AAH Pharmaceuticals Ltd
Department of Health
“Being coached by Jake has been the most insightful, developmental, stimulating and fulfilling experience of my professional life. My career has benefited enormously as a result and my skills, confidence and self-knowledge have all grown tremendously. I cannot recommend Jake highly enough.”
Gerard Hennessey, Head of People Development, Department of Health
“Felicity is an exceptional coach. She combines insightful and challenging questioning with a supportive approach that really makes you think about what you want and how you are going to get it. Working with Felicity has had a huge impact on me personally and has been a major influence over my development. I look forward to continuing to work with her.”
Mark Edgar, People Team Lead, Centrica
Mary Ward Settlement
“Jake is very straightforward in her approach which has influenced my own approach to a new job as College Principal. She understands the dynamics of organisations and encourages me to develop a style of leadership which is congruent with who I am, rather than with a distant ideal. It works for me!”
Ceri Williams, Principal and Warden of the Mary Ward Settlement
Big Lottery Fund
“Jake worked with me as my Executive Coach for a number of years both as a Director within Government and latterly as Chief Executive at the Big Lottery Fund. I cannot speak highly enough of her skills as an Executive Coach. I had experience of being coached previously but the support and challenge I received consistently from Jake has been of tremendous help. She is expert at drawing out issues, helping you develop strategies for addressing them and tracking your progress with resolving them.”
Peter Wanless, CEO, Big Lottery Fund
AAH Pharmaceuticals Ltd
“Working with Jake helped me clarify my personal development objectives in a way that had never been possible in previous approaches involving the normal annual performance review. More importantly, having identified the key areas to work on, we were able to develop strategies and tactics which enabled immediate application. The review periods were designed to suit the stages of development and enabled review of behaviours and achievements while constantly sense checking against the original objectives. All in all, I believe I was able to become a more effective manager and leader through the reflective and challenging approach adopted by Jake during our sessions.”
Mark James, Commercial Director, AAH Pharmaceuticals Ltd
Department for Children Young People and Families
“Jake – this is to thank you for all the help and support you have given me during our coaching sessions. Your intervention came at a very good time for me when I was feeling demoralised and unhappy at work. I valued you ability to empathise with my situation, to help me work through and understand better the basic causes of my despondency and to take a constructive approach to problem solving……You seemed to know just how much to push me so that I felt something was ‘do-able’ without putting the kind of pressure that would have made me feel inadequate and inclined to panic…. I feel more confident and unafraid. Thank you again. I really appreciated your friendly down-to-earth approach and in particular your gentle handling when I felt exposed and vulnerable.”
Department of Health
“Jake has provided valuable insight and helped me to gain perspective in terms of managing relationships, thinking strategically, and establishing clear, measurable goals for myself.
Jake had the capacity to quickly assess me, she allowed me take an honest non-defensive view of myself in terms of better understanding of my key strengths. She was compassionate in her approach to help me focus on change and self-improvement. This allowed me to take an honest assessment of myself and put my goals and aspirations into context for the future.
She helped me to become more aware of the elements of communication and management situations that I could control and change for the better. The end result was amazing in the fact that I have managed to secure a promotion. I was able to change my communication and management style for the better. And my self-awareness and confidence has grown allowing me to become much more effective.”
Stella Heskey, Talent & Leadership Manager
“When I first started working with Jake as my coach 12 months ago, I was unsure of what to expect and more importantly what I’d gain from the relationship. Very quickly it became obvious that Jake was an excellent coach who was able to find that balance between giving me the space to think and providing me with some real thought provoking challenge. The experience for me has been the most practical and important part of my development into leadership and has given me clarity and focus on the results I want to achieve and how best to achieve them. Thanks Jake for being an integral part in what has so far been an incredible journey.”
Kenneth Henderson, Head of Talent Development Operations at Sky
Anonymous on Alison Whybrow
“You are a fabulous coach and I am so glad to be working with you. The techniques you use dig deeper and deeper into an issue in order to get to the root of it. Your questions are thought provoking and help me think about issues differently.”
“Working with APOD is proving to be rewarding on so many levels. We set out to develop out teamwork ethics, but are finding that the programme also delivers huge benefits in areas such as empowerment, creative thinking, morale and motivation.
For most people, the prospect of spending a day in a recording studio, making ‘music’, fills them with dread. But guided by the skilful hands and minds of the team at APOD, a transformation from dread to wholehearted participation to the heady excitement of achievement is a fantastic experience in itself. Then, with the follow-up coaching sessions, the benefits to the business become palpable.
200 Sky employees, from both operational and sales backgrounds, have been on the programme and we are delighted with the results we’re seeing. Thank you APOD.”
Jeremy Tester, Director of Insight, Sky Media.
“Hi Jake and APOD team,
I just wanted to say thanks for the best piece of corporate training I have ever had. Besides having met and bonded with colleagues from across the business and at all levels, it re-invigorated my creative juices. Sometimes we get to a point in ones career where we are so obsessed with the minutiae of our roles that we forget about thinking laterally. Using the music day to re-connect with those skills has been a breath of fresh air that has benefited both my client and relationships. .
As we are all in the same un-chartered waters – never made a song before – it democratises everyone irrespective of seniority or skills and that breaks through preconceived opinions of people and allows one re-discover ones colleagues.
I would recommend it to any organisation.
Grant Tross, Sky Media
The People Development Team from British Gas came to the studio to experience the APOD Music process for themselves and to engage in some serious team building.
These are the things they said about the event immediately after and four weeks on during the team coaching session to process and embed the learning.
“This has showed me that we can be so positive when we’re together and I need to be more supportive of colleagues and shout when they do brilliant things.”
“We can really use this to move forward with each other and our clients.”
“The day in the studio helped me to remember we’re a fabulous team and that I need to keep using more positive language.”
“The ‘high’ lasted days – I just felt brilliant, smiling, laughing. I’m determined to keep to my commitments.”
“Euphoria and massive sense of achievement.”
“It’s completely changed the way I work.”
“Since the day in the studio there’s been much more positive energy in the team.”
“Brilliant experience – great way to meet the team and become part of the family.”
“The Sax lessons I’ve been promising myself for ages are now booked!”
British Gas Team Members