Our team

Our team

Skills Shift boasts one of the most experienced management-training teams in the sector: a global network of learning & development professionals, each with a successful senior management career behind them.

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Philippa Thomas, United Kingdom

Principal learning consultant

Philippa graduated from the University of York and began a career in sales, moving into learning and development in 1992 – where she specialised in learning consultancy, learning design and project management of large-scale training programmes for organisations such as BT, Esso, HM Treasury and Mars Confectionery. Philippa developed best-practice frameworks for learning programmes and, as a result of this work’s success, led the development of a new learning outsourcing division, which rapidly grew to provide around 30% (over £10m) of the company’s turnover – providing services to organisations such as Aviva, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and UBS. From here, Philippa joined leading management and personal skills training company Matchett, managing training for companies around the globe. In 2014, Philippa established Skills Shift, to provide learning specifically targeted at helping organisations manage change. Philippa authored the BCS Chartered Institute of IT book ‘The Human Touch – personal skills for professional success’. Active in the business analysis community, Philippa has been a judge for the Business Analyst of the Year Award. Philippa is a keen hillwalker, festival goer and yoga practitioner – working towards becoming a British Wheel of Yoga teacher.

Emma Bond, United Kingdom

Business Support Executive

Emma joined Skills Shift in 2016, bringing with her over 10 years’ experience in the learning and development industry. An award-winning senior account manager, Emma has worked with clients across a wide range of sectors, including automotive, education, high fashion, local government, pharmaceutical and a variety of small to medium enterprises. Friendly and approachable, she likes to create a ‘working partnership’ with her clients, to help them successfully implement learning and development programmes. She is passionate about understanding clients’ business needs/aspirations – and identifying how Skills Shift’s customised programmes can help to achieve those goals. Emma has also built up an excellent reputation as a team leader, working with colleagues, training consultants and specialist third-party suppliers to deliver a first-class service.

Mandy, United Kingdom

Learning consultant

With a background in business management (as managing director of an education group), Mandy has been designing and delivering learning programmes for organisations for more than twenty years, both in the UK and internationally. A high level of cultural insight and a natural ability to empathise with first-line managers means that she is able to engage with people who have diverse individual needs. Her dynamic style ensures consistently excellent results and Mandy delivers an enjoyable, productive experience for the learners. Mandy has a particular interest in the psychology of change and how managers engage with it. She is also accredited to use several psychometric tools, to support individuals in gaining those personal insights critical to becoming a leader. To enable her to provide ongoing support for learning, Mandy is an RCS (Results Coaching Systems) accredited coach. Underpinning her professional credibility is a BEd qualification and she recently gained a first-class BSc in psychology.

Richard, United Kingdom

Learning consultant

A highly experienced leadership, management and personal skills training consultant, Richard has over twenty years’ experience working with international corporations in the design and delivery of management-development programmes. His specialism is in helping people to develop the skills required to manage outsourced and offshored suppliers. Prior to moving into learning and development, Richard enjoyed a successful career in sales management at executive level, with predominantly US-owned multinationals. Richard was also involved in the research conducted by Huthwaite Research Group into effective sales behaviours. The output of this research was the development of SPIN – probably the most successful and adopted component of solutions-based selling. As well as receiving extensive business training at the Xerox Centre, Washington, and the Lex Academy, Richard has an HND in Business Studies. A long-time member of the CIPD, he has also written a book on time management, Taming Time, published by Capita.

James, United Kingdom

Learning consultant

James combines creativity with psychology, to help organisations innovate and to stimulate individuals’ personal development. His background places him in a powerful position to help managers improve their skills and behaviours, to support business growth and value creation. Working as a professional learning consultant and facilitator for over fifteen years, James has delivered a range of leadership, management and personal skills programmes/workshops for corporate and public-sector clients, both in the UK and internationally. All of his programmes and workshops are aimed at releasing leadership and management potential, to help organisations to achieve their strategic goals. James lectures on organisational behaviour at Oxford Brookes University – and on business innovation, creativity and enterprise on the MBA programmes at Warwick Business School and Grenoble École de Management.

David, United Kingdom

Learning consultant

David has considerable experience of consultancy in leadership and management development, team dynamics and learning programme direction across a range of industries worldwide. He has delivered excellent senior leadership, management and business performance solutions across the globe for organisations with a range of cultures. Before his consulting career, David worked in a variety of roles across different business areas of the Barclays Group, gaining valuable commercial and leadership skills as well as experience in talent management, training operations, evaluation strategies, facilitation and assessment/development centre design. As executive development programmes director, he successfully led the design and delivery of many high-quality skills development solutions.

Don, USA

Learning consultant

Don applies his experience from a thirty-year career in various business leadership positions to his consultancy focused on improving organisational performance. He is widely acknowledged for his ability to create strong and valuable relationships, both within and outside the organisation – and for his leadership in managing organisational change and transformation initiatives.

Murray, Australia

Learning consultant

Murray works with public, government and private organisations in Australia to improve results, by developing strategy, culture and leadership. He has over thirty years’ experience in senior leadership roles, across a range of industries – including law, manufacturing, publishing, media and financial services. A credentialed executive coach, he is on the Board of the International Coaching Federation (Australasia), in the role of director of professional development.

Neil, Australia

Learning consultant

Blending over thirty-five years’ experience in marketing, communications and management, Neil specialises in helping organisations to tap the potential of their managers to collectively improve business performance – to give them the skills, behaviours and processes that empower them to work effectively. This unique know-how allows him to both create strong rapport with the participants on his programmes and to deliver learning with powerful real-world relevance. Neil’s focus in recent years has been on developing the leadership skills of managers in companies such as News Corporation, MediaCom, OMD and Aristocrat. He has also lectured on marketing strategy to the masters of commerce students at the University of Sydney, and has been a member on the marketing faculty advisory board, which has included delivering lectures/talks on marketing strategy.