James England Managing Director
James started his business life as a farmer on his family farm just outside Perth and has diversified extensively since the 1990’s, developing one of Scotland’s first cross country training grounds for eventers and then extending his knowledge for running events into the corporate world of entertainment, team building with specific attention to experiential learning.
James’ experience in creating BlueSky Experiences, one of the UK’s leading experiential events and team development companies, demonstrates his vision, inventive nature and his focused attention on achieving success. James is a highly motivated and enthusiastic, relishing a challenge, viewing the world full of possibilities.
James has a passion for developing business ideas, building teams and motivating people to share his passion for success.
Iain McPhee Operations Manager
With over 20 years’ experience in building and leading teams from both the commercial and academic sectors, Iain has a wealth of experience in team development.
Iain has developed and delivered learning experiences to clients from a vast range of environments including the commercial industry and public sector. For example, he has worked to assist teams of students from multi-cultural backgrounds to understand the basics of working together in project groups.
Iain is a very passionate facilitator and is highly experienced in event management and team building.
Dee Logan Discovery Consultant & Coach
Dee Logan started her own business in 2006, having worked previously for Insights & IBM. In 2015, her business Synchronicity People Solutions merged with BlueSky Experiences. Dee’s experience and passion make her an excellent facilitator and now she is bringing that momentum forward to BlueSky.
During her time running Synchronicity People Solutions, Dee has established a reputation as an inspirational facilitator, using her knowledge, passion and good humour to help clients improve their self-awareness and increase their personal effectiveness by absorbing the language of Insights in to their personal and working lives.
Dee is also a much sought after Keynote speaker and her skill in designing and delivering tailored workshops for teams is well known in the industry. Dee’s skills extend to running sales, customer service and 1-2-1 coaching sessions with clients, and her delivery style ensures that the learnings are remembered long after the events.
Dee is an outstanding facilitator and the BlueSky team are delighted to have her on board.
Ally Brown Insights Discovery Licensed Practitioner
Combining 15 years Managerial experience with Learning & Development expertise since 1995, Ally brings a pragmatic approach to training, coaching and facilitation.
Ally specialises in Leadership, Personal & Team Development, Customer Service and a broad range of Management Skills. His belief and commitment to quality improvement and development is optimistically demonstrated through his Insights Discovery wheel position 27.
This enthusiastic manner ensures that Ally’s delegates enjoy meaningful and memorable learning from practical, fun experiences supported by appropriate reflection and theory that delivers pragmatic improvement back in the workplace.
Graeme Wilkinson Learning & Development Specialist & Insights Discovery Licensed Practitioner
Graeme is a highly experienced Learning and Development specialist. He has led large business and HR teams both directly and across complex matrix environments. With over 35 years’ experience in business, Graeme has undertaken a wide variety of Leadership roles throughout his varied career, including; Retail & Sales Management, Project Management, Change Management, Customer Services, Operations Management and Business Partnering.
He specialisies in personal and team development in addition to Executive and senior team faciliation. He is extensively qualified in a range of established industry standards including a fully qualified Executive Coach, Master Practitiioner in NLP, Insights and MBTI Step I and II, BPS Level A and B, in addition to being a fully qualified Mediator.
Graeme has an outstanding track record of pragmatic approach to learning, whilst providing ‘hands on’ examples of leading and engaging teams to deliver results.
Through his excellent facilitation skills, he is able to use his energy and sense of fun to translate leading edge theory of learning into the workplace in a wholly engaging way.
Suzanne Braid Assoc CIPD & Accredited Coach
I am a highly skilled CIPD qualified Learning & Development, OD and Talent specialist, having worked over the last 15 years in a wide range of functions across organisations and industries such as Construction, Manufacturing, Insurance and Finance, IT/Software, Public and Charity sectors.
I work with individuals, leaders and teams at all levels to establish and deliver sustainable improvement in their performance. I achieve this through a coaching/ consultative approach that allows me to get ‘under the skin’ to discover what’s really going on, whilst building and maintaining impactful relationships.
The main focus of my work is Learning & Development, Organisational Development, Talent Assessment/ Development and Coaching.
I deliver this through 3 channels:
1. Associate work e.g. Hunter Adams
2. Direct to the client/ customer
3. Professional/ Licensed Practitioner referrals e.g. OPP MBTI, Insights Discovery, CIPD, Association of Coaching and Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) 360
I am an accredited coach via the University of Strathclyde coaching Executives, Senior Leaders, Managers and individuals at all levels. I am qualified in MBTI Step 1 & 2, Insights Discovery, Leadership Practices (LPI), SHL/YSC assessment tools, leadership, team and individual coaching, specifically focusing on the development of self awareness to enable individuals to develop their potential by looking at all aspects of their style, intent and impact.
Some examples of my recent work include:
· The design, development and delivery of an ILM (Institute of Leadership & Management) Level 5 accredited Leadership Development programme for Middle managers in a Construction organisation looking to make significant market growth through focus on their leadership capability.
· The design, development and delivery of Management and Senior Leadership development programmes for a software company supporting the Oil & Gas and Rail industries. Developing leaders at middle and senior level to inspire and motivate them to successfully lead the organisation through growth and change.
· The development of performance management skills, knowledge and behaviours for managers of an Edinburgh charitable organisation providing employability services to individuals with mental health conditions, physical or learning disabilities.
· Facilitated individual Leadership coaching from Execute to Middle manager levels using tools such as Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), Insights Discovery and MBTI Step I & II, to help develop existing and future leadership capability.
· Currently developing my own ILM Level 3 & 5 Leadership & Management Development programmes, which I am looking to offer to current clients across the Financial Services, Charitable, IT/Software and Construction industries.
Career & Achievements
July 2014 to date Conscious Potential Ltd – Director
2011 to June 2014 Standard Life
Group OD & Talent Consultant (April 2013 to June 2014) responsible for developing leadership and talent in Standard Life Group across 3 aligned practice areas: Senior Leadership Development, Organisational Development/ Effectiveness and Talent programmes/ Talent Pipeline.
· Contribute to the development of thinking within the aligned areas and more widely in the overall Talent and OD Agenda, to support the delivery of business and people strategies, plans and priorities.
· Support and lead design and delivery of key projects, interventions and solutions to deliver the Talent and OD agenda on a Group wide or Business unit.
· Provide specialist influence, input and consulting, working closely with colleagues across both the Group business and People Function to ensure interventions are truly embedded and evaluated.
· Act as a development partner for aligned senior leaders within the talent pipeline, by providing coaching to enable them to establish high quality development plans.
· Build and maintain strong stakeholder relationships, to build knowledge, gain insight and inform requirements for any interventions
· Keep abreast of external developments in the field, maintain networks with other professionals and benchmark best practice, to ensure our thinking and solutions are market leading and effective.
· Successfully led on the delivery of the ‘Our Leaders Event’ May and November 2013 to provide an opportunity to engage the Top 200 leaders across the organisation around the next stage of Standard Life’s Journey and how we will get there. Influenced, shaped and contributed to the delivery of the event. Led on the implementation of ‘Yammer’ a corporate social collaboration tool to gather feedback and encourage pre and post event conversations.
· Leading on the diagnosis, design and facilitation of senior leadership team development in both UK Workplace and UK Customer & Marketing executive teams. Engaging with the executive leaders to understand their needs and deliver learning that supports their journey to high performance through leadership.
· Re-developed and delivered the H2 ‘Espresso’ leadership development agenda for the Standard Life ‘Senior Leadership Group – SLG’. This programme supports the focus on our future organisation and aligns our leadership requirements.
· Supported the assessment and development of our ‘emerging leaders’ and ‘graduate’ programmes across Standard Life Group to help identify and grow the future talent pipeline.
· In the process of developing a ‘core’ Group leadership development programme for 2014 that will be for all level of leader across the organisation.
Learning & Development Consultant (2011 – April 2013) working in partnership with the Workplace, People Function, Business Relationship and Group Legal & Secretariat leadership teams to maximise business success through the effective design and implementation of a learning strategy and plan, which supports the achievement of strategic business objectives and the delivery of a high performance commercial culture.
· Accountable for developing and implementing the Learning strategy, plan and learning solutions which are fully aligned with the delivery of key business outcomes and aligned with the Group wide people strategy. In doing so I engage with key business leaders from Senior to middle management and external suppliers.
· Actively build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders (e.g. Executives, Senior leaders, People Function) that I proactively plan and manage in order to facilitate strong and productive working relationships built on trust.
· Support and develop ‘high potential’ individuals through the talent management and succession planning processes. Utilising a range of tools and techniques to assess intelligence, capability, personality preferences and provide coaching support.
· Provide leadership to the business in ensuring that behaviours are fully aligned with Standard Life’s culture and values.
· Accountable for the governance of local training budget spend ensuring learning aligns with both business objectives and is commercially sound.
· Successfully project managed and delivered the UK & Europe ‘Moving Forward in 2013’ Leadership Conference for 510 people leaders. Influenced the UK Executive to design and deliver a conference to re-shape leadership capability in line with the current and future business strategy.
· Led on the leadership development of the UK and European Extended Leadership Team (direct reports of the Executive) to develop future leadership capability through a programme of commercial and business focused learning interventions.
· Led on the delivery of the Learning Strategy and Plan for the People Function change programme Phase 1 to support development of individuals both within the function and across the UK and GCC business (4000 colleagues - professional users, managers and employees) to implement Oracle HR phase 1.
· Influenced the need for Group wide People Function capabilities across the UK, Ireland and Internationally. Led on identifying and delivering the core priority capabilities whilst providing individuals with a tool to measure and develop within the function.
2005 to 2011 Lloyds Banking Group
Finance Community Development Manager (2010 – 2011) leading a team to support and deliver the LP&I Finance (630 colleagues in 6 sites) Plan whilst ensuring alignment with both the Group Finance and Insurance Division People Agenda
· Understanding the people needs of the LP&I Finance community by working closely with the LP&I Finance Senior Management team.
· Establish and maintain key stakeholder relationships with HR, Group Learning & Development, and Internal Communications, Group Finance / Insurance Division People Boards and external suppliers to deliver the People Plan
· Creation and delivery of the LP&I Finance People Plan with key priorities (e.g. Talent & Succession, Colleague Engagement, and Performance Management) identified to ensure provision of learning and development needs for all colleagues across the LP&I Finance community.
· Lead and deliver on wider Lloyds Banking Group initiatives - Performance Management, ‘One Team’, Colleague Engagement to embed within LP&I Finance.
· Manage the LP&I Finance Graduate & Study Support schemes to ensure development of students for future talent and succession within the business.
· Creation and set up of the LP&I Finance People Board to set the strategic direction for delivery of the People Plan and drive forward key initiatives through the establishment of the LP&I Finance People Forum.
· Alignment of the various People Boards/ Groups/ Forums across LP&I Finance to reduce the amount of ‘re-work’ by improving the way they work through clear alignment with the LP&I Finance People Plan.
Learning & Development Business Partner (Jan 2008 - Dec 2009) leading a team of Learning Consultants to design and deliver the people agenda across Group Operations using a consultative approach to develop both the current and future development needs of all colleagues.
· Understanding the customers' business and building strong partnership relationships with key stakeholders – Functional Heads, HR, Divisional Training, Internal Group Wide (LBG) and external suppliers.
· Lead a team of 7 Learning & Development Consultants to ensure the provision of learning across Group Operations whilst aligning with Group initiatives.
· The development of talent and succession across Group Operations to identify, develop and promote future potential across the organisation.
· Lead on pan Lloyds Banking Initiatives and key Group Operations wide initiatives e.g. Top Talent, Line Manager Accreditation, Vision & Values and Career Pathways.
· Managing a training budget of £1.3 million to support the development of 3000 colleagues within Group Operations.
· Acceleration of colleagues understanding and embedding of HBOS behavioural competencies 'Leadership Commitment' by designing a development tool that integrates both the behavioural framework and Insights™ personality dimensions.
· Set up ‘Learning workstream project and led on the initial creation and shaping of a core Group Operations Leadership development offering ‘Management Licence’ for aspiring, existing and senior leaders across the Group Operations business.
· Led on the Group Operations ‘Academies’ project to create professional academies for each function within Group Operations e.g. Sales, HR, Finance. Worked in partnership with business leads to develop a proposition that develops the desired skills, knowledge and behaviours and as well as providing future career paths.
Learning & Development Consultant (Sept 2005 - Dec 2007) supporting colleagues within the Relationship Support function of Corporate Operations, Wholesale Division. Using the business strategy as the agenda and establishing key stakeholder relationships (Business Heads, Line Managers and HR) to identify and prioritise the people development needs.
· Led in the embedding of the HBOS Leadership Commitment within Corporate Operations and Relationship Support, ensuring all colleagues understand both the impact of the behaviours but how to demonstrate in their roles.
· Led the development of fully integrated HR/ L & D plans and ensuring they are delivered through an integrated approach when reviewing, identifying and providing support for the needs of the business.
· Understanding the customers’ business and establish and maintain strong partnership relationships with key stakeholders - Functional Heads/ Senior Managers, Operational Training teams/ HBOS wide/ external providers.
· Researched, designed and delivered bespoke internal training solutions both technical and behavioural to reduce costs and 'add value' through internal business acumen.
· Project management of operational and behavioural skills development on both HR/L&D and Operations wide initiatives e.g. Integration of new systems, Cultural changes, Customer Service skills
· Behavioural skills development of all Leadership teams across Relationship Support using Insights™ as a tool to support and develop self-awareness and strong leadership capability. Some examples of the products I have delivered include Insights Discovery Profiles, Team development, 1 to 1 Coaching and Senior Team development.
· Created and launched the delivery of 'Creating Behavioural Objectives' workshops, designed for use across all of the HBOS Corporate division and aligned to the HBOS behavioural framework 'Leadership Commitment'.
· Project delivery of leadership skills to support the launch of a new 'Operational Excellence' programme within Corporate Operations.
Education & Training
2003 CIPD Level 4 Learning & Development (SVQ)
2008 Accredited Coach via Strathclyde University & CFM Consulting
2009/10 Open University - Certificate in Social Sciences
CIPD Associate member (Assoc CIPD)
Associate of Association of Coaching (AMAC)
MBTI™ Step I & II Qualified
Insights Discovery™ Licensed Practitioner
Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) Practitioner
Thomas Kilmann Mode Instrument (TKI)
British Psychological Society – registered testing competent
Level A & B Psychometric Testing & Feedback (Ability test & Psychometrics)
YSC & SHL Assessor qualified
David Bradley Director & Guest Speaker, Red Apple Thinking
David was born and raised on his family’s farm in East Kent before going to University in Cardiff. After graduating in Ancient History and Religious Studies in 1992 he started officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst before being commissioned into the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment in 1993. As a young infantry officer David served on operations in Northern Ireland as well as working in Kenya, Germany and Canada.
In 1999 he was posted to 4th Armoured Brigade in time to take part in the NATO advance into Kosovo He served for 4 months dealing with the aftermath of a bloody ethnic conflict and gaining a real insight into how leaders operate under pressure. After attending the Joint Services Staff College he returned to his battalion in August 2003 to take command of B Company. Soon after he arrived they were warned off to go to Iraq and David started a period of intense training to prepare for what was going to be an extremely difficult tour.
His Brigade arrived in Iraq in April 2004 in time to face the recent Shia uprising and a huge increase in violence. During that time the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment was to face the most intense combat the British Army had seen since Korea. Based in Basra B Company had to work with the local population to try rebuild their shattered city while at the same time facing regular mortar, rocket and machinegun attacks as the insurgency gathered pace. This culminated on 9 August when a British patrol was cut off in the centre of Basra and David and his company were tasked to save them. In a 3 hour battle the patrol was saved but one of the company was killed and 7 wounded, including David. With severe wounds to his chest, right eye, hand and shoulder the surgeon in the field hospital only gave him a 5% chance of survival, however, after emergency surgery he returned to hospital in the UK and started on the long road of physical rehabilitation and recovery.
After 4 years rehabilitation including 6 months in Headley Court and over 20 operations David was medically discharged from the Army and returned home to run the family farm. Before leaving he wanted one last challenge. Having been inspired by other amputees who had gone on to run marathons David needed something to test his arms and shoulder. A friend suggested they complete the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race, considered the toughest marathon canoe race in the world. After 4 months hard training they set off on 22 March 2008 and finished 27 hours later having paddled non stop over 125 miles and 77 locks through the worst conditions the 60 year old race had ever seen. They had also managed to raise £22000 for Help for Heroes.
Before he left the Army David was invited back to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to talk to the cadets about Leadership in Combat. This started an interest in speaking on the subject that has led to him addressing both military and civilian audiences about the importance and principles of leadership and high performance teams, preparing for change and dealing with pressure. David also delivers programmes to develop leadership and team performance and is an Insights Discovery Licensed Practitioner.
David lives in East Kent with his wife, Lara, and 3 children, along with a growing menagerie of pets. When either the farm of the family give him time he attempts to catch trout.