Having started my career within the travel industry, I grew into a management role in overseas destinations for the TUI group. A crucial aspect of the role was to develop and grow the in-house team who worked alongside me to meet the organisation’s key performance indicators. Working and living alongside my team in destinations ranging from Spain, France and Egypt meant that I was able to develop a community where inclusivity, transcultural leadership, growth and efficiency were to core values.
Having worked overseas for nine years, I came back to the United Kingdom and worked in management and business development roles. My theories and interests started to grow within the community power and whilst I was researching employee motivation within corporate settings within my EMBA. I spent time exploring motivation and work ethics in reward-based structures, empowerment, autonomy and personal growth. Within the management roles which I took out, I developed the team with the power of intrinsic motivation, the ability to think creatively and grow social capital.
I set up my own consultancy business following on from this, focusing on executive coaching and learning and development within corporate organisations, SME and within the startup communities. I have delivered bespoke learning and development within larger organisations ranging from Reed, Chelsea FC Foundation and most recently on behalf of The Practice Managers Association which has led me into a learning and transformation project with managers in the NHS.
I have been working with entrepreneurs, business owners, managers and military across a range of workshops and speaking events which I have recently delivered in London, Manchester, Berlin and Tel Aviv. These workshops and events have focused on developing the community and have been a crucial stepping stone for attendees in developing and changing their organisation into a community-driven culture.
My research into truly understanding the benefits of communities has holistically developed over time. I was pleased to be accepted as one of The Collective Old Oak’s founding members for their co-living space in north-west London, interesting, this is the world’s largest co-living community! I lived here for the first year of the project’s operation and I have observed and played a part of a community starting off with under 100 members to blossoming into over 500. This led me to the next stages of my journey which took me remote working for ten months and working with coworking communities around the world, some of the most interesting working environments taking place in Germany and Israel, which I both count as hugely innovative and creative thinking nations. It was whilst I was in Israel, I had the great opportunity to understand more about the Kibbutzim movement and stayed within a Kibbutz site; if this is a new word for you… these are huge communities which have grown out of nothing in the desert for just short of 100 years! They were originally based on a community of agriculture, however, grown and innovated themselves to turn into more businesses and to power innovation by developing incubators and tech startups.
I used my skills in communities and developing people within organisations to create a side project, BRITEthink is an online learning and development community which grows people professionally and has values which match those of a co-operative. The online learning community idea came about whilst I was writing my book on building communities in businesses and understanding that a community can not only power employees within an organisation but the consumers and service users which has led to huge global communities forming in the likes of Air BnB and Uber.
My book features the work which I have researched and embedded into organisations and how a community can bring an organisation to life. It covers several key areas from entrepreneurship and communities, virtual and online to the characteristics that the team plays within community development.