Our business was formed in 2004 by myself, Andy Hughes. During many years working in large and small organisations I had been the client for many different training companies and had become increasingly frustrated with the lack of commercial focus these suppliers had.
They would typically say the right things, but the outcomes would often feel like a secondary focus. Training often felt like it was more about having fun or exposing failures in teams and individuals, than performance improvement. I turned my attentions to exploring how to improve this transition between the learning experienced and the change in performance in the business.
I decided that it was time to practice what I preached which led me to move away from corporate life and set up Spirit Consulting. Our approach back then was simple yet effective. We focus on the business improvement you want and create a learning vehicle to achieve it. That focus remains our key differentiator.
In 2006 I was fortunate to be able to acquire a shareholding in one of the UK's leading experiential learning providers, The Holt. We now operate three of their six residential centres based in the Midlands, Yorkshire and Scotland.
Our future is about growing our client base through more successful relationships. It is about creating more experiential learning centres close to major commercial locations. It is about acquiring more business experts to achieve more for our clients.
We would love you to see this in action for yourselves and experience the tangible results our clients have.
Our organisation is built on an underlying ethos of pragmatism and purpose to all things. The only theories we tend to advocate, are those that are practically useful. Theory for theory sake is a wasteful indulgence. I was never actually interested in psychology theory itself when I was doing my degree, but more what it could do to help me improve my own and others performance. My personal studies in human and occupational psychology developed my understanding of how people learn the things that then become habit.
Our deepest habits are learned from our most memorable experiences, both good and bad. Experiences are the key to forming or breaking habits.
For the most part, bad experiences create self-limiting behaviours, such as shyness or conflict avoidance. These cause us to develop habits that perpetuate the behaviour, supposedly to keep us safe. In contrast, our best experiences create self actualising behaviours such as a willingness to try new things or a higher sense of courage and adventure. Again, these are perpetuated through habits we form as a result. It is this "learning from experience" that is key to sustainable behaviour change.
Much of the learning we use is experiential. We use elements of theory to help individuals understand some of the psychology of behaviour. We then use experiential activities to show how modifying our behaviour by choice can have a fundamental effect on the outcomes achieved. This is turn helps unlock limiting thinking and form new, more constructive habits.
But this is only half of what makes us different as an organisation. After all, experiential learning and wanting to make tangible change are not unique. In fact, uniqueness often comes from combining things to make something that nobody else has, or knows how to do. Our people, combined with our approach to learning and development gives us our point of differentiation.
We don't just use anyone. Our team of facilitators and consultants are carefully selected based on their way of thinking, their cultural fit, their breadth of exposure and experience in the corporate world and their ability to do and say what is right, not just what people want to hear. We have met many talented people over the years who just don't fit the mold. It is this relentless pursuit of the right people, combined with our balance of theory and experiential learning that makes us different.
Our Client Process
In simple terms this is the approach we follow with all clients. How much time we spend on each stage depends on how complex or simple your needs are and therefore the amount of input we have.
We firstly understand the rationale for the event and outcomes sought. We develop our knowledge of your business and the key events, language and culture aspects. This helps us to act as part of your organisation.
We then identify the key components of the learning journey that best support your outcomes. We build in partnership with you, the process to brief delegates, involve line management and identify the measurable elements of the programme.
We then match the right facilitators to the programme based on our initial understanding of the business and need. The practical event element of the programme is then run with actionable output to develop further back at work.
Line management supports the individuals in the workplace identifying tangible changes in thinking and behaviour, directly impacting performance. We review the programme approach with you to determine success and improvements for future events.
Over the years, we've come to know that there are key elements to a successful programme of learning. Some of these we directly affect. Some, we merely have influence over but little control. These latter elements include:
Ensuring line managers set measurable objectives.
Ensuring line managers review and measure progress, post event.
Properly briefing delegates prior to joining the programme so they understand the objectives and why they have been nominated.
Identifying the "what next" and "so what" to help delegates understand how the programme connects to career paths or further development.
It is not unusual for clients to judge our performance on these key elements that we have little control over. We therefore make it a point to always challenge clients to ensure these key success factors are not forgotten or overlooked.
We always strive to operate in a "Partnership Framework" so that they relationship is successful for both of us.
Below you can find out a bit about our core business and delivery team. These people are involved in the bulk of our work either through client management, solution design, client side delivery or evaluation. However, we have a wider team made up of a host of experts in specialist aspects covering everything from subject matter expertise such as; specific psychometrics, occupational psychology or experiential learning. We also have people who are specialists within industry sectors such as public sector, manufacturing and professional services.
This allows us to both design the best possible solution and provide the perfect delivery people to support you.
Strengths - Leadership Development, Team Leader Training, Graduate Development Effective Communication, Managing and Measuring Performance, Relationship Awareness, Team Development.
Industries - Plastics – Petro Chemical, Pharmaceuticals, Chemical Engineering, Manufacturing, Building/ Construction
Out of work interest - Adventure sports, with a strong bias towards Paragliding (for my sins I manage the British Paragliding Team). I also have a growing interest in coaching Junior/Youth football.
Fav Quote - "Practice makes permanent, not perfect! You have to practice the right things in the right way to develop good habits!"
Some of the companies we're proud to have worked for.
What people say about us.
I can't believe the transformation in myself in just three days. Even my kids have noticed the changes in me......for the better. Thank you for all you support and encouragement!
I've been on lots of these tree hugging courses before, but I can honestly say this was the best and by far, most useful course I've ever attended. Hope to see you again!
I was really apprehensive about attending the programme, but I can't believe it went so quick! I didn't want to leave it was that enjoyable. Hats off to Andy and the team, just brilliant!
The one to one coaching has done more for my career in six months than in the last 15yrs. I can't thank you enough. There is now a little Andy that lives in my head acting as my guide!
MartinSmall Research Business
I've used countless training companies before, but none have come close to the level of rigor and effort you put into your programmes. I look forward to a great working friendship.
GeenaInternational Sales Distributor
Our conferences are normally in swish hotels abroad where we are wined and dined. I would trade them everytime for another couple of days with you guys doing the activities in the woods. It was so much more useful!
I don't like change and I can be a stubborn git when I feel like it. Never has anyone told me to my face and done it in a way that totally made me want to change. Either you're a magician or an alien! Thanks again!
TrevorMechanical Engineering Manufacturer
Thank you for a wonderful few days. It was great to meet new colleagues, break down those international silos and to learn a few things about myself too. Hope you'll do something in Germany soon!