We’re a small company that aims to make a big impact for business and society.
We’re made up of a core team and a group of associates with experience and expertise in leadership and talent development, sustainability and corporate social responsibility, the non-profit sector and the project management needed to run seamless projects and programmes.
We believe in the power of business and we’re driven by the potential to create business value and social value, hand in hand.
We’ve been doing this since 2003, when we devised our first ever community-based leadership development programme. We’ve been growing our team, and with it our experience and expertise, since then.
“Working in partnership with Three Hands on our Networked programme is a delight. They are inspirational leaders with the flexibility to develop instant rapport with our partners and employees alike. Without them on board we would not have achieved the same level of success.”
Meet the team
“Why are we here? I think many people assume, wrongly, that a company exists solely to make money. Money is an important part of a company’s existence, if the company is any good. But a result is not a cause. We have to go deeper and find the real reason for our being…”
– David Packard of Hewlett Packard
I read David Packard’s words in 2000, when in the midst of an MBA at IESE Business School, Barcelona, and in the same year I volunteered in La Paz, Bolivia, and witnessed the stark contrast between the few big companies there and the surrounding community; it was an “a-ha” moment that has led me to focus on the role of business in society ever since.
I joined the founder of Three Hands in 2005 and became MD in 2009. Together we pioneered the concept of experiential, community-based leadership development and I’ve worked over the past few years to develop and deliver a wide offering that supports clients to do business in ways that benefit society, and on growing the Three Hands team – slowly, surely and sustainably.
I’ve had the privilege of applying our thinking to leadership development at Sky, Nationwide and Vodafone; to CSR and Citizenship at RSA, Unilever and Lloyds Banking Group; and more recently to product development and innovation at Legal & General.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead
I joined Three Hands in summer 2018 because I believe that businesses need to move from being apart from society to being a part of society. Businesses have huge power to improve the world and benefit their companies at the same time – Three Hands projects can inspire and challenge them to do so.
Having studied History at Cambridge University, I spent seven years in the UK Government in a range of challenging roles, including working on the UK’s strategy for securing a global climate change deal.
In 2017, I left the public sector to spend a year on the On Purpose Scheme, where I experienced first-hand the power that immersive projects have to embed skills and shift people’s mind-set on social and environmental issues.
Most recently I worked at A Blueprint for Better Business, seeing how purpose can provide a clear long-term direction for a business, whilst engaging and motivating its people. I am particularly proud of a project I led with some of the UK’s leading stewardship investors on how to identify a genuinely purpose-led company.
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
In my career I have had the privilege to have worked in multiple business sectors, different geographical and corporate cultures in a variety of senior HR, Talent and Operational roles. Creating connections between people in the way described in the quote is what I aim for in my practice as a leader, and a facilitator of leadership and talent development. It is also what I see Three Hands achieve with our experiential programmes.
11 years ago I led the Talent Development Team in Sky. My aim was to provide an ‘edge’ to our leadership development offering, which I believed was missing for our high potential leaders. This is where I was introduced to Three Hands. As a result of this collaboration I was able to see very capable leaders challenged by a charity project task coupled with skilful facilitation to provide substantial insights and learning to all those involved. Fast forward to now, I have joined Jan and the team to lead the creation of leadership and talent development experiences, with a purpose of driving a positive impact on society and business value as part of the process…the connection.
“Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.”
– James Thurber
I joined Three Hands in 2019 because I believe that businesses have the power to change society through genuine engagement with communities.
After graduating university with a degree in English Literature I began to build a career in the charity sector, working at Comic Relief and the Cherie Blair Foundation to secure funding for projects across the world and seeing firsthand some of the ways charities and businesses can work together.
After spending some time overseas working in education in Europe and South America I was more acutely aware of the depth of issues societies can face. I came to Three Hands to explore nontraditional ways in which corporates can impact these issues. I am able to do this through work on projects and partnerships.
“Could a greater miracle take place, than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”
– Henry David Thoreau
For much of my career I have worked as a learning and development specialist, facilitator, and leadership coach to help organisations deliver their business strategies and create environments that encourage people to develop and succeed. In recent years I have become increasingly interested in the challenges of leading for a sustainable world. My work now extends beyond just focusing on the success of organisations and the people who work in them to how they can operate as a ‘force for good’ in the world.
I started working with Three Hands as their approach of creating business and social value aligns perfectly with my focus to help leaders create workplaces, communities and societies where both people and the natural world can flourish.
My work with Three Hands involves the design and delivery of experiential leadership programmes that develop leadership capacity whilst also benefiting community organisations.
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
– Vincent Van Gogh
My career began on the trading floor of an investment bank, but I was always wondering how I could make more of a difference to the world around me. This led me to the world of charity sector recruitment, placing passionate candidates into fundraising and marketing positions. Still searching for a way to bring direct benefit to charities, while using my skills from the commercial world, I found Three Hands!
I joined as Project Manager in 2008, and spent three happy years researching and planning projects. This included building relationships with community partners, in-depth project design, and practical measures such as risk assessments and catering. Every project was unique, and I have been fortunate to work with an inspirational selection of community partners in the UK and overseas.
I left the team in 2011 to start a family, and have since returned to work as an Associate on specific projects.
“Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds aware and a basic understanding of how the world works.”
– Carl Sagan
I am an unashamed lover of learning, of difficult questions and complicated answers. Working with Three Hands allows participants to get their teeth into real issues in a novel, challenging and supportive environment.
The work I deliver with Three Hands, for clients like Sky, Vodafone, Npower and Herbert Smith Freehills, is challenging and engaging. It pushes me and participants to deliver with impact and presence, to really confront our output and look for improvements.
I run experiential programmes focusing on emotional intelligence, behaviour change, values-based decision making, ethical leadership and social interaction. Where possible these programmes are delivered in schools, fields, charities, huts, canoes and occasionally a meeting room.
The impact and learning of a programme are greatly enhanced if it is a visceral experience, connecting with real people, learning about yourself and others, creating accessible memories and skills that participants can put into action immediately and see the effect.
“You can never cross the Ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
– Unknown author, maybe lost at sea!
I cut my sustainability teeth with a track record of helping PLCs and not-for-profits practically apply the principles of social, environmental and economic value to their business model.
For the last 10 of my 17 years at Legal & General Group PLC I served as their Head of Sustainability, investing over £25m into social value projects.
My experience in not-for-profits ranges from chairing the 4 Cancer Group which provides over 1,000 people going through cancer treatment a year with a break, to serving on the Board of the Foundation for Social Improvement to accelerate the growth of small charities in the UK.
Most recently I’ve cofounded the Social Enterprise NRG (Newhaven Regeneration Group) in Sussex which is innovating they way that coastal communities regenerate themselves surrounded by 180 degrees of fish!
I’ve worked with Three Hands over many years as a client and advisor to develop their charity and corporate co-created product and market insight proposition.
“It is in what we value, not in what we have, that the test of us resides.”
– E.M. Forster.
Our values drive us, whether we’re at home or at work; whether we’re being a parent, a friend, or a colleague. And I believe that those values can help transform business to become part of the solution to the serious challenges that are facing our world. Ultimately people are the engines of all big business.
After starting my career at British Airways, I’ve spent the last ten years specialising in responsible business because – simply put – I wanted to make more of a difference. I now work as a consultant, but prior to that I headed up Corporate Social Responsibility at O2 in the UK.
I joined Three Hands as an Associate in 2016, with a focus on communications and project management. Projects have included supporting British Gas tell their volunteering story so they could encourage wider participation, and collaborating on a search for charitable partnerships for Lloyds Banking Group.
“Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the centre of the universe.
Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.”
– the movie Men in Black
Business operates in a ‘no-hiding-place’ world of rapid change, complexity and ever-rising societal expectations for responsibility and sustainability. I believe companies need leadership ‘beyond the norm’ in order to thrive; leadership that is open-minded and curious, that challenges assumptions, reads trends and influences whilst seeking-out and valuing the views of others; that masters complexity, builds new relationships and integrates sustainability into strategy, operations and culture.
I have been an associate of Three Hands for ten years following 30 years with Royal Dutch/Shell, latterly as Head of Sustainable Development Learning. I facilitate senior executive teams and advise companies and institutions worldwide on future casting, strategy, governance, change, culture, and leadership.
I have a passion for developing leaders and I design and deliver experiential learning programmes to equip them with the necessary mindsets, values and competences. I specialise in designing company-wide programmes to define vision / mission / purpose, integrate sustainability and drive organisational change.