Our Trainers

    Duncan Lewin

    Trainer

    Duncan Lewin is an ex-Deloitte consultant specialised in helping people improve their skills in giving and receiving feedback, managing conflict more productively and handling difficult conversations.

    A former ‘feedback-phobic’, Duncan was terrible at handling feedback and criticism. Like many, he had two ways of responding: aggressive and argumentative, or passive and resentful. Neither worked, and both left him stressed.

    Eventually the stress got too much and he began a deep, personal journey in finding a new way of relating to feedback and conflicting opinions.

    The results have been startling:

    • Duncan now actively seeks feedback;
    • feels comfortable with conflict;
    • and has learnt how to handle even the most difficult conversations with (he hopes!) assertiveness and grace.

    He works with a range of clients including BT, Accenture, Exxon Mobil and Canary Wharf Group.

        Nicholas J Higgins

        Consultant

        Nicholas J Higgins is an expert in human capital management and organisational behaviour/performance. He is the world’s leading pioneer of value-based HR and is also the main architect behind the groundbreaking Management Pathfinder/HCM Evaluator® and Employee Engagement 5D® solutions. Other innovations include the VB-HR™ Rating/Profiler, Human Capital Reporting Standards (GHCRS2006) and the Human Capital Composite Index (HCCI™).

        Nicholas is currently authoring two publications: ‘Employee Engagement: The Definitive Guide’ (due 2012) and ‘The Human Capital Management Manifesto’ (due 2012). He is a regular speaker and has written a number of industry-related articles and reports, being widely regarded as a rising influence in the field of human capital.

        Nicholas is also the Dean of the International School of Human Capital Management and technical editor of The Journal of Applied Human Capital Management – a dedicated journal for Practitioners. Seminal papers include ‘Competitive Advantage through Strategic Human Capital Management’, ‘Devising an HCM Strategy’, ‘Employee Engagement’ (various), ‘Evidence-based Leadership’, ‘Organisation Engagement: Evaluating your human capital management signature’, ‘Brave New HR World’, ‘Real HR Transformation’ and ‘HR Operational Excellence’.

        A veteran of 250+ projects over the last 15 years, his global clients include a significant number of FTSE 100/Euro300/S&P500 companies. He has also worked with various organisations in the NHS, Higher Education, and Local Government. Implemented projects include a range of human capital management/measurement related areas, leadership, employee engagement and productivity, HR strategy/transformation, through to value based management and customer relationship management.

        He is a DrHCMI, holds an MSc in Finance from the London Business School, and an MBA and Diploma in Management from the Open Business School. He is a Chartered Manager by profession (MCMI) and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM US).

        He has previously worked at top global consulting firms PriceWaterhouseCoopers (Human Capital Management), Towers Perrin (Strategy & Organisation) and Watson Wyatt (Human Capital Measurement). This spell in management consulting followed a successful management career in financial services spanning 15 years running various growth operations incorporating both organic and acquisition strategies.

            Peter Smith

            Trainer

            Peter Smith has worked in the addictions field for over 25 years, he is one of the UK’s leading experts on workplace drug and alcohol concerns.

            He has more than 12 years experience acting in a consultancy capacity both in the UK and overseas consulting on the development of workplace drug and alcohol policies; the delivery of staff treatment programmes; and company training and development projects.

            Peter has worked with a broad range of companies from SME’s to large private and public sector organisations across the UK and with multinational corporations all over the world. Having worked in sectors, including; manufacturing and production, logistics and public transport, aerospace and defense, technology, IT and computing, consultancy firms and other organisations.

            He is currently a member of an RCGP (Royal College of General Practitioners) advisory panel supporting the development of GP training and a member of a Responsibility in Gambling Fund (RGF) steering group. Peter is also the Development Director at a drug and alcohol treatment centre: a GAMNOS Advisory Group member; and a RCGP Gambling Awareness Advisory Board member.

            All of Peter’s training courses are fully bespoke and tailored to the individual needs of the particular organisation. Some of the broad topics that Peter can cover include:

            • Basic Skills for Managers
            • Alcohol and Drug Awareness
            • What is Addiction? Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
            • The Impact of Addiction
            • How to Manage Alcohol and Drug Problems
            • Relapse Prevention and Supporting Recovery

            In addition to the above Peter can provide sessions that are medically focused. He is also able to offer some insights from past patients with their experiences of workplace drink and drug using scenarios.

              Jon Ingham

              HR Strategy Consultant

              Jon is a leading specialist in strategic people management and organizational development issues. He regularly speaks and provides training in Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia and has also lectured on strategic management, change management and human resources on executive MBA courses across Europe.

              He is the author of Strategic HCM: Creating value through people (2006) and is currently completing a second book called Social advantage. He also posts regularly to blogs with these same titles and has recently been recognized as the top global online influencer in talent management.

              Before working with Symposium, Jon served as Director of Human Capital Consulting, Europe for Buck Consultants / ACS, as Head of HR Consulting for Penna and as International HR Director for Ernst & Young after working as an IT and change management consultant for Andersen Consulting. Jon delivers a number of Symposium training workshops on HR issues such as business partnering, workforce planning, business and HR process design, organizational design and development and HR innovation.

              Jon has a BA in Psychology, a Masters in Engineering and an MBA. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

                Ben Jackson

                Early Careers & Talent Expert

                Ben has worked in the recruitment industry for more than 15 years. He began at Hays as a Recruitment Consultant in 2000, before running Hays’ in-house recruitment team, responsible for sourcing around 700 graduate hires every year. He then joined a European field marketing group as Head of Recruitment, before joining Motorola as Head of Recruitment for Northern Europe.

                More recently, Ben became a Client Director at global RPO business Alexander Mann Solutions, managing recruitment operations and client delivery at Prudential, Cable&Wireless and Ericsson. In this role he had sole responsibility for P&Ls totalling around £25m per annum.

                In 2008, Ben joined the GradWeb, the UK’s leading graduate / future talent recruitment outsourcing and technology business. As a board director, he steered the company through the recession, achieving c.80% revenue growth and a significant increase in profitability. Within this role, Ben consulted with many of the UK’s largest graduate and apprentice employers, including almost half of the Times Top 100 employers. In 2014, Ben set up as a consultant, helping recruitment teams – both in-house and outsourced – to become better at talent acquisition and management.

                Ben has a Bachelor’s degree in Latin and Ancient History, and is a qualified Prince 2 Practitioner. He speaks regularly on the subject of millennials / Generation Z at events run by the likes of the CIPD, the Association of Graduate Recruiters, the Forum for In-house Recruitment Managers (the FIRM) and Symposium Events. He has published numerous articles in HR Grapevine, OnRec and Graduate Recruiter magazines.

                  Paul Hitchens

                  Branding Consultant

                  Paul Hitchens is a highly experienced marketing and brand consultant and the co-author of Create the Perfect Brand (2010) and Successful Brand Management (2014), ‘teach yourself’ guidebooks to branding. He has extensive experience in branding, including manufacturing and service brands, and has created and implemented brand strategies for new business ventures, start-ups and established organisations. After a successful agency career that included an award-winning recruitment campaign at the PA Consulting Group and Automotive Branding at Wolf-Olins, he became a founding partner of the brand consultancy Verve Interactive Ltd.

                  Paul is a member and course director with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and has lectured at the Henley Business School, presenting the brand module for the MSc in strategic marketing leadership. He has contributed articles on branding to business journals including Management Today and Start Your Business magazine and has been interviewed on both television and radio regarding corporate branding.

                  As well as consulting, Paul currently delivers Symposium training workshops on employer branding and brand experience for HR professionals.

                      Paul Harrison

                      HR/Change Management Consultant

                      Paul is an international HR specialist, executive coach and mentor with over thirty years experience in senior HR roles for organizations including Unisys, Sun Microsystems and General Electric (GE), building and leading diverse global teams. He has extensive experience in organisational restructuring and change management, including moving Sun Microsystems from a regionally focused HR function to a global delivery model with over five hundred HR employees in fifty countries.

                      Paul is also an experienced trainer in HR processes and delivers Symposium workshops providing investigation, mediation and disciplinary skills to HR practitioners at all levels. Paul offers consultancy on HR strategy, organisational design and development and change management as well as the design and management of day-to-day HR processes.

                      Paul is a graduate in economics with honours from the University of Bristol, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and a masters graduate from the Ashridge Business School.

                          Ian Westwood

                          International Recruitment Consultant

                          Ian’s experience in UK immigration stretches over twenty years, with more than ten of those spent on the frontline as an immigration officer, and then chief immigration officer, for the Home Office as well as time spent as part of the forgery team at Gatwick airport. He now works with commercial, not-for-profit, financial and higher education institutions seeking his particular expertise in global recruitment compliance and identity fraud.

                          Ian can offer expert consultancy on immigration and recruitment strategy, including compliance and maintenance requirements and applications within and outside the points-based system. He provides recruitment training, compliance audit checks and speaks about current UK immigration issues. He can work with senior management and the key recruiters within your organization to safeguard your procedures and help you avoid the cost, and embarrassment, of civil penalties.

                          As well as being the current secretary and former chairman of the Association of Regulated Immigration Advisors (ARIA), Ian holds the highest level of regulation with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). He is also a member of the Immigration Lawyers Practitioners Association (ILPA) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

                              Barry Simmonds

                              HR Consultant

                              Barry first qualified as an accountant before graduating in business studies and pursuing a career in human resources. He has held senior international HR positions with oil exploration and energy company Schlumberger Ltd., Control Data and General Electric after six years with telecommunications giant STC, before serving as the Executive Vice President for Human Resources at Corange – Boehringer Mannheim healthcare groups. His roles have taken him all over the world, including long periods in Holland, France and Japan.

                              Barry then moved into HR consultancy in 1996, utilizing his expertise in organizational design, talent management, executive search and recruitment as well as individual and team executive coaching.

                              Barry is also an experienced trainer in workplace issues such as conflict resolution, mediation, investigations, disciplinary hearings and appeals, and delivers our highly popular Symposium workshops that help HR practitioners at all levels and across all industries navigate these often complex processes.

                                  Beverly Solinger

                                  HR / Change Management Consultant

                                  Beverly brings expertise in a diverse range of areas within human resources strategy, including organizational design and effectiveness, leadership, executive coaching, change management and acceleration, acquisition due diligence and integration, conflict resolution and mediation.

                                  She spent twenty five years with General Electric (GE) in both the US and Europe as an HR practitioner across various financial and industrial services, as well as over five years working within GE integration, leading cross-functional business teams on acquisition and integration projects across Europe. She is an accredited workplace mediator, experienced corporate change management consultant and delivers Symposium training workshops on mediation skills.

                                  Beverly is an honours graduate from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, holds an MBA from the same institution, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the Institute of Directors.

                                    Ann McCracken

                                    Wellbeing and Stress Management Consultant

                                    Ann is an experienced and highly successful scientist, educationalist, speaker, writer, trainer, coach and therapist. She specialises in developing positive and resilient work cultures in organisations through effective performance and wellbeing strategies. An employee wellbeing expert, her post-graduate published research in immunology has given her great insight into the recently publicised topic of psycho-neuro-immunology which explores and explains the interactions and impact of stress, wellbeing, mental toughness, optimism and resilience. In her book, Stress Gremlins (2005), Ann demystifies the word ‘stress’ and takes a down to earth approach to dealing with life’s everyday hassles, offering new insights into managing stress and a dynamic approach to tackling the challenges on a much broader, accessible scale.

                                    Ann was a research scientist for ten years and, after teaching, began working as a coach and therapist in 1998. Since then she has built a wealth of experience as a consultant and has become a highly sought after speaker and chair for conferences, including chairing the Symposium Wellbeing and Stress Summit for the last five years. Her extensive work delivering training now includes two new and exciting Symposium workshops on mental health awareness and personal and organisational wellbeing and resilience.

                                    Ann is the current vice-president and former chair of the International Stress Management Association (ISMA), a visiting lecturer at the University of Westminster and a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the Institute of Biology. She holds a BSc in biology and MSc in immunology from the University of Edinburgh, both with honours, and is an associate member of the Royal College of Pathology.