Having stepped into the CEO role at the start of the year with a number of new representatives on my leadership team, I knew I needed to invest in getting us working effectively together as quickly as possible. We had ambitious plans to achieve and I wanted us to work seamlessly, operating with one voice, adept at making decisions and driving growth at pace. We chose to work with Courageous Co. because they listened empathically and presented a smart, creative and energising approach to bringing us together for leadership team coaching. We started with a two-day offsite Leadership Lab which led to much needed and valuable conversations and relationship building.
Michelle’s facilitation was astute, dynamic and appropriately courageous, weaving together a whole blend of different exercises utilising Lumina psychometric profiling, resistance bands and teambuilding strategies to stimulate thought and discussion. We made significant shifts in a very short period of time, more quickly than I had anticipated. Our work continues with Courageous Co. as we seek to improve our speed of decision making, generate foresight for our future strategy, speak as one team with one story, and support each other in the more difficult moments and hold accountability. Courageous Co. think differently to traditional coaches and consultants and have impressed me from our very first interaction.
Paula Cogan, CEO at euNetworks
We knew we needed to work more closely together as a global leadership team, given the significant transformation we were driving across our organisation. We had clarity of purpose and strategic direction, and we wanted to dial up how we operate with each other, in service of our people and stakeholders. We worked with Michelle and Jacqui, who intuitively understood where we wanted to get to and structured sessions for us to come together as a leadership team.
Michelle and Jacqui facilitated creatively and cleverly, incorporating their signature fitness metaphors and movements, to get us thinking differently. Through our work together, our team has become more self-aware and more appreciative of our diversity and strengths. We have built solidarity and higher levels of trust that are commensurate to the high levels of accountability we willingly take on as a leadership team. Courageous Co. have been integral and equipped us to believe we can conquer anything that comes our way if we show up together.
Aine Lyons, Senior Vice President & Acting General Counsel at VMware Inc.
Working with Michelle and Holly has enabled us to reframe and evolve the way we think and work together as a leadership team. This has given us greater clarity on how we can, and will, make a difference to our stakeholders, the business and our colleagues. In doing so, we’re thinking about what we need to start, stop or do differently as leaders and with a specific focus on the way we communicate throughout the year.
In our first Leadership Lab with the Courageous team, we went through a number of creative exercises and moved to a roadmap for execution. We felt energised and were buzzing with how we can take new ideas forward. Michelle and her team are impressive people to spend time with and we really appreciate the energy and original insights they bring.
Rupert Hopley, Group General Counsel and Company Secretary at Informa PLC
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
Partnering with Steve, Michelle and Holly at Courageous Co. has enabled me to lead collaborative working initiatives that have been transformational over the last twelve months. We made more progress working in a virtual environment to bringing together global stakeholders than I imagined possible. Innovation is all about harnessing the best ideas from diverse teams and then making them happen, while learning as you go. The Courageous team absolutely get that, built great partnerships with me and our leaders and always drive everything they do with us with great intent and energy. While their use of agility ladders & resistance bands in workshops over Zoom might have seemed strange to some at first, we all came to see the value of getting up and moving towards the future or exploring where we are overstretched using these metaphors – very powerful. I know in the months to come, as we start to create face to face strategic teambuilding and collaboration opportunities, the Courageous team will consistently deliver when it comes to strategic thinking, empathy and creativity. I’m looking forward to driving more growth with them as our partner.
Sumit Bhasin, SVP, Global Innovation at The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
Moneysupermarket Group PLC
Courageous Co. brought their trade mark enthusiasm and energy to our close knit team when we came together in person for the first time. Holly and Ricky facilitated insightful reflection exercises so we could share our experiences and set ourselves up for the future. We had lots of fun working together and exploring how we could ‘score goals’ as a team, while remaining effective and high performing as individuals. It was an energising day and helped the team prepare for 2022 and beyond with a growth mindset.
Katherine Bellau, General Counsel and Company Secretary at Moneysupermarket Group
Clifford Chance LLP
Michelle was great in supporting me to design and deliver elements of our Leadership Group’s offsite. As a leader, having someone to partner with and drive forward the planning and execution of parts of the event took the pressure off and the one-to-one prep conversations Michelle had with the team were instrumental in positioning the content to achieve our goals as a team. As always, Michelle’s energy, enthusiasm and fresh ideas were great to work with and she is always keen to soak up feedback.
Sophie Schwass, Regional Chief Operating Officer, UK at Clifford Chance LLP
Morrison & Foerster LLP
We chose to work with Michelle, Adam and the team at Courageous Co. because they grasped the challenges we were facing as a globally dispersed team coming through a global pandemic. One thing that was proving difficult was bringing people together virtually, in a way that was engaging and not the typical broadcast Town Hall. They designed and rehearsed our leadership team to deliver an engaging and interactive virtual Global Litigation Practice meeting. The feedback from colleagues was incredible, acknowledging how proud they felt to be in a firm that was responding this way in the most difficult of working times.
In parallel, they designed a Resilience Workshop to help our people around the world generate greater self-awareness and walk away with a range of strategies to support them. We all received resistance bands in the mail and came together on screen, being guided to experience how we were living in or out of our comfort zones and what we could do about that. Michelle’s personal story of resilience resonated strongly, as did the creative and original way they facilitated the global workshops. Without exception, you always get positivity, energy and insightful expertise when you work with the Courageous team.
Brad Wine, Global Litigation Department Co-Chair at Morrison & Foerster LLP
Shark Ninja, London
We worked with the Courageous team at a time when we critically needed to unite our people, and in a way that was authentic to the nuances of the London operation within the context of our parent organisation in the US. From the first conversation with Steve and Michelle on Zoom, we knew we had found people who could listen attentively, help us ask the right questions and then work with us to put in place an executable action plan. We worked together over the next few months, getting clearer on our goals as a leadership team and how we could communicate more effectively with our people. Their understanding of the complexities of the internal challenges of a global consumer products business was clear, alongside their appreciation of what would and wouldn’t land well with employees during our transition through the pandemic.
As part of the communication plan, they advised us on different approaches to stakeholder management and they facilitated an absolutely brilliant, and completely innovative, site-wide offsite, with incredible enthusiasm and attention to the experience our people would have. People enjoyed the programming so much, they requested to be sent Courageous agility ladders and balls to keep afterwards. They really are an impressive outfit and I love the energy they bring – it’s infectious!
Lauren McMullan, Vice President and General Manager at Shark Ninja, London
The Wella Company
We partnered with Courageous Co. to bring OPI’s global cross-functional team members together for an Innovation Workshop. Steve’s extensive track record developing innovation and gaining stakeholder buy in early in the development process made him the perfect choice for our project. Steve spent substantial time with the project organizers weeks out from the event date to align on the process and participants to ensure we were able to address our objectives. The session itself was done as a hybrid, with Steve leading the flow and moderation virtually from the UK and our team presenting and discussing live in CA. Steve did a great job to build in moments of connection and creativity throughout the process, and to keep the team focused on our needs. We were very happy with his ability to bring the different stake holders together to align on the top innovation directions.
Sarah Fairneny, VP OPI R&D at The Wella Company
Global Leaders in Law (Part of ALM Media, LLC)
Having worked with many members of the Courageous Co. team since 2019, we chose to sign a one year strategic partnership with them. Working with Adam, Andi, Michelle and Holly is refreshing. They understand our members and the challenges in-house legal teams face. They also know how to get people thinking differently and their unique approach to incorporating movement of the body and fitness principles into key note speeches, workshops and coaching is innovative. They get incredible feedback from our members after everything they deliver, whether it’s at our flagship conferences, mini-MBAs or Women Exchanges. Given the breadth of experience that the Courageous Coaches bring, we rely on them throughout the year for the latest insights and skills needed for Leadership, Coaching, Team Performance and Wellbeing. We’re looking forward to more collaborations in the future!
Rhiannon Winter Van Ross, VP at ALM Media, LLC
This was a hands-on, thought-provoking workshop that left the team inspired, engaged, and prepared for action. Steve successfully created & delivered sessions which encourage active participation, resulting in actionable concepts that inspire immediate application post-workshop. Thank you.
Jeroen Temmerman, CEO at ghd
Close Brothers Group PLC
Thank you to Michelle and Ricky for facilitating such an energising and fun event for my team. We really enjoyed our first in-person offsite after almost 2 years given the pandemic challenges. With the aim to ‘refresh, reset and reunite’, the non-traditional link between fitness and business principles was novel and engaging.
Angela Yotov, Group General Counsel at Close Brothers Group PLC
Vista Outdoor Inc.
In a virtual world, our team found that, like many others, we were falling into virtual habits that weren’t serving us. We began to realise that the time we were dedicating to meetings could be used more productively and efficiently. I reached out to Courageous Co. for a reenergizing and refocusing workshop that would remind our team of how to work smarter, not harder. Following the session, we now ask ourselves ‘what is the purpose of a meeting? Is it meaningful? Is it required?’ And, we have a different language to discuss wellbeing among our leadership team that feels comfortable. Thank you to Adam and Holly for helping us to think differently and break habits that were not serving us or our teams.
Heather Cowan, Director of Legal Operations / HR Special Projects at Vista Outdoor Inc.
Our offsite sessions were thoughtfully designed, with the right pace and a mix of structure & space which allowed us to focus on the issues while still being imaginative. Michelle and Ricky totally understood the brief. They made it look effortless & overcame the limits of technology to deliver really engaging sessions. They brought great energy and positivity to the day. They were very candid and asked challenging questions to get us thinking. They judged things really well & the debrief they prepared was invaluable in helping us to prioritise the next steps and make sure that follow-up actions happen. Not all businesses deliver to the expectations set by their branding, but The Courageous Co. team really does!
Marek Pateki, Managing Partner at Bristows LLP
Osborne Clarke LLP
I was planning our TMC Sector AGM, bringing together colleagues from across practices and offices. I wanted to encourage our lawyers to think differently about their business development efforts, and specifically how they prepare for client meetings. I chose to partner with Courageous Co. to design and deliver a Client Listening Lab to equip our lawyers to communicate more effectively with clients. They delivered exactly what I hoped we would achieve.
Michelle and Holly curated the Lab content, incorporating best practices in Client Listening, their knowledge of the legal industry and their signature movement techniques – I thought this particular element was genius! With their guidance and experience, we executed the most ambitious hybrid event we have ever done. Michelle did a brilliant job of maintaining the engagement across the in-person and virtual participants. Her experience and stories made her a very credible and relatable facilitator. Our team left with a strong sense of team spirit and actionable goals for client relationship development. They are now proactively in the market applying their learnings and we have a new collective energy when interacting with clients.
Ashley Hurst, Partner and International Head of Tech, Media & Comms at Osborne Clarke LLP
Just Eat Takeaway.com
We chose to work with Courageous Co. at the time the merger had completed between Just Eat and Takeaway.com and we were experiencing unprecedented growth. We wanted guidance and support to facilitate the integration and performance of two Marketing teams into one united global Marketing organisation in a world-leading food delivery company. The ideas and approaches Michelle suggested were so different and more thoughtful than anyone else we spoke to and she achieved buy-in from JET peers from the start. We love the experiential methods that get us moving and thinking at the same time.
We have taken giant leaps more quickly than we thought we could and we could not have done it without Courageous Co. We have built trust within our leadership team and we have tools for conversations, particularly to identify areas of co-dependent working. We have been able to communicate our vision more effectively to our global team. As part of the process, Michelle and her team designed and delivered highly energising offsites, first virtually during covid then in person.
Maurine Alma, Chief Marketing Officer at Just Eat Takeaway.com
Columbia Threadneedle Multi-Manager LLP
As a team of 25 years standing, we knew each other almost too well! We also realised we would benefit from a reboot as we entered a corporate merger, which coincided with the retirement of a founding partner. We explored the more off-the-shelf options offered by many but were convinced of the benefits of combining Courageous Co. with Lumina Spark to learn about whether we were present in the most effective way and how to help each other combine to work well under pressure.
The preparation from Steve and his team, helping us get ready for the day, and the follow-ups have combined to give us new impetus as a team, allowing us to identify issues together safely and within a familiar, repeatable structure. Our work involves interacting with people in multiple channels from fund managers we invest in, through our supporting sales and administrative colleagues, the financial advisers who use our services and through to the end investor. We now feel we have effective ways and tools to improve all of these communication aspects of our work, and feel reinvigorated to approach complex problems as a team once again.
Rob Burdett, Head of Multi-Manager Solutions at Columbia Threadneedle Multi-Manager LLP
Simmons & Simmons LLP
I wanted to bring my new leadership team together ahead of the partner conference we were producing and the business planning cycle we were about to kick off. It was important to me that we discover how we can perform at an even higher level for the firm and our global team. Working with Michelle and the Courageous team, we were coached to build awareness of ourselves as leaders and the impact we have on each other and our colleagues. We worked with Lumina Spark tools to map our skills and leadership qualities, including where we need to dial up to deliver results for the firm. Michelle’s insights into how to make things happen in a law firm environment proved tremendously valuable to help us process what we were learning. She both challenged and supported us throughout our 1:1’s and our High Performing Leadership Lab. We have emerged from the process with a comprehensive Leadership Roadmap to execute, as well as a common language to leverage our diverse strengths. We are stronger, tighter, aligned and more energised than ever. It’s been a superb experience working with Courageous Co. this year.
Owen Williams, Partner and Director of Marketing and Business Development at Simmons & Simmons LLP
Arup Group Limited
We wanted to support every member of our People team to build resilience, and feel good about themselves, their role, and their development. We partnered with Courageous Co. to design and launch a bespoke Wellbeing campaign, branded to our needs and our goals. They equipped us to build a proactive Wellbeing culture, built upon empathy and self-awareness. The campaign really hit the mark. We appreciated the richness Courageous Co. bought with their fresh perspective on wellbeing and resilience, and have hugely enjoyed working with them. The work they’ve done has had a real and lasting impact. Thank you.
Jenni Emery, Chief People Officer at Arup Group Limited and
Jenni Workman, Global People Consultation Programme Manager at Arup Group Limited
Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC)
Our staff team is fully virtual and it’s easy for our dynamic to drift away from relationships and become operational and action focused. I wanted to dedicate time to rebuild and strengthen our connection and refocus our energy management while more deeply embedding our recently identified team values. As a leader, our time with Adam and Holly from Courageous Co. was a relief as I felt I could let go of the reins and let them create the space for me to participate in a purposeful and energizing workshop they delivered for our team. Coming out of our workshop, we created new team foundations to help us be successful, as well as a new language to be a humane, open and honest team. The ideas, energy and experience when working with Adam and Holly has been rewarding and energizing, and I’m looking forward to our team strategy and culture session with them later in the year.
Betsi Roach, Executive Director at Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC)
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
We knew Covid had taken a toll on wellbeing and sense of connection across the team, and we wanted to bring everyone back together to focus on a common goal. Working with Michelle, Steve and Holly, we were well supported to put together a programme rooted in the mindsets of unity, curiosity and possibility. We wanted every member of our team to feel that they had a voice, and felt that they could share their thoughts in what our future state should be. We were delighted when we achieved high participation in our focus groups. Those of us on the project team acquired new leadership capabilities, as we were coached to take ownership of the programme at a time when professional development wasn’t top priority. The insight, expertise and creative ideas of the Courageous team were spot-on for what we needed. We looked forward to our working sessions with them and we worked in true partnership to output a plan focused on bringing our team together. Their energy and patience never faltered. They were brilliant to work with.
Laura Louw, Head of Business Development, UK at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP