Richard Sharpe

Richard Sharpe

Richard is Managing Director and founder of Elementa Leadership.  He has over twenty years of consultancy experience working with top teams around strategy, leadership and culture.  He has undertaken leadership and organisation development assignments throughout the UK and Europe, working across sectors and predominantly at executive level. His corporate clients have included Nestle UK, GSK, BT, Sainsbury's, Legal & General, AXA UK and IATA (Geneva). Prior to establishing Elementa Leadership in 2008, Richard was Associate Director, Leadership at The Work Foundation. 

Richard has worked extensively at strategic level with a number of universities. He has also recently established a global higher education leadership network which includes senior leaders from universities in the UK, US, Europe and Australia. This network shares knowledge and experience around the development and implementation of strategy in global higher education. Richard's higher education clients include the University of Aberdeen, the University of Adelaide, the University of East Anglia, the University of Glasgow, Lancaster University, the University of Kent, the University of Sheffield, the University of Southampton, the University of York and the University of the West of England, Bristol.

Richard is a Chartered Fellow of CIPD, Fellow of the RSA, Member of the Association for Coaching and British Psychological Society Level A & B accredited. He has an MSc Organizational Behaviour (Distinction) through Birkbeck College, University of London.

Linda Holbeche

 Professor Linda Holbeche (Guest Contributor)

Linda researches and consults on leadership, sustainable high performance, strategic change and HR development. She is published widely on these themes. She is a visiting Professor of Leadership Innovation at the University of Bedfordshire, visiting Professor in HRM and Organisation Development at Cass Business School (London), an Associate of Erasmus Business School (Rotterdam), Edinburgh Napier University and Ashridge Management College.

Linda's previous roles include Research and Policy Director at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Director of Leadership and Consultancy at The Work Foundation and Director of Research and Strategy at Roffey Park Management Institute.

 Linda has provided leadership development and change advisory work for a number of higher education institutions including the University of Glasgow, the University of Bristol, the University of York and the University of the Arts London. She has worked with many HR Directors from across the higher education sector including from leading universities including Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge and is regularly called on for coaching and mentoring purposes.

 Linda acts as member of several advisory boards, is a Chartered Fellow of CIPD and a Fellow of both the RSA and the Institute of Leadership and Management.


Sally Bernham

Sally Bernham

Sally is a respected leadership development consultant and executive coach with many years' experience in leading, managing and delivering leadership development. She has held senior roles within the university sector and the health service with responsibility for several change initiatives.  While fully aware of the challenges, opportunities and culture of leadership in universities, exposure to other sectors affords Sally the ability to bring new perspectives and insights into alternative leadership practice.

 A former University Head of Learning and Development for 10 years, Sally was responsible for developing, delivering and monitoring the University's leadership development strategy. She was a senior member of the University's HR Executive and sat on several university level committees.

 Sally's has worked with higher education institutions including the University of Aberdeen, the University of Bath, the University of Cambridge, De Montfort University, the University of Derby, Dublin Institute of Technology, the University of Glasgow, the University of Leicester, the University of Nottingham, the University of Northampton, Northumbria University, the University of the West of Scotland and the University of Worcester.


Nick Isles

Nick Isles

Nick is an experienced writer, researcher and consultant with over twenty years' experience of engagement with organisations across the private, voluntary and public sectors.  He is a former Director of The Work Foundation.  Nick has particular expertise around strategy, leadership and organisational communications and engagement.

Nick has experience of delivering leadership development and change management programmes to both higher education and further education institutions, which includes projects with the University of the West of England, the University of East Anglia, the University of Manchester, Sheffield Hallam University and Milton Keynes College.

Nick also has a strong track record in delivering leadership and management development programmes across all sectors. This includes the delivery of leadership development programmes for Henley Business School, the Corporate Communications Team of Tesco and for the Communications Directorate at the Big Lottery Fund.

Nick is the author of The Good Work Guide published in 2010 and What Kind of World Do We Want?  published in 2015.


Jane Sullivan

Jane Sullivan

Jane is a chartered psychologist, registered occupational psychologist and coach with 12 years consulting experience working across the public, private and third sector. She holds an MSc Occupational Psychology, Birkbeck College, University of London and a first class (Hons) degree in Psychology, University of Queensland.

Jane has broad experience of evidenced based consulting projects in the areas of leadership development and coaching, organisational development and strategy, organisational culture, dignity and diversity at work, the physical working environment, team facilitation and employer of choice and employee engagement. Jane is an accredited coach (Association for Coaching) focusing on leadership development.

Jane has worked as part of Elementa Leadership's team to deliver successful strategic leadership development programmes for the University of Glasgow and she has worked with the University of Westminster, the University of Bristol and the Institute for Education in developing 'positive working environments'.

She has published research papers covering themes such as employee engagement, the psychological contract and employment relationships. 


Robin Sharpe

Robin Sharpe (Policy and Research)

Robin holds an MSc in Public Policy (with Distinction) from the University of Bristol. He has been engaged in a range of research and writing roles as a part of Elementa Leadership's higher education client projects and takes a lead in co-ordinating management research commissioned by Elementa Leadership clients.

Through his role, Robin has applied skills in research and policy analysis to contribute to Elementa Leadership's understanding of the international higher education policy landscape.  He has participated in global study visits to Australia, the US and Europe and is responsible for Elementa Leadership's HE Knowledge Portal, established to provide information and resources for the higher education sector. 

He has researched and written papers including 'Change in Australian Higher Education', 'Higher Education in the BRIC Countries: A Policy Digest', 'Higher Education in South-East Asia: A Policy Digest' and 'What is a World Class University?'. 


Aine OKeeffe

Áine O'Keeffe

Áine is highly skilled coach, facilitator and leadership development professional.  She began her career as a political adviser to the Minister for Employment and Learning in the Northern Ireland Assembly, working on a range of issues in higher and further education, and directing her successful re-election campaign.

At The Work Foundation she worked as advisor to the CEO, collaborating on research publications in fields as diverse as apprenticeships for Creative and Cultural Sector Skills Council, the UK's skills and education strategy for the Department of Education, creative industries for DCMS/BIS and media policy for the BBC. She has spoken at a range of national and international conferences about the research.  As Head of Public and Parliamentary Affairs she was charged with developing relationships with key policy makers and translating the research outputs of the organisation for a political audience.

Áine holds the Academy of Executive Coaching Practitioner Diploma in Executive Coaching and is a certified user of the Denison Organisational Culture Inventory.  Áine has recently worked as part of the Elementa Leadership's team on the Academic Leadership Programme for the University of Glasgow and also undertaken projects for Creators' Rights Alliance, the British Council and KEA (Brussels).


David Coates

David Coats

David offers support to organisations wishing to improve their employment relations, undertakes research on labour market issues and offers advice on how to influence public policy.  He is a research fellow at the Smith Institute, a Fellow of the RSA and Associate at the Centre for Public Service Partnerships.

 His previous roles were Associate Director, Policy at The Work Foundation and Head of the TUC's Economic and Social Affairs Department managing work on economic and industrial policy, the welfare state, public services and the development of partnership at work. He worked as an employment specialist at the TUC. David is recognised as an authoritative commentator on employment relations and quality of working life issues.

David's has worked on projects for Capital Ambition (London Councils), ACEVO, Bupa, Tesco, Monitor (the regulator of foundation hospitals), the Royal Opera House, the HSE, the Arts Council and the Department of Health.  He has also contributed to specific research projects for Elementa Leadership, including a Review of Academic Working Practices at Sheffield Hallam University.

  • The University of Aberdeen
  • The Big Lottery Trust
  • Campaign to Protect Rural England
  • University of East Anglia
  • European Consortium of Innovative Universities
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Gloucestershire
  • Hull York Medical School
  • Infineum
  • University of Manchester
  • Milton Keynes College
  • Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • OdgersBerndtson
  • The University of Sheffield
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • The University of Southampton
  • University of the West of England
  • The University of York

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