Q. Learning was established in March 1997. The Chairman, Managing Director and Director then are still in our business today.

From the beginning, we wanted to excite and delight all our stakeholders, starting with our clients. We have never been a ‘me too’ business, preferring to take our lead from what our customers tell us they really want and then helping them to unfold what would truly excite them. We have always worked in both the public and private sectors and are able to transfer learning from one to another. Our business has typically developed in one of two ways: geographical or system/sector. A client in one part of the country tends to lead to many new clients in that same area, as word of mouth tells others. Similarly, a client in one part of a system/sector will tell another. Clients moving jobs often means a new client organisation for us.

In our early days, Q. Learning started with learning and development programmes and, gradually, we developed into several new areas – often as our clients wanted more from us. These now include assessment centres where we might help recruit whole new teams at the top of organisations; coaching – where we work with all tiers of leaders and managers and are leaders in accredited programmes; key supplier arrangements for whole-organisation programmes – helping clients make sense of new situations which we will have seem before; policy and strategy development and writing – often responding to clients who say ‘we’ve run out of ideas and yet have to come up with something to meet new needs’; programme management and management consultancy – in such areas as strategy, change management and organisational development. We’ve also facilitated many mergers/acquisitions, outsourcings and setting up new ventures such as social enterprises.

We have always worked with leading-edge tools and intellectual property – for example Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Spiral Dynamics, Myers-Briggs Type Indicators, Emotional Intelligence, EFQM. In recent years, we have researched, developed and marketed new products independently, or in conjunction with organisations such as SOLACE and Hodder Headline. These products include the ever popular ‘Capability Map’ which gives all round visibility on the organisation or team, the Leadership Identities Profile (formerly Leadership Diagnostic Tool), the Partnership Diagnostic Tool, Team Diagnostic, Team Coaching and Governance as well as a series of books (Be your best … And beyond.)

We have pioneered new ways of working that meld together vision, strategy, process modernisation, clarity of structure, leadership, partnerships, team-working and development with a constant eye on profitability or public value.

Since our launch in 1997, we have been surprised at what we have been asked to do. Ask our clients for their memories and they will perhaps tell you of the large OD Programmes which have resulted in far greater profitability or awards won, or perhaps life-changing moments on our Leadership programmes, or the absolute joy of working as part of a team that has developed through time. But they are just as likely to recall tears of laughter, miles of flip charts, or a killer question. We remember extraordinary moments such as an international conference in Chantilly Chateau, being with a Board as it decided to be acquired, or the ‘Q. Learner’ client who told how he had used skills newly learned to tell his father he loved him, just before his father’s death. Since 1997, no two assignments, no two teams, no two individuals have ever been the same!