Improving Performance in an Age of Uncertainty – Power of Strengths, Energy and Stretch

15 November 2011 08:30 for 09:00 start
Sussex Branch

Subject area:  Learning and development

Sarah Lewis, James Brook, Dr Paul Brewerton

Sarah Lewis, MD, Appreciating Change

Sarah is an associated fellow of the British Psychological Society and a principal member of the Association of Business Psychologists. She is an acknowledged Appreciative Inquiry expert, a regular conference presenter and a published author, most recently, ‘Positive Psychology at Work’. Sarah is a consultant facilitator with particular expertise in co-creating organisational change using methodologies such as appreciative inquiry, and in the practical application of positive psychology.

Previously a social worker and manager, she is experienced working with individuals, groups and organizations on public and private sector change challenges.

James Brook, Director, Strengths Partnership Ltd

James is co-founder and Director of Strengths Partnership Ltd, a HR consulting firm providing strengths-based leadership development, coaching and talent management solutions. He has around 20 years experience in OD, coaching, leadership development and talent management, having worked in consulting and corporate roles internationally. Recent clients have included Facebook, ING Direct, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Southwark Council, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and Tesco.

James has co-designed the Strengthscope ( assessment suite and various other strengths assessment and development tools to help translate productive strengths into measurable results and success at work. James is a regular speaker on strengths-focused human resources and has contributed a wide range of business and professional publications in the area. He has a Masters Degree in Industrial & Organisational Psychology, a MBA and is a Fellow of the CIPD.

Dr Paul Brewerton, Director, Strengths Partnership Ltd

Paul is co-founder and Director of Strengths Partnership, a HR consulting firm providing strengths-based leadership development, coaching and talent management solutions. Paul is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and Doctorate in Organisational Psychology with over 15 years’ experience in individual, team and organisational development. Paul has worked across a wide variety of sectors; recent clients include Takeda, Tesco, Bank of England, Legal and General, Panasonic, Police Service Northern Ireland, Royal Air Force and many more. Paul co-designed the Strengthscope assessment tool and other strengths related products to help HR and L&D professionals to practically apply the strengths philosophy in their organisations. In recent years, Paul has dedicated his business activities to helping organisations translate a strengths-focused approach to bottom line business performance.


Angelika is an HR Business Partner for Legal & General Protection and Annuities business; Other business experience include team management and project management roles in the Shared Services Finance sector at American Express and Kimberly-Clark. Angelika works in partnership with heads of business units to support the delivery of the people and organisational strategic plan and this includes the provision of learning and development solutions to drive organisational performance.

Angelika partnered with Paul Brewerton at Strengths Partnership and developed strength based career coaching workshops, which were successfully rolled out to qualified actuaries in all business units across the L&G group, supporting the aim to retain actuarial talent and align with the wider L&G people program to deliver improved performance management processes.

Esther Akpomukai, Head of Global Learning & Development & Engagement at
The Royal Bank of Scotland

Esther currently heads the Learning & Development & People Engagement function within RBS GTS Global Client Service, comprising of approx. 650+ employees. She strategically leads a robust and structured model that covers L&D and Talent Management requirements across a broad set of organizational levels with multi-regional and country flavours.

Esther is a subject matter expert on the Service Profit Chain concept and has a creative mind to develop and design L&D solutions from an employee engagement, client loyalty and shareholder perspective, with 7 years of experience in the Client Loyalty Program Management field.

She has a M.Sc in Integrated Social Sciences (specializing in leadership competencies) and in Corporate Education. She is also an accredited strengths coach.

Event details:


To provide practical insight, case studies and tools to help you translate the latest thinking from strengths-based HR and appreciative inquiry into effective, integrated business results across the full HR life cycle


• The powerful contribution strengths can make in unleashing positive energy and performance excellence in business environments characterised by high levels of uncertainty and cost-consciousness
• Practical methods and tools to help individuals, teams and the organisation to stretch their strengths and maintain high levels of productive energy at work
• How to put in place risks mitigation strategies to minimise any negative effects associated with weaker areas, overdone strengths and other sources of interference to peak performance
• Understanding how to develop positive and enabling leadership based on trust, optimism, enthusiasm, purpose, and spirit


• Strategies for creating high energy, positive work cultures that drive positive results
• A practical and proven strengths to success roadmap to help individuals, teams and the organisation to move from awareness through action and agility, to achievement
• Strengths-based HR, Talent and OD tools and techniques that you can take back and implement within your organisation
• A clear understanding of your personal brand based on your strengths and how you can leverage this fully to accelerate your success


08h30-09h00 Coffee on Arrival

09h00 – 09h30 Welcome and Introductions

09h30 – 10h00 Productive Strengths – The Heartbeat of Talent Engagement and Organisational Success in Uncertain Times

James Brook, co-founder and Director, Strengths Partnership Ltd

10h00- 11h00 Implementing a Strengths-based Talent Development Approach – Lessons and Practical Tips from a Global Financial Services Company

Esther Mbatha-Akpomukai, Head of Global Learning & Development & Engagement, Royal Bank of Scotland

11h00 – 11h10
11h10 – 12h10 Strengths-based Career conversations – Providing a Simple Structure for career discussions with Technical Specialists as a Retention and Motivation Tool

Angelika Dowds, HR Business Partner, Protection and Annuities, Legal & General- and Paul Brewerton, co-founder and Director, Strengths Partnership Ltd

12h10 – 12h45 Table Discussions and Open Forum

12h45 – 13h30 Lunch and Networking

13h30 – 14h30
Using Appreciative Inquiry to help people stay focused and positive during times of uncertainty and change

Sarah Lewis, Psychologist and MD, Appreciating Change

14h30 – 16h30
Interactive Workshops (choose 1)

• Developing Versatile Teams (Lead Person- Ewan Stickley)
• STRONG Business Coaching (Lead Person- David Leeper)
• Strengths-based Selection Assessment (Lead Person- Alison Warner)
• Creating a Positive Culture (Lead Person- Aidan Tod)
16h30 – 17h00

Panel Discussion with Presenters/Workshop Leaders

17h00 – 17h30
Closing Address

For more information:
  • Contact phone number 01903 730952  
Workshop cost £85 (+VAT) for members.
£120 (+VAT) for non members.
Please note there will be no refunds for cancellations within 14 days of the workshop
Cheques payable to CIPD Sussex

Book early to avoid disappointment.

HR Profession Map:
Professional Area

Learning and Talent Development