Backgrounds

Andrea Taylor-Cummings

Dr. Andrea Taylor-Cummings BSc, MPhil, DPhil (Oxon)

Helping people “be” more and lead well have been the constant theme in my 30 yrs experience as an organisation design and development consultant, coach and mentor.

I have worked internationally (Jamaica, UK, Japan and Korea) in both the public and private sector, as a consultant with “big four” and niche consultancies, and as an entrepreneur.

My fundamental passion is to help people change behaviours for the better and build stronger relationships.  This has been achieved through successfully designing and delivering talent / leadership development programmes for diverse, global audiences, with extensive experience in facilitating workshops / seminars, online webinars, video conferences and one-on-one coaching.

For me, life is about being courageous, being authentic, running my own race with excellence… and helping others to do the same.

 

Jonathan Taylor-Cummings

Jonathan Taylor-Cummings B.Eng, MPhil (Oxon), AltMBA

Building ‘bigger’ people and organisations has been a common thread running through my career... People: through leadership, education and relationship development. Organisations: through a focus on strategy, culture, client engagement and operational excellence

I have spent much of the last 30 years in professional services, helping both blue-chips (Merrill Lynch; Credit Suisse) and start-ups (Redington; Mallowstreet; LKRC) develop corporate assets and client relationships to deliver a wide range of services across the banking, pensions and consulting sectors.

Most recently, as Chief Operating Officer at Redington (a fast-growth financial services consultancy), I had the privilege of helping structure and drive the firm’s growth from start-up to, within ten years, being recognised as the fourth largest investment consultancy in the UK.

Why we do what we do

Relationship issues lie at the heart of many of the challenges we face in our day-to-day lives.  And the implications are of astronomical proportions – in the UK alone, workplace conflict has been shown to cost organisations in excess of c£33bn per annum, family breakdown costs tax payers £51bn per annum, and it has also been identified as the single biggest indicator of teenage mental health problems.

Our experience over the last 20+ years tells us it doesn’t have to be that way.  We all have it within our reach to develop the skills and habits that can transform our relationships for the better, forever.  We just need to be intentional and proactive about developing them.

This is the message we had the privilege of sharing on the TEDxSquareMile platform in Mar 2019.  In 15 minutes, we explained the 4 simple, yet fundamental, habits for successful relationships.  The really great news is that these are habits we can all learn and develop... and when we do, we significantly improve the chances of our relationships not just surviving, but thriving.

As a key part of our vision for social change we engage with corporates to lead the way in raising the high water mark on relationship capability through building knowledge and skills as a natural part of professional learning and development.  Success in addressing many of the corporate strategic concerns - issues like diversity & inclusion, wellbeing, employee engagement, mental health, productivity and developing high performance teams - rests on our ability to build quality relationships.

The “need” for improving relationship capability is unquestionable.  Our goal is to help as many people as possible develop the skills to do what it takes to transform their relationships.  We remain convinced that if we can each just take responsibility for developing these habits in our own relationships… together maybe we leave the world a better place for the generations to come.

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The Journey So Far...

JandA-Square

Having seen the difference proactive equipping has made in our lives and those we've worked with, we've developed a real passion for building strong relationships to stem the tide of relationship breakdown.

In 2016, we established Soulmates Academy to help people and organisations improve emotional & mental wellbeing, performance and productivity, through proactively equipping people with strong relationship skills to have better conversations and better outcomes.

In late 2017, we launched the 'Relationships Essentials' E-learning programme, with the vision to help the first 100,000 couples start enjoying great relationships under the campaign: #100kGreatRelationships

In 2018, we launched our #BestSelfAtWork offering for the Corporate markets, facilitating workshops to equip client teams with the skills to build stronger relationships across difference and distance and deliver a wide range of HR strategic benefits around mental health, wellbeing, inclusion, collaboration, flexibility, employee engagement and performance.

On 9 Mar 2019, we had the privilege of delivering a TEDx talk in the heart of the City of London, sounding the alarm for the need for proactive relationship education and highlighting 4 simple, yet fundamental, habits for all successful relationships.

In 2019, we developed and delivered a new offering for the “Classroom”- short talks and workshops to form part of the new RSE curriculum.  We have since run a number of workshops (“Getting the best out of Relationships”) and an Assembly-focused talk (“OkaytobeMe… & #OK2BU”) which received extremely positive feedback from the pupils, teachers and parents alike!

Also in 2019 we have made some headway in our conversations with the UK government.  We had the privilege of addressing the All Party Parliamentary Group responsible for Strengthening Couple Relationships and Reducing Inter-Parental Conflict in Apr 2019 - suggesting policy ideas and interventions at key life transition points to help develop a coherent national approach to proactive relationship capability education (vs the current reactive approach).  We are delighted that our work sparked a Westminster Hall Debate on 16 May 2019 encouraging the government to consider the link between #mentalhealth and #emotionalhealth.

... the journey continues in the direction of our dream to halve the rate of relationship breakdown and improve the emotional health and well-being of future generations.