“Graham's calm, rational and helpful approach has been a tremendous advantage in helping the Institute to fulfil its HR responsibilities. His attention to detail and enthusiasm for his work has lightened the task, and he is always a pleasure to work with. We would recommend him most highly.”
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"Our business is taking the giant step of internationalising its UK operation. We have enjoyed a position of market dominance in the UK for many years and now we face a start-up situation on the European mainland, which is a totally new departure for us.
As the Operations Director, there was an urgent requirement for me to ‘re-invent myself’ so that I could deal with a completely new set of challenges, both for myself and for the business.
Over a period of six months, Graham identified and deconstructed the individual challenges in a way that I could better understand them. He then gave me the tools to focus on the things that were important and to be able to develop my teams in a way that gave me a much greater capacity for success. Six months later and these learnings are standing me in very good stead. What’s more, the business in on the way to world domination!"
"I have been working with Graham for some five years and am delighted to be able to recommend his professional services. He provides support for the Institute through delivering an expert and reliable service. We are a small organisation and the ad-hoc services he provides to us have included contract reviews, drafting policy updates and advising on dealing with tricky HR issues. It is great to have someone like Graham on tap. As we do not have a full time internal HR advisor, we can be reassured that all of our HR, training and management-development needs are met. Graham understands that we’re a small outfit and his advice – which is always sound – is also pragmatic. We get to the nub of a problem very quickly. No job is ever too big or too small. He’s very personable and very easy to work with. I have no hesitation in recommending him."
"Graham is a very experienced business and recruitment consultant who is responsive to his clients' particular needs, creative in using his experience to advise and steer executive recruitment and collaborative in his approach with Trustees and Officers. He is excellent value and efficient in delivery."
"As MD of PolymerLatex Ltd, the UK subsidiary of an international chemical company, I worked closely with Graham over a four-year period, which ended only when the UK Company was closed down in December 2011 as part of a European restructuring programme.
Graham provided both high-level insight and a great deal of hands-on, operational HR support. He was invaluable in helping to guide me and the business through many changes and HR activities, including management recruitment, contract negotiations, drafting of policies, TUPE and a range of one-off personnel issues. Latterly, he helped to steer us through the site-closure process.
His particular qualities were his ability to give international management advice. He understood my different German background and mentality and, based on that, was able to give profound advice in a difficult shutdown and closure situation. This contributed to a very smooth and successful closure process at our Bromsgrove Site.
I would highly recommend Graham to anyone running a business, particularly with international involvement, and in need of wise counsel and practical HR skills. He was also fun to work with!"
"Graham's life skills, empathetic delivery and remarkable personal insight really make a difference to any management team."
"Graham and his training partner provided an outstanding residential leadership course for our Company's senior management. It was without doubt the best training/development course I've attended and an experience that will remain with me throughout my life. It was extremely challenging, but in an incredibly productive way, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone considering putting together a similar programme."
From 2005 to the present, Graham has provided executive coaching for eight Directors or Divisonal MDs at CAP and, until 2012, at Emap Insight.
Additionally, Rupert and members of his team at CAP attended a series of bespoke, residential development programmes, covering Team-building, Influencing Skills, Achieving Personal Impact, Motivation and Coaching, Delivering Difficult Messages and Leadership. These have been run by Graham and members of his team and have covered some 50 people - including Directors and a wide cross-section of managers, together with members of the sales team - in 12 separate modules.
"Graham does three specific things exceptionally well:
1. He listens and questions to understand why the situation is as it is - sometimes deep-rooted;
2. He helps you/the team identify and shape the desired end-state and why that is important;
3 He works with you/the team on that journey with humility, purpose and confidence.
In short, if you are looking for a powerful impact on performance, call Graham. Job done!"
"Graham recruited me into his HR team 20+ years ago and we have remained firm business colleagues and friends ever since. He has always provided a wealth of advice both in a professional HR context, in running a successful business and personally, and I have the greatest respect for him. His strategic perspective is coupled with operational and commercial realities. His wise counsel and specialist HR knowledge are much sought after by his broad range of clients and colleagues. His manner is always calm and positive and, as the MD of Darbyshire Consulting, he is rightly viewed as a major asset by his many business clients."
"In 2007, we were developing a new performance-management system and needed to ensure that our 80 directors and managers developed the skills they needed to make it work.
We commissioned Darbyshire Consulting to help us design and implement a ‘best practice’ model and assessment process, focusing on how managers could achieve high performance from their staff.
Working together with Graham Darbyshire and Barbara Kemp, we embarked on an extensive programme to observe all 80 of our Directors and managers, holding both one-to-one and team meetings. We were able to use the best-practice model not only to assess their skills but to provide detailed feedback and coaching. As the assessments took place in real-life situations, the results of the coaching were impressive. We have radically and permanently changed the way we do things at the Wesleyan and substantially enhanced our performance-management skills.
We have continued to work with Graham and Barbara since 2007 to conduct assessments and provide coaching for our managers on a regular basis.
I would positively recommend Graham and his team for the practical and insightful way they work. They sought to understand our company culture and drew on the knowledge and expertise of the internal Learning & Development Team to deliver exceptional, demonstrable and sustained results."
"I have benefited from Graham’s expert opinion in various capacities over a number of years. In particular, Graham has been working closely with The Bond Company for some 14 years, giving regular, specialist HR advice and hands-on support on many activities including recruitment, change-management & restructuring, contracts of employment, staff handbook, appraisals, training, disciplinary & grievance issues and redundancy processes. His clear, well-thought-out advice has been exemplary. He responds fast to issues as they arise. Most importantly, he gets on well with everyone, whatever their level."
"Following on from previous excellent experiences that I had with Graham, we engaged him and his team at Darbyshire Consulting to provide important, immersive learning & development for the high-potential members of our management team. His work is focused, deeply-considered, carefully structured and very effective. He couples rich industry experience with no-nonsense frameworks for people management, leadership and motivation theories. He has produced great results with the most capable people at my company."
"Graham has worked with our Board and Senior Management team over many years, giving a wide range of support in HR and Development activities, more recently through a very challenging period of transition. The arrival of new US-based owners, promising investment for the most productive divisions in the UK and US, meant that to be one of them we had to ensure we had the right team, able to perform at the highest possible level and with the right focus.
Over a relatively short period, with Graham’s help we were able to identify and develop key strengths, deal with potential conflict and truly bring about team working at the senior level, some members of which were new to the Company.
Graham’s long-standing experience in Industry enabled us to develop a two-way communications strategy across the business that ensured buy-in from all levels as we rolled out the challenges we faced and the future strategy.
The result was significant investment in both our UK facilities, enabling us to improve our QCD and meet the challenge of the increased opportunities in the Aerospace sector.
I would highly recommend Darbyshire Consulting. They took the time to understand our issues, using their experience of similar situations in Industry before implementation. This proved to be a key factor in the success of the process."
"I used Graham services as our HR Advisor for over four years and found him to be thorough, reliable and utterly professional. At Rotary, we used him for a wide range of HR activities, including restructuring and redundancies, updating of key documents such as the staff handbook and contracts, advice on HR policies and procedures, managing performance issues, coaching and management training. Graham always brought a friendly smile and tone to the table. Even when some of the situations you might find yourself in are tricky, you can always be assured of clear and level-headed guidance."
"I have worked with Graham repeatedly over the last seven years, which in itself is testimony that I continually value his contribution to my business. We have worked with Graham in 3 different ways: 1) Delivering management development programmes; 2) Facilitating workshops; 3) Business mentoring and coaching for key staff.
Graham has consistently delivered wise counsel to help shape and deliver an agenda that has resulted in impact, and individual and business improvement. This means he makes a difference! Furthermore, he does it in a style and manner that is relevant, insightful and entertaining, ensuring that the audience is receptive, engaged and challenged. I always benefit from and enjoy working with Graham."
"I have been working with Graham over the past six years, particularly as a personal business coach for myself and secondly to design and facilitate a number of residential team-building and planning workshops for me and my top team.
As a coach, over a 12-month period he helped me greatly to plan for and work through a period of significant change and uncertainty at RICS, which resulted in the creation and implementation of a new structure for the UK Sales and Marketing team. This has proved to be very successful and has already yielded major benefits for the organisation.
More recently, he worked with me to design and run team-building and planning programmes for me and my top team. This helped us not only to become much clearer on the implementation programme for our strategic plan, but also to achieve much more effective ways of working together and of leading our individual teams.
Graham is a great coach – excellent listener and really helps guide you to the best outcomes. He has extensive knowledge, keeps it very simple and focuses on what you want to achieve. I have no hesitation in recommending him for his skills, but also because he is a great person to work with."
"Graham organised the recruitment of our new CEO in 2012. He applied his considerable experience and intelligence to our very particular circumstances and came up with a tailored approach that was absolutely in line with our requirements.
The result was very satisfactory and the process gave us confidence in our conclusion. We now have an excellent new CEO, who has already taken our organisation forward and is benefitting from further coaching and support from Graham. I would not hesitate to use his services again."
"I have had the benefit of Graham's wise counsel in three very different scenarios: firstly with Graham as course leader for a 3-week residential Leadership Programme; secondly, as a coach; and finally as a mentor, advising me through a period where I left permanent employment and established myself as a Consultant.
Throughout all of these periods, Graham has been a consistently thoughtful voice. He has a vast knowledge of different techniques for effective management and is able deftly to suggest solutions to professional challenges through drawing on these. I value his advice and mentorship hugely."