Vicky Cosstick

ChangeAware associate:

Anne Donald, Oxford Meta Ltd

Areas of expertise:  Development and facilitation of group learning interventions, Consultancy/facilitation:


Qualifications & experience:


• Head of HR for Unilever operating companies in London and Cambridge

• Overseas Training and Development Manager for Unilever Plantations and Plant Science Group

• Trustee of Charitable Publishing Company

• BSc Technology & Business Studies (1977, Uni. of Strathclyde)

• Postgrad. Diploma in Industrial Administration (1979, Napier College)

• Postgrad. Diploma in Philosophy (2001, Uni. of Oxford)

• MSc Change Agency, Skills & Strategies (2006, Uni. of Surrey)

• Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development


Some current and recent client organisations:


KPMG, DHL Exel, Unilever, CAFOD, Siemens, Kraft Europe,  Witwood Food Products Ltd, Dogs for the Disabled, Amersham Field Centre, Unipart Group of Companies, Reckitt Benckiser.


Change consultancy:


"the questions we ask set the stage for what we find, and what we find becomes the knowledge out of which the future is conceived, conversed about, and constructed"  James Dluderma


I use an emergent approach to facilitating change.  Most organisations are complex systems where the traditional  approach to strategy and change inevitably fails to meet expectations.  An emergent approach, drawing on the principles of complexity theory, offers a more realistic way of working and, in my experience, results in satisfied clients and real change.


I contract with clients on our way of working together and use shared metaphors both for the vision for change and the method.  I like to work with a method of “courageous conversations”, which allow an approach to parameter-setting and the engagement of stakeholders that encompass the emotional content, including power relations, of the organisational system as well as the more tangible aspects of the project.  I have found that this way of working is fun, both for me and the client, without the usual stress and angst of trying to keep to outdated project plans.  


Facilitation Philosophy


"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." Mohammed Ali


Good facilitation increases the chances of happy and productive outcomes through raising group awareness of process and creating greater freedom of choice.  Whilst not agreeing wholeheartedly with the philosophy of John Heron, I do agree with most of his techniques of facilitation and incorporate them in my practice.  


I design and facilitate workshops in generic management skills, working with groups of up to twelve.  Most of this work is in private sector companies in manufacturing and logistics.  


Coaching Philosophy


"To live is to change, to have lived well is to have changed often."   St Augustine        


I am passionate about improving the quality of life at work and believe that managing work relationships well is one of the key determinants of a successful organisation.


I have an eclectic, client-centred approach which draws on the theories and practices of Transactional Analysis, Psychosynthesis and Gestalt.  My personal style is to support the client as an individual while challenging the logic of his/her assumptions and mindset.  


I establish a productive coach-client partnership by developing a relationship of mutual professional regard and empathy uncontaminated by collusion with or criticism of the client or the organisation.  In this way, we model a good working relationship that the individual can learn from and emulate in his/her own practice.


The coaching contract can be determined in one of two ways: it can be “fixed outcome”, where the desired changes are determined in advance with the client and organisation; or the contract can be iterative, where the desired outcomes are determined at the start but open to revision as the coaching process develops.  


The fixed outcome type of contract is more appropriate where complexity is relatively low although outcomes tend to be less sustainable than those of the iterative contract.


The iterative, or process-focused, coaching contract focuses on the development of critical reflection and awareness, and enables the client to develop skills in reading complex organisational realities, thus expanding their range of appropriate behaviours and increasing their personal competence.


For further information, use the form to email Anne Donald directly: