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Zest is a specialist provider of leadership development. We design innovative and bespoke learning aimed at optimising performance and delivering results.

We take pride in getting to know just what makes your business tick, in order to unlock the potential of the people that shape it.

We are proud sponsors and actively seek new and innovative ways to raise money for the NSPCC.

About

You are unique.

We keep this in mind and hold the belief that one size doesn’t always fit all.

We love working with individuals and teams to build belief and transform the capabilities of people, we do this in full knowledge that we all learn in different ways. That’s why what we offer is always bespoke… to every client, every time.

We get a genuine buzz from ensuring learning happens and critically makes a huge difference.

We do this by focusing on the engagement, leadership and direction of the people who make it happen. These are often leaders, managers or coaches but ultimately can be any individual that would benefit from personal growth in order to strengthen the team, react to change and ultimately improve bottom line profit.

Why us?

We are…

Inspiring

We believe in building momentum and inspiring others. Our expertise is creating learning that is full to the brim of compelling story telling, new ideas and is packed with infectious enthusiasm. We want teams to be inspired to be part of it!

Pragmatic

We absolutely love, getting to the point… so here it is! Whilst we pride ourselves on our creativity, we are actually very black and white when it comes to having the end result in mind. We get just as much enjoyment out of demonstrating why doing X will = Y.

Honest

It’s huge in our business. Integrity is key to ensuring our relationships stay strong long after we’ve left the training room. We’ll be up front and direct all the time and for this we don’t apologise. We put our heart and soul into every piece of work we do and genuinely care about the results.

Fun

We love what we do and we enjoy doing it…it’s so important to us it shows. Good humour is vital to our business and it’s the way that we get teams bought in, switched on and signed up!

Our principles

We create…

Amazing Leaders

We believe the best leaders today are those who who create a sense of passion, vision and purpose – attracting people to engage, follow and connect with them.

We help find, create and grow your teams to an aligned leadership framework that supports future growth and potential.

Top Teams

We know tons about employee engagement. We use our skills to ensure that all your people are fully bought into your goals and ambitions.

From change management, succession planning, talent mapping and accelerated learning programmes, through to employee engagement tools and techniques, we help you create an environment that engenders commitment to improve.

Brilliant People

We believe that to be at your best you need to be adaptable, agile, demonstrate passion and humility, whilst all the time having the ability to connect with others.

We focus purely on personal effectiveness, through active and meaningful personal development plans to team building events and engagement days / activities.

Dynamic Cultures

We understand that performance management isn’t just about what gets written on an appraisal…It’s about coaching high performance everyday to truly embed your values and what people ‘say’ and ‘do’ in order to meet your business goals.

We help to create and embed your core values into learning frameworks that will drive performance and keep working for you long after we have gone.

All of the above are supported by a full suite of options and ideas. These range from interactive training courses delivered online, to face to face coaching with small, medium or large groups. We deliver 1 to 1 training and / or large scale conference events. We can also deliver a range of self directed learning tools that can either compliment group learning or act as a more flexible and blended alternative. We pride ourselves on our ability to listen, ask questions and then create super cool effective bespoke solutions that not only deliver what our clients need, but also leave them with the tools to aid sustainable success.

Expertise

This is how we do it

We know that no business is the same, each has its own unique culture and personality, no solution to effective learning can be best-in-class if it’s just standard and off-the-shelf.

We’ve sat on both sides of the table when it comes to designing and outsourcing learning and development and this means it’s natural for us to step into our client’s shoes when coming up with the goods to suit them.

We use a simple 5 step approach…

freshly blended learning

1. First things first

Free consultation process, quick health check but really we just listen and then advise.

2. Getting our ideas across

This is our design and development stage, we simply get on with it and keep you updated every step of the way.

3. Getting it done

Once happy, we can either deliver it for you, train your team to deliver… or both!

4. Sticking around

We don’t just walk away, we aid implementation and offer support to ensure any training or learning interventions stick.

5. Checking its worked

Finally, we want to know what’s worked and what difference it’s made and at this point what further support we can offer.

Our Approach

Meet the team

Jo Smedley

Director

Jo's love of people and life in general form the backbone and ethos of Zest. She's an all rounder who thinks big and has regular flashes of brilliance. She is an astute commercial thinker, who can demonstrate Learning and Development's impact on the bottom line through a variety of different skills and techniques.

Jo takes every opportunity she can to spend time with her equally fun loving family and this is where a huge part of her inspiration comes from!

Andy Poole

Director

Andy is passionate about learning and development. He believes that working with like-minded individuals helps him to push boundaries and innovate even further. He quickly gets to grips with a brief and sets about using his infectious enthusiasm to really get to the heart of a business no matter what size or shape.

Andy aims to keep the mind fresh and the body active attempting to keep up with other runners every Saturday at Parkrun.


Mark has a strong background in creativity and leadership development in the UK arts sector and also with one of the worlds largest accountancy firms.

Mark practices as a learning design consultant and facilitator specialising in blending creativity with commercial understanding across the UK, Europe, Asia and the United States. This includes creating and delivering leadership development programmes, high performance training and accelerated team building solutions.

Mark is also a qualified practitioner of a range of psychometric tools including MBTI, FIRO-B and Hogan Leadership Assessment.

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Mark Wright


An innovative thinker, John is able to evaluate and, if necessary, challenge the status quo in a creative manner leading to a fresh approach to problem resolution.
Most recently John was Director of Client Relations for RBS Invoice Finance Ltd with a wider team of 70 + people, over 1700 clients and £1bn of facilities underwritten.

John specialises in developing and then delivering a strategy, risk (credit, operational, conduct), leadership development, customer satisfaction and all areas of the profit and loss account.

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John Lightfoot


Liz is a qualified business psychologist and executive coach. She works with leadership teams to help them drive high performance and works one to one with senior leaders helping them to amplify their personal impact and influence.

Liz also specialises in resilience, is an accredited Insights practitioner and helps businesses use story and narrative to drive culture change and engagement.

Liz also toured nationally and internationally with a theatre company that she ran for a decade and is now based close to London.

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Liz Margree


Colleen specialises in ensuring teams and individuals both realise their ambitions and maximise their potential.

Colleen is involved with a range of projects that includes both designing learning solutions and having the opportunity to utilise her creative side to tailor solutions to fit a client’s specific needs and context. Colleen has also developed her skill set recently as a researcher (PhD) which has helped her to base learning and development solutions on robust research that deliver real results.

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Dr Colleen Addicot


Master sales trainer Fiona, loves to get to the heart of the matter and fully understand how people learn. Fiona has the ability to determine what makes people tick and therefore how to get the best out of both teams and individuals.

Fiona uses her experience from a wide range of senior positions that she has held to ensure what is delivered is not only aligned to business needs but is cost effective, relevant and on point.

Specialising in strategic planning, employee engagement, inductions and training, Fiona thrives on delivering results through inspiring and engaging people.

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Fiona Fitzgerald


An energetic and enthusiastic facilitator Jill’s first love is ‘people’. She enjoys making connections with others to get the best out of them…for them… for the benefit of business.

Her experience is based within the service sector – specifically retail and finance. She has worked primarily within blue chip organisations across the globe but her roots come from working with small business. More recently her focus has been within education.

Her skills? Definitely delivery, but she is also a master of effective training design that gets to the heart of the matter.

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Jill Eyre