About Ascolto and its People
Kris Bush is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist: a specialist in understanding people’s behaviour and performance in the workplace, as individuals, in teams and in the wider organisational context.
Kris has focused much of her work on coaching, mentoring and assisting board level, senior and middle leaders in their personal development, (in the public, private and voluntary sectors).
I first met Kris when I was a Director at Ofwat. I was privileged to be involved (as an employee) in her work with Ofwat on transforming the culture there, which also included individual development work. Kris is highly skilled and has incredible emotional intelligence. In an organisation of around 100 to 150 staff, Kris got to know everyone by name, which really helped buy-in with her work. When I then took on my first Managing Director role of a not-for-profit organisation, I found Kris personally very supportive as I grappled with a number of challenging organisational issues. Kris also ran a team session for me and some mediation between team members, which helped us to function and was essential to survival of the organisation at that time. Kris is so intuitive and skilled that she made a prediction at the time which did come true! I would highly recommend Kris as a skilled, effective and generous facilitator in team and individual development.
I first met Kris whilst working for Ofwat and as we began our business transformation programme which included deep cultural change within the organisation. I approached Kris to help design and deliver a ‘giving and receiving feedback’ workshop that we had identified as a need following our staff survey at the time. Kris was meticulous in her approach, asking questions, challenging me where necessary and guiding me on approaches that she knew would work. The finished product was a highly interactive and experiential learning workshop that proved a significant changer in the way feedback was perceived, and actually used within the organisation. Over a 15 month programme of delivery well over 85% of the people in post at the time completed the workshop. When I joined The Careers & Enterprise Company in 2019 and a similar need for feedback upskilling was identified I approached Kris to help design an intervention. We could have just done a ‘lift and shift’ of our previous workshop however Kris rightly felt we needed to bespoke for the particular organisation. Again detailed analysis and a session with senior leadership to determine what the organisation wanted from this exercise helped design a very different approach and one where we targetted teams. Again highly interactive and successful.
I have worked with Kris now for over 6 years at both OFWAT and now at IOSH and cannot recommend Kris highly enough. She is a highly skilled and sensitive coach; an excellent facilitator of teams and a very experience OD/leadership consultant. Kris very skilfully and subtly gets to the heart of an issue for an individual/team and helps, through sensitive, emotionally intelligent facilitation to unlock thinking, she firmly, but gently and constructively challenges and will not shy away from any difficulties which emerge. She has facilitated my senior leadership team development sessions and my team think she is amazing. We really valued the insights and perspectives she brings and the safe environment she creates. I can testify to the improvement in team performance and relationships as a result of the work we have done together. She is a generous consultant, who keeps in touch with the team regularly, between sessions, providing an objective sounding board and a safe space which I know people find really valuable. In short, I thoroughly endorse Kris for senior team development and individual coaching and look forward to continuing to work with her.
I originally worked alongside Kris within the National College of Police Leadership, where I witnessed first-hand her skills in coaching and developing senior leaders. I was deeply impressed by her approach and it was clear from direct feedback and observable changes in behaviour, that those she worked with greatly appreciated her support. Sometime later, I was engaged in a significant specialist operational collaboration between forces and sought Kris’s advice on how best to manage the cultural change aspects of merging 3 separate specialisms and teams into a single entity. Kris willingly responded to the challenge and within a week she had met in person with all the strategic stakeholders and held team meetings with practitioners in each of the forces involved. Through this she was able to develop a comprehensive change readiness assessment, which formed the basis of our cultural change strategy. I cannot commend Kris’s work highly enough as she so practically demonstrated the impact of professional engagement with operational staff to develop a jointly-owned approach that has resulted in the creation of an efficient and effective team delivering specialist services for the benefit of the communities served.
I have worked with Kris a number of times in my career, both as a personal executive coach and as a facilitator. In both capacities Kris has been brilliant. Helping me bring teams through re-organisations and getting a sense of identity. She provides excellent insight and challenge. She brings her psychology insights to help you and teams identify the problems and challenges, and tailor solutions to what’s needed. As a personal coach she is great at getting you to think laterally and through all the options, while knowing exactly when to be challenging and making sure you identify options and solutions. Overall, I’d completely recommend Kris.
Kris was my coach when I was a student on the Police Strategic Command Course and I have worked with her over a number of years since. She understands the challenges that senior leadership provides and helps people to develop their skills and abilities to tackle those challenges effectively to become the best they can be. Kris encourages her clients to take time to think and pause and consider where they are with their roles and their leadership, and then to plan ahead. In the sometimes manic world in which we operate this time is invaluable and Kris’s calm, considered and highly skilled approach provides the perfect environment for reflection and strategic thinking. Kris’s coaching and people skills together with her personal integrity that mean that for anyone in leadership roles, or for those thinking about embarking upon that journey she would be the perfect coach to work with. I cannot recommend her highly enough
Kris worked with me to prepare me for selection and then success on the Strategic Command Course. She cut through a whole load of self doubt and truly unlocked the inner potential in me, allowing me to recognise my skills, experience and ability for what they were! Best of all she shut up the little gremlin on my shoulder who fed that self doubt. She did that so well, he is still sleeping and I’m still thriving! I have worked with many coaches but none who had the level of impact that Kris did! Highly recommend as a coach and also really understands the policing environment!
David is a Chartered Engineer, graduate in psychology and holds a doctorate in engineering. He is a qualified executive and career coach, a member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, the Chartered Institute of Management, the British Psychological Society and the Association of Coaching.
His work focus is on releasing potential in people and teams through bringing clarity and creativity to workplace problems and opportunities.
After working in a variety of organisations and teams, he has come to realise that the most important quality of effective working is having fun!
Space to Think
“My experience with Space to Think was exceptional. As a Professor of Computer Science, it is often the case that we do not have time and space to think about new research problems and solutions. The two days activity allow me to think “out of the box”, brainstorm about new research questions and possible ways to investigate these questions, as well as come up with prioritisation of next steps. All of that was, supported by a technique and in an environment in which the brain could flow without any barriers or constraints. David’s coaching was paramount to support the entire process. I really enjoyed the whole experience and have used the method afterwards, in smaller ways, to support my work.”
My experience of David’s work comes, in the main, from supporting David as he managed, led and facilitated a training course for a team of key next generation leaders within NATS. I found David to be incredibly talented as a coach and mentor for the group we worked with. He has a fantastic ability to provide just the right amount of input to allow people to find their own way through some difficult issues and learn from them. I would not hesitate in recommending David to help develop the potential future leaders of any organisation.
David is a hugely intelligent man with a fund of ideas about how to go about solving the innumerable problems of any larger enterprise. His greatest asset is that he realises that it is only through the people that this can be done, and his coaching and mentoring skills are excellent. David is someone who gets a true sense of achievement from seeing others do well – and anyone who recognises the real rarity of that trait will also appreciate what David has to offer.