About us

Our Values

  • TRUST: We confer trust on the people we work with.
  • CHALLENGE: We challenge at the corporate and at the individual appropriately for the sake of step change improvement.
  • FUN: We inject energy, fun and creativity in our work.
  • OPENNESS: We are open to exchange approaches and jointly develop successful strategies.
  • HONESTY: All of this is based on an honest relationship in which we are clear what we are good and not good at.

Our Culture and Approach

We bring an authentic, challenging approach to our work. We shape the conditions in which organisations operate, working with them to deliver their strategy.

We believe that the most successful organisations and those that remain successful in the long term are those that have coherent strategy, positive culture demonstrated by empowering, effective leadership. As a business, we work openly and transparently across our whole team, ensuring that all our different styles, experiences and approaches inform our solutions and offerings.

We believe we are most effective when we can add value at the front end of the life cycle and with engaged senior sponsorship. We can support and challenge from the highest leadership levels downwards. We bring a balance of skills and techniques in driving collaborative, team and leadership behaviours with credibility in delivering hard value-added commercial outcomes.

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Norman Kerfoot

Chairman

Norman brings his commercial, general management and practical behavioural insights to his work, as well as a sense of humour. His interests include music, history as a predictor of the future, real ale as a remedy and sport for healthy competition

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Al Simmonite

Managing Director

Al brings his military, programme and bid experience to Advance and a focus on empowering leadership and team development. Outside of work Al is a “serious amateur” landscape and travel photographer.

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Alexander Shakespeare

Director

Curiosity, challenge, and support describe Alexander’s style to developing, building and enabling performance in individuals, teams and organisations. A rugby referee and sailing instructor; Alexander enjoys sport, different types of exercise and the benefits, lessons to be learnt and alignment of mindset and approaches between sport and business.

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Karen Walsh

Support Team Manager

Karen is an experienced Office Manager who works closely with the Directors and Associates to support the organisation of a project from beginning to end. She particularly enjoys liaising with clients and observing the different stages of project development. Outside of work, Karen has a love/hate relationship with exercising, enjoys holidays to Thailand and spending time with family.

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Cassie Bailey

Accounts Assistant

Since joining Advance in 2013 as a Business Administration Apprentice, Cassie has continued her studies to become an AAT full member (MAAT) and a fully qualified accounting professional with the practical and technical skills needed to support Advance with their accounting activities. Outside of work Cassie mixes her flair for creativity with DIY, enjoys walking her dog, Diesel, and cruising the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas.

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Liz Barlow

Senior Consultant

Liz brings a wealth of behavioural, learning and leadership experience to Advance from her varied career in the public, private and consultancy sectors. Outside of work Liz loves travelling and is a well known Alpaca Judge.

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Keith Baxter

Senior Consultant

Keith brings his extensive experience of applying advanced risk management techniques to major programmes, across virtually all business sectors. For recreation, Keith likes to apply risk management to a variety of risky pursuits that tend to involve climbing up or riding down big mountains.

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Chris Fryatt

Senior Consultant

Chris focusses on practical management and leadership application in all situations where good practice and clear thinking is needed. For his sins his outside of work life is taken up with 4 grandchildren and supporting Mansfield Town.

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Ian Henderson

Senior Consultant

Ian has 30 years of experience with working with groups in the UK and internationally. His style is to be both highly challenging and highly supportive of those he works with. When not delivering workshops, Ian has a keen interest in walking and writing and is the author of one book and over 300 articles.

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Kevin Rayner

Senior Consultant

Kevin has deep commercial, technical and management experience gained working with some Global Fortune 500 companies. He wants to bring this experience to assist and guide professionals at all stages of their career. Downtime is filled by studying for a genealogy qualification and walking Britain's long-distance footpaths.

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Louisa Scanlan

Senior Consultant

Louisa brings a wealth of HR experience from her career in both SME and FTSE 100 organisations.  Her passion is to develop future leaders who act with authenticity and integrity, through coaching and leadership development.  Outside of work, Louisa likes to spend time with her family and swim when time allows it.

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John Whalley

Senior Consultant

John has operated at a senior level in the aerospace industry and has extensive consultancy experience in a variety of sectors including aerospace, rail, bus, civil engineering and education. He is a specialist in collaboration, technology and quality related topics.

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Christine Bell

Consultant

Christine is a skilled evaluator and brings a rigorous approach to linking behaviours to the assessment criteria. She is a skilled communicator and facilitator. Outside of work Christine is a keen cyclist and enjoys the challenge of Yorkshire hills.

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Simon Flint

Consultant

Simon is a resourceful and energetic expert in business development, corporate strategy and client relations. He has pioneered new approaches to collaboration, supply chain integration and innovation in creating differential advantage and determining "value". He chairs a quarterly breakfast meeting for business leaders. Outside work, Simon is a keen sportsman and coaches cricket and rugby.

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Peter Gill

Consultant

Peter brings critical thinking and attention to detail to bid writing and review, of small scale PQQ to Major Projects and across industry sectors. His background is in project development and management in the voluntary / charity sector. Outside of work, Peter is a keen long distance 'bike packer'.

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Jane Hirst

Consultant

Jane is seriously into finding out what makes people tick and using this knowledge to help them bring out their potential.  Creating positive and enabling cultures through engaging leadership and management is her forte. Outside of work Jane is refining the art of gin tasting and now has a couple of favourites!

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Malcolm Wright

Consultant

Malcolm has very broad senior experience in both project and business management within the construction sector. This enables him to support Advance’s clients with his detailed understanding of their needs. Outside of work, he has a penchant for restoring classic mopeds and is always keen to don fancy dress for a good cause.

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