Our global community includes mastery-level facilitators and coaches across Europe, MENA, Asia, the USA and Mexico backed by a brilliant team of project managers and led by a team of highly experienced business leaders.
Here we find out more about Mark Nobbs who joined iOpener six years ago, after first engaging iOpener when he was Head of Learning & Development for Prudential PLC.
When did you first become involved with iOpener?
I selected iOpener onto our Preferred Supplier List for Leadership Development 11 years ago when I was Head of Learning & Development for Prudential PLC. I was looking for organizations that could help our internal team raise the standard of our Leadership Development offering.
What I liked about iOpener was the quality of their portfolio of learning, the research they were doing on happiness at work and their passion for bridging the “Knowing – Doing Gap”. They were not all about theory. They were about putting the learning into practice and making every event experiential. Before making my decision, I visited their offices in Oxford to meet the team. I observed a coaching practice session where I witnessed their executive coaches developing and sharing their skills to ensure quality to the client was guaranteed. Once I had selected iOpener, they were brilliant to work with.
When I left corporate life at Prudential to set up my own Development Consultancy, I got in touch with Jessica Pryce-Jones and Julia Lindsay at iOpener. They immediately asked me if I would like to go through their assessment process to become an Executive Coach and Facilitator with them. I jumped at the opportunity because I knew the caliber of the clients they have and the quality of the work they do. I was truly honored when I was asked to become a partner and shareholder of the business a couple of years ago.
What makes iOpener different from other leadership consultancies?
The Science of Happiness at Work™ is our unique identifier. To me it’s not business critical to be unique or particularly different, it’s business critical to be brilliant. Brilliant in the quality of the learning that we provide, brilliant in the difference that we make to the individual and the business they are in and brilliant in the customer experience we provide at all levels of engagement.
What is your favorite part of your role?
Seeing the light bulb moments our participants, coaches and clients get because of learning with us. The energy, enthusiasm, determination, reflection, discovery, excitement and new ways of working and being are awesome. You get the best results by “getting beneath the surface” of the organization you are working with. We pride ourselves on our consultancy skills to really understand the culture, structure, challenges, strengths and opportunities within each business. Our approach is to design interventions that are bespoke for each client so that we address their specific learning needs.
What is the best iOpener project you have ever worked on?
It’s hard to pin it down to one. I think one of my favorite projects is working on an Achieve Your Potential Weekend with Cass Business School. We do this twice a year with their MBA students in a wonderful countryside venue in Buckinghamshire. We work on purpose, values, motivation and coaching skills. We spend time focusing on the things that are really important and giving participants the space to think and work things out. One day I will get time to do the research but working with five different business schools over the last six years, I feel about 65-70% of students question if they are in the right career during the learning journey.
I also enjoy working with C-Suite leaders and high potential individuals. We designed a leadership development program for a well-known Global Travel company in 2017 which was targeted at their senior leaders with board potential. It was a comprehensive program, delivered over 14 months, including development workshops, executive coaching and encompassed the team identifying three new business opportunities that would add value to the bottom line. At the end of the program, they had to present their ideas to the Board with a comprehensive business case as to why they should be given the funding to proceed. Two of the three projects were approved and the third was asked to provide a little more financial detail. It was incredibly successful and the feedback from the CEO and the Board was awesome.
What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
I think it is ambiguity and the pace of change. The Fourth Revolution of Biotechnology is here and is throwing up endless possibilities. We are in an age where we are literally manipulating the DNA of our universe. Humans now have technology within their bodies that enables them to walk, to see, control their heart, to speak, to hear etc. Stem cell development can heal and regenerate. It’s like science fiction 20 years ago is now a reality. Computers work faster and can do more than ever before. Robots have replaced the work of thousands of humans and new roles are being created every second. Some of the jobs we have in our organizations now will disappear and within three years we will have new jobs that at the moment we have no idea that such a job would be needed or what indeed that job is.
The Fourth Revolution requires leaders to be more focused than ever on People, Ethics and Authentic Leadership. They need to inspire the imagination and innovation of their followers. These are things that Artificial Intelligence cannot deliver (yet) and with these new possibilities, a focus on ethical leadership and societal purpose
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Trust your subconscious implicitly. That’s where your purpose and values live. It will change your life. I do, and it did!
Mark Nobbs is a qualified coach, coach supervisor, facilitator, mediator and an NLP Trainer. Over 20 years of his career has been spent successfully developing others. Mark now focuses on leadership development, executive coaching, supervision for qualified coaches, facilitation and business consultancy.