WHO WE ARE
Our programmes are supported by our qualified, professional and highly-motivated team. We include experienced business people, former military officers and academics, all of whom deliver a high degree of commercial rigour and personal credibility
Stephen is a Chartered Accountant and after qualifying was a lecturer to post graduate students in a private accountancy college. In 1978 he joined Deloitte, Haskins & Sells as Director of Studies. In 1982 he became a partner and subsequently served on the Firm’s central management team as assistant Managing Partner and Head of Mergers and Acquisitions for UK and Europe.
Stephen left Deloitte in 1990 to become Chairman and CEO of a UK USM (second market) company. This Company went to a full listing on the main UK Stock Exchange 2 years later. The Group was sold in 2000 to a large US Corporation now owned by Warren Buffett.
In 2000, because of his on-going interest and years of experience in leading and managing people he founded the Inspirational Development Group (‘IDG’).
He has served as a Non-Executive Director on several Boards and has facilitated at Board and senior management level for several companies, particularly recently in India where IDG has just opened an office.
He is an experienced and well known speaker, particularly on business and financial topics and has written a book and numerous published articles.
Chairperson - IDG-SA
Dr Rejoice Ngcongo is one of the four directors, serving as Chairperson of Inspirational Development Group South Africa (IDG – South Africa)
Rejoice’s, 40 year, career has been constituted in the fields of learning and education, spanning secondary and tertiary education both as an educator and a leader in these institutions, in South Africa and around the world. Her extensive experience in learning, education and leadership development, is coupled with her corporate experience in the Talent and Human Resources fields.
Her career spans her formative years as a secondary and tertiary teacher and lecturer and later principal. For 2 decades Rejoice served as a Senior Lecturer, Professor of Education and then Vice Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Zululand. This experience in the field of education culminated her serving as Visiting Professor at the Universities of South Carolina in the United States of America, Latrobe and Victoria in Australia.
In her short stint as a practicing social worker, Rejoice realised that in order to make a meaningful contribution, teaching and solutions to unlock potential, were essential.
In 2004, Rejoice was appointed as founding scholarships manager of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation Scholarships Programme.
She is frequently invited to present papers and share her very own brand of thought leadership, particularly in the field of leadership for educators.
Despite her accomplished success, and never satisfied to rest on her laurels, Rejoice joined the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation where she led the Human Resources and Talent Development functions.
With a high school teaching diploma, a Bachelor of Social Science and her doctorate in Leadership and Conflict Resolution firmly under her belt, Rejoice has never stopped learning. More recently she has been accredited as a coach, mentor and facilitator.
Based in Dubai, Peter works closely with IDG clients to design and deliver a number of leadership development solutions in the Middle East.
After graduating from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Peter spent 24 years as an Army Officer in the Parachute Regiment and then at the Ministry of Defence. After his career in the military, Peter worked extensively in the Middle East, setting up regional operations across the region for an American company providing specialist training solutions for the military, law enforcement, security and special forces sector. More recently, Peter has consulted as a senior business coach for select blue-chip companies in the UK.
Peter's experience, knowledge and strong networks in the region help IDG to further develop award-winning leadership development services to organisations across the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Managing Director - IDG SA
Joanne is Managing Director of IDG SA, having joined IDG as an associate in 2013 and delivering several programmes before IDG SA was established in 2016.
Joanne is a qualified capital markets specialist. Her work in capital markets saw her based in the USA and Frankfurt before returning to South Africa. She obtained a qualification from the Securities Institute of London and after several years trading, started a financial services company in Durban. After four years of building a solid business with several million dollars under management, Joanne sold this company to pursue her fascination in our ability as human beings to transform ourselves and therefore impact on the quality of our outcomes.
Joanne’s passion is to contribute to individuals, teams and organisations unlocking potential so that individually and in partnership with each other they can create responsible leadership, followership and performance excellence.
This passion has led Joanne to play a significant role as an intervention designer, trainer, facilitator and coach in various contexts from education, to international non-government organisations and commercial businesses. In addition she has experience as serving as board member and Chairperson on the Kairos Foundation Board – SA Board (an international NGO operating in SA) where she chaired the first fully operational board.
Director Innovation and Strategy
In partnership with the board of directors, Laurent is responsible for the execution of IDG’s global growth strategy.
This includes oversight of IDG’s digital capabilities, new market penetration and innovative content strategies.
He also manages IDG’s Technology team, which specialises in the collection, analysis and reporting of behavioural big data used by clients to support key “people strategy” initiatives with evidence.
Laurent joined IDG in 2011. He was previously European Head for an international headhunting firm dedicated to serving blue-chip organisations.
He is well versed in Lean and holds a Six Sigma Green Belt.
Fluent in both French and Italian, he is a certified Myers-Briggs and SDI practitioner and can occasionally be seen on IDG programmes, sharing his commercial and leadership experiences.
Director of UK
Lance is IDG's Director of UK, with responsibility for all IDG business originating out of the UK. His focus is on building and maintaining our wider UK business and leading the UK team to deliver our award-winning client programmes.
Lance has been with IDG 12 years and has extensive experience of leadership development on a personal and organisational scale. He has delivered countless programmes including First Line Managers up to the Board of a major International Construction Firm, designing their “Leadership Charter.” He has implemented Cultural Change programmes and is carrying out major projects on Values-based leadership for substantial financial institutions. Lance has also worked on Change Implementation with the distribution arm of one of the UK’s most-respected retail outlets.
Lance is a former Infantry Officer in the British Army who served for 10 years. His time in the Army included operational tours of Northern Ireland and Bosnia, a tour of Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and 2 years working as an Equerry to The Duke of York. His time in Southern Africa was as a Training Advisor to the newly-formed Armed Forces of Mozambique, where he was responsible for the training and rehabilitation of 100 Civil War veterans.
He was an instructor at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for 2 years. Lance also has a degree from Sheffield University in English and Film, and is a licensed practitioner of the Herrmann Brain Dominance Index, and MBTI qualified.
Heather Couchman is Programme Manager for global client teams. Her role includes client relationship management, tendering, budget creation and implementation, supplier engagement, and overall project leadership using project management tools and techniques. The role requires planning, coordination, and successful delivery of customised programs.
In addition to her role as Programme Manager Heather is responsible for the daily operations and functions of the IDG Programme Office. This includes overall support of the IDG Business Operating model, global resource utilisation, adherence to policy and guidelines.
Heather has worked predominately in the Financial Services industries within Group Operations Functions and for the last 10 years working within HR Organisational Effectiveness specialising in Leadership Development and Emerging Talent. As well as an experienced proven track record Heather is APMP qualified.
Clients appreciate Heather’s attention to detail and drive to ensure project deadlines are met to required specifications.
Director - India Operations
Riya Arora is responsible for the India Business, Client relationships and India Team.
Riya joined IDG in 2012, when she had over 14 years’ prior experience in handling the entire Life Cycle of complex learning programs. She has worked with blue-chip clients and has designed and delivered programs for the delegates in the UK, USA, Singapore, Australia and India from the IT, Financial Services and Manufacturing Sectors.
Riya spent 11 years with Capgemini where she worked as the Global Leadership Facilitator and also led Assessment and Development Centres for Financial Services Global.
She has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, is a Certified MBTI Practitioner, a Life Coach from Fast Track Coaching Academy USA, a Certified Assessor and an English Language Skills Trainer certified by the British Council.
Riya has received excellent testimonials from clients on her facilitation of programmes. She is brilliant at engaging with clients, analysing requirements and nurturing long-lasting relationships.
Jake Meyer BEM VR FRGS
Chief of Staff
Jake is IDG's Chief of Staff and RMAS Project Director. He is also a consultant who specialises in design and delivery of multi-modular business and individual performance improvement programmes, offsite events at Sandhurst and graduate development programmes.
He joined IDG in 2010 and has worked across a broad range of clients and industries, including: International Financial Institutions around the world, The Oil and Gas industry in the Middle East, Engineering and Construction, Fire and Rescue Services, Sports teams, and a range of Professional Services in the UK.
Jake is a serving commissioned Officer in the Army Reserve, and has served in Afghanistan in 2012. He was a professional mountaineer, adventurer and public speaker, having broken a number of records around the world (including in 2005 becoming the youngest Briton to climb Mt Everest, and the youngest man in the world to complete the 7 Summits). He is a qualified MBTI, Strengthscope, DiSC and Skills Deployment Inventory practitioner.
Clients appreciate Jake’s openness and honesty when it comes to giving individual and team feedback, and his enthusiasm and passion for bringing development alive and making it relevant.
Head of Consultancy
Iain works across all of IDG’s major clients bringing a real commercial focus to any programme he delivers. He is responsible for managing one of IDG’s largest financial services accounts, using a global team to deliver workshops in 20 countries across three continents. Iain is also part of the team who design and deliver IDG’s bespoke business simulations.
He joined IDG in 2003 after spending seven years in practice in a Big Four accountancy firm where he was also responsible for the training of the 600-strong graduate intake. During his time at IDG he has worked primarily within financial services, leading long-term leadership programmes both at first line manager and middle management levels. Early in his IDG career Iain led a large-scale assessment and development project in Bahrain which has subsequently been used in both Abu Dhabi and Jordan and he remains engaged in IDG’s work in the Middle East.
Iain is a qualified chartered accountant with a degree in Philosophy and Psychology from Wadham College, Oxford. Since joining IDG he has passed the Securities Institute Islamic Finance Qualification as well as being accredited to Level B with the BPS.
Clients value Iain’s ability to challenge them individually and collectively and his willingness to push them to deliver more. They also appreciate his global experience and intellectual rigour!
Regional Director - Middle East
Is responsible for leading and developing our Oman team, delivering leadership and team building programmes to an increasing range of clients and developing our business in the region.
Joined IDG in 2013 and utilises his extensive leadership experience as a senior military officer and as a former company managing director to develop and deliver thought-provoking development programmes.
Spent 25 years as an Army officer culminating in his appointment as Head of Training Development. Led the design, delivery and accreditation of training for Venue Security Force personnel at the London 2012 Olympics, led research proposals for innovative mobile learning possibilities within Defence sector and training requirements analysis and design for Afghanistan Officers’ Academy based upon the Sandhurst model.
Gerry has a Masters degree in Training Development and Human Resource Management and holds a Chartered Fellowship of the Chartered Management Institute (CMgr FCMI).
Clients comment on Gerry’s remarkable ability to promote relationship building and galvanise programme delegates into positive action that impacts upon their business. His focus is performance enhancement at all levels.
Richard Westley OBE MC
Richard Westley is International Adviser for IDG's business in Europe, Africa, Asia and SE Asia. Richard was formerly the Director of Programme Development at New Century. Prior to that he was the Sales and Marketing Director for Thales’ Managed Services business.
Richard served for 26 years in the British Army, commanding soldiers at every rank up to and including Colonel. He led infantry soldiers on operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania, and on three tours of Afghanistan. His final role in the military was commanding the organisation which trained all soldiers and Royal Marines for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans. He specialises in keynote talks on leadership in extreme and complex environments.
Richard has worked with a commercial and pharmaceutical sectors and with major consultancies and public bodies, mentoring at Director and Board level.
Richard was awarded a Military Cross for gallantry and leadership in Bosnia in 1996 and made an OBE for gallant and unswerving leadership in Afghanistan in 2007.
Marketing & Production Manager
Matthew brings a varied skillset to IDG. Primarily he is responsible for all aspects of IDG’s online and digital presence, including marketing content creation, video production, Social Media management, and managing the company website. He is also responsible for managing IDG's online production capability, which involves overseeing our broadcast studios and team of production technicians.
Trained as a Civil Engineer, Matthew was previously Project Manager on several large Civil Engineering contracts, including the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. During this time he gained experience in process improvement methodologies, which directly led to a change of career as the editor and lead journalist of a website devoted to Lean, Six Sigma and change management.
Since joining IDG in 2013, Matthew's skillset in digital marketing, website development, and video production have helped to hugely expand IDG's digital presence and online capability.
Matthew is passionate about finding new, better and innovative ways to work that improve our services to our clients.
Johanne is a Senior Consultant responsible for designing and delivering development solutions to our clients across the globe.
She has spent her career developing expertise in the improvement of performance through people both as an Army Officer and a Senior Leader in the world of Organisational Development. Johanne is a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served as an officer in the Royal Military Police for 10 years.
Her civilian career in retail, the media and professional services comprises senior management appointments in Talent Management, HR, Learning & Development and Consultancy. She has an MBA and is qualified to use the Judgement Index™ and EQ-i 2.0 profiling tools.
Emily is a full-time IDG consultant who specialises in design and delivery of youth, graduate development and middle management programmes.
She joined IDG in 2013 and has worked in Oman for a year and now operates out of the UK. She delivers across a broad suite of clients including the financial and government sectors and regularly delivers in China, India and the Middle East, as well as the UK.
Emily’s previous work experience was in the legal sector. She is LPC qualified and has a Degree in History and Law from the University of the West of England. Emily is qualified to use the MBTI and the SDI psychometric profiling tools.
Clients appreciate Emily’s energy and enthusiasm when facilitating and her honesty when it comes to giving individual and team feedback. They also appreciate her cultural awareness and ability to appropriately challenge when delivering a global intervention.
Outside of work Emily is very active and enjoys demanding physical challenges, her latest being a 54 mile trail ultramarathon.
Ed is responsible for graduate and youth programmes delivered in the UK and the Middle East and delivers on a broad suite of programmes for clients drawn from the financial services, energy and construction sectors. He joined IDG in 2011 and utilises his previous experience in Financial Services and the Royal Navy to design, manage and deliver on leadership development programmes.
Ed spent 14 years working in the Royal Navy as a Warfare Officer and later as a Staff Officer at the Royal Naval Leadership Academy where he designed and implemented a 2 week leadership development programme for Naval Officers.
Ed has a Masters Degree in Leadership Studies from Exeter University and is qualified in a number of supporting qualifications in coaching, psychometrics and leadership. Clients appreciate Ed’s authenticity and ability to get their delegates to challenge their own assumptions as to their own abilities and unique talents.
Arthiga joined IDG in November 2016 as an Accounts Assistant. She has a degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Greenwich. While completing her degree, Arthiga worked as a Senior Events Assistant at the university and Accounts Assistant at a private Accountancy firm.
Arthiga’s role comprises of Account Payables, Account Receivables, managing the Cash-flow, Credit Card reconciliation and assisting with month end management Accounts.
Lima is Project Manager for several large global accounts. Her role includes client relationship management, budget creation and implementation, supplier engagement, and overall project leadership using established project management tools, techniques and methodologies.
Lima has work primarily in the Financial Services industry, working within HR Leadership Learning and Talent. During her time at Barclays, she acquired a variety of skills including design and facilitation of global learning programmes.
Ayda is responsible for creating all of IDG’s printed publications, workbooks, flyers, marketing graphics and promotional products.
Prior to joining IDG, Ayda had been working as a freelance designer & maker for over 10 years. Throughout her career she has designed, manufactured, exhibited and marketed her own designs. As an industrial designer she has also worked in the electronics industry where she designed highly specific devices for the security sector.
Aside from her professional interests she is a prolific crocheter, jazz bass player, and loves hand written signs.
Narmeen Al Bakri
Narmeen joined the IDG Oman team in November 2014. Initially part-time, Narmeen graduated with a BA (Hons) in Accountancy & Business studies in June 2015 at which point she took on a full-time role as an admin and programme coordinator. During that time, she was responsible for providing support for a variety of administrative tasks. She also aided with resourcing facilitators to various programmes IDG and working with the accounts team on invoicing and petty cash.
Narmeen transferred to IDG’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) office in September 2016. She spent a year with the RMAS team working as an operations programme coordinator. This involved providing administrative and logistical support for a variety of IDG clients and onsite programmes.
In September 2017 Narmeen transferred to IDG’s London office where she became a Personal Assistant to the chairman of IDG. While working in London, Narmeen has been able to adapt quickly to her new role and has gain many new skills which include organisation, time management and communication.
Senior Technology Manager
Theo and his team manage IDG’s highly regarded data collection and analytics platform. They help clients design high volume, cross functional, multi-lingual survey programmes to capture data that can be used by clients for internal improvement, team development and to support key decisions with evidence.
The team is also dedicated to innovating IDG’s programmes with the aim of anticipating client needs, improving client engagement and growing revenue by exploring organisational macro trends and leveraging new technologies.
One of the team’s most promising areas of growth is in the auditing and benchmarking of worker welfare and standards in large scale infrastructure projects across the globe.
Theo joined IDG in 2014 as part of the Finance team before transitioning into the Technology department to indulge his passion for Project Management and be more involved in the client-facing side of the business. The majority of Theo’s previous experience is in finance. Prior to working for IDG he was working in the finance team at The London Film School.
Is responsible for event scheduling, admin plans, portals, sending weekly updates and reminders for programs, Document Input and assisting in Utilisation reporting, Travel Plans, Management of Consultant & Associate Skills databases.
Joined IDG in 2013.
Sharmila has previously worked as a Content Developer for the four regions - Switzerland, EMEA, the Americas and Asia Pacific. She has also worked with P&O Nedlloyd as a shift analyst and team leader, had undergone training in Email-Admin, Operations, Helpdesk, Eco-Tool and Firewall Administration and moved on to creating user guides and training materials as well as imparting training . Has worked extensively on cleaning up an organisation’s SharePoint – updating materials and email database.
Graduate in Commerce from University of Pune.
Clients appreciate Sharmila for completing tasks in a timely manner.
Survey & Programme Administrator
Her role comprises of IT project support, administration support for programmes run in India & office administration. She supports IDG by creating surveys, handling queries and generating reports for the clients. She performs a range of functional and administrative tasks working alongside consultants, directors and other members of the IDG team.
Joined IDG in 2013 and working with banking, leadership and development sector.
Seema has worked in the retail industry in the UK and also was part time volunteer in Citizen Advise Bureau. Prior to moving to UK to complete her MBA she worked for one of the largest IT Educational companies, where she was responsible advising the students on the courses suited to them and placement on completion of their course.
Graduate in Commerce and MBA in HR and Marketing from the University of Buckingham, UK.
Clients appreciate Seema for on time delivery of reports and handling queries efficiently well within the defined SLA.
Senior Programme Co-ordinator
Hanna's main responsibilities include coordinating both offsite and onsite development interventions at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. This includes dealing with all the background logistics and assisting operationally whilst clients are onsite and managing many of the office administration processes.
Hanna joined IDG in July 2014 after previously managing a small team working for a major beauty retailer. She originally trained as a beauty therapist, however after working in the beauty and retail industry for seven years she decided it was time for an industry change.
Charlotte has worked for IDG since 2012 when she joined as a Programme Co-Ordinator in our Sandhurst Office. She then moved to London to take on part of her current role as the PA to the CEO. Charlotte is now based in the Middle East and continues to work as a PA in addition to being a Project Manager and Programme Co-Ordinator.
Charlotte has developed her administrative skills in different industries, working with a variety of organisations. Charlotte graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in Design.
Lanre Bamgbose is a Business Development and Marketing Management executive with experience across various economic sectors. Lanre is responsible for IDGs Strategy, Growth and Development within Nigeria and West Africa.
He was at various times, Head of Commercial at the Landover Aviation & Allied Business, Marketing Manager AfricaOne Airlines and he rose to become the Associate Vice President, Business Development for a major Nigerian airline.
Operations Coordinator and Production Technician
Charlie is responsible for providing operational and logistical support on IDG’s online and offline development programmes. He is part of the team responsible for the participant’s experience during our programmes at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, whilst also acting as a liaison with our partners.
Charlie also supports our online programmes as a production technician, working ‘behind the cameras’ on the setup, operation and management of our live broadcasts. In addition, Charlie has facilitated as a tutor on several young adult developmental programmes.
Charlie joined IDG in 2018 with his previous experience in coaching and teaching, overseeing the growth of experimental development experiences within children and young adults through sport.