Our People


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.

Managing Director

Craig Preston is the Managing Director of IDG. Craig was formerly a consultant with IDG before moving to Aon, where he worked as a risk consultant after which he led one of Aon’s largest regional businesses. He has a wealth of leadership experience from his roles with Aon, previously with Coca-Cola and during his time as an Army officer. He was also appointed the first Head of People Development for the Rugby Football Union.

He worked with IDG as a leadership and team development consultant as well as delivering a variety of leadership talks, with clients from the military, business and sporting world. They included UK Sport, Lloyds TSB, RBS, 3M, BMW, Northampton Saints Rugby Club, Hampshire Cricket and many more.

During his career as an army officer, he saw service in many countries throughout the world including Belize, Bosnia, Germany and Gibraltar. He spent four years in Northern Ireland where he was mentioned in Despatches in 1989. It is this powerful blend of commercial, sporting and military experience which enables Craig to talk with such authority on leadership, teams and change.


Has led the successful implementation of a global management development programme for a major bank in Europe, Americas and Asia Pacific.

Facilitates and coaches multi-organisational and multi-discipline teams in collaborating effectively to achieve challenging performance goals.

Responsible for the growth of IDG’s business in Jordan and other parts of the MENA Region.

Executive coach to senior management and their teams to develop their leadership and team-building capabilities across a variety of sectors including engineering, financial services, education, health and professional services.

Prior to joining IDG in 2002, Jimmy founded and led Gordon Cooper Associates (a people development consultancy) for 20 years – clients included Deloitte, Disney and Honeywell.

After graduating in law from Edinburgh University, Jimmy worked for two international advertising agencies; established the publicity & fund raising department of a national charity and was then appointed first Youth Director of the Conservative Party.

Clients describe Jimmy as “passionate about enabling individuals, teams and organisations achieve sustainable change”; “a-well-travelled man who is adept at enabling clever people deal with human beings!”


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.


Lance is the Project Director at IDG at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

His expertise lies in the design and delivery of leadership programmes. Lance’s time at IDG has seen him work with a variety of clients ranging from major pharmaceuticals through to the world’s largest construction project in the Middle East.

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.

Strategic Accounts Director

Richard has a wealth of leadership and development experience as Strategic Accounts Director has a global remit for managing key clients and the development of leadership and cultural change programmes internationally.

Educated at King’s School, Worcester he joined the Army in 1983 and was a graduate of The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Richard served with the Royal Welch Fusiliers on operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. He was responsible for all operational training for Northern Ireland, was Chief Instructor at Sandhurst and taught at the Advanced Command and Staff Course, before assuming command of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters in London and Helmand Province, Afghanistan. On promotion to Colonel, he commanded the Operational Training Advisory Group, responsible for training all Army and Royal Marines brigades and units for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.

He was awarded the Military Cross for his command tour in Bosnia in 1995, and the OBE for the command of his Battle Group in Afghanistan in 2007.

Richard retired from the Army in 2010 and has worked for Thales as Director of Managed Services (UK) and New Century, as Director of Programme Development. He has also worked on the UK Sport Leading Edge programme since 2007, with the GB Sailing Team and with UK Athletics and Great Britain Womens’ Hockey (2007-2009) as a coach and performance development mentor as well as assisting on numerous IDG programmes since 2001.


Jake is a full-time IDG 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. Prior to joining IDG, 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). In 2018 Jake became only the 10th Briton ever to successfully climb K2. Jake uses his experience of being part of, and leading high performing teams in extreme circumstances to motivate and inspire his clients.

He is a qualified Strengths Deployment Inventory practitioner. In 2018, in recognition for his mountaineering exploits and services to inspiring others about the great outdoors, Jake was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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.

Accounts Assistant

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.

Graphic Designer

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.

PA to CEO / Project Manager

Charlotte has worked for IDG since 2012 where 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.

Senior Consultant

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.

Operations Manager

Operations Manager for IDG at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Responsible for assisting the Project Director with the maintenance of the IDG contract with the MOD. Managing the team for the delivery of logistics and resources for both residential and offsite programmes, including international events. In addition he facilitates as a consultant on a number of our development programmes.

Danny joined IDG in 2008 as the Sandhurst Programme manager. A former Warrant Officer with 24 years of experience from within the Royal Artillery and the Adjutant Generals Corps; he uses his military experience to facilitate the development of practical leadership skills for a wide range of clients from the commercial sector, in particular from construction, facilities management, distribution and pharmaceuticals.

Danny is qualified in, Coaching level 1, Adult Education level 4 (teaching certificate), Administrative Management Diploma and an advisor in equal opportunities and diversity.
Client really like Danny’s unique presentation style, the real life examples, and his honest approach when delivering feedback.


Emily has a Degree in History and Law from the University of the West of England. She also attained a Graduate Diploma in Law and completed the Legal Practice Course at the same institution. Emily worked for two years at Lyons Davidson Solicitors prior to joining IDG in 2013.

She was based in IDG’s Oman office for one year delivering on a work ethics programme for a leading oil company in the country. She has also delivered programmes in Jordan. Emily is now based in the Sandhurst office with project management and research responsibilities, coupled with some delivery and facilitation on our graduate programmes.

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.

PM & 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.

Principal Consultant

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!

Public Relationship Officer

Is responsible for all communications with the Omani legal authorities to arrange visas for expatriate workers and families, scheduling of and ensuring staff visas, medical clearance remain current and assisting in all general enquiries regarding labour, immigration matters and administration. Also co-delivers Omani Labour law sessions when required.

Joined IDG in February 2014 having spent 9 years working with 2 large Oman training institutes as a coordinator and administrative assistant. He co-delivers Omani Labour law sessions when required.

Spent 5 years working within the hospitality industry with the Intercontinental hotel Oman, within the Business Centre and Reception department.

Clients appreciate Ibrahim’s enthusiasm towards work and his ability to get the job done efficiently. The help he provides to others as well as his comprehensive understanding of Oman labour law.

Managing Director of 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.

Senior Consultant

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.

Accounts Assistant

Jonathan joined IDG at the beginning of 2016 and is responsible for the processing of supplier invoices, recharging of clients, processing of staff receipts and payment of IDG’s suppliers. Having come from an accounting background, working in an accounts administrator role previously, Jonathan has been able to bring his methodical strategizing and positive work ethic to his role here at IDG. He is currently studying the AAT for accounting.

Jonathan has a love for music, being an accomplished pianist, and he has participated in several masterclasses at the Royal Academy of Music in London and performed publicly with several ensembles.

Katie Laing
Project and Marketing Manager

Katie is a senior project manager who joined IDG in 2001. Having held various positions within the company she is responsible for a variety of large accounts delivered across the globe and also manages IDG’s marketing function. She began her career in the hospitality sector, where she gained much of her experience in event management.

Previous roles within IDG include managing programme operations at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, delivering graduate development and customer service interventions, being part of an assessment team in the UAE and facilitating a large leadership development project in Bahrain.

Katie project manages a variety of global client development programmes, including an award winning multi-modular account and our relationship with a leading London Business School.

She is a BPS accredited practitioner in psychometric testing.

Clients appreciate Katie’s passion and commitment for making excellence happen.

Laurent Corneille
Head of Innovation

Laurent and his team manage IDG’s highly regarded data collection and analytics platform that is used by clients 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.

Laurent joined IDG in 2011. He was previously a senior consultant for a “retainer only” international headhunting firm specialised in organisational change, process improvement methodologies and change management for large 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.

Project Manager

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.


Lindsey Craig
PA to MD, Office Manager & Programme Admin

Lindsey joined IDG in February 2016 and is the first point of contact for clients at our head office in London as well as providing administrative and logistical support for a variety of IDG clients and programmes. She is also our Office Manager, ensuring the smooth running of the office on a daily basis.

Before joining IDG, Lindsey spent 5 and a half years working in the administration outsourcing industry as a Team Leader at a London based client. Lindsey graduated from Roehampton University in 2011 with a 2:1 combined degree in Journalism and Media.

While completing her degree, Lindsey combined her love of rugby and her interest in journalism by completing work experience in the Communications Departments of a Premiership Rugby Club and the England RFU.

Online Manager & Technology PM

With a varied skillset, Matthew works as both Technology Project Manager and Online Manager for IDG. As the former, he advises and manages clients using IDG’s survey platform, often involving thousands of participants across global functions. The latter involves working with the Marketing Manager on all aspects of IDG’s online and digital presence, including developing Social Media strategy and building and managing the company website.

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 role managing a website devoted to Lean, Six Sigma and change management.

His team manages IDG’s highly regarded survey platform, used by clients both as a development tool and to provide analytics that help support them in key decisions. The team is also dedicated to innovating IDG’s programmes by exploring various technologies for better engagement and dissemination of information.

Matthew believes that creating teams with clients is the best way to achieve success in projects, and he is passionate about finding new, better and innovative ways to work.

Consultant (Middle East)

Noor joined IDG in 2015 as a consultant for the Middle East. Her responsibilities are to help build a world-class regional brand synonymous with leadership development programmess that achieve sustainable behavioural change. Specifically Noor engages in strategic business development, as well as programme design and facilitation.

She is an executive and certified coach with The Coaching Training Institute; CTI. She has years of experience in facilitation and programme design on self-development and youth empowerment.
Noor is well travelled, having been born in Jordan, raised in Spain and then completed her education in the United States which has helped her embody a multi-cultural perspective. She has a degree in Political Communication and is currently completing a Master’s degree in Positive Leadership and Strategy in IE Business School, Madrid. Noor speaks five languages; English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Farsi.

An entrepreneur and a pioneer in the field of positive leadership in the Middle East, she is an active member in various organizations such as the ICF (International Coaching Federation), MELA (Middle East Leadership Academy) and The Institute of Coaching which is affiliated to McLean Hospital.

Director – India Operations

Riya Arora is responsible for the India Business, Client relationships and India Team.

Riya joined 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.

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.

Programme Administrator

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.

Senior Consultant

Stuart joined IDG in 2015 a Senior Consultant. He is responsible for the identification, design, delivery and evaluation of bespoke leadership development programmes.

Stuart has led teams in front line commercial roles and as a service provider worked with senior managers to develop individual and organisational capabilities. He began his career by passing out of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and spent 5 years as an officer in the British Army. He was a commercial and operational manager for British Airways in the UK and overseas and worked for himself and as a management and leadership consultant for over 10 years. More recently he was an L&D Manager with British Gas and led the design and development of a company-wide leadership development programme. He has also worked for a Talent Management company designing innovative graduate and leadership programmes.

He has a Certificate in Return on Investment (Jack Philips methodology), Certificate in Coaching (Cognitive Behavioural Techniques), Certificate in Sales Management. He is also a Trained Emotional Intelligence user.

Clients appreciate Stuart’s innovative but pragmatic approach to development which focuses on behavioural and organisation change that delivers improved performance.

Technology Project Manager

Theo is responsible for the Project Management of IDG’s survey and analytics platform. He helps clients design high volume, cross functional, multi-lingual survey programmes to capture data that can be used for internal improvement, team development and to inform strategy. He also manages IDG’s third party IT suppliers and the technology support services.

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. He previously spent 2 years working in the accounts department at The London Film School before joining IDG.