Prospering Boards consultants

This is the pool of consultants available through AIM’s Prospering Boards programme. AIM will match you to the consultant who is best placed to help with your question.

Alex Lindley is the director of Alchemy, an HR and Organisational Development consultancy, working primarily with the cultural and Not-for-Profit sectors. Throughout her career, she has worked with boards and executive teams of all shapes and sizes, from small volunteer run museums to international banks—and a great deal in between. She specialises in working with boards to develop their capacity and capability to lead effectively, to improve working practices and to support recruitment of new board members. 

Alex can offer the following help and support: 

  • HR advice and support (e.g. managing sick pay, holiday and staffing, how to support and monitor home-working) 
  • Managing volunteers (e.g. supporting volunteers in the event of closures etc) 
  • Governance basics (e.g. how to continue to meet as a board during coming months; putting in place temporary committees / working practices and protocols) 
  • Resilient leadership – e.g. leading people through change and in uncertain times, supporting personal and staff/volunteer resilience, coaching skills 

Claire Turner specialises in helping boards work on organisational purpose, diversity, leadership, income generation and creative thinking. She regularly works with independent organisations who have very few members of staff and large numbers of volunteers, and can bring particular benefits to organisations of this type.

Claire has established and run a number of charities and is experienced in the particular strategic and governance problems facing organisations in their early stages or during times of change. She has the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Post-graduate Diploma in Marketing and is currently studying for the Institute of Leadership & Management’s Level 7 (Masters Equivalent) in Executive Coaching & Mentoring with the University of Bangor Business School.  

Debbie Read is a fundraising specialist, and helps boards to shape governance to tackle their financial realities. She is experienced in working with boards where personal relationships get in the way of successful governance, and can also motivate well balanced boards to move to the next level of organisational development. This includes translating dry trustee recruitment approaches into an attractive, but realistic sell on behalf of the museum. 

Heather Lomas specialises in helping boards with visioning, reviewing structures and leadership and culture, including coaching and mentoring support for chairs. 

“Key areas I can help with are governance issues, business planning, cashflow, organisational changes and business continuity thinking and general coaching for key staff and trustees.”   

Hilary Barnard is a highly experienced organisational and business planning consultant and has been on AIM Prospering Boards from the start.  Recently, he has run (remote) emergency planning sessions for organisations, helping them see how they can survive at this difficult time; and be ready to thrive and take opportunities when the emergency is over. 

Hilary’s work has included support to pursue new business models, advance partnership working, consider merger, and align Board, staff and volunteer practice with the changing conditions.  He has conducted over 50 governance reviews, including 13 within the museum and heritage sector. He is an experienced Chair of Trustees, and a former Senior Visiting Fellow at Cass Business School. With Ruth Lesirge (as HBRL Consulting), he delivered the Museum Leaders and Museum Enablers residential development programmes (2016-18) – for AIM. He is a member of The Experience Network and a former charity Chief Executive. 

Hilary McGowan has over 30 years experience of the museum and heritage sector and has run her own business since 1996. Her background as a museum director in York, Exeter and Bristol gives her a pragmatic approach. She specialises in building resilience through Board and staff/volunteer development workshops, governance advice, coaching, mentoring, and succession planning. 

“I’m happy to do telephone coaching sessions regarding work or addressing practical things you can do to keep the museum/volunteers/staff engaged.  Tips for holding Board meetings online/by conference call, how to use social media to communicate with everyone, or just someone to talk to.”  

Judy Niner has worked with numerous UK museums and heritage organisations, large and small, primarily focusing on fundraising and income generation. She was a trustee of the Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre and the Waterways Trust. Since 2011 she has chaired the board of trustees of Cogges Manor Farm in Oxfordshire through a period of survival and stabilisation, preparing the organisation for exciting future development and long-term sustainability.  

Judy is happy to help with income generation and trading activities, fundraising, relationships and stewardship, communications and defining board roles and responsibilities. 

Marilyn Scott is Director of the Lightbox, Woking, but is working with Prospering Boards as an independent heritage consultant. She has experience of supporting boards with all kinds of governance review including trustee skill audits, recruitment, succession planning and process and procedure. She has also supported reviews of governance structure and works as a mentor to boards and chairs.  

“The fact I am running an organisation means I can give very real advice on how to tackle issues of cashflow, business interruption, comms but happy to help with any kinds of problems.”  

Rosalind Johnson is co-founder and Director of A Different View – an international management consultancy working with arts and culture, museums and heritage, entertainment and aquariums. Her specialisms in supporting boards include strategic planning, change management and helping boards be more commercially minded, without losing sight of their purpose.  

Ruth Lesirge is a highly experienced governance consultant and has conducted several governance reviews in the museum and heritage sector. Her focus is on enhancing the contribution of the Chair-Chief Executive/Director relationship to realising the museum’s goals. She is currently Chair of the Association of Chairs, and is a former Head of Governance Practice for Centre for Charity Effectiveness and former Senior Visiting Fellow at Cass Business School.

Together with Hilary Barnard (as HBRL Consulting), she designed and delivered the Museum Leaders and Museum Enablers residential development programmes (2016-18) – for the Association of Independent Museums. She is a former Chief Executive of two national charities.  

Sam Hunt has extensive experience of working with and in museums and heritage organisations across the UK, from voluntary run museums to national institutions on a wide variety of consultancy projects, including governance and operational reviews, supporting change management and strategic development as well as advising on succession management and recruitment.

Previously Executive Director of AIM, Sam has held a number of senior posts in the museums sector including Chief Executive of the South West Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and Head of Bath Museums Service. He is currently a Trustee of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, South West Heritage Trust and Lyme Regis Museum.

“Museums will be operating in a very different world when they emerge from the current lockdown. So now is the right time to review your operation and service offer, ensuring that your museum remains solvent and better placed to meet future challenges. If you think I can help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.” 

Sarah O’Grady is a non-practising solicitor, former chair of an NGO and manager in a public sector regulator, she works with charities to improve governance and related operational matters, developing practical tools. She specialises in governance reviews, board skills and effectiveness, leadership development and coaching and, as an accredited mediator, conflict management. She can also provide support with constitutional matters and help boards seek and implement legal advice. 

“The support I could give is on governance, operational matters such as policies and risk management, difficult relationships and situations and coaching especially of chairs.”  

Nick Winterbotham has worked at Director/CEO level in eight different heritage organisations over the last 30 years in national, local authority and independent museums. He teaches, lectures, coaches and mentors across the sector, specialises in event facilitation and is based in North Wales.

During the current ‘lockdown’ phase of the Covid19 emergency he has been advising individuals and small- to medium-sized organisations on what steps they might make in planning re-starts and organisational change.

He leads several development programmes for leaders and for whole teams where change is needed in order to secure organisational purpose, business effectiveness and longer-term sustainability.