Dr Sarah Taylor, Founder and Director
Sarah founded ThriveWise to help people navigate the uncharted and turbulent waters we face today. Her PhD explored why so many dedicated leaders feel stuck, jaded and exhausted when tackling their biggest challenges and she uncovered a deep yearning in the workplace to be more authentic, more alive and more human. She developed a framework to engage more effectively with complex challenges through relationship and connection. She is passionate about using this to address root causes of limiting patterns, burnout and stress to help people thrive in the 21st century.
As an OD professional, Sarah has extensive experience in culture change, leadership development and employee wellbeing. She has used facilitation, consulting and coaching skills in a range of large-scale public sector transformation programmes. She is trained in collaborative leadership methodologies such as Theory U, Open Space and World Café as well as more traditional programme and change management approaches. Her style is to go beyond superficial solutions to work at the level of underpinning mindsets and worldviews to create conditions for meaningful change, resilience and high-performance.
As someone who is dedicated to personal development and learning, Sarah blends academic rigour with fresh and eclectic insights, stories and cutting-edge research into everything she does.
Jake Taylor, Director of ThriveWise for Schools
Jake Taylor is an innovative teacher and systems practitioner who inspires children through philosophy, play and engaging with complexity. He read philosophy and politics at university before becoming a teacher of English and then a primary teacher. He is currently undertaking a Masters in Systems Thinking in Practice as an alternative approach to change management. Jake is committed to values of authenticity, integrity and honesty. He has expertise in using ‘circle time’ as a restorative practice and collective inquiry. He works to shift a command and control culture by empowering learners to take ownership of their learning and build the resilience and skills needed for the 21st century. He also provides training to empower educators to develop their reflexive capacity and become innovators of their own practice. He believes in harnessing collective wisdom to help sustainable and effective change to emerge. His passion for music production and DJing allows him to bring a creative and original element to his workshops and class teaching.
Gordon Dunbar, Associate Consultant
Gordon is an experienced consultant who is passionate about creating positive working culture through good conversations and relationships. His area of expertise is in health and social care, where he has worked with the Scottish Government’s Joint Improvement Team, H&SC partnerships and third sector organisations to support their strategic thinking and practice as they shift to more person-centred and assets-based aproaches.
He currently delivers workshops to support people to increase their skills and confidence in having conversations that lead to better outcomes, positive change, high performance and good relationships. He is also an accredited facilitator for Westminster’s Prevent Strategy and a board member of With You.
Integral to Gordon’s practice is taking a collaborative approach and building on people’s strengths, capacities and resilience.
Ian Robertson, Associate Consultant
With more than a decade of coaching experience and over 25 years of working in the field of personal development, Ian is passionate about helping people to grow, achieve their goals and be the best they can be. He has a background in behavioural management techniques, counselling, hypnotherapy, NLP and Transactional Analysis. Ian’s coaching style is to encourage deeper thinking and increase self-awareness to enable the conscious creation of positive outcomes. He offers a safe space for his clients to explore and shift limiting beliefs and expand their sense of possibilities, choice and responsibility for the things that matter to them in their lives.
Ian is also trained in participatory and collaborative leadership approaches and uses these skills to facilitate impactful events, workshops and development programmes in core areas such as leadership, coaching skills, transformational change and wellbeing. More recently, he has developed an expertise in restorative practice and is able to use this as a process in conflict or disputes to build better relationships and allow a positive way forward.
Karen Barr, Associate Consultant
Karen is an enthusiastic and committed business trainer, coach and mindfulness teacher who is passionate about developing human potential and making a difference to individuals and organisations. For over 20 years, she has delivered leadership and resilience programmes in the public and private sector and experienced first-hand how the promotion of wellbeing and mindfulness can transform organisational culture, reduce stress, improve focus and build strong interpersonal relationships.
Karen has a BSc (Hons) Psychology and an MSc in Mindfulness. She delivers mindfulness programmes in accordance with the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teaching guidelines. Karen is a member of the Mindfulness Association and the International Positive Psychology Association. She is a trustee of Advocard, an Edinburgh mental health charity, and a previous member’s secretary of the Edinburgh Businesswomen’s Club. She loves yoga and reading but is never happier than when she’s out walking her dog Kiki.