Contact Consulting

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Contact Consulting's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Contact Consulting is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Director Graham Stickland
Developing talent and
Founded in 1990, Contact Consulting designs and delivers
practical and tailored training and development solutions for a
range of businesses. Based in Dorchester, they work extensively
in the UK and internationally with clients including Louis Vuitton,
Burberry, Nestlé, The Walt Disney Company, Chanel and Porsche
Middle East. Contact Consulting is committed to excellence and
takes pride in its outstanding track record. Director Graham
Stickland discusses why their personal and client-centric approach,
coupled with expertise and an entrepreneurial spirit, allows them
to compete with the largest consultancy firms in the world.
At Contact Consulting, we are passionate about developing people to improve
the performance of their businesses. We are enthusiastic, professional, practical
and stimulating: a business that clients enjoy dealing with and one that leaves
them more confident and capable as a result. We are responsive and proactive
and ideally placed to successfully deliver excellent, tailored and great value-for-
money programmes. Our long-term client relationships – with The Walt Disney
Company since 1996, Nestlé since 2003 and LVMH since 2007 – are indicative of
the capability we have to partner with our clients.
Despite being a boutique organisation based in rural Dorset, we help some of the
world’s biggest brands develop talent and performance. We offer leadership and
management development, teambuilding and facilitation, executive coaching and
training in a range of practical and people management skills. We increasingly
deliver our services in a blended way, combining face-to-face training with online
modules that enable people to learn at their own pace.
»Directors: Graham Stickland
and Nicola Stickland
»Founded in 1990
»Based in Dorchester, Dorset
»No. of employees: 16
employees and associates
»Services: Design and delivery
of practical and tailored
training and development
Contact Consulting
Highlighting best practice
Our boutique size allows us to offer a
highly personal and tailored approach,
while being big enough to take
on and manage medium and large
projects. We have experts in several
industry sectors, who can deliver
training programmes suited to the
size, culture and sector requirements
of our clients. We are clear about our
purpose and have an entrepreneurial
mindset that continually drives us
forward. This enables us to push
boundaries and deliver assignments
and programmes in new ways. As a
result, we enjoy challenging remits,
which ensures that we continue to
learn and adapt.
Our journey
Contact Consulting was founded by
myself in 1990. Initially, the business
focused its services primarily within
the UK market and it wasn’t until
2003 when Nicola Stickland joined as
a director, we really began to scale
up the operation. Today, as well as in
the UK, Contact Consulting’s turnover
is earned through projects based in
Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the
USA. The business has undertaken
assignments on all six continents,
which is a great source of pride for the
whole team. About 95 per cent of our
work is delivered in English, though we
have the capability to deliver in French
as well.
Our backgrounds in commercial
service industries have shaped Contact
Consulting significantly, together with
a clear purpose from the beginning.
That purpose – to help people
develop as managers and leaders
and make organisations better places
for people to work in – is as relevant
and important today as it was when
we started the business. This means
that the strength of the business is in
understanding the context and needs
of our clients and designing solutions
that will work for them, rather than
focusing on pre-designed products or
packages. The decision to adopt this
tailored approach with individualised
solutions has meant that the business
has grown incrementally, primarily
through networks and word of
mouth. It has built strong client
loyalty and enabled us to be part
of key projects over long periods of
time. Developing coaching skills as
an integral part of Nestlé Waters’
Business Excellence programme
and running change management
workshops in Louis Vuitton’s
Client Experience programme are
great examples of how Contact
Consulting has supported strategic,
Dorset base –
international service
Developing high-
performing teams
We are clear
about our
purpose and
have an
mindset that
drives us
Another key component of building
strong client loyalty is the long-term
relationships that have been built with
our team of associate consultants who
support the delivery of many projects
and assignments with particular
clients. Our team includes several
highly skilled and talented consultants
who fully understand our way of
working and enable us to provide
a consistent, high-quality service to
Addressing the effects of
We all work in an environment of
ongoing change where success is
dependent on our ability to spot new
opportunities and adapt ourselves and
our organisations to exploit them.
It is true to say that in all our work
with our clients the issue of change
is present in some way, whether
explicitly or implicitly. Our clients may
be looking to create a new direction,
improve some aspect of performance,
develop more teamwork, create
a more open culture, grow more
managers internally or become more
agile in responding to significant
shifts in their current environment
and markets. In all these situations,
if challenges are to be successfully
navigated, there is a need to think
about things differently, change
ways of working and develop new
or different skills and behaviours.
This means that people need to be
developed and leaders and managers
must be able to create the conditions
that allow and encourage that
Whether or not the rate of change
is getting faster, whether there is
more volatility and complexity than at
other times, is hard to know. What
remains constant, though, is that
change impacts people significantly
and in many ways. Change is usually
introduced into organisations for
all the right reasons but too often
without enough consideration for and
understanding of the implications for
individuals and managers. The focus
is on new systems, IT platforms and
processes. People too often come
further down the priority list. Their
enthusiasm and buy-in is not secured.
Consequently, the anticipated benefits
are frequently not fully realised,
and outcomes are sub-optimal.
The co-operation and motivation
of people in the organisation are
crucial to ensuring that change is
successfully accomplished, and this
is where excellent leadership and
people management skills come into
their own. Contact Consulting has
significant experience and expertise in
building the skills that enable people
to develop and grow in a range of
organisations and contexts. It is this
capability that helps its clients address
the challenges that inevitably come
hand in hand with change.
The co-
operation and
motivation of
people in the
are crucial to
ensuring that
change is
Our expert team

This article was sponsored by Contact Consulting. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister