• Roz Thornton

A look back over our first year as Roots Transformation

By Becs Knill & Roz Thornton, Founding Partners

As we celebrate the first anniversary of Roots Transformation, naturally we’ve been reflecting on how far we’ve come and where we’re heading. We’re so grateful for all the support and encouragement we’ve received since the seed of the idea to create our own consultancy was first planted.

We’ve written about our first year in business here, to remind ourselves of what we've accomplished so far, and to update and thank our supporters and friends.

Taking the plunge

Roz: When we started to have serious discussions about setting up our own consultancy specialising in leadership team development, I had recently parted ways with Patrick Lencioni’s Organisational Health company, the Table Group. Becs was working for Marstons plc as group head of talent and development and she was starting to think about making a change.

Setting up my own consultancy wasn’t something I had considered before this point. I had been feeling rather restricted in my role at the Table Group and believed I could make a bigger difference to businesses and their people by becoming an independent consultant. I also had sole responsibility for my 3-year-old daughter while my husband, a Sergeant Major in the Royal Marines, was serving in Afghanistan. Long commutes and spells away from home had become the norm and, increasingly, I saw that I needed a better work-life balance.

As my wish to become an independent consultant, and work with companies closer to home, wasn’t in line with how the Table Group wanted to expand their business in the UK, we went our separate ways.

Becs: At that time, I was thinking more and more about the possibility of moving out of the corporate world. Having spent years battling through corporate politics I knew there had to be a better way and I longed to focus on my core strengths (helping to develop people and teams!) rather than jumping through corporate hoops at every turn. As a learning and development expert, I was very well versed in leadership team development approaches but was yet to find a sustainable approach to transforming organisational culture.

The planets finally aligned when Roz shared with me the work she was doing in Organisational Health. My interest was piqued instantly and, during a conversation on a train to London, we decided to combine our expertise and experience with a shared purpose. That was, to provide a way of creating the conditions in which organisations and their people could thrive. Inspired by the possibility of creating our own approach to achieving this, we launched Roots Transformation.

Enhancing the team

Roz: From the beginning, our vision was to create a team of extraordinary individuals who would each bring with them the qualities and expertise to best serve our clients, while being a joy for us to work with! We consider ourselves so fortunate to have partnered with several such people over the last 12 months, including development coaches, experiential development experts and a communications specialist.

Embracing challenges & enjoying surprises

Becs: We knew we would be on a very steep learning curve when we embarked on establishing Roots and it hasn’t disappointed. The biggest challenge is feeling responsible for every aspect of the business and doing it all … from admin through to strategy and everything in between. But equally we’re reveling in the responsibility, creative freedom and inspiration we experience daily. We can say with complete honesty that we haven’t regretted a thing!

Roz: There have been a few surprises along the way, but nothing has struck us more than the

unwavering support and belief in us that our previous clients and contacts have shown. It has kept us motivated during the trickier times and continues to inspire us to enhance and grow Roots. People have given their time, energy, expertise and lots of opportunities for work. It’s reinforced for us that relationships are everything. It really doesn’t matter what title you have; people work with the people they like.

Enjoying the highs

Becs: As Roots, we’ve been fortunate to experience many more highs than lows so far, but the overarching highlight has been working in partnership with our clients. Getting to know them, being able to support them to become better versions of themselves at work, observing the shifts in team dynamics, the quality of relationships between team members, and the impact of our work on transforming their organisational culture have given us endless highs!

Sharing what we know

Roz: Alongside our direct work with leadership teams, we’re committed to providing free of charge information and resources to help leaders and their teams become more cohesive and productive. To this end, we’ve focussed lots of time and energy on creating blogs, LinkedIn content and online resources - largely around the Five Behaviours of a Cohesive Team framework and Organisational Health to date. Follow Roots Transformation on LinkedIn for all our updates.

Realising what we’ve learnt

Becs: We’re learning every single day, but I think the most important thing we’ve learnt so far is summed up perfectly by Steve Jobs:

“You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”

Planning what’s next

Roz: The next 12 months are going to be significant for Roots as we continue to support our clients to build cohesive and high performing teams and create healthy organisations, while enhancing our offering:

  • We’ll be launching our powerful new leadership team development programmes, which will be delivered in partnership with our team of military experts.

  • We’ll continue to design and deliver workshops that serve to embed the behaviours and skills required to be an effective leader and team member.

  • We’ll continue to grow the coaching arm of our business by working with our team of incredible Executive Coaches.

Feeling grateful

Becs: We want to thank all our clients, supporters, family, friends and anyone who’s read this update. We’re so grateful for every single person who has contributed to Roots’ success and growth. Here’s to next year and more exciting challenges, accomplishments, learning and surprises!

To get in touch, email us or visit our website:

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