Handpicked advisors for your agency
We don’t just pick anyone - we spend weeks sometimes months researching the perfect advisors that share their wisdom and perspective on specific topics that will help you run your agency.
Here are the advisors who have helped our agencies at POLYMENSA
We believe that the advice you get should come from varied sources. It’s why we look for advisors from all walks of life. These multiple perspectives from inside and outside of our industry help you discover the truth of the advice given. You’ll also pick up things that no one in our industry does - giving you a competitive edge.
Advisors from within our ‘agency’ industry
Consultant - Grey Consulting
When I think of the perfect consultant, Jess Tyrrell comes to mind. Jess has this incredible way of putting as many of her biases aside and really look at a topic from all angles. Finding solutions that are inclusive and well considered. But the part that sets her apart is Jess' ability to communicate her ideas back in a concise manner with just the right amount of depth so that everyone can understand it. It's a real skill, that requires an incredible amount of empathy.
Jess' skills: Design thinking, consulting, learning and development
Co-founder - Jellyfish
Global digital marketing transformation agency
Rob carries such great energy with him. Spend just a few minutes with him and I guarantee you'll feel like you can achieve anything you've ever dreamed of! Although Rob runs an agency that has more than 2000 employees, he's so mega humble and supportive. It really shows his good character. Jellyfish, his agency, has grown rapidly in recent years. Definitely down to the great team at Jellyfish and Rob's visionary thinking, leadership ability and charm.
Rob’s skills: Inspirational, leadership, organisational structure, M&A
David "Woody" Wood
Group Chairman - BBP/L
Creative consultancy and data intelligence for luxury brands
David is incredibly humble considering everything he's achieved. BBL/P is a mad example of this success, super impressive set up - providing intelligence to some of the most well known luxury brands on our planet. David has been a partner and founder to countless agencies. Ones that made our industry e.g. Bates (the first "digital" agency in the UK). But instead of being arrogant about his success, Woody just goes about his life trying to be friendly, supporting people, always willing to help out when called for. An incredible human being! David is someone I personally admire a lot in our industry.
David’s skills: Leadership, operations, finance
Founder - 383
Digital product studio
Sukhi is what I call an infinite learner. Always looking to learn from different people, reflect on what he needs to improve and then go through the hard process of change. Stepping out of your comfort zone. By constantly doing this, he's built a phenomal agency - 383. They are the leading product studio in Birmingham. A fantastic team who helps Sukhi run the show there. A testament to the kind of person Sukhi is.
Sukhi's skills: Learning and development
Co-Founder - Extrabrain
Business advisors (individual or team)
Jess has so much to give to the agency world. A great thinker. Always eager to learn new things and explore new perspectives on a topic. Her model at Extrabrain is very aligned with the values of Polymensa and I'm excited that others in our industry get it. Jess also has a fantastic network of creative minds and is a great facilitator. What I really like about Jess approach to helping agencies with commercial strategy, operations and L&D is that she can be very hands if needed. A lot of people just give advice, that is to distant from the reality of the business. Not Jess, she'll help you with practical advice.
Jess' skills: Scenario planning, facilitator, decision making, commercial strategy, marketing strategy
Founder - Tulchan
Financial and corporate communications
Andrew Grant's agency won the number 1 spot of UK Best Workplaces Award for companies with 50 - 250 employees in 2021. I mean how rare is it for an agency to take that spot. It shows the level of emphasis he and his team put on creating a phenomenal working environment, that really attracts top talent, check out some of the partners and directors at Tulchan! They even have a private chef at the office, who cooks up daily gourmet meals for everyone. Andrew is a great leader and has an incredible knowledge of corporate reputation.
Andrew's skills: PR, financial services, partnership company structure, corporate reputation
Founder - Superengaged
Coach and non-exec on agency performance, with a people and purpose first approach
If you are looking to transform your agency culture, there is no one better to call on than Nikki. She's built an incredible people and purpose-first working environment at Propellernet - while maintaining a highly profitable business. A rare combination. Nikki has documented every step of her journey with Propellernet, including the things that didn't work in her book Superengaged - How to Transform Business Performance by Putting People and Purpose First. The reason Nikki is so exceptional at building great company cultures, is because she's deeply invested in the learning & development of human beings, would rather see another human happy than fatten her own pockets - while still understanding the ins and outs of the financial levers that drive a business.
Nikki's skills: Motivation, culture, coaching, learning & development, people-first approach, purpose-first approach, leadership, non-exec
Such an inquisitive human being. Jenny always starts with questions to further understand where someone is coming from, before attempting to give any advice (if at all). It's a coaching method to some people, but in Jenny's case it just comes natural. Jenny has a great way to making you question how you currently think about a topic, rather than rely on your biases. She's really accommodating, but also is good at setting expectations upfront. A fantastic combination for anyone that works in a client / agency relationship role.
Jenny's skills: client services, customer experience, customer success, empathy, coaching, question asking, facilitation, scrum
Founder - Weald Learning
Tailor-made learning and development programmes
Colin runs one of the best learning and development workshops I've come across. He really understands the agency landscape and the challenges we face when it comes to up-skilling our employees. Rather than simply creating cookie cutter solutions he works together with his clients to figure out a learning and development strategy. Then puts together a programme that works for the specific requirements of his clients. Colin is also super smart and just a bloody nice guy!
Colin's skills: Scenario planning, learning and development, training courses, LEGO Serious Play
Sophia "Puff" Storey
Co-founder - 3 Sided Cube (US)
Tech for good agency
The legendary Puff! Sophia AKA Puff is an incredible human being. She's so open about the everyday challenges she faces in her life, whether it's at work or at home. But not to be a victim and find sympathy, but more to help others with possible solutions. It shows how much she cares about people and making an impact in the world. She's also an incredible new business person, having grown the US office of 3 Sided Cube to an incredible level since moving her whole family to the US. Puff is one of those people you have to make sure to meet along your life journey. She'll brighten your day even when it's pouring down!
Puff's skills: New business, impact, US market
Founder - Convivio
Advisors for agencies
Steve has carved out a great little space in the agency world. Him and a group of really smart people have come up with a framework to plan out various scenarios that may effect your agency. He then takes you through the process of preparing for each scenario. Steve has a really great way of looking at a problem from multiple angles and if you ever speak to him, he has a great voice!
Steve's skills: Scenario planning, the agency radar, journalism
Founder - Red Dot Consulting
Agency advisor and non-exec FD
Paul Allen is a quiet observer who will first listen to you - hear out your biggest challenges - before bringing any kind of solutions to the table. He is an incredib;y calm person, which is really important for the type of advice he is best at giving: Mergers & Acquisition and strategic financial advice. In these areas you need a bunch of patience, especially when a deal could be made or broken in a single conversation.
Paul's skills: M&A, finance, strategic planning, operations, exit planning
Founder - Six & Flow
No bullshit. Those are two words that describe Richard. When he steps into the room he'll share the good, the bad and the ugly. No time for glamourising agency founder life. I think this honest approach has led him and his agency to becoming one of the top Hubspot agencies in the UK. Hat off to him and his team for running a fantastic set up.
Richard's skills: Client services, new business, marketing, niching
Domenica Di Lieto
Founder - Emerging Communications
Marketing agency for UK brands looking to succeed in China
Domenica Di Lieto is simply awesome! Such a loyal individual. You can always rely on her for support. I am really honoured that she's part of our troop at Polymensa. Her commitment is on another level. She always helps the other agencies in our community. Domenica built a great agency with a team that can solve the most difficult challenges for British based brands who want to get their marketing right in China. Very much looking forward to seeing what Domenica and her agency Emerging Communications will achieve in the coming years.
Domenica's skills: Client services, customer experience, relationship building, networking
Founder - M&A Advisory
David is the OG of the agency M&A world. He's worked for various renowned M&A (Mergers & Acquisition) firms, before setting out to build his own firm M&A Advisory. Completed more than 50 deals since. If you are considering an acquisition or an exit, I'd highly recommend speaking to David before making any next step. He's seen almost every scenario and will know the pitfalls. Unlike most M&A firms, David also deals with smaller deal than the usual 5M plus.
David's skills: M&A, finance, operations, exit planning, deal negotiation
Founder - Carli Consulting
Kirsty worked in large corporations in charge of procurement. A topic that hits a nerve with agencies. She also recognised this problem. Therefore, taking on the challenge to help agencies and procurement to get on better. Helping agencies to understand the terminology and needs of procurement, and for procurement to understand the ROI marketing can bring - rather than seeing it purely as a cost. Kirsty has great energy, willing to help, is assertive when needed and really hopes that one day procurement people will be invited for dinner by agency client services directors! :)
Kirsty's skills: Procurement, improving the agency and procurement relationship
Chairman - Ogilvy UK and Author - Alchemy
Behavioural economics and psychology
Rory is a creative genius and master of reasoning. It’s a real skill to be able to convince people of a theory that defies logic. Rory has achieved exactly this in his book - Alchemy: The Surprising Power Of Ideas That Make No Sense. Rory is a true inspiration to everyone that comes across him - spend an hour with Rory and you’ll look at the world in a completely different way. Beyond that he is also very helpful and has a good ‘sense’ of humour.
Rory's skills: Reasoning, creative, inspirational, behavioural economics, psychology
Chief Client Officer - Rocketmill
Employee owned marketing agency
Helen is one of the best chief client officers I've come across. She's part of the board at the employee owned marketing agency Rocket Mill. Really a lot of the growth the company has had in the last few years is down to Helen's ability to train everyone on her team to provide a consistent client service, being incredibly good at setting expectations and keeping an eye on the commercials of all work that comes through the door. A rare trait for someone who is from an account management background.
Helen's skills: Client services, expectation setting, commercial
Co-founder - Friday At Five
Learning and development
Anita brough the cats and cheese concept to our troop at Polymensa. Everyone remembers it since. It's a framework that helps you better communicate with your clients, with the aim to build a better relationship. Anita is also really clued about how to build a people operations function. And just like a few other advisors who have helped our troop, Anita believes that you need a great employee experience to have a great customer experience.
Anita's skills: Client services, customer experience, coaching, learning and development, people operations
Founder - MadeBrave
Agency founder and branding expert
Andrew is a master storyteller - you could listen to his stories for hours and never get bored. He has an ability to capture your attention and take you on a journey through his fantasy world. A brain full of ideas. But like very few people Andrew actually acts on many of his ideas. All of this is packaged up nicely into an absolute PR machine, making MadeBrave the agency brand it is today. Andrew is also always trying to help people whenever he can, making him a darling amongst creatives who admire him.
Andrew’s skills: Storytelling, positioning, marketing, branding, PR, employee branding
Founder - Measuregrow
Lead generation automation
Rob has the rare talent of understanding tech, data and marketing. He can be very creative with all of those things to deliver an insanely good lead generation machine that is tailored to your specific company and sector. He has a really positive attitude towards problem solving - always first thinking it's possible, rather than the opposite. He's also just a fantastic human being to work with, very calm, friendly and hard working.
Rob's skills: Marketing automation, marketing, lead generation automation, martech
New Business Director - Propeller
Sales & Marketing
Sarah has many years of new business experience. But has the unique insight into what clients really think of agencies, which she gathered throughout her years working at Creative Brief. Spend an hour with Sarah and you'll hear all the true reasons why a client decides to choose an agency during a pitch and why not. Sarah is really switched on when it comes to new business, but also knows how to create sales processes that can help your agency's sales & marketing level up.
Sarah's skills: New business, lead generation, sales processes, sales operations
Chief Operating Officer - Ingenuity
New business operations advisory
Karl has been involved in two businesses, which led to successful exits. An agency and a new business consultancy. Karl really understands the operations and frameworks behind creating a sales engine that doesn't necessarily require the founder to execute. It's a challenge that so many agency owners face at some point in their growth journey. Karl and his team at Ingenuity can help with that.
Karl's skills: New business, sales & marketing, sales operations, sales processes
Founder - Hardnumbers
New Business and media relations
Wow, Darryl really knows how to build a sales process and follow it. Most new business people may be good at coming up with a sleek process, but so few are consistently persistent like Darryl is. If you asked me what the definition of a sales professional is, it is Darryl.
Darryl's skills: New business, sales qualification, sales processes
Co-founder - The Lab Group
Neuro marketing agency group
Jonny is a fantastic visionary leader. He has a way to gather everyone around the fire and share the story that will be written in the future. But he's also super in tune with getting the best out of you. The fine balance between pushing you and supporting you - that so many leaders struggle to get right. Jonny also deeply cares about our industry and helping everyone of all backgrounds get a chance to shine. He mentors so many people that have go on to do great things as a result.
Jonny's skills: Vision setting, strategy, leadership, operations, culture, staff learning & development, new business, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), fundraising, mental health
Founder - Gunpowder Consulting
Agency new business consultancy
A lot of new business people play the game purely on numbers. Or they have some sort of script that they run down. Or they are incredibly good at building rapport but they can’t close. Lucy is one of those few people in that space that is great at helping you develop your new business process, could pick up the phone if needed and understands when and how to close. But what makes Lucy a really great human is that she cares about what she sells and who she sells to. She also has a comforting way of letting you know that everything is going to be OK and is able to get you out of your sales procrastination.
Lucy’s skills: New business, new business process, new business strategy, sales motivation
Founder - WiseOldUncle
Positioning and branding for agencies
Matt is a deep thinker and sees the world in ways many of us can’t. He has the ability to pull seemingly unrelated topics together to present a whole new perspective on the matter. This creative mind has turned Matt into one of the best branding experts in our industry. Matt is inspirational in so many ways, but he’s also honest. You always know where you stand with Matt. A deeply caring human being too.
Matt’s skills: Positioning, marketing, branding
Sandy Lindsay MBE
Founder - Tangerine PR
The employee owned, specialist creative comms agency
Sandy has built an incredible business over the past 15 years, which has seen many successful pivots. You can tell that Sandy cares deeply about humans by the fact she decided to turn her agency into a partnership that is an Employee Owned Trust. This shows her commitment to empowering her team to shaping the business that works for the people who in it. She also set up the Juice Academy which helps train up young people to become marketing experts - as part of an extensive apprenticeship programme. Sandy is always looking at ways to support people in our industry and around her. A great human being.
Sandy's skills: Employee ownership trusts, strategy, leadership, culture, staff learning & development, PR, marketing, apprenticeships
Chief Of Heart - Vaynermedia
People Operations and culture specialist
If you would give empathy a persona, it would be Claude Silver. Claude is one of the most empathetic human beings you'll ever meet. She does everything with care and generosity. Her sole role at Vaynermedia - 1,200 person global agency - is being in touch with the heartbeat of every single person at the agency. We're really privilidged at Polymensa to have had the opportunity to get advice on company culture from Claude.
Claude's skills: Culture, empathy, learning and development, performance, leadership
Co-founder - Manifesto
Design and build agency for good
Jim is an incredibly talented human being. He doesn’t just know how to run an amazing agency, and take a group of companies through an IPO, he also is a comedian at heart and loves to choreograph performance master pieces. Our founder Daniel de la Cruz once joined Jim for a dance session as a business meeting - you know you’re dealing with a great human being, who suggests that as a meeting location. But Jim also cares deeply about sustainability topics. His agency - Manifesto - is part of the Panoply Group. They are on a mission to build profitable businesses that do good in the world.
Jim’s skills: Operations, culture, staff learning & development, new business, tech, sustainability, IPOs, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), fundraising, mental health
Marketing Director - Kyan
If you know Rebecca, you’ll know what a great inspiration she is. Rebecca has completed multiple famous Ultra Marathon races, climbed Mont Blanc and many other physical endurance tests. All this, while having built her agency, which she merged with Cubo. But what makes her a really great human is that she’s there for you when you need her. She’ll run a 1000 miles not to let you down. Few people that are as loyal as Rebecca. She is also an incredible connector. But she has the philosophy of connecting to explore, rather than always having a clearly defined goal for a connection. Serendipity at the heart. That way Rebecca has built up a network of super influential people over the years.
Rebecca’s skills: Time management, new business, marketing, networking, operations, leadership, drive, motivation
John ‘Sinx’ Sinclair
Co-founder - ustwo
Digital product studio
Stand back and meet one of the most humble successful person in our industry. Ustwo has been a trendsetting studio for many years. And you can't really talk about Sinx without mentioning his best mate, co-founder and creative genius Mills. Sinx took on the role of operations not necessarily by choice, but because needs must. As a result Sinx is incredibly open about all of his messes along the way and he has so many good experiences to share. He gives a refreshing perspective from someone who always wanted to build a happy flat-structured family type culture, as he is brutally honest about the cons of some of the ideologies people who lack the experience of building a 300 person agency glamourise. He's the kind of person you immediately trust and that is down to him being so humble about his success.
Sinx' skills: Team structure, operations, culture
Founder - Mando Group
Design and build agency for regulated industries
Ian has built up vast amounts of experience and is never afraid to share honestly the mistakes along the way. He has a unique way to challenge you in a caring manner. It’s what helped run one of the top agencies in Liverpool. Ian is always great at finding inspirational references from the countless books he’s read over the years. He’s always trying to learn new things and share that knowledge with others.
Ian's skills: Leadership, operations, staff learning & development, niching, team structures, new business, tech
Investor, advisor and entrepreneur
Owner of 5 agencies
Rachel is simply incredible. Not just her business experience, but she also has a way to instantly motivate you. We’ve not met one person who hasn’t encountered Rachel and has been in awe of her energy and business wisdom. A true serial entrepreneur and someone who doesn’t bullshit.
Rachel’s skills: Leadership, remuneration, team structures (profit centres), PR, coaching, motivation, inspiration, investing, shareholder structures, shareholder agreements, mergers and acquisitions (m&a), deal structuring
Investor, advisor and entrepreneur
Former owner of agency Thinking Juice
When you meet Gellan you get raw truth. He will share with you all the troubles he’s gone through in his life, to give you a true picture. A lot of people will look at his success of building a £25M+ turnover business and selling that - but not see the struggles in the background. Gellan is also incredibly caring and has several causes he supports with lots of energy like homelessness and mental health. Gellan is a great person to know in our industry and one who can help turn your business around.
Gellan’s skills: Creativity, marketing, finance, debt finance, equity finance, investing, honesty, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), deal structuring
Uscreates, now Year Here
Former agency founder (successful exit), now CEO
Zoe is a deeply caring human being. Her journey of starting her agency Uscreates, was inspired by just wanting to make an impact in society. She’s worked with the government and organisations like the NHS to produce some life changing services. Zoe is a truly remarkable human being who is just at the beginning of her impact journey. Her role now as CEO at Year Here is empowering 1000s of social entrepreneurs to make a difference.
Zoe’s skills: Operations, service design, customer experience, sustainability, culture
Marketing & Partnerships - Podge
Industry events for successful leaders in our sector and the sports sector
Clare has an incredibly welcoming personality. For those of you who have been at a Podge event before know how she welcomes everyone into the family the minute they arrive. She’s an organisational mastermind - no one ever knows how the Podge events come together so perfectly - Clare is behind it all. A truly caring human, she always makes sure everyone gets back home safely at Podge. Podge would not be the epic event it is without Clare - a true legend!
Clare’s skills: Events, partnerships, networking, marketing
Founder - Podge
Industry events for successful leaders in our sector and the sports sector
Phil is an exceptional person in our industry - a true legend. A lot of the growth of our industry is down to the connections that were made at his events (Podge) over the years. He’s built an exceptional network of influential people in our industry. How? Because he’s a bloody amazing human. Charismatic and always trying to help out in any way he can.
Phil’s skills: Operations, creativity, networking, new business, marketing, mentoring
Founder - Win Without Pitching
Pricing and positioning expert
Those that know Blair, know what an impact he can make on your agency. His advice is practical and put together in a tried and tested framework - the win without pitching manifesto. Blair has a way of guiding you to the other side of the typical new business discussion with potential clients. The side where you say ‘no’ to clients who are doing nothing else but wasting your time and costing you resources. He cares so much about agency leaders his manifesto focuses heavily on shifting the power into your hands in the client / agency relationship. Blair has a way to inspire you to fight for your right - the Che Guevara of the agency world.
Blair's skills: New business, niching, positioning, marketing, pricing, motivation, inspiration
Founder - Great Influence
Personal branding and content marketing for agency owners
Ash is one of these people that always keeps up to date with the latest developments on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. he experiments and then builds personal branding communication models around these experiments. What makes Ash a great human is his ambition to always find a solution, when most people don’t think there is one.
Ash’ skills: Personal branding, LinkedIn, B2B content marketing, marketing, content production, copywriting
Managing Director - Social Chain
Social media agency & publisher
Katy is a great example of overcoming deep lying uncomforts as an MD of one of the UKs most successful social media agencies - Social Chain. In the first episode of her podcast, she admits that ‘being in the limelight’ is something she was incredibly uncomfortable with. But she’s pushed herself beyond that and has become the new face of Social Chain in the process. She also has an incredibly high EQ, able to deeply empathise with you and your challenges. Katy always knows the right questions to ask.
Katy's skills: 100+ staff agency, social, staff learning & development, team structures, personal branding
Founder - Offended Marketing
Dan is often misunderstood when you read his content on LinkedIn. But he makes an important point about positioning, which is you can’t be everything to everyone if you want to really move the growth needle. Furthermore Dan often teaches a valuable lesson of not forgetting that at the core most of us have a fear of being rejected. As a result we lose our ability to be brave in all aspects of life - not just in business.
Dan's skills: Creative, content, copy, psychology, LinkedIn content, personal branding, marketing, positioning
Blue14 & The Specialist Works
Former agency founder, now advisor and investor for DTC brands
First of all Jim has a fantastic story of how he started his agency (The Specialist Works). After a successful run of bringing in new clients for his employer, he was rewarded a car. But instead of keeping it, he sold the car and used the funds to start his own venture. Many years later he successfully exited The Specialist Works and is now investor and advisor for DTC brands. Jim is a no bull shit type individual. You know where you stand and what you get with him. He will tell you how it is. His brutal honesty helps him filter through countless opportunities he is offered each day. His honesty also makes him a very open person and approachable person in other parts of his life. A great human being to be around and someone who cares about community and supporting entrepreneurs through good and tough times.
Jim’s skills: Investing, new business, negotiation, advising, DTC brands, property development, co-working spaces, blue ocean strategy
Agency management consultant and Synergist implementer
Jason is one of these people that are always looking at ways to help you out. He works tirelessly to ensure agencies have their performance dashboards in place. His knowledge around utilisation and forecasting is absolutely ace! An all around amazing human being.
Jason’s skills: Operations, finance, KPIs, utilisation, forecasting, agency management, resource management
Founder - Nomensa
UX and Service Design agency
One word: Inspiration. Simon’s style of communication and thirst for knowledge combined makes him one of the most inspirational leaders you’ll find in our industry. Walking into his office you’ll see complex models and calculations written over the walls and piles of books that most of us decided we’re not going to read the second we see the title and weight. It’s like walking into a philosopher’s grotto. As a result Simon has been incredibly successful with building one of the most respected UX agencies in the UK.
Simon’s skills: UX, service design, leadership, consulting, culture, staff learning & development, psychology, business models, inspiration, motivation, soft skills, strategy, philosophy
Investor, M&A advisor and founder - SI Partners
The M&A space is a tricky space to operate in. Whenever financial return is the key driver for business decisions it can easily highlight powerful psychological drivers that sit within us humans - greed, fear of loss, fear of missing out, etc. Charles operates in this space, but he has definitely kept both of his feet on the ground. He cares a lot about the people he works with and invests in and will put that at the forefront of all of his decisions. A deeply philosophical and anthropological person. Hugely inspirational.
Charles’ skills: Investing, mergers and acquisitions (Q&A), leadership, deal structuring
Founder - Copper Bottom Investments
Agency advisory with focus on mergers and acquisitions M&A
Terry who will go out his way to help you with your business, especially in distress. He’s the type of person you want around when things are looking grey and you need to think about a restructure. He’ll help you through the process emotionally and operationally.
Terry’s skills: Mergers and acquisitions (M&A), investing, fundraising, finance, restructuring, due diligence, shareholder structure, shareholder agreements, deal structure, exit planning
Founder - Beyond Noise
He's one of those traditional agency non-executive directors we rate really high. Such a laid back approach and calming voice, any agency founder in distress will immediately find refuge. But Gareth is not just able to empathise with agency founders, having built his own agency, he's also gathered some great experiences along the way. What is particular great about Gareth is that he's open to new ways of running an agency and not coming with a cookie cutter approach to your agency. He's one of those 'rare' NEDs you want to work with.
Gareth's skills: Leadership, team structure, operations, new business
Investor and founder
Former agency founder, now consultant and investor
Alex is a trend setter. He wouldn't have it any other way. Having being the few first people to offer SEO services, when it probably wasn't even called SEO. One of the first to offering social media services - when people thought 'social' was a load of kids chatting to each other. The same in the data space. If it's not being disruptive, what's the point in doing it is his motto. Incredibly experienced business builder, Alex is a great person to talk to when you want to do something different with your agency. He'll inspire you to continue on your journey and give you some great tips along the way.
Alex’ skills: Investing, creativity, vision, strategy, culture, inspiration, leadership, operations
Co-founder - The Future Factory
Lead generation company for agencies
Dan has built an incredible business for our sector in the past years. Future Factory is hands down one of the best lead generation companies for agencies there is. What’s special about Dan is his pure honesty. But even more so, Dan is true to himself. He knows who he is and what he stands for and isn’t afraid to vocalise that. So few people are truly aligned in pretty much all life scenarios and Dan provides a refreshing perspective.
Dan’s skills: Honesty, new business, new business processes, lead generation, marketing
Managing Director - Thoughtbot
Kirsten has a grand career of new business roles at the highest level in various companies. It gives her the ability to be really commercial and also to listen to the needs of the people she now deals with. That are the clients and people of Thougtbot - a well known product development studio. Kirsten is incredibly humble about her capabilities, but has steered Thoughtbot into the right direction (she started her role at the beginning of the pandemic).
Kirsten’s skills: Operations, new business, account management
Co-founder - Sherper Group
CFO & COO board advisor and pre-M&A consultant
First of all, there is probably no network agency that had the pleasure of working James as a CFO or COO - Ogilvy, Dentsu, Publicis and even a stint at Accenture after the Karmarama exit. James has an incredible wealth of knowledge when it comes to the opps and financial side of running an agency. Few people can come even close to it. His calm nature means he can also explain complex concepts in an approachable manner. James and his business partner Deepa Shah set up a fascinating offering for agencies advising on the pre-M&A journey. James is a great all around human being. Helpful and knowledgeable CFO and COO.
James’ skills: Operations, finance, KPIs, utilisation, forecasting, agency management, resource management, M&A, deal structuring
Co-Founder - The People
Youth marketing and youth generations specialist
Kian runs one of the leading youth marketing agencies in the UK. Every brief that comes through the door is first analysed by their community of 150 young people, to ensure that the brief is actually accurate. Kian is someone who deeply cares about human beings, having studied Sociology, he applies a lot of his knowledge into everyday life. And how he can make a difference to our planet and the people on it. Good guy, great agency and has plenty of knowledge to share about our young generations changing the world as you read this.
Kian’ skills: Youth culture, youth marketing, community building, culture, gen z, sustainability
Advisors from other industries and walks of life
Mark Hunter MBE
Won Gold in Beijing Olympics 2008 and Silver in London Olympics 2012
Mark has an incredible story of resilience. He trained for four years to compete in the Athens Olympics in 2004 as an Olympic rower. He was dead last. Being ridiculed in the rowing community, his confidence was at an all time low. But he persevered and trained another 4 years to win Gold against all odds in the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Mark's story is incredibly inspirational. But it's not only Mark's athletic achievement that make him a great human, but also the work he has done over the year helping others achieve the same. And more importantly helps successful athletes find a new identity after their athlete career. Mark also helps businesses implement a coaching culture that fosters high performance and resilience.
Mark's skills: Motivation, resilience, mental health, coaching, learning & development, culture
Sports Physiotherapist and Explorer
Rowed 9,000km across the Pacific breaking 2 world records
In 2016 Laura rowed 9,000km across the Pacific as part of the first all-female team to complete this challenge - “Coxless Crew”. She not only broke two world records, but even more impressively to achieve this without any prior exploration experience. Laura is living proof that any ‘normal’ human being can complete never done before challenges. She is gritty to the bone. But Laura also has a big heart, dedicating the row to her friend who sadly passed away after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Laura is an inspiration to everyone who comes across her. Definitely check out the documentary about her row: Losing Sight Of Shore: Everyone Has A Pacific To Cross
Laura’s skills: Leadership, planning, recruitment, coaching, business coaching, rowing, physiotherapy, strength & conditioning, nutrition, determination
Leadership, adventure and sports psychologist
When Laura Penhaul planned her 9,000km row across the Pacific, Keith was so intrigued by the project he contacted to ask if she has a psychologist. He ended up being instrumental to Laura and her crew’s mental preparation for the biggest challenge of their life. Keith also helped screen the temporary rowers that would make the difference in completing the mission. Keith has an exceptional understanding of how the human brain works and one of the best in his field that we’ve come across. So much so, he doesn’t categorise himself as a Psychologist - because he touches on so many areas of expertise. Instead he says he just has a deep curiosity in how we humans tick and tries to continuously evolve his knowledge.
Keith’s skills: Psychology, cognitive psychology, performance psychology, executive recruitment, learning & development, coaching, business coaching, change management, behaviour change
Founder and author - Obviously Awesome
Positioning for B2B Tech Businesses
Well April is obviously awesome - and a master at positioning. She has an incredible CV of taking tech startups to multi million and even billion dollar businesses. What makes April great is her straight talking approach - she knows what works and what doesn’t - and is not afraid to voice that. She also only focuses on positioning, which is such a crucial step before defining your brand. Definitely check out her book too. Obviously Awesome
April’s skills: Positioning, marketing, branding
Founder, author and publisher - Do Lectures and Hiut Denim
Branding, marketing, content and events
David has proven countless times he can execute a great idea - one that most people wouldn’t dare to venture into. David’s braveness is a huge inspiration. He also deeply cares about the environment and social issues in the world, and proactively makes changes to fix the problems he cares about. One of the most admirable attributes of David is his ability to consistently work on something for days, months and years.
David's skills: Creative, content, copy, marketing, branding, entrepreneurship, newsletters, content curation
Founder - Monkhouse & Company
What phenomenal career experience Dom brings to the boardroom. He’ll get straight to the heart of the problem and work with you to fix the root. Dom is the kind of person that can help you turn around bad habits that no one else sees but you (i.e. ones that are very hard to change because of that). Dom really cares about business leaders not being taken advantage of, especially in a new business environment.
Dom’s skills: New business, new business process, marketing, sales motivation, inspiration, motivation, team structure, operations, remuneration
Value The Person
CliftonStrengths and Story building Expert
Gavin is an exceptional listener. The type of person you will trust instantly and open up to. He has spent countless hours with thousands of people listening to their life stories. Discovering what makes them tick, more importantly what their strengths are. Then helping them write the next chapter of their life. Gavin uses CliftonStrengths to guide his discoveries. Gavin is a human being with an incredible amount of knowledge and wisdom.
Gavin’s skills: Listening, story building, purpose discovery, business coaching, mentoring, CliftonStrengths, advisory for care homes
Grow Or Die
Top EOS implementer and EOS community leader (Europe)
Dean is full of enthusiasm and energy. Instantly likeable human being. If there’s anyone we would recommend to implement your EOS, it would be Dean. His knowledge of EOS is really deep, with the added benefit he’s run his own agency and work with a lot of agencies. That means he understands that type of business well, knows what has worked in the past and what has not. Dean is an all around great human being.
Dean’s skills: EOS, EOS implementation, learning & development
Spirit In Business
Coach and coach supervisor
Annabelle has been working with organisations for years - digging deep under the surface. Discovering the human beings behind the brands. She’s worked with every level of employee from leadership to junior team members. Helping them find meaning in their role and purpose. Where the right management was in place, Annabelle has succeeded tremendously. A great example is Propellernet - who is known for having a great culture. Annabelle is a really good listener. Her calm nature invites people to trust her quickly and tell their story. An expert in her field and great human being.
Annabelle’s skills: Coaching, leadership coaching, coach supervision, purpose finding, learning and development, mediation
Founder - Form
Performance coaching for agencies
One of few people in our industry that focuses specifically on working on the psychological matters agency leaders face. Thinking deeply about why they make certain decisions. What triggers learnt behaviours that are standing in their way of making their agency a success. Think Wendy Rhoades but for agency leaders. Mark understands humans well and wants nothing else but for agency leaders to be happy and at peace with themself.
Mark’s skills: Psychology, coaching, motivation, inspiration, listening, question asking
Founder - Full Potential Group
Leadership and team coaching
Carole has extensive leadership coaching experience and has a particular focus on Motivational Maps and Insights profiling. She gives your team the tools to help them communicate better and have a better understanding of their personalities and behaviours. Often her goal is to create a more collaborative working environment. But Carole's expertise pans across so many areas including neuro-agility and resilience, change leadership and becoming a coach of a coach.
Carole's skills: Coaching, mentoring, Motivational Maps, Insights Profiling, personal and professional development (PPD), learning & development
Head Of Remote - Gitlab
Darren is a real advocate of empowering people to live their life in a way that gets them to do the best work they can - not bound by traditional working models. Everything he looks at is from a truly remote-first lens. To the point he's even documented his home working set-up publicly. Beyond that Darren is incredibly caring and just a super nice human know - always trying to find ways to support you.
Darren's skills: Remote working, remote-first mentality, culture, working environments, asynchronous work processes, gitlab
Chief People Operations - Torii
People operations and culture expert
It's great to see the role of People Ops evolve in the past 5 years. What used to be HR or the person who would get called when someones done something naughty and the leadership team now needs to check what HR legal procedures they have to follow - is now the person who is in charge of company culture, neuro-agility & resilience, learning & development on top of the legal HR matters. A role that is so crucial if a business is to succeed through rapid growth. And Britney is one of the best c-suite level people operations managers you'll get to know. She has extensive experience of running the people operations of teams across multiple countries. Ensuring people are onboarded properly, feel valued, are being trained according to their skill gaps and off-boarded respectfully.
Britney's skills: Culture, people operations, HR, learning & development, personal and professional development (PPD), global teams, recruitment onboarding
Founder - Shy & Mighty
Nadia's voice is a unique voice, if you closed your eyes you might question whether it is a child's voice. This led to Nadia developing extreme shyness throughout her life. But she has not let her shyness get in the way of her success, in fact she's on a mission to help people understand shyness better - creating more inclusive environments for shy people. Just because you're quiet doesn't mean you have nothing useful to say. Nadia is incredibly articulate and a hugely inspirational speaker. She allows you to remind yourself that life is full of plunders and it's important to look back at cringe moments and acknowledge what a 'wally' you were - but equally accept that to grow as a moment you have to risk being a 'wally' sometimes.
Nadia’s skills: Shyness, mentoring, motivation, inspiration, listening, communication
Founder - LinkedIn Insights
Internationally recognised LinkedIn coach and expert
Andy is one of the handful of people in the world that understands LinkedIn inside out. Always at the forefront of new features and if you follow him on LinkedIn, you tend to know about it before everyone else does. What makes Andy a great human is that he is willing to share all of his knowledge for free with his ‘tribe’ - and we love that collaborative mentality.
Andy’s skills: LinkedIn, marketing, copywriting for linkedin, content marketing, linkedin algorithms
Founder - One Fine Play
Podcasting and content consultancy
James is one of these rare people who has the ability to be honest and direct with you in such a way you realise you probably have to make a change in your life. You always know where you stand with James and he doesn’t do that in a careless way. Precisely for the opposite reason, he cares a lot about the well being of humans, our planet and - to relate it back to business - about the quality and creativity of the content your agency outputs.
James’ skills: Podcasting, content, content distribution, content production, audio production, video production, marketing, creativity
Founder - Leadercraft
Dan is an incredible listener. He’s taken years to master this skill having been in numerous life or death hostage negotiations. But what takes that to the next level is the precision of his questions. Ones that make you trust him immediately and that guide you through almost every conflict situation. We wish we had Dan with us at every meeting.
Dan’s skills: Negotiation, listening, question asking, conflict resolution
Founder - Andy Bounds
Communication expert and sales trainer
The reason Andy has become such a good communicator stems from the fact his mother is blind. That forced him to become extremely empathetic and examine the world from his mother's perspective. You become a fantastic listener. You become incredibly good at asking questions. These are skills that Andy now teaches new business and account management folk. Andy is one of the best sales trainers we've come across.
Andy’s skills: New business, listening, sales trainer, negotiation, deal closing, communication, objection handling, account based sales
Brand Ambassador - Patagonia
Outdoor clothing and gear for the silent sports
The name says it all "Chipper". This dude will put a smile on your face at any time. Such a chilled manor and soothing voice, you'll want to listen to his stories all day long. However, it's not just his alignment of behaviour with his values that have led Chipper from front of house to brand ambassador at Patagonia. It is the way he looks at company culture and his ability to bring together a troop around a mission that takes Chipper's enthusiasm and skills to the next level.
Chipper’s skills: Storytelling, culture, company culture, mental health, purpose driven mission, values developing
Senior Design Manager - Spotify
Heiko is foremost an incredible designer who has worked for the likes of IDEO and is now a senior designer manager at Spotify. Incredible detailed in his work, but also has the ability to take a step back and see the bigger picture. He's led multiple design teams. Having worked in strong learning and development cultures, Heiko has a good understanding how to help fellow designers improve everyday. Very few people care about quality the way Heiko does and that has led him to working on some of the most famous apps in the world.
Heiko’s skills: Design, design thinking, motion design, creative direction, design management, design operations, dev ops
Former People Ops Director - Policy Genius and Oscar Insurance
People Operations and culture specialist
Cindy has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to structuring work environments that not just make people feel 'belonging', but also one that pushed their learning to the next level. For many years Cindy was an internal recruiter and eventually professional development manager at McKinsey, before stepping into the tech startup world. Where she led the People Ops team at Oscar Insurance from when there were 80 to 500 employees in 1.5 years. She was also at Policy Genius where the company scaled from 20 to 400 employees in 4 years. The company was also awarded Inc's best company to work at 3 years in a row (2018-2020).
Cindy’s skills: Culture, learning and development, HR, people operations, people ops teams
Chief Happiness Officer - Woohoo
Company culture specialist
Alexander is the founder of Woohoo inc and one of the world’s leading experts on happiness at work. He has worked with companies like IKEA and Lego to help them create the exceptional working cultures they are known for. Let's see what new things we can discover as part of our ongoing culture theme exploration. His positive energy is infectious! When Alexander steps into the room you'll leave with a smile. We were lucky enough at Polymensa to hear his wisdom on culture, because he is shifting into a new career chapter.
Alexander’s skills: Culture, company culture, mental health, motivation, organisational purpose finding
Company culture specialist
Aga is a culture strategist and has worked with many organisations to help them define their culture. She's brilliant at helping organisations define their culture using specific storytelling techniques. And the best thing is that she can do that in 1.5 hrs workshop! Which is unheard of. All of our agencies walked away from our workshop with Aga having a clear definition of their culture as a result.
Aga’s skills: Culture, employee retention, employee attraction, culture definition, culture workshop facilitation
Founder - Happy
People Operations and culture specialist
Henry was listed in the Guru Radar of the Thinkers 50 list of the most influential business thinkers in the world. "He is one of the thinkers who we believe will shape the future of business", explained list compiler Stuart Crainer. I mean that's all you really need to know :) - Henry's company also runs great leadership courses, that help your leaders to be more empathetic when dealing with tough situations.
Henry’s skills: Culture, learning and development, HR, people operations
Gary Elden OBE
Former CEO - SThree
Sales culture specialist
Gary has had an incredible journey from starting in sales at recruiting firm SThree. Then opening his own business (Huxley Associates) within SThree, which later became the most successful unit within SThree. Eventually he was made CEO of the company that grew from 25 to almost 3,000 employees in the time Gary was with the company. Gary is super down to earth and the most honest person you'll meet - pure straight talking. It's what we respect him for. But he's also an incredibly caring human being, especially when it comes to supporting the underdogs. He helps run a social mobility charity called Aleto Foundation, which helps raise diverse future leaders.
Gary’s skills: Sales culture, company culture, honesty, leadership, new business, sales, commercial, employee incentives
Veteran - US Military
Giving / receiving feedback and negotation
Rick has spent numerous years at the Military in various special ops roles. He has an astonishing ability to empathise with anyone, even if he doesn't fundamentally agree with their values or opinions. It makes him an incredible negotiator, a skill that was useful when he was negotiating with terrorists. Rick also has a really good approach to giving and receiving feedback - which is crucial when dealing with life or death situations. Rick is a hugely inspirational person who I recommend to any company looking for an advisor with a fresh perspective on most business problems.
Rick’s skills: Negotiation, leadership, giving and receiving feedback, decision making
Chief Experience Officer - Royal Palaces
Cate is insanely passionate about customer experience. Her and her team are in charge of planning out the entire customer journey of each one of the Royal Palaces. She showed me the customer experience map and it looks insane! You rarely find people that are so passionate and so aligned about a topic in their job as Cate. She's also very willing to share all of her knowledge with the world.
Cate's skills: Customer experience, tourist attractions
Marketing Director - Royal London
Marketing in the insurance sector
Rory and his team have the momental task of marketing one of the UK's largest mutual insurer - Royal London. He does an incredible job at it. What really impresses me about Rory is his willingness to share his client side experience with agencies. It's a perspective you rarely get and he has worked with numerous agencies in his career.
Rory's skills: Marketing, B2B, insurance, finance
Peer advisors - our POLYMENSA troop
Daniel de la Cruz is the founder of Polymensa. During the past 7 years he's met over 3,000 agencies. As part of that journey he built The Agency Collective a peer community for agency founders and has helped 100s of agencies with running their agency. As part of his overall life mission Daniel is committed to helping young people out of a life of crime at the charity Gloves Not Gunz.
Daniel de la Cruz
Founder, Facilitator & Chief Learner @ Polymensa