Inspiring and empowering leaders with intelligent and creative strategies for business success.
We support business leaders who want to build organisations that are financially successful, enjoyable to work in and make a sustainable contribution to their community. This usually requires a level of thinking and awareness that is not achieved by accident. We help you with the thinking, the psychological strategy and the development of new skills and behaviour.
We are not passengers – we are proactive and we like to make a difference. We are not always centre-stage or first in line but we like to think that you can see where we’ve been – in a good way!
We believe that success comes from connections. Connections between people and teams, departments and customers. It also comes from making connections between disparate aspects of a job, between what’s happening now and what’s required tomorrow or between two sides of a discussion. By staying connected we can encourage the best contribution from all sides.
Connectedness is also about staying connected to our purpose and values and being true to ourselves.
Life and work should be enjoyable. We work hard for our clients and have no desire to be martyrs to that. When we travel, we travel in comfort. We travel the day before an engagement so we’re onsite early and have no travel stress. We enjoy each other’s company and relax together when the job’s done. We do what’s right for us as well as for the client.
Intelligence may have gone out of fashion but it’s still an essential ingredient in any successful business. Sometimes the smartest people in a company are not the loudest and don’t always get heard. We like to give them the floor and to make sure that the very best brains in your business are working for you and not employed in finding fault in your strategies and plans. And we like to use our own brains too!
This may sound immodest, but it’s not intended to be. When we go to work we give 100%. We dress up, we show up, we pay attention, we think deeply. When we offer a solution, we want it to be brilliant and that only comes if we’re fully engaged in what we’re doing. We want people to go away from our presentations, workshops and coaching thinking, ‘That was brilliant!’ and we’ll do whatever it takes to achieve that result.
Meet the team
‘Brilliant Minds’ may seem like an obvious name or description, especially now we have said it. But it was long in the making – and needed the time to hone the thinking that deserves the name.
Dianne Lowther, founder of Brilliant Minds, comes from a long line of ‘corner shop’ keepers and has an innate desire to help people. From considering medicine as a career and undertaking voluntary work for vulnerable people to her decision to read Psychology at University, this driver translated in her working life into a focus on face-to-face customer service in fashion retail and floristry.
Two trigger points allowed Dianne to take the cerebral steps-up to be able to evolve the Brilliant Minds philosophy.
The first was as a Next store manager being assigned the role of delivering training. Despite being thrown in at the deep-end, she felt at home in front of attendees from the outset. It is from here that her ability to command and guide a room and individuals has blossomed.
The second was as a trainer for the Gateshead Garden Festival. Her role was to help people, abandoned by their industry, back to work. It was an apparently hard-nosed union convener who brought Dianne up short. Despite a lifetime in heavy industry and a career of intense negotiation, this man was not only able to switch from being the breadwinner to being househusband but also from confrontation as a working ethos to customer service as his prime driver. This cemented Dianne’s belief in the amazing capability people have to transform their behaviour and achieve what they need or want to.
This belief was carried through her roles as the Learning & Development professional appointed by Interflora and then into corporate training at Time Manager International (TMI).
But something wasn’t adding up. The strategy and structure for transformation would be clear. The training for the people to achieve that change might be skilfully delivered. And yet the transformation and targeted improvements failed to transpire. What was missing?
For a Psychology graduate the question has to be ‘What goes on in people’s minds to result in them being sufficiently motivated to alter their perceptions, attitude and behaviour to achieve the desired change and resultant benefits?’
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) had been around for some decades but at this time it was gaining traction in the corporate world.
Dianne qualified as a Practitioner of NLP whilst still at Inteflora and quickly realised how useful it was in an organisation steeped in history but struggling to maintain standards and to adapt to the changing needs of consumers.
After taking the Master Practitioner programme in her first year at TMI, it was qualifying as a Trainer of NLP that prompted her to set up her own business
In the guise of Brilliant Minds and through the NLP lens Dianne has developed a unique and revealing model on how our minds operate in relation to our working and living environment. This model enables each of us to stand outside ourselves and analyse circumstances, to improve our own performance and contentment within those circumstances. It means we can choose to behave in a way that catalyses change to achieve remarkable objectives.
As the portfolio of clients has grown and the scope of work broadened so Dianne has been able to build and assimilate a solid network of like-minded associates.
Dianne met Neil Harris on an NLP weekend run by Sue Knight and Gene Early. They became good friends and some years later Neil came to Brilliant Minds as the independent assessor on the NLP Practitioner programme. Dianne realised his style was very different to her own and invited him to co-present the Master Practitioner programme – a role he has continued for over a decade.
Peter Jefford initially came to Brilliant Minds as a delegate on a Master Practitioner programme and later joined the team, initially offering his ‘Turning Stress into Success’ programme as part of the programme public courses. Peter’s unique blend of Project Management and Management Development credentials have established him as key member of the team, working alongside Dianne on many key client projects.
Maria Musgrove-Wethey worked with Dianne at TMI. Again, this is a partnership of opposites – Maria loves to work with large groups and her strength is in giving consistent messages to multiple groups in support of organisation-wide change. Dianne designs, Maria delivers!
Denise Stroud was another associate whose first involvement in Brilliant Minds was as a delegate on a Master Practitioner programme. Denise is a very experienced Executive Coach, a qualified counsellor and is currently working towards a qualification in Career Counselling. She has been a key member of project teams where one-to-one coaching supports individuals in their personal development.
This team of associates supports Dianne in the delivery of programmes that deliver commercial results by achieving change. That is change through the transformation of behaviour amongst teams and individuals.
The model and methods continue evolving to account for changes in working culture and society as a whole. Which is why Brilliant Minds continues to be able to help people in technically demanding organisations comfortably achieve the transformation for commercial imperatives – whilst contributing to the greater good.