About Hilary Goldsmith

My name is Hilary Goldsmith, and I am a management consultant and leadership coach. I formed my own company, Goldsmith Consulting, in 1994 to work with large organisations (whose particularities I know well).

My experience has been gained mostly through working in and with hundreds of organisations throughout my career. I have also done lots of on the job training – technical, management, personal development, organisational, psychological, and so on. In 2000 I trained as a coach, putting more depth into the informal coaching and mentoring I had done throughout my career.  I have qualified in and worked extensively with a number of specific personal and team development tools, including Belbin Team Roles, Myers Briggs Type Inventory Stages I and II and lots of applications of it, and the Thomas-Killman Conflict Mode Instrument.

Before starting my own business I worked for a number of years at IBM. A big part of my role was to ensure that my customers were ready for the new computer systems we were installing, and to deal with the changes these would bring. During my last few years there, I had the opportunity to turn this experience onto IBM itself, leading and working on a number of change initiatives across the company as IBM launched into its renaissance.

My degree is from the University of Sussex, in Mathematics and Mathematical Biology. For a year after university and before joining IBM I worked as a temp in clerical jobs around London. At the time, status was a huge factor in most UK companies, and I found out firsthand what it felt like to be at the bottom of the heap. That’s probably what drew me to IBM, a company which I found to have a very different ethos.

When I’m not working on my own business, I work as a volunteer for the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust. The Trust’s vision is the creation of a brand new 26km waterway linking the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes to the river Great Ouse in Bedford. The scheme includes pathways and green space for walkers, cyclists, fishermen, and those who like to stand and stare. I am a director and trustee, and I give talks about the project.  I started the Projects Group, which manages the projects aimed at raising awareness of the waterway and creating a sense of ownership among the communities along its route.  I now run the Comms Group, which manages all the Trust’s media and communications activities.

I am a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), which calls itself, delightfully, an enlightenment organisation. Enlightenment is also what has drawn me to TED, a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.  I have been to TEDActive, the Palm Springs annexe to the annual TED conference, for the past five years.  For the past two years, I co-organised and ran TEDxGranta, a self-organised conference in Cambridge based on the TED model.

Outside work, I love the arts. I’m an avid theatregoer, and a big fan of my local independent cinema. I’m also a member of the Tate, the Royal Academy and the V&A, and a frequent visitor to them. Living in a 500 year old house has led me to learn quite a lot about historic buildings, and I have a certificate in Historic Building Conservation from the University of Cambridge Continuing Education Department.

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