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Creating the Organisation You Want, Not What You Think You Need

December 14, 2017

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Judith Cashmore-James is a specialist leadership coach, working with organisations and individuals to help leadership to grow and attain its own positive and authentic voice. Recently, we profiled the talented Judith Cashmore-James, to discover more about her Touchstone Associates Ltd and her remarkable success.

In 2007, Judith Cashmore-James established Touchstone Associates Ltd (formerly Cashmore-James Ltd.) with the mission of supporting transformational leadership in the public, private and not for profit sectors. Touchstone is a small business dedicated to providing high quality, highly experienced support for clients in developing confident, self-assured leaders who have a clear vision of their leadership and what that can contribute to their organisations and to their communities.

Judith heads up a discreet team of highly experienced coaches and assessors who have been selected for their skills, knowledge, experience and their positive approach to transforming leadership and its role in organisations. Working with Judith and the Touchstone
team, you are assured that the individual you will work with has significant experience of working at the top of organisations, is strategically savvy and understands the challenges and political nuances of the world of leadership.

Touchstone’s main area of work is the public sector. Whilst they cover all organisations, a significant amount of their coaching and team development work is in the education sector from primary schools to universities. The public sector is facing unprecedented challenges to reduce costs whilst still being required to deliver continual improvements in services. Clear, strategic and positive leadership is vital if organisations are to provide the services our communities need on a daily basis. Touchstone work across the UK and in the Middle East to deliver excellence in leadership at all levels.

As a small business Touchstone do not employ staff, rather they choose to work with a range of hand-picked specialists on a project by project basis to ensure provision of the best fit for their clients at all times. The best of the best is what they aim to deliver at every level of leadership coaching, assessment and development work. Their business is supported by a range of other small businesses from a virtual receptionist and admin team, through to specialist IT support, financial advice, branding, document design and marketing; all chosen for their high-quality attitude to delivering their own work to Touchstone as customers. In this way, they can ensure that they are agile enough to respond quickly to clients’ needs and can be assured of delivering a quality service.
Judith models to her team of Associates a rigorous approach to her own ongoing professional development by planning and undertaking a full programme of learning, reading and researching leadership developments, drawing from the leading researchers in the field.

At the heart of Judith’s approach is that “If we are true to our own values then embracing learning and development for ourselves is essential and not just essential it is an absolute joy, as Michael Scott said, ‘the day we stop learning is the day we die’. If we want to help others to grow and learn then modelling that to our clients is a complete must”.

Selecting individuals to work with Touchstone is done through observation, often by working with others on projects, understanding the way they think and work, ensuring full alignment to the Touchstone values and those of their clients. Drawing on a community of high performing individuals who have a passion for leadership and of whom they have experience and knowledge.

Judith’s passion for leadership comes from her own career, observing both great and poor leadership at all levels and wanting to influence a positive approach. In her senior management career, she observed great leadership at work and occasionally less than great leadership, learning from both as she refined and defined herself as a leader. Drawing influence from staff across the organisations in which she worked and from international thinkers – “leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another” -John C Maxell. This quote defines her own belief that organisational change can be positively and powerfully influenced through the attitudes and behaviours of staff at all levels. Nurturing and encouraging people to understand themselves as leaders and to take ownership of their own leadership approach is essential if organisations are to let go of historic paternalistic and hierarchical approaches. The future needs people to act appropriately, take incisive decisions in a culture of quality support and encouragement, only then will we as consumers truly have the experience we deserve.

For the future, Judith is building her international coaching and consulting practice, facilitating the growth of leaders for today and tomorrow. Seeing her role as encouraging leaders at all levels and at all ages as being essential if we are to face the challenges the world is delivering. In the last ten years organisations have faced significant environmental and financial challenges and across the globe there has been an awakening of individuals willing to call out the appalling behaviours of people from the media, parliament and many other walks of life. The world is changing and changing at a faster pace than ever before. For those choosing to work in the field of personal development being able to anticipate and deliver development that will facilitate what leaders and aspiring leaders need to step confidently forward to ensure the world has the leaders it needs is paramount.

Company: Touchstone Associates Ltd.

Contact: Judith Cashmore-James

Contact Email: [email protected] touchstoneassociates.co.uk

Address: First floor, 6 Ferranti Court, Staffordshire Technology Park, Stafford, ST18 0LQ, UK

Telephone: 01785 613962

Website: www.touchstoneassociates.co.uk and www.cashmorejames.co.uk

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