Our Services

Kirkmillan Consulting

Mentoring & Coaching

Mentoring is offline help by one person to another, in making significant transitions, in knowledge, work or thinking
Dave Chutterbuck

Mentoring is a protected and non-judgemental relationship which facilitates a wider range of learning, experimentation and development. A mentor is a trusted friend who can create the right dynamic and environment to allow personal reflection and growth. It is a supportive and challenging relationship, where particular issues are explored, and there is sufficient flexibility to meet people where they are on their leadership and personal journey.

Our Approach to Mentoring and Coaching

We are committed to developing an individual approach to meet the needs of individual clients. We can mentor individuals, or groups of individuals within organisations. We understand the need to meet you where you are on your career or life journey, help you to identify what you want to achieve in a specific situation, or in the longer term. Our philosophy is founded on the principle that most people, with the right support are capable of achieving their goals, and it is often our own lack of confidence and day to day pressures that get in the way of taking a step back, taking time to reflect, celebrate and plan what we want. Our approach is to provide a safe and confidential space in which you can invest in yourself and your future.

We want you to thrive, and we want to help to create the right relationship and the right environment where that is going to be possible. Our first meeting will be free, and will be a chemistry meeting, giving both parties the chance to find out about the other, discuss what you are looking to achieve and how the mentoring relationship can help you.

In each meeting, there will be a flexible space for you to bring issues, and concerns, worries or doubts, and know that you will find sufficient challenge as appropriate to help you to see different perspectives and uncover the solution with confidence and clarity. Mentoring is ideally face to face, in a neutral space, but can also be available via digital platforms, or telephone. Telephone check ins are also possible in between meetings and a contract can be developed to suit your individual circumstances.

Typically, we mentor a range of individuals, from Chief Executives, often working in isolation from support networks to those in a more operational role looking to develop their career path. Themes that commonly occur in our mentoring work include, work life balance, Board relationships, strategy and governance, coping with a change in role, and improving professional networks.

Image of people in a meeting

I was seeking a sounding board for some thinking I was doing about career development, and Beverley supported me through my mentoring to gain considerable insight into my priorities and clarity around my aspirations. Some really constructive discussions over a period of a few months gave me the extra impetus to make a significant move that I had been considering for some while. Mentoring really can catalyse positive change.

Katherine, Registers of Scotland

Working with Beverley has been a great opportunity to take a pause, step back and see the whole picture. Beverley's approach is enabling, warm and supportive. I thoroughly recommend her coaching.

Clare Simpson, Parenting across Scotland

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Facilitation

The facilitator's role is much more about opening things up for discussion in a stimulating way, getting ideas into the open and helping the group to listen to each other, further its knowledge, and thus make informed decisions.
Cameron E (2001), Facilitation Made Easy

Good facilitation is when all people in a group feel that they have been heard and been able to shape or influence outcomes.

Our Approach to Facilitation

At Kirkmillan, we know that taking time out as a team can feel disruptive to day-to-day service delivery and appear to cost vital time and money that can be in short supply. We will work with you to design and deliver an event or meeting to make it worthwhile and bring you some clear outcomes to support your organisation. We will take time to listen to what you are hoping to achieve, first understand the challenges and opportunities that you are facing and manage an event sensitively to your unique circumstances. It should be clear to everyone attending what they will gain personally, as a group, and for the wider organisation. Events will be action focused, and there will be clarity about who is responsible for making change and improvement happen on the day and afterwards.

Our approach is to build consensus, and allow differences in perspectives to be heard. We want to create the right atmosphere, and working arrangement where all of those participating will feel comfortable and valued.

We believe that it is important to ensure that events are not only well facilitated, but also well documented so that decisions and actions are clearly recorded. In our experience, failure to reflect and build on what has been achieved can lead to inaction and potential apathy by those who have given their time and energy. At Kirkmillan, we will work with you after the event to prepare a written or verbal report and provide you with some additional reflections for your organisation to consider. We can also offer you additional support to develop the work to the next stage.

We have access to a range of tools that help create and structure the right conversations. We can support everything from small team building events, to larger seminar or conference style events.

Image of meeting room

Beverley facilitated our away day and did a fab job. She worked with me in advance to establish what we wanted to get out of the day.
She connected well individually and with the group to get the best out of our staff and trustee team. Feedback was extremely positive from all the team afterwards with several commenting on how refreshing it was to have a consultant who not only facilitated the day but supported the work that came out from the day as well supporting us to produce the required outputs. Would highly recommend!

Linda Sterry, Co-ordinator, Start Up Stirling

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Developing Organisations

A plan is not putting you in a box and forcing you to stay there. A plan is a guide to keep you on course, efficient, and safe.
Amber Hurdle

Sometimes it can feel difficult to move away from day-to-day reactive work to really think in a structured way about the long term. Strategy is a commitment to big picture goals and a move away from playing catch up and managing crisis after crisis. It can also help organisations and management teams decide where to spend their time, how to make the most of their people, and how to direct funding.

Our Approach to Developing Organisations

At Kirkmillan, we absolutely understand that organisations of all kinds can find it difficult to take time away from day-to-day business to undertake strategic work and long-term planning. These can therefore become neglected areas. We also believe that the strategic capacity is within your organisations and needs to be unlocked in the right way. We work in a way that is proportionate to your size and scale.

Many organisations find the prospect of writing a strategic plan or thinking about the long term hindered by a lack of certainty about the future regulatory and funding environment. This can be often exacerbated by a lack of confidence in being able to think in a different way. In our experience, creating the right conversation and structure can support the development of a strategy that is inclusive and visionary, whist being future proof, and deliverable.

The strategic support we offer goes beyond the production of a planning document in isolation, we work with you to make the connections with your operational arrangements, staffing structures and financial planning. This makes realising the strategy possible.

Our experience is with Chief Executives and staff teams. We have also worked with Boards and Trustees, to help build capacity, and capability in carrying out their distinct and important responsibilities. The legal framework around charities can be daunting, and we have an approach that is asset based, building on the great commitment, energy and knowledge that is already available, sometimes hidden or undervalued because of day-to-day pressures.

Kirkmillan is a strong value driven business, we believe in creating a strong relationship with clients, understanding and valuing their history and uniqueness. Before helping you move forward, it is important to celebrate what has gone before. The question how did you get here? is just as important as where do you want to go?

We typically undertake organisation wide work that;

  • Develops strategic plans that set out ambition and values.
  • Builds operational plans to support day to day business delivery.
  • Supports the development of new staffing structures, redefines job roles and supports with recruitment arrangements.
  • Helps to think about the external environment and how it shapes what comes next.
  • Provides support with funding options for new and existing business propositions and supporting grant application processes.
  • Provides hands on support as organisations experience a change of leadership.
  • Undertakes one off pieces of work to enable organisations to focus on day-to-day priorities.
Plant to symbolise growth

I engaged Kirkmillan Consulting to work with me and my managers on identifying realistic diversification opportunities for my organisation. The strategic planning day involved 25 multi-disciplinary staff with different perspectives, over a day's session. Beverley had thoroughly researched our sector and market environment, and so was fully prepared to take us through a structured analysis. Her style is professional, warm, engaging and empowering - she is a consummate professional. The outcome from the day was a clearly identified range of potential opportunities into which we could diversify, as well as potential sources of funding. The next steps are to carry out cost benefit analysis of these opportunities, and prioritise accordingly. Beverley's contribution to this work has been significant, and I will be commissioning her services again, and would recommend her consultancy service without hesitation.

Mary Geaney, Chief Executive, Rossie Young People's Trust

Beverley's winning response to our tender was a well-thought proposal that not only addressed the key issues we presented but also took a wider view of potential underlying factors. During the short engagement she quickly assimilated the key points and presented a comprehensive report of her findings to our board within the challenging timescale that we set. Beverley's approach included the services of a highly experienced associate, which gave us a richer picture of how our organisation could move forward by making recommended improvements. The board of trustees was appreciative of the excellent work and was encouraged to have a firm baseline from which to develop.

Trustee, Camphill Corbenic

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Interim Management

Interim managers are goal orientated, hands on, energetic, restrained, modest, independent, and have high adaptability and empathy.
Consultindustry.com

Sometimes an organisation needs to fill a gap in leadership or management on a temporary basis. This might be a Chief Executive Officer, a Chair, or a senior manager. The need can arise at a time of change, crisis, or could be covering for a temporary period of absence, like maternity leave.

Interim management can also be complementary to existing leadership, so the role is to work alongside existing leadership and support them tackle some big issues facing their organisation, or to manage a situation that needs some external expertise.

Our Approach to Interim Management

It is a great privilege to be invited to come into an organisation, often against a backdrop of change, a situation that requires an external perspective. We approach this work with great sensitivity and care. We believe that facing up to the need for some help rather than muddling through takes great courage and demonstrates a commitment to making things better. Our first step is to meet you, and hear from you directly about what is on your mind, your hopes, your fears and what's important. We do a lot of asking questions and listening to properly understand how we can quickly add value to your organisation. We will build rapport and trust with you and your team quickly, we have to, as there is work to be done.

It is important that there is a diagnostic stage where we work with you to uncover the range of things that need to be done. This can be quite overwhelming and we understand the need to make sure that we are able to show you a clear way forward so that a positive and can-do culture can thrive.

Finally, we will roll our sleeves up, and get on with the tasks that we have agreed, whether this is a specific project, or providing leadership to existing teams across the whole organisation. We will share what we do, so that staff and Boards can build the capacity and confidence to pick up from where we left off. We will always be available to help with any remedial work, or on a retained basis to ensure a smooth handover to a new leadership or to consolidate further.

Image of management meeting

We started working with Beverley when we were looking to review our organisational structure. Beverley's manner and way of working has endeared her to staff and management. Beverley has been able to quickly gain an understanding of the organisation and provide achievable solutions for change to allow for successful growth. Beverley is a pleasure to work alongside, she is very experienced and highly professional, able to build supportive relationships with staff and management and provides genuine encouragement and positivity during a period of change.

Michelle Ramsay, Chair of AdvoCard, Mental Health Charity

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