header photo

Strategic Developments International

About SDI

We bring a balance of experience of working with people from a diverse range of backgrounds, and at all levels in organizations, in the private, public and voluntary sectors in the UK and internationally.

Clients can expect to draw on the resources of a powerful consultancy team, all the members of which have over 20 years experience in the fields of management and development.   We all have Masters degrees and three of us have Doctorates. We are committed to the continuous improvement of all our actions, processes and methods through rigorous evaluation, research and continuing professional development.

  • BSc, MA, PhD, FRSA, FCIPD, FInst.D, FCMI

    Ian Cunningham works with organizations at various levels including assisting with organization-wide change, with Boards on strategy development, with teams (on their development) and through individual mentoring and coaching of managers, directors and CEO's. He also writes, researches and organizes Self Managed Learning programmes.

    Ian Cunningham currently chairs Strategic Developments International Ltd. and the not-for-profit Centre for Self Managed Learning. He is Visiting Professor in Organisational Capability at Middlesex University; a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Educational Innovation at the University of Sussex and he has recently served on the Adjunct Faculty of the Fielding Institute, California. He was Chief Executive of Roffey Park Management Institute from 1987 to 1993. He has worked in business schools (as a Head of Division and as a Senior Research Fellow). He has also been a trainer, a manager and a research chemist, and he has served on the boards of companies in the travel and the insurance sectors. He has been a Visiting Professor in the USA (at the University of Utah) and in India, and a Visiting Fellow at Sheffield Business School. He was a founding director of the Centre for the Study of Change. He has recently worked on the MS (Organization Development) at Pepperdine University, California; the PhD programme at the Fielding Institute, California and the MBA at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

    He has published over 100 books, articles and papers on organisational change, learning, strategic management, leadership, management development, self-management and cross-cultural management. He is editor of the new journal 'Development and Learning in Organisations'. He is also a member of the editorial board for 'Strategic Direction' and for the Croner's 'A-Z Guide for HRM Professionals'.

    Organisations with whom he has worked include: - Abbey National, Avon, Axa, BAE Systems, Babcock Engineering, Beiersdorf, Birmingham City Council, Cable and Wireless, Coca Cola, Debenhams, Ericsson, Exxon, Finland Post, Fujitsu, Goldman Sachs, Granada Group, HBOS, the Irish Management Institute, KPMG, Liverpool Victoria, Nestlé, NHS, NOP, Prudential Assurance, Royal and Sun Alliance, Royal Bank of Scotland, Sainsbury's, Shell, Virgin, Vodafone and Zurich Financial Services.

  • MSc, MCIPD, PGCert

    Anne Gimson currently works with organisations on strategic business issues, learning and HR strategies, organisation-wide change and undertakes individual coaching and mentoring

    Anne Gimson is a Director of the Centre for Self Managed Learning (a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee), a Director of Strategic Developments International Limited, a non-executive Director of the Stackpole Centre (part of the charity ‘Ability’) and an independent consultant.  

    Anne has spent over twenty years in general management, human resources and development roles. Her experience has been in small, medium and blue-chip organisations, both in the UK and Europe and she has operated within the motor, insurance and electronic industries.  

    She undertook a Masters degree in Managing Change through the Self Managed Learning process and has since been involved in organising and running Self Managed Learning programmes, developing set advisers and acting as a set adviser.  

    She has spoken and published in the areas of Self Managed Learning, coaching and mentoring and self managing organisations. She is currently working on a proposal for a pack on ‘Influencing’ for a major publisher.

    Her particular interests lie in the fields of individual and organisational learning and how these are of fundamental importance in creating strategies for business and personal success in a rapidly changing environment.

    Some of her recent clients include: Abbey National, BIFM, Chestertons, Ericssons, ICI (Melinex), Image Automation, Mortgage Express (Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society), MTE Limited (Elliott Group), Leeds University, NOP Research Group, Metapraxis, Peritas (ICL) and Worcestershire County Council.

  • MA, MCIPD, MIMgt

    Ben is a director of Strategic Developments International and of the Centre for Self Managed Learning. He is also a faculty member at the Harrow Business School, University of Westminster, where he contributes to MBA and MA programmes for experienced managers and human resources specialists. His other academic roles include external validation board member for the postgraduate Diploma in Strategic Management awarded by University College Chichester to those in organisations participating in in-house senior management programmes. his research and consultancy interests are focused on how learning and development from day-to-day work activities can be better focused, guided, recognised and rewarded, e.g. through coaching, mentoring, career development schemes, Self Managed Learning and continuing professional development.  

    Ben began his career in human resource management in the oil and then the brewing industries, and he has over 20 years experience in the management development field. He was an Assistant Director at Roffey Park Management Institute where his roles included Director of the University of Sussex, Self Managed Learning, MBA programme and leader of two government sponsored national development projects investigating the manager's role in developing their staff. He has worked extensively with people at all levels in organisations in the private and public sectors, in the UK and internationally.  

    He has presented at many national and international conferences including those of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, International Federation of Training and Development Organisations, British Academy of Management, European Mentoring Centre, British Institute of Facilities Management, and several universities, e.g. Bradford, Groupe ESC Lyon, Lancaster and Sheffield. He has published articles in a range of journals including the Journal of European Industrial Training, International Human Resource Management Review, Training Tomorrow, and Financial Pulse. With Ian Cunningham and Graham Dawes he is a co-author of 'The Coaching Skill-Builder Activity Pack', American Management Association, 2001, co-editor of 'Self Managed Learning in Action,' Gower, 2000, and co-author of 'Exercises for Developing Coaching Capability', Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 1998.

  • BA, PG Dip, PhD

    Graham has been a director of two other training and development organisations besides Strategic Developments International and the Centre for Self Managed Learning, while his earlier career spanned hospital administration, managing a wholefoods store, and TV and film production.  

    Following his own experiences as a participant on two Self Managed Learning (SML) qualification programmes, he has more than ten years experience of working with the SML approach. Much of this has been on in-organisation programmes. During four years working with Roffey Park Management Institute, he was part of the team which designed and ran the Self Managed Learning MBA, accredited by the University of Sussex, and was subsequently one of the designers and organisers of an MSc in Managing Change (also an SML programme), accredited by Sheffield Hallam University. Graham has worked with public sector managers, including those in local government, on these qualification programmes as well as within the organisations.  

    Within his management development activity in general, coaching has been an especial focus. One expression of this is his co-authorship of a training package for coaching for the IPD. He has also developed models which have been used, by himself and others, in the contexts of personal development and the transfer of abilities.  

    Graham has researched into managerial excellence, the effects of organisation culture on implementing change, managerial learning in organisations and his doctorate (from Lancaster University) explored the nature of personal development. He has also contributed conference presentations, papers and book chapters on the subjects of organizational culture diagnosis, culture change, the learning organization, coaching and mentoring, cross-cultural management development, developing managers, developing entrepreneurs, learning, assessment of qualification programmes, and personal change, as well a co-editing two books on Self Managed Learning.

  • MSc MCIM

    Liz is Operations Director with SDI and works with organisations and individuals at all levels. She assists with organisation-wide and personal change and has extensive public and private sector experience at a senior level. She has a practical knowledge of HR, leadership, change and operational management, business excellence, culture change, team working and management development.

    Liz has held senior roles in both line and HR management and has successfully led large teams through significant and extensive periods of change. She is a skilled facilitator with extensive experience as a Self Managed Learning group adviser.

    She is also a Trustee and Director of the charity ’Centre for Self Managed Learning’.