Thought Shift

Thought Shift

Understanding how diversity and difference can drive your strategic objectives.


Gathering verbatim data from inside your organisation and then using it to support you to establish priorities for action.
The Project Team

The Project Team

Recruiting and supporting a team of your people (the project team) to scope the challenges and to engage their colleagues in developing solutions and opportunities to further your strategy.
Through the Vale of Discomfort

Through the Vale of Discomfort

Supporting your managers to implement the changes and understand the challenges of managing diversity and difference.
Real Lives, Real Improvement

Real Lives, Real Improvement

Developing meaningful drivers and measurement of success.

Simon speaking at the Universities UK Annual Conference 2014


We have just published a report with the IPA on the intersection of Diversity and Staff engagement - the idea is to provide a challenge to the way that employers ask questions of their staff and analyse them by identity group. We are all more than our labels and to engage staff fully we need to recognise bias when it happens to groups and aspiration when it's owned by individuals. This is the report Diverse Voices final

Contact us to find out more about how difference can drive your organisation's performance

If you work in the private sector

We have extensive experience in the private sector. Currently we are running programmes with Centrica, Channel 4 and Marks & Spencer. We also run Board Effectiveness programmes and  Board and Partner away days and development sessions. In the past we have worked with Linklaters, Citibank, BT Openreach, National Grid and Aviva.
Find out more 〉

If you work in the public sector

We are committed to the improvement and reform of public services. Our work with Councils, Housing Associations, Care Providers has been focused on how we can support you to understand and use diversity both to comply with your obligations under the Equality Act and also to deliver and co-produce services personalised to the individual.  We have worked with people to use diversity in budget setting, consultation and service design.
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If you are the chair of a board

Diversity is a driver of governance. In a private sector business to deliver the highest long-term performance to your shareholders you have to be, not a compliant Board, but a high functioning Board. And we believe that Culture and Composition are critical factors in this. And that the role of the Chair is fundamental.This applies to Boards in every sector.   We have worked with Chairs of FTSE Companies, University Governing Councils and large Charities – and , because such work is sensitive, we maintain confidence about who they are. Find out more 〉

If you work in Higher Education

Because one of our partners was the Chair of a University Council, we have a deep level of experience and understanding of the Higher Education context and the way Universities work. In the last twelve months we have developed programmes with Sheffield, Edinburgh and Lincoln Universities and Glasgow School of Art.
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Why bother with diversity and difference?

'Diversity', 'inclusion', 'equality', 'equity'…. it’s all over organisations of every kind at the moment.  And much of what is said about it will bore you to death. It has become drowned in process, policy, compliance and maths. However there are fundamental business reasons to bother with it, because the active pursuit and creative management of difference can become a driver for greater success for your company or organisation. Whatever jargon or acronym we give to this area of work, it really boils down to two ideas that are simple to state, but complex to achieve:
  • to develop the talent of all your people and to identify and remove barriers to the development of that talent.
  • to be able to put together the highest performing teams who can generate the greatest innovation in solving complex problems and tackling key challenges that your organisation faces.

The Power of Difference

There is a great deal of credible research that has started to ask whether, if you can measure the quantum and quality of the intelligence of an individual, you can measure the equivalent of a group – ‘intelligence’ here meaning the ability to carry out a variety of complex tasks to a high level. The consensus is emerging that you can. And the evidence from the highest performing teams demonstrates that when developing solutions to complex problems (whether you’re in the private sector and selling to global markets, in Higher Education and working to improve your research, in any sector enhancing the performance of your Board or boosting the level of innovation) ‘diversity trumps ability’. Counter-intuitively and controversially, the best teams are made up, not of the best people, but of the best combination of people. Don’t hire the "best person for the job". Hire the "best team for the job".

"astar-fanshawe helped bring equalities alive at the Big Lottery Fund, connecting the critical importance of essential values with business priorities that staff and leaders were able to tackle together. They brought focus and confidence to this area of our work."

Peter Wanless, Big Lottery Fund

Find out more about how our clients have benefited



Roy: 07966 285792
Simon: 07785 932377

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