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Elouise Leonard-

spotlight on

Elouise Leonard-Cross on her award-winning L&OD practice and how she developed her team of L&D athletes photography by Idene Roozbayani


louise Leonard-Cross is an occupational psychologist and currently head of organi-

sational development and learning for Home Group, responsible for the group-wide design and implementa- tion of organisational development activities and learning programmes for leaders and colleagues across the UK. Having worked with public and

private sectors, Elouise uses psycho- logically grounded approaches to develop and deliver sustainable people change, OD and learning programmes, the success of which has resulted in achieving awards including Employee Engagement – Culture Change Programme of the Year and the TJ OD Programme of the Year in 2015. Elou- ise believes that learning should have elements of fun and needs to be unique to be memorable, and has led teams in designing a wide and blended range of successful learning programmes. With a passion for her profession, Elouise has undertaken a range of

10 | August 2016 |

additional voluntary roles, including head of research for the Association for Coaching and currently as chair of the North East of England branch of CIPD and part of the CIPD Council. With a love of learning, she is currently completing a professional doctorate in occupational psychology, focusing on how organisations can more effectively use data to understand team engagement and performance.

Why training and how did you start?

My first training role was in retail. I worked for a small start-up fashion retailer and delivered training to new concession managers. It was a young company so I got lots of opportunity to get stuck in and shape how I could train others. I learnt the basics around investing in the preparation of content of what others needed to learn, docu- menting simple supporting processes and using scenarios and examples to bring things to life. I loved that I was able to support others in their success


as retail managers and I got bitten by the bug of training and learning!

What's been your lowest moment and what your noblest hour?

I was ill with ME for many years as a teenager which meant I couldn’t go to school and I studied and sat my GCSE’s at home. However, I found it difficult to concentrate, read and make notes. To help my learning, I used visual approaches and storytelling to get information to stick, which has really shaped how I continue to learn today. I returned to school at sixth- form but was only able to study three A-Levels. I managed to get the grades to study psychology – those years were tough in terms of energy and keeping up with my peers but I was so proud to graduate with my degree. Te experience has helped me

support others through coaching and mentoring in managing their learning and career, looking at doing things in different ways to achieve

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