Elizabeth Smith Consulting

I am a well-established provider of expert L & D consultancy services, particularly for scientific, technical and professional organisations in the Cambridge area and beyond. I also specialise in first line management development and personal effectiveness - designing & running group workshops and providing coaching. I particularly emphasise strengths-based approaches in the work I do. Most of my work is bespoke and provided in-house, but I also run some open workshops through the Cambridge Network.

Training provider for:


Liz Smith has 30 years’ experience in human resources, management and organisational development.

Her experience includes managing and delivering a wide range of learning & development programmes, and designing and facilitating individual, group and team interventions using a variety of approaches and techniques. She has had responsibility for running a learning & development function, and formulating and leading cross-company training and development strategy – working closely with the top team.

Liz's career includes 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry (GlaxoSmithKline and Napp Pharmaceuticals). She has also worked in the NHS and at Harvard University, and has spent time living and working in Germany and in the USA. As a consultant she has worked with a wide variety of organisations in the private and public sectors, on both consulting and training assignments.  She has also been a Visiting Tutor (in leadership development) at Henley Business School.

Current areas of particular focus for Liz are effective people management, authentic personal leadership, and using strengths based approaches to enhance confidence, resilience and effectiveness.  She also has a passion for helping groups to learn and work together more effectively, and enjoys teaching and facilitating peer coaching, action learning and collaborative problem solving methodologies.                            

Liz’s first degree is in Natural Sciences from Cambridge, and she holds a Masters in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the London School of Economics.  She is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, an MBTI® practitioner, Strengthscope® practitioner, and qualified mediator.

Products and services

Training with Cambridge Network: Motivation Masterclass (Exploring Employee Engagement)

This half-day workshop will explore the impact of different personalities on the culture of an organisation, and specifically how managers’ behaviour can influence culture, consciously or otherwise.

How can I encourage high levels of motivation and performance within my team?

  • I have a team of diverse individuals that all seem to require a different management approach. How do I handle this?
  • How do my management strengths create an environment in which my team can be motivated?

The Concept

Good managers are interested in knowing what they can do to help create an environment in which each member of their team can be motivated and give their best.  This can be challenging, as people are very different!

This workshop will therefore explore the impact managers’ behaviour can have on motivation and culture, consciously or otherwise.  Similarly, it will look at the significance of the different personalities of our team members, as well as their underlying attitudes and values, particularly with regard to the Psychological Contract.  It will also examine organisational environment and job design to understand the contribution they make.

A series of models demonstrating historical and current thinking on the subject of motivation will be included to anchor our discussions.  We will also look at some commonly used management tools and processes, and how they can be more or less motivating depending on how they are carried out. Space for personal reflection and action planning will be created throughout the workshop.

The Structure

The workshop duration is a half day.  It will involve:

  • Exploring topics through group discussions
  • Input from the tutors on concepts, models and techniques
  • Time for self-reflection and assessment
  • Sharing ideas in pairs and small groups
  • Identifying concrete actions to take away

Workshop Outline

Opening session

  • Welcome, introductions, course overview.
  • Exploration of the current challenges that participants are experiencing in motivating their teams.

The Role of the Manager

  • The role of a manager in optimising talent and the impact and influence that managers can have (positive and negative) on the motivation of the people around them.
  • Initial reflection by participants on what motivates them personally.

Models of Motivation

  • The development of thinking on motivation, from the original thinking to the present day, emphasising the key concepts.
  • Consideration of how individuals might differ in what motivates them.
  • The importance of objective setting and the provision of high-quality feedback, together with balancing support and challenge in managing performance.
  • The motivational opportunities afforded by strengths-based approaches.
  • Personal reflection: “How can I practically apply some, or all of this thinking to the motivation of my team members?”.

Closing Session

  • Revisiting the role that management behaviour plays in shaping organisational culture, and the significance of role modelling: “How can I influence the broader environment to foster high levels of motivation?”.
  • Round table sharing of the insights and actions that participants will be taking back to their organisations.

Find out more

Training with Cambridge Network: Managing and Leading Change

Do you have a team that you need to lead through a period of change, and want to explore best practice? Change is often treated as another project to be managed and completed when the plan says it is. Thinking about change as a messy, people-oriented set of challenges might be more helpful, and this workshop aims to explore the knowledge and skills key to transition management.

The Concept

Change is often treated as another project to be managed and completed when the plan says it is. Thinking about change as a messy, people-oriented set of challenges might be more helpful, and this workshop aims to explore the knowledge and skills key to transition management.

A series of models and concepts will be discussed, demonstrating current thinking on the subject of change. Space for personal reflection and action planning will also be created throughout the workshop.

The Structure

The workshop duration is 1 day, with a small amount of reflective pre-work before attending.

The workshop will involve:

  • Exploring topics through group discussions.
  • Input from the tutors on concepts, models and techniques.
  • Time for self-reflection and assessment.
  • Sharing ideas and practising techniques in pairs and small groups.

Workshop Outline

Context setting

  • Recognising the central role that leadership plays in effecting change: setting direction; encouraging, assisting and enabling others to perform, and influencing the outcome.
  • Understanding the need to manage flexibly and responsively within an environment of uncertainty, risk and change.

Input on managing the transition

  • Exploring the three-stage process (from William Bridges): Ending, Neutral Zone and Beginning.
  • Managing the expectations of ourselves and our staff in this process.
  • Understanding the change transition curve.
  • Understanding, anticipating and dealing with resistance (ours and others) in a constructive way.
  • Strategies for building and maintaining ongoing resilience in self and others.
  • Understanding and taking account of the impact of “shadow side” issues on organisational change and performance, including such aspects as organisational culture, individual differences, organisational politics and the informal organisation.

Discussions and exercises exploring our  response to change

  • Individual reflection on current personal response to transition.  
  • Recognising differences for different personality types.

An overview of some of the skills and strategies for helping staff through the change process

  • Communicating about the changes effectively.
  • Listening and helping people work through their concerns and issues.
  • Dealing with barriers and building “coalitions of support” for change.
  • Coaching and facilitating change within the team.
  • Differentiating the approach to deal with different personality types.
  • Actively championing and role modelling change.
  • Education and training.
  • Joint problem solving, collaboration and networking.

Find out more

Training with Cambridge Network: Productive Meetings

Many people spend a huge amount of their time in meetings and yet there is often the feeling that real work only takes place outside the meeting.

  • Do you feel as if you waste a lot of time in meetings?
  • Would you like to become a more effective meeting participant?
  • Would you like to be better at structuring and running meetings yourself?

Many people spend a huge amount of their time in meetings and yet there is often the feeling that real work only takes place outside the meeting. At the same time, most people recognise that there are certain best practices and frameworks that will enable meetings to be far more effective, productive, and even enjoyable.

The aim of this workshop is to positively impact the level of productivity of those meetings that are in your sphere of influence within your organisation. The specific objectives are:

  1. To surface best practices and raise your level of commitment to carry them out in your organisation.
  2. To equip you to be more confident and skilled in how you structure and run a meeting, and how you can participate fully.

Find out more

Training with Cambridge Network: Leading High Performance Teams

This workshop aims to “get under the skin” of how a team can be truly high performing, and the leadership skills that are required to achieve this.

  • What is a high performing team and what does that mean for my actions as a leader?
  • How can I better understand the different motivations of my team members? 
  • How can I adapt my style of leadership to better connect with and motivate others?

The content is suitable for recently appointed or more experienced managers and supervisors, plus also senior professionals managing teams across a matrix.  The main focus is the underlying people dynamics within teams, and attendees will gain a greater understanding of what motivates individuals and the role that they as leaders can play in shaping the environment in which high performing teams can develop.  

Find out more

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