About Us

the8group was founded in 2005, to help clients create a culture of leadership through innovative learning, behavioural change and improved performance across sectors.

The success of our leadership and management approach is based on our track record of: gaining a real understanding of the issues facing our clients; working collaboratively with them to develop bespoke value-based offerings to meet their specific needs and challenges; as well as ensuring that the interventions we design, impact on individual and cultural transformation that will drive future success.

We support development of Boards, Chief Executives, and senior management teams, through middle managers to front line staff. Our own broad executive and non-executive director business experience encompasses the commercial sector, UK government departments, the public and the not-for-profit sectors enabling us to deliver relevant and challenging solutions and learning experiences.

We continue to be privileged to work with talented senior leaders, directors, senior executives as well as aspirant leaders from a range of private, public and the not-for profit sector organisations, both within the UK and overseas markets. We offer accreditations through the Institute of Leadership & Management.

The Team

Lydia Hirst

A founding partner of the8group, Lydia has worked with clients and colleagues to design and deliver interventions which enhance managers’ and leaders’ knowledge, skills and attitudes, essential for running successful organisations. She has a Natural Sciences degree from Cambridge University, a Diploma in Performance Coaching from Newcastle College and is currently studying for an MSc in Organisational Behaviour at Birkbeck. Her analytical background, supports clients with Strategy, Quality, measurement and planning, whilst her interest in behaviours supports leadership, motivation and communication skills development. Originally working in oil & chemicals, Lydia has wide experience of UK public sector, not for profit, education, financial services and construction companies. She works internationally with organisations in the Gulf, Africa and Asia. She holds two Board positions as Non-Executive Director of Green Hippo, a technology company in London, and Chair of Guideposts, a medium sized UK charity.

Hiroo Chothia

As a Senior Partner, Hiroo brings together a passion for learning with a belief that all of the8group’s offerings should drive individual and organisational performance. She combines a strong background in senior management, with specific expertise in Organisational Development, Cultural Change and Emotional Intelligence. Having been fortunate enough in her career to have worked in equal measures in both the commercial as well as the public sector, she brings a distinct understanding and expertise of diverse cultures and working practices, which continues to inform her current practice. She currently blends her experience as an international management consultant, accredited executive coach and facilitator with a number of Non-Executive Directorships and Independent Member roles both with the United Kingdom and a range of overseas markets including South Asia, Africa and Europe. Hiroo is a Fellow of both the Chartered Management Institute and the Institute of Consulting; a member of the European Mentoring & Coaching Council and the Institute of Directors. She holds postgraduate qualifications in the Organisation Development; Management; Coaching; Psychology of Organisation Development and Change; as well a Distinction in Masters in Business Administration. In addition, she holds a number of varied non-executive directorships and independent member roles in the Health; Insurance and Research sectors in the UK and overseas markets.

Kim Norris

Kim is an experienced Personal Assistance and Office Manager. Since joining the8group in 2007, she has been an integral part of the support team both to internal staff as well as the supporting clients and participants on our programmes. Kim is an enthusiastic member of the team, her support role involves her from project start to completion as well as assisting in day-to-day operations. Prior to joining the8group, Kim has held a number of Personal Assistant and Office Manager roles in a variety of sectors.

In addition, we are fortunate to be supported by a range of senior and talented Associate Consultants.

We are currently working in partnership with InterChangePD to provide Leadership & Management programmes, accredited by the Institute of Leadership & Management, to the education sector and trades unions. These include ILM national qualification programmes in Leadership and Management at Levels 3 & 5, as well as tailored endorsed programmes for: first-line, middle, senior; and director level leading to an ILM Certificate.

Testimonial from Nicki Landau, Head of Human Resources at The Association of Teachers & Lecturers

"The Association of Teachers & Lecturers (ATL) has been pleased to work with the8group since 2014 on the design and delivery of leadership and management training for ATL managers.

We were seeking a programme that would engage new and aspiring managers to deepen their understanding and their practical capability as managers. the8group provided a business-focused, ILM accredited programme that both challenged and inspired the participants, leading to some very insightful and strategic contributions to the work of the Association.

the8group demonstrated professionalism, flexibility and innovation in their approach enabling them to reflect on and adapt to the needs of the Association. Impressed with the initial outcomes, ATL has decided to implement a cross-cutting programme that will engage management at all levels."

From Wendy Branchett, Commissioner & Management Lead for the Primary Care Improvement Team NHS Kensington and Chelsea

"the8group have produced a management and leadership programme, in conjunction with ourselves, for Practice Managers. This is a 12 month programme on 3 levels of experience. I worked very closely with the8group throughout the programme and they spent considerable time on the telephone talking to practice managers and establishing which level of the programme best fitted their training needs. The result was that 35 practices out of 42 have staff attending the programme. This is an excellent take up. The feedback from delegates has also been excellent”.

From Nicki Davey, Head of Management Development, Carr-Gomm Housing Association

"the8group have worked in close partnership with us to design and deliver a comprehensive, tailored management development programme. Lydia, Suzy and Hiroo are a joy to work with. Their extensive knowledge and experience, coupled with their ability to listen and understand our needs and their willingness to work in a sharing and co-operative way has enabled us to develop and run a programme which is highly regarded by our managers and is helping to create significant positive change to Carr-Gomm’s management culture."

From Participant from the Primary Care Programme

"Absolutely brilliant. The learning style and course organisers are excellent. A lot is covered in such a short time and all the topics have been immensely valuable to me. The course has really boosted my self-esteem and I am a changed person! Thanks, I've really enjoyed the course"

From Participant on the Housing Open Programme

"Everything we have learned is all falling into place and making a lot of sense. The programme has change my outlook and enable/facilitated a more focused approach to daily work life and people relationship/management”.

From Participant on the Housing Open Programme

“Really enjoyed the whole course and learnt a lot about my own behaviour - good and bad! Also how to cope and deal with what I do in different situations, both dealing with colleagues and others I come into contact with as well as how I can make changes within a team”.