Learning & Development Consultancy

Talking Ape brings a breath of fresh air to the Learning and Development world. We work within your 70:20:10 strategy and listen to understand your needs. We co-design programmes that are energised, experiential and focused on the real world of the delegates. We create psychological safety in our workshops that help delegates bring about real, sustainable behavioural and mindset change. We find the right balance between people and results-focused. Give us a call.

Our values

  • All of our programmes can be delivered virtually or face-to-face, whatever you choose we believe in a set of values that aid learning and behaviour change
  • Build a container. We create an energised, deeply trusting, psychologically safe environment with low-stress and high challenge. The ideal learning environment is when we are at the edge of our comfort zone, vulnerable but supported. Emotions can cause the brain to release neurotransmitters that aid memory retention. The content of the ‘memory’ will become neurologically associated with the ‘feeling’.. If people trust the facilitator and feel supported, they will stretch themselves.
  • Creation Not Consumption. Knowledge is not something a learner absorbs, but something a learner creates. Participants help find their own conclusions using experiential learning and minimal facilitator input. We use Action Learning Sets to work on real-life issues
  • Diversity and inclusion. Diverse range of facilitators, sensitivity to different cultural perspectives and openness
  • Before and After. A precourse to setting the scene, tasking every participant with a “commitment” and “safe experiments” to ensure they are curious to explore new behaviours and bring about habit change. We follow that up with nudge psychology and support.
  • Credible. We use the latest neuroscience, psychology and scientific models particularly based upon Vertical Development. 
  • Somatic. We particularly focus on grounding, somatic exercises and mindfulness – a key part of the precourse, the commitment and some of the exercises.
James Marshall

James Marshall

Founder of Talking Ape

James Marshall is the founder of Talking Ape and the only person ever to work as a Chartered Surveyor and then as a BBC Radio and TV producer!! He spent 11 years at the BBC. (Radio 4′s All In The Mind, Material World & Thinking Allowed, BBC1′s The Human Mind.) Other highlights include interviewing Sir David Attenborough, reading out letters on the John Peel show, book researching for Lord Prof. Robert Winston and directing a helicopter camera. At the BBC he did some facilitation, became a coach and got that change/learning bug. He worked with some of the UK’s most successful training companies working with Apple, Google, Sky, RBS, Freshfields and Barclays specialising in leadership and management development skills. He has pioneered a new style of Leadership programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Gather & Gather, Illumina, Zoopla, Bit.Bio and Domainex. He currently coaches on the EMBA programme at Said Business School, Oxford University. He is qualified in NEO PI-R, Lumina Spark, SDI, DISC and PRISM brain mapping. He supports Everton FC,, loves cold water swimming and has two children (not in any kind of order of importance by the way).

Jo Sandford-Smith

Jo Sandford-Smith

Integrative Coach

Jo began her career in PR and marketing for a tech company but decided to cross over into broadcast journalism. She worked for five years in commercial radio (where at times it was hard to believe she was getting paid for having so much fun) before realising she should take herself more seriously. She switched to the BBC in 1998 where she became a Reporter/Producer on BBC Radio 4, working on magazine programmes such as Woman's Hour and You and Yours. She covered a range of subjects from consumer and disability affairs, including the Sydney Paralympics to health, politics and the arts. Her role at Talking Ape is to head up and deliver programmes with the Talking Ape Schools division. She is now qualified as an Integrative Coach qualified under the ICF

Nikita Mikhailov

Nikita Mikhailov

Senior Associate

Nikita Mikhailov is a Business Psychologist, a member of the British Psychological Society and the Ambassador of the Association for Business Psychology. Nikita specialises in applying psychology in an occupational setting with the Talking Ape psychometric of choice, Lumina Learning. His clients include Fortune 500 companies in the areas of oil and gas, finance, as well companies in transport, construction, FMCG, aerospace, and tech start-up ventures. He has extensive experience in supporting companies in recruitment and development of talent through the use of psychometrics and coaching.

Olga Vysotska

Olga Vysotska

Senior Associate

Olga is a trilingual international tax adviser and chartered accountant who worked for 10 years with PwC advising HNW entrepreneurs. She left for new challenges setting up her own family consulting business in organisational psychology, and trained in a range of psychometrics,as well as CBT (Compassion Focused Therapy, ACT, Mindfulness and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy). She has worked with Pentland Brands, Cancer Genomics, Prostate Cancer Research and Speedo. Olga is a Trustee of Maternal Mental Health Alliance and applies her values of mindfulness and respect as a trained pre and post natal doula.

Neel

Neel Parti

Senior Associate

Neel is a social care leader, facilitator, changemaker and a creative with over 10 years of experience in the children and families sector. As a qualified social worker he has extensive experience in parent coaching and facilitation. Neel delivers Talking Ape's Workparents: Parenting Our Future Leaders. At the NSPCC, Neel led a national innovation programme called Sharing the Brain Story, which aims to support professionals and families to understand the impacts of early adversity on child brain development. Currently, as the Head of Education at Future Youth Zone, Neel oversees the design and delivery of a Complementary Education Programme for young people at risk of exclusion and Babyzone, which is an exciting new approach to delivering high quality, impactful early years provision. As a facilitator, Neel has supported people on their journeys of self-exploration of their personal leadership styles, whether they are leaders within organisations, communities or within their homes.

Neel is passionate about effecting lasting social change in the world and his approach to this parent leadership offer is a culmination of his work to date, rooted in a whole-person/holistic approach to leadership. "When we are empowered to lead in our homes, we are empowered to lead at work".