The Work

I work with public agencies such as Local Authorities and the NHS; with communities and with voluntary and private sector organisations.


My work is all about improving the quality of life, products and services by:


- building on the strengths and the very best work and action of individuals, communities and organisations 


- connecting the imagination's ability to uncover possibilities with the logical part of our brains, to turn those possibilities into reality


It is essentially about helping people to notice the present good, assess current strengths and to develop new ideas in order to bring about the positive change that they want to make in their work, their organisations and the wider world.


Much of the work on this site will focus on the use of a philosophy and approach to change known as 'Appreciative Inquiry' (AI). I had the great privilege of studying in America with one of the co-originators of Appreciative Inquiry, Dr David Cooperrider. 


See for further information about Appreciative Inquiry, case studies, tools and resources.

Dr David Cooperrider and Elaine in Cleveland, Ohio

Some examples of what people say about working with me

Thank you for all the wonderful work you have done with us here in Norfolk - you have certainly made an impact and I have gained a huge amount from working with you. You were able to get to diagnose the issues we were experiencing as a partnership very quickly and, using your valuable experience, to suggest practical ways in which we could try to overcome them.Eve Dewsnap, Norfolk County Council

"Prompt, flexible response and excellent collaboration and generation of ideas to meet client needs. Met agreed timescales for production of delegate materials which enabled the conferences to be well planned. There was great enthusiasm, energy and personal commitment to the success of the events." Mandy Parsons, Governor Services, Hampshire County Council


Your presentation on Appreciative Inquiry was both enlightening and an inspiration - real enthusiasm for the approach, coupled with a wide knowledge that didn't overwhelm, but intrigued and interested the audience. - Pete McGuigan, Cape UK

I just wanted to say a big thank you for a terrific session today. I thought your pace, input, energy and expertise was absolutely superb. You are a true inspiration on this topic (Appreciative Inquiry)! Kerry Furness, Norfolk County Council

Elaine has an engaging and stimulating way of working to get the best out of service users and front line workers whilst making strong connections to the overall strategic direction.  Her particular skill lies in her enthusiasm and ability to get the best out of people in a very practical and non-threatening way and reflecting the 'real' views of service users to service managers and decision-makers. Shaun Jones, Assistant Chief Executive, Barnsley Council


Appreciative Inquiry - What is it?

In a nutshell, Appreciative Inquiry is a philosophy and methodology that solves problems by focusing on doing more of what works already and, by implication, doing less of that which is not working. AI recognises that whilst there are problems in any organisation, there are also examples of excellent ways of working in that same organisation, which overcome those problems. Appreciative Inquiry does not dismiss problems or difficulties, rather it focuses on the excellent practice that exists and asks 'how could we do more of this?' as a means to strengthen and develop the organisation.


AI is future focused - a future that is based on the reality of what is already good and possible. The highlighting of current positive action creates energy for change. The future focus enables people to uncover new possibilities as they answer the question: 'what would happen if we did more of this?'