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Leadership with a Difference – a 3 Thinking Approach

Over 70 leaders from businesses, public services and charities across Merseyside have significantly benefitted personally, economically and socially from our pioneering 3-Thinking Programme.  (Click here to find out more about this approach)




The Windmills Team conducted a focused consultation exercise with executives and senior leaders ranging from the Chief Inspector of Merseyside Police and Chief Executives of Liverpool City Council, Merseytravel and Merseyside Fire Service to the Directors of RBS, Eli Lilly and Liverpool Vision together with Vice Chancellors and leading social entrepreneurs.  A key thread emerged from the research – everyone was working in silos.  More worryingly, in times of economic hardship, these silos were predicted to grow.  There was a real need identified to connect leaders across differing sectors within the Liverpool City Region to collectively do good for themselves, do good for business and do good for the community.


Co-created and led by Windmills in partnership with Ken Pye, this six day programme provided participants with opportunities to maximise their personal potential (ME) grow their organisation (WE), impact on the wider community (THEM) and make a collective difference to the Liverpool City Region (US).

Developing and implementing a personalised 3-Thinking Project, 70 leaders, in two cohorts, engaged in an exciting programme of experiential learning blending external visits, keynote sessions, creative group work and peer coaching.  The rich diversity of participants enabled blue chip organisations such as 02 to connect with leaders within social enterprises, housing trusts, SMEs, charities and public services.  Sessions were delivered from leading social enterprises such as the Furniture Resources Centre through to key regional development organisations such as Liverpool Vision, Merseytravel, John Lennon Airport and Peel Holdings.  External visits ranged from information intereviews with Radio Merseyside, Princes Primary Special Needs School and Liverpool University to a tour of Walton Prison.




The impact of this unique three month experience has been captured by responses to the following 3-Thinking questions pre and post the programme.

 Bar chart 1

 “Helped me to believe in myself, trust in my decision making and be optimistic “– Gaynor McKnight, Chief Executive, Lister Steps.

“Afforded me an insight into myself to fire up a level of self belief through connecting with people that share far more in common with me than I first imagined.  I believe I can, so I will”   – Wayne Lester, MD, Fashion Business.

“Opened my eyes to different ways of giving” – Fiona O’Reilly, Assistant Director of Human Resources, Knowsley Primary Care Trust

 Bar chart 2 

“Building a bigger and more stable client base” – Jan Carberry, Director, HR Integrated Solutions Ltd.

“Making more effective use of the contacts and relationships we already have and now are working smarter” – Dominique Aspey, Enterprise Network Manager, Liverpool John Moores University

“We have more direct and clear links to a number of key organisations in the city” – Ian McKenna, Director of Development, Liverpool Hope Enterprises Ltd.

 Bar chart 3

“Created new links that will provide work experience and apprenticeships”    James Sloan, Development and Operations Manager, Imagine If Trust

“Created a senior leadership 12 month Think Big Programme that challenges leaders to go back to their roots and make a legacy change to young people in the community over 12 months”  Carmel Convery,  Operations Manager/Think Big Chair, 02

“Saved my local park” – Emma Blackman, Director, Peg Marketing

We are continually evolving our 3-Thinking approach and have applied it to support over 1000 Primary School Pupils through the SMILE £10 Challenge click here to find out more as well as Bringing Values to Life click here to find out how William Hill adopted this approach in the corporate sector.