Because we should’t forget about the community’s history, I asked Martin Thomas, who was part of the Change Leaders founding members, and its first co-chair together with Patricia Cichocki, who did contribute to build our organization. Here is his story:
More than half the Consulting and Coaching for Change (CCC) cohort 1 members were very active during the CCC year in getting the Change Leaders (tCL) started. Before we ended our CCC programme, we had agreed to open tCL to all and only CCC completers. Consequently, we offered membership to the rest of CCC1. All bar one of the CCC1 cohort then joined.
Patricia Cichocki and I took on the admin and management roles and put our own money into getting it all started. Patricia put in more than £2,000 and I paid something less than £1,000 to pay for website, legal and accounting costs to put the company and structure in place. I estimate that I spent about an average of two days a week on TCL including all the lobbying and discussions with individuals.
Leslie Hilton was active in seeking out the best structural arrangements that included registering tCL Inc in Delaware. However, this proved too difficult to manage once we needed to open bank accounts etc., so we focussed on using tCL ltd that was registered in England with its registered office in Oxford. Leslie also led a great Paris tCL event.
Jacob Mayne spent a lot of time and energy on Membership issues including lobbying, writing up the ethical statements and getting all new members to subscribe to them by signing up to them. He also worked on the logo, the name and the logo usage guidelines and rules. He called in many favours to get all design work done by professionals at knock-down prices.
Joanne Flinn‘s work in setting up the website, harmonising the data requirements, hosting, designing, updating and quality controlling all input was immense. As our “calling card” it gave tCL an identity in the public domain.
Wessel Pretorius gave two great gifts to tCL. Firstly, he offered his change management process and slides to tCL members for free and gave us a full day user workshop to understand how to make it work in practice. Secondly, he organised and part-funded the October 2007 tCL Conference in South Africa. It was a huge success and presented tCL with its first unique learning event from a crucible of change.
Mick Yates was always a keen supporter from the very start. He also took notes of all conferences and all lectures from CCC on through all TCL events and posted them within 24 hours of the end of the event for us all to view on his own website. This was another huge gift; our own accessible database in the public domain.
Philippe Krenzer organised the conference facilities for the first few tCL events at fabulous locations and at peppercorn costs. This meant that we were able to meet twice a year and make no almost charge to members for doing so.
In my view, these were the greatest time and effort contributors in the set-up phase that created the heart and soul of The Change Leaders.
Margareta Barchan was also a strong supporter. The “baguettes” was created by Delphine Dubus who also supported the conferences by doing participant surveys. Nick Herpers was always an active contributor to the running of workshops.
Hala El Farouki Zeghari became a very prominent contributor from CCC2. She organised the CCC2 “Module 7” in Marrakech for CCC2 people. She invited me and also Nadine Theimann from CCC1 to attend. I believe it was Hala’s experience in running that event that convinced her that CCC2 could not replicate that each year on its own. As a consequence Hala, together with Roberto Saco and Jane Lewis became the driving forces for the integration of CCC2 people into tCL. This was of course the fundamental requirement for tCL to become the forum for all subsequent CCC cohorts’ alumni to join a community of like-minded practitioners. This potentiality became a reality when they attended Wessel’s October 2007 TCL conference in South Africa and contributed strongly to almost all subsequent tCL events.
From CCC 3, Debbie Jones was the first to take on a role in tCL; namely as “fun coordinator” at tCL events. She organised musicians to attend the dinners, punting in the Isis and other social activities. Joanne Capritti took on early responsibility to organise a tCL conference after only a single tCL attendance herself; a brave and successful contribution.
By April 2008 we had 48 members.
Needless to say that Elizabeth Howard (like Denis Bourgeois) had been a constant support while she was CCC programme director and subsequently became the backbone of the organisation when she took on the admin role thereafter. Members of tCL should recognise just how much we all owe to Elizabeth for stepping into the role in 2008.
I hope this helps and provides a balanced view of the various contributors in tCL’s formative years from 2004 up to 2008, although I am sure I have omitted some other important contributions. Apologies to any who feel offended by any errors or omissions on my part.