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About Us

Meet The Team

Introduction and profiles of the Technical Topic Contributors (TTCs)

Message from Charles Russam, Managing Director – Working Free Ltd

“We are the people behind Working Free.

Working Free is about developing a collaborative, interactive forum of information, views, comments and opinions about the growing number of work-related areas that senior, professional business people want to know about in helping them to earn their livings or achieve their personal business goals, operating on an independent basis.”

  • Charles Russam
    Charles Russam
    Managing Director

[email protected]uk

  • Peter Barnett
    Peter Barnett
    Chief Operating Officer

[email protected]

  • Andrew James
    Andrew James
    Delivery Partner
  • D’Arcy Myers
    D’Arcy Myers
    Delivery Partner
  • Andy Maggs
    Andy Maggs
    Delivery Partner
  • Paul Sloane
    Paul Sloane
    Delivery Partner
  • Judith Perle
    Judith Perle
    Delivery Partner
  • Sharon Constançon
    Sharon Constançon
    Guest Speaker on Governance

Working Free Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 9347992. Registered Office: c/o Hillier Hopkins LLP, 45 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5JG

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Disclaimer: Working Free Ltd cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or disadvantage that may arise out of reliance on any opinions, material or introductions made through this website and all those making use of these services should take appropriate business and legal advice and conduct appropriate due diligence before making any commitments.

Charles Russam
Managing Director

Charles Russam is the Founder and Associate Director of www.Russam-GMS.co.uk  which he chaired from 1982 until 2014. Russam GMS is the longest established Interim Management Provider in the UK and has a complementary and growing Search Practice which includes a specialist Practice for NED Search and also the Not for Profit/ Charity Sector and also has an international capability through www.WILgroup.net.

Charles founded the Interim Management Association in 1987 – www.InterimManagement.uk.com .

He also set up www.DevonshireHouseNetwork.co.uk , the successor organisation to the Devonshire House Management Club.  DHN is a people-focused membership club for Director-level professionals in leadership roles who have an instinctive focus on the human side of enterprise. DHN Members have a serious interest in all aspects of people at work and how people can flourish within whatever and wherever the work environment and context may be. Please see www.DevonshireHouseNetwork.co.uk

“In a sense, this website is a bit of a personal odyssey in that, after the past thirty five years in the Interim Management business, I am still having weekly conversations with senior executives looking to do Interim Management – or something similar – and not knowing where to start – or where the start actually is. So – writing it all down for the benefit of all others planning or embarking on a later-life, independently working lifestyle  – and collaborating with anyone with anything useful to say – seemed a sensible thing to do!”

Peter Barnett
Chief Operating Officer

Peter worked his way up in the corporate world working for companies including Cornhill Insurance and GE Capital before moving into the private sector becoming the Business development Director of Frosts (Landscaping & Garden Centre Group). This was a very successful phase and provided the springboard to enable Peter to start his own consultancy in 2009.

Since then Peter has worked with over 60 businesses advising on Business Development and Strategy including launching new businesses and brands. He has gained valuable experiences that helps him to understand the challenges in moving from a senior role to becoming successful as an independent.

[email protected]

Andrew James
Delivery Partner

Working Free is pleased to collaborate with Andrew James of OnHand Counsel Ltd as our Technical Topic Partner for Law Matters.  Andrew has been a qualified solicitor since 1987. He spent the first nine years of his career at a mid-sized City firm and followed this with partner roles at BP Collins in Gerrards Cross and IBB Solicitors in Uxbridge. He went ‘independent’ in 2008 when he set up OnHand Counsel Limited and has never regretted it!  He has over 30 years’ experience of handling an interesting and wide ranging caseload including private company and business sales and purchases, MBOs and joint ventures and a very broad range of corporate and commercial advisory and contract work, spanning a wide range of industries. Dealing with large multinationals right through to individual sole traders, he is experienced in dealing and negotiating with a broad range of people from different backgrounds with different cultures, perspectives, personalities, objectives and approaches.  Andrew lives and works in St Albans and dabbles in cricket, squash, real tennis, golf, guitar and origami.

Andrew would be happy to hear from you with your queries and issues – preliminary discussions are free  – and these might include referring you to other specialist lawyers,  working on the basis that anything of a substantive nature might lead you to engaging him on a professional basis.  This would reflect the standard Working Free approach and Terms of Business are available on request or at the time of engagement.   [email protected]

D’Arcy Myers
Delivery Partner

D’Arcy Myers runs his own Consultancy Practice – www.Consultdarcy.co.uk – specialising in governance and trustee development in the Charity Sector. He is a highly experienced Third Sector specialist, operating at senior levels with Boards, Chief Executives, and senior managers. With twelve years of hands-on experience as a charity CEO, he has led a number of charities through change and development. He specialises in working with Boards and leadership teams often as an interim CEO to promote a productive governance culture and provide an essential understanding of financial management as key tools in delivering the changes that organisations need. D’Arcy has a wide knowledge of and experience in effective strategic development and change processes and excels in strategy and leadership development, mentoring, performance improvement, evaluation, significant organisational change and development. He is motivated by being able to unlock the potential of people and organisations so they can have a bigger social impact. You can read more about D’Arcy Myers here – www.consultdarcy.co.uk/about/recomendations/

Andy Maggs
Delivery Partner

I am Managing Director of Arema Limited (www.arema.com ) and I have a combination of executive coaching and mentoring alongside an extensive business leadership background. I have enjoyed, laughed, and struggled at times, during a ‘learning-rich’ career. In the past 20 years, I have established myself as a well-regarded coach. I have over 12,500 hours of professional coaching and mentoring. I have conducted coaching and mentoring assignments in the UK and across the globe. I have an MSc in Executive Coaching, am Ashridge Accredited internationally, a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) and an approved trainer for ILM level 5 and 7 coaching and mentoring certification qualifications.

Should you wish to contact me directly, please e-mail me at [email protected]

Paul Sloane
Delivery Partner

Paul Sloane gained a first class degree in Engineering from Cambridge University. He came top of Sales School at IBM. He went on to become a Marketing Director, Managing Director and CEO of software companies.

He has written over 20 books which have sold over 2 million copies in total. His most popular book is Lateral Thinking Puzzlers which has sold over 300,000 copies and been translated into many languages. His top business book is The Leader’s Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills.

He runs leadership master classes on lateral thinking and innovation with top corporations around the world, including Nike, Unilever, Microsoft and Novartis. He has been a visiting lecturer at Cambridge University, Lancaster University, Henley Business School and the Mumbai Institute of Technology. His Tedx talk is available on Youtube. It is entitled ‘Are your Open-Minded?’

Judith Perle
Delivery Partner

My early career was spent in the world of media, and I became involved in management training after completing the Sloan Fellowship at London Business School. So I bring to my training activities a wealth of experience in business communication gained over a career in publishing, branding and new business development. I was Brand Development Director for illustrated publisher Dorling Kindersley, and Brand Liaison Director for the Superbrands organisation. I also have over 15 years’ experience publishing books, magazines and partworks and have created, edited and managed consumer publications on subjects ranging from gardening to interior design for major household names such as Reader’s Digest, HarperCollins and Time Life Books.

During my time at London Business School, one of the key concepts on the Operations Management course was that of ‘order qualifiers’ versus ‘order winners’: the difference between the things that get you, your product or service on to the ‘pitch list’, and the ones that actually get you the business. Many professionals pride themselves on teaching or having the hard skills to get the job done, but so often these technical skills (creating a business plan, understanding intellectual property issues, pricing a bond option) are actually only ‘order qualifiers’. They get you through the door, but everyone else standing in line for the business can also demonstrate those same skills. The truth is that where business is actually won and lost is often through the successful application of the ‘softer’ interpersonal skills that can get overlooked in the cut and thrust of our professional lives. And chief among these is professional networking – the ability to build relationships of trust.

As a result, I co-founded Management Advantage (www.ManAdvan.com), a training consultancy which specialises in teaching those soft skills. We run workshops and masterclasses for companies, professional organisations, universities and business schools throughout the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

I connected the two strands of my expertise by publishing, together with my colleague Tony Newton, The Network Effect, A practical guide to making – and keeping – the connections that can make your world go round.

Sharon Constançon
Guest Speaker on Governance

Sharon Constançon, Chartered Director, MBA and Chartered Secretary is CEO of Genius Boards.

Genius Boards specialises in Board Effectiveness, Corporate Governance and Director Mentoring.  Genius Boards has a specific focus on Board Evaluations approached from both a governance and people performance perspective, focusing on leadership, behaviour and communications.  Genius Boards focuses on robust Board Evaluations that address the difficult topics, making them easier to address.  The evaluation focus is on being fit for the future; providing tips and recommendations for the Chairman to deliver a Board at its best.  www.geniusboards.com

Genius Methods supports Boards and Executive teams by providing continuous professional leadership development for individuals or teams.  The Corporate Governance and Risk Reviews support Boards and Committees to focus on strategic governance and risk in additional to operational aspects.  We are passionate about empowering Company Secretaries and minorities in leadership teams.  www.geniusmethods.com

The Genius Group has worked with the full range of businesses from FTSE 100s to SME’s, listed, private, family, public sector, charity, housing trusts and investment trusts.  Regulated sectors in addition include financial services, insurance and NHS.

Sharon is Chairman of the South African Chamber of Commerce in London and, personally holds several Non-Executive Directorships.

Sharon can be contacted at  [email protected]

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