We sat down to gain insight into the wonderful world of Simon (‘S’), the visionary founder of The Change Maker Group, music lover and a man with a transformative mission.

E: So to kick us off, can you tell me what led you to where you are today?

S: I started out professionally with Anderson Consulting, which is now Accenture, in their change management division, which in the nineties was quite innovative because change management was typically seen as that bit of training you did after you built the big system or changed all the processes.

I set myself up in business in 2000 with a couple of internet ideas, which I didn’t manage to get off the ground, but at the same time, I was researching and writing my first book and doing a programme called A Little EE Time Management with some big companies, so that was all good fun. 

I built up several associate relationships but never felt at home because it was very contractual. Since then, I’ve always harboured the idea of having a more collaborative group, so in 2015 I set up The Change Maker Group and we established it as a profit-for-purpose business. That means our profits go into supporting organisations that don’t necessarily have the funds to do the things we can help them with.

E: You’re coming up to 10 years of The Change Maker Group! 

S: Absolutely. I’m very proud of the group and what we’ve achieved together.  

E: What does your day-to-day look like?

S: I’m an author, trainer, coach and consultant, and speaking is something I’m reigniting now to see if we can create a million change makers. It’s something I’ve always really enjoyed doing but I don’t just stand behind a lectern – I try to really engage and involve the audience. 

E: Can you explain more about your mission to create one million change-makers?

Yes, so it was actually a dream I had. I saw two armies running across the field towards each other, but when they got into the middle of the field, they didn’t start to fight. Instead, one army of soldiers put their arms around the others to support and help them.

I woke up with the notion that it would be great for everybody on the planet to have a change maker within arm’s reach, somebody who can help them. From that emerged the idea of creating a million change makers – people with the mindset and the skill set to go out and help others, but also thrive and cope with change in their own lives.

E: I love that. What as a change maker are you most proud of?

Simon Phillips Headshot

Simon founded The Change Maker Group in 2015

I’m proud of the core group of change makers that have been with us since the start. It’s a very selfless role to play because you have to do all of the standard work that you would do in any other business. In addition, you’re also there helping and supporting other change makers to get out there and make a splash.

Every member of the group has done something to contribute to what we have today, which is a brand that’s recognised for its integrity. If we say we’re going to do something, then we will and that’s really important.

E: So what would you say to someone considering becoming a change maker?  

S: I often talk about small delta, which refers to the small changes that make a big impact. Keep it very low level, you know, you don’t have to go out there and change the world. Instead, help and support the people in your world. Look around you and if there are people that you’d love to help but you don’t quite have the skills, at least recognise that you’ve got the mindset of somebody who wants to make a positive contribution. That could be at work, at home, or in your community.

Start where you are – if you’ve got the heart to help and support people, then you can absolutely be a change maker

E: What would you say to a business considering enlisting the help of a change maker or The Change Maker Group?  

S: I’d say we’re not a quick-sale organisation with a quick product, so speak to us first. A big part of what we’re trying to do is upskill organisations and create change makers internally so they can do it for themselves. It’s always great to keep going from a cash flow perspective, but actually, we almost prefer to work ourselves out of a job because that’s how you know it’s gone well. 

E: Have you got any exciting projects coming up?

S: Getting back out onto the speaker circuit with my story which includes a major car crash back in 1997 and then a whole bunch of setbacks. It’s about how I learned to cope with change and support others to become change makers. 

E: How inspiring! So finally, what are three things in your life that you would never change? 

S: Rhubarb, my wife and family and my love of music.

You can catch Simon and his inspirational story at Center For A Loving Workplace on March 13th.