Posts Tagged ‘growing’

The Great Giant Sunflower grow-off 2015

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

My goodness me – what a bumper crop we have had this year! Thanks to everyone for sending in your pictures of your whoppers!

The competition has been tough; over 30 people have been competing for this esteemed title, and once again we saw the return of the scoundrel squirrel. But none of this affected the steely determination of our growers.

So we are proud to announce the winner of “The Great Giant Sunflower grow-off 2015”as OWEN TURNER from United by Design ( with his amazing 9ft 8 sunflower.

.... to this!

…. to this!

From this .....

From this …..

Here’s what Owen had to say ….

“What a fun and insightful thing to do over the summer! Not only was it great to be a little green fingered and be inspired by such a wonderfully vibrant plant but doing the Grow Off allowed me to take time out, reflect and focus. Although competitive by nature doing the Grow Off became more about nurturing growth literally and metaphorically in life and at work! I shared the experience with friends and colleagues but more importantly enjoy the enriching experience at home with my wife and 2 young children. This, I think was the best part of the whole experience in all honesty. We shared, giggled, measured and discussed together from the initial planting to seeing the plants reach the heady heights they achieved. Fun, educational and of course satisfying – I recommend anyone to grow not just a sunflower but other plants too!’

Owen, we congratulate you on this life changing achievement and we look forward to you defending your title next year!

Think you’re up for the challenge?

Do you have what it takes?

Are you green fingered enough?

If so email us at with the message “Bring on the seed” and we will send you your seed in the spring. In the meantime, get mulching!

How we’ve been helping our clients Play to Strengths

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Uncategorized

Discover Your Strengths

Discover Your Strengths

We’ve been focussing on playing to strengths with a couple of our clients recently. Here’s how we’ve been doing it.

Jack’s story

Jack had worked for a financial organisation for nearly 30 years, and had recently been made redundant. He hadn’t been happy in the organisation for a number of years, and was relieved to be leaving. Jack spent his time looking for similar roles, as he felt that was where his skills lay. His appetite and energy for looking for new work were low, and he was struggling to see the new and exciting opportunities redundancy can bring.

We talked to Jack about his personal values, strengths and what motivated him to be his best. His values included humour, kindness, judgement and fairness. Through our work with Jack, he realised that he had many strengths – caring, building esteem and connecting with people – which he wasn’t using. As a result of taking the time to learn about himself, Jack is now embarking on a brand new career in a completely new sector: healthcare. He is retraining, and has a new energy and lust for life and work.

“I had become institutionalised in my mindset and my perceived skill set. Pro-Development gave me guidance and the relevant tools to undertake a personal evaluation and open my eyes to the wider abilities and talents I had gained during my working life.”

Jack, May 2015

The Partners Group story

We spent time with the team at PR and communications agency The Partners Group identifying and discussing strengths, learned behaviours, weaknesses and values on an individual basis to help them each understand what motivates, energises and engages them at work.

Following the one-to-one sessions, we ran a half-day workshop bringing all of that information together and helping the team appreciate and value the richness and diversity they each bring. The team openly discussed ways in which they could continue to use their strengths and also identified opportunities to build on the strengths they were not currently using to help them achieve the business vision and goals.

Looking at the overall team profile collectively meant that we could identify potential gaps and challenges, which in turn enabled the team to address anything that could get in the way of achieving their vision.

“We had a good sense of many of the strengths within our team, but what we found really valuable from our work with Pro-Development was uncovering people’s unrealised strengths – the things they’re brilliant at but, for whatever reason, aren’t getting the opportunity to use. We’re now actively looking for opportunities for people to play to those strengths to help us achieve our goals for the business.”

Karen Tinkler, Director, May 2015