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Penny Sophocleous BA, FInstLM

Roles

Flow Consultant

Location

Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

Get in touch

http://www.corpalc.com
penny@corpalc.com
Tel  44 (0)1707 322500

Networking

  • Facebook

Bio

Penny Sophocleous is the Chief Executive of Corporate Alchemy, a consulting, business coaching and training company which she founded in 1999.  Penny facilitates Talent Dynamics workshops for executive boards and teams of people facing challenging business development issues, helping them build strong teams based on trust and creating flow. She has a passionate interest in progressing people and business, and her professional training as an executive coach, assists her to listen deeply, elicit authentic answers from individuals and challenge where required, to progress situations forward.

Corporate Alchemy works with international corporate organisations, including BP, Camelot, City & Guilds, Lafarge, Unilever, The Body Shop and Xerox, assisting executives manage the challenges of working together and progressing the strategic plans of their organisation. In addition, they also works with a wide range of professional services firms, where partners and senior associates engage in personal development programmes that take them from being technical experts to being business leaders. Corporate Alchemy help executives manage and lead successfully.

At Corporate Alchemy a team of 9 senior professionals, with deep expertise in executive coaching and training, support her with delivering programmes that enable Change to be implemented Successfully and in-house Talent to be developed.

Penny’s business experience prior to establishing Corporate Alchemy was in financial services, involving strategy, financing and marketing disciplines and these are useful sources of knowledge when consulting and facilitating clients.Whilst working in the financial services sector, she specialised in the Eurobond markets and managed key relationships with clients for a number of City institutions.  She was responsible for winning new business from significant organisations and raising finance for them in the international capital markets.  Penny achieved a Directorship at the Chase Investment Bank and later went on to work at the London Stock Exchange. She travelled to over 32 different countries and now also has various clients overseas.

She professionally retrained as a coach in 2001, graduating from Corporate CoachU and achieved her Professional Certified Coach (PCC) accreditation with the ICF. She is a member of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management.

She is in demand as a facilitator, workshop leader and executive coach for in-house corporate events. She has also led seminars at the IOD, LETG, PD Expo and individual companies focusing on Talent Dynamics, business and team development, emotional intelligence and leadership.

The process followed has allowed me to better understand my own strengths and the strengths of others around me in the team. The talent dynamics process has been interesting. I didn’t get it early in our sessions, but now we have wider mapping of the team I feel this has given me a clear understanding of my own interests and skills, how my time and influence is best used and also how I interact with others in the team.

Creating a positive environment is difficult because everyone sees and is concerned about financial performance, but I do think things have improved and I’ve received good feedback from those around me in this respect.

Having a better plan, having targets and showing progress against targets helps significantly. I’ve become better at judging the emotions of others and responding or guiding them in a more constructive manner.

I’ve become more resilient and less focused on our financial performance, with a much greater focus on what we aspire to be, how we will get there and what positive progress we are making.

It’s been a great experience. I was quite sceptical to start with. I think having an external coach is preferable to one within the organisation. It can be a much more trusting and open relationship. Penny knows enough about *****, our culture, values and challenges that she can go beyond what I perceive to be a normal coaching role. This means she can challenge the coachee more during discussion and to an extent offer advice/mentoring as well. I perceive this as going beyond what most coaches could offer.

I like the Talent Dynamics process, but I didn’t really understand it until we mapped the whole team and Penny presented the profiles to us (which was right at the end of my 6 months coaching). I think we could have made quicker progress with the team if we’d done this earlier.

Director wishing to remain anonymous
Director of Engineering consultancy

The Talent Dynamics profile was used as part of the coaching programme.

"The coaching sessions helped me tremendously to understand better myself (my strengths, my weaknesses), to step back from my working environment and ask myself the right questions in order to face difficult situations. ... It helped me to have a healthy and objective approach to contentious situations. It also helped me having a more open-minded view on people."

Momo Kanayama
Director at the Body Shop International

We have used Corporate Alchemy for over four years for a number of different interventions, including business development, executive coaching, leadership and management training.

They have helped us train 20 of our senior managers and team leaders in all aspects of management training and leadership. .. The organisation has benefitted widely from the new learning acquired by the managers and I can see the value generated in morale, improved performance and bottom-line results in profits.

Personally, I have appreciated the sounding board opportunity of working with Penny, one of their senior coaches at challenging times in the business cycle and the process has helped me grow in confidence and capability.

Chris Moore
Managing Director of Continental Datagraphics, a Boeing company

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