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Hate Change? Or Love It!

It depends whether change is imposed (like tax) or chosen (like marriage).


Hate Change? Or Love It!

It depends whether change is imposed (like tax) or chosen (like marriage).

Imposed Change vs Chosen Change

We ensure change is chosen. Here's how astute management of change ensures it is chosen.

Imposed Change vs Chosen Change

We ensure change is chosen. Here's how astute management of change ensures it is chosen.




Change management is key. Where change was badly managed and imposed, staff could not accept the change. They said:

"There was little absorption of change. Constant change led to fatigue."
"Change was blocked because of poor leadership and weak teams."
"Not enough buy-in was created. Engagement was lip-service."
"Change just became an HR thing - all about behaviours."   
"Fear, cynicism and politics led to more of the same."  
"There was a lack of vision & strategic direction."
"It was just about systems and processes." 
"The change was too top down."
'It all took far too long."
"Change was too rushed."
"Tried to do change on ourselves."
"Toxic relationships nipped change in the bud."
"Change was not role-modelled by senior staff/leaders."
"It was all too theoretical. What do individuals need to do differently?!?"
"It felt like we moved the furniture around, but nothing material changed."
"No clear outcomes, no endpoint in sight. So there were no clear results."
"There was lots of disruption, but very little actual change."
"It felt like the wheel was being reinvented."

Imposed change disrupts in unproductive ways. Contrast this with how we managed change at Ella's Kitchen, whose founder commended our change management for setting them up to continue their exceptional growth in "a better-managed and more focused way."




Ella's Kitchen has grown rapidly and is now a $100m business. We helped manage the change their fast growth required such that it was not just chosen but also championed and lead by staff. We assisted with:

1. Vision: Developing and communicating a vision clearly and often, so everyone could see what the future held.

2. Power: Establishing a powerful guiding coalition, involving all those people who had a hold on the reins.

3. Engagement: Enthusing staff to choose to be agents of change by first nurturing mindfulness and then spotlighting the gap to be crossed.

4. Involvement: Organising volunteers to draw up and be advocates for a change manifesto. People support what they help create.

5. Measurement: Setting early-win and longer-term goals and validating progress promptly in line with their fast-response culture.

Ella's Kitchen subsequently won International Business of the Year at Growing Business’ 2011 Fast Growth Business Awards, and many other awards since. Their founder said that our work "gave him invaluable advice on creating a team, defining the roles you need, preserving your founding values and coping with rapid growth."

We call our method Change by Choice. It's a pragmatic tried-and-tested way of harnessing the chaotic energy of change, without suppressing the disruption that is a mark of real change.

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Change by Choice

Choice leads to engagement, which leads to ownership.

Change by Choice

Choice leads to engagement, which leads to ownership.

Change by Choice has three elements:

Radical Engagement = Buy-in  |  Wholesale Change = All-embracing  |  Assured Execution = Results

 1. Radical ENGAGEMENT

Radical Engagement ensures buy-in to change. It leads to relationships based on mindfulness that are real, gritty, robust, respectful, and less prone to fear and politics. The result is a critical mass of the workforce so engaged that they self-select to drive change they’ve helped identify.

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Wholesale Change means changes to attitude/culture (mind) are intertwined with changes in process/structure (machine). There's no point in developing the corporate 'car' without also developing the corporate 'drivers'... and vice versa.


3. Assured execution 

Change by Choice produces outcomes that are measurable, time-bound and delivered. Assured Execution is achieved by identifying key change milestones and measuring both 'soft' and 'hard' goals, from improvements in attitude to improvements in profitability, in fact to all aspects of the triple bottom line.

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Mindfulness and the Art of Change by Choice

Mindfulness facilitates change and boosts performance.

Mindfulness and the Art of Change by Choice

Mindfulness facilitates change and boosts performance.

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For CEOs and C-Suite Executives who want to manage change with the full and active support of their colleagues. £15.99 on Amazon. CLICK HERE

Mindfulness increases performance

Mindfulness is used by the US Navy SEALs and the British SAS. It helps with resilience and self-control whatever change you are fighting for, be it at the front line or for your bottom line. See Mindfulness in Action: Discovering How U.S. Navy SEALs Build Capacity for Mindfulness in High-Reliability Organizations (HROs).

It changes the brain in 8 weeks. It increases job performance. As a form of meta-awareness or self-observation, mindfulness affects reasoning and decision-making. It increases readiness to take greater responsibility at work, and it helps people respond calmly rather than react defensively. The boost it gives to results can come as no surprise.

Mindfulness has also been associated with a reduction in stress and anxiety. These are emotions that arise when you change management culture, working processes, structure and strategy. Such feelings can seriously hamper progress if not handled correctly.

In this book Philip Cox-Hynd lays out his mindfulness-led methodology for smoothly managing change both in what is done (strategy and processes) and in how it's done (mindset and culture).

He explains how to display the Radical Leadership that has colleagues driving change with the fervour and resilience of US Navy SEALs.

Philip writes about Pfizer where he was the lead change consultant on the Viagra project, getting Viagra to market nine months early. He also writes about Ella’s Kitchen, the UK's largest baby food firm, which used Philip's intervention to sustain its exceptional growth.

Philip reveals how he used his Change by Choice methodology to give Ella's Kitchen staff the agency they needed to own, drive and even seek accountability for the change-for-growth program that led to the very successful sale of the company. 

Read what the chairman of Ella's Kitchen had to say. CLICK HERE

MINDFULNESS, Leadership and Change WORKSHOP

As a Speaker for Vistage UK, Philip delivers workshops on aspects of the book. He can do so for your company at your offices or for yourself at a Vistage event.

See Workshop details here.

He explores the meaning and benefits of Mindfulness and illustrates how a mindful approach to leadership and managing change makes it easier to create a culture of radical engagement.

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Some of Our Change Projects

They are fully explained in our new guide to change.

Some of Our Change Projects

They are fully explained in our new guide to change.

some change projects led by Philip cox-hynd, harley young's co-founder:

An amazing culture sustained during massive growth

When Paul Lindley, general manager of Nickelodeon, and his wife Alison had trouble getting their daughter Ella to eat healthy food on the go, they decided to do something about it. They created their first product, the organic Red One fruit smoothie, in their own kitchen. And so, in 2006, Ella’s Kitchen was born. By 2009, there were many different pouches of organic food for baby and toddler in all of the major UK supermarket chains. And employee numbers were growing at 150% year on year. 

Paul's question to us was, “How can I maintain the initial ‘can-do’ and strong ‘emotional equity’ culture with the workforce growing so rapidly?"

Between 2009 and 2012 we worked with Paul to implement the full Change by Choice methodology. The employees helped identify the changes and drive the implementation at a pace they and the business could sustain.

With Philip's help, the company sustained its culture and reached 200 million units sold in the first six years of business. In 2013 the company was bought by Hain Celestial and is now No. 3 in the UK market after Cow & Gate and Heinz.

Paul Lindley, Founder & MD, of Ella's Kitchen said:

"Philip worked with us to develop our management style, from functional-based affairs to relationship-based engagements. He took great care and time to understand the function and expectations of our processes and the culture – worked with us all collectively and as individuals – and took the management team on a journey of self-discovery to really understand ourselves and how we were perceived by others. This change set us up for continuing our company’s exceptional growth in a better-managed and more focused way."

Viagra to market nine months ahead of schedule

A process re-engineering project was failing because it was rubbing up against the culture. Something had to be done, and quickly. So we were brought in to ensure people throughout the company would welcome and adopt the changes in process.

In the pharmaceutical world, a new drug is given a patent that begins to expire well before it is developed and brought to market.

Pfizer contracted a process re-engineering consultancy with the brief: “Bring our drugs to market more quickly.”

The drug development team they were assigned to were developing an angina drug that wasn’t proving very good in early trials, but seemed to have other properties. 

Pfizer thought that perhaps time-to-market improvements could be brought about on this low-key drug, and if useful, could be applied to other more important drugs being developed.

When the business process re-engineering project started to fail we were brought in to work alongside the BPR consultancy. Our task was to change the culture alongside changes in process, systems and structure. 

This is where the fully rounded change methodology of Change by Choice was honed: cultural ‘software’ and company ‘hardware’ developed together.

We worked on the project for two years. The failed angina drug turned out to be Viagra and we helped shave nine months off time to market.

To this day Viagra is still the most financially successful invention ever. 

Click here for a detailed case history.

The UK's No 2 media agency re-energised and differentiated

OMD wished to re-energise their culture and create greater differentiation in an overcrowded market place. 

The top players were promising similar services with competing claims of how they were better and OMD were struggling to maintain ground, let alone move ahead.

They called on us. Our challenge was that the advertising and media industry can be quite cynical and resistant to outside ideas. 

Yet OMD became inspired by the bottom-up and inside-out approach of Orchestrated Disruption: the way we get radical buy-in that's so deep a critical mass of the workforce will drive the change. 

This aspect of the Change by Choice methodology proved critical in achieving the desired outcomes.

In the year of the change programme, OMD UK retained more business than in any previous year, and won the largest new client deal of any other UK agency. 

The CEO and the MD put these achievements down in large part to the change programme Philip delivered. OMD has been Global Media Agency of the Year 11 times in a row.

Steve Williams, CEO, OMD UK said:

"Philip is of a rare breed and a powerful character. 

He has tremendous skill in understanding and merging the more emotive side of business management and change, with the hard-edged areas such as process, structure and strategy. 

Philip masterfully delivers this blend – the results became graphically clear."


Some questions clients have asked our MD, Philip Cox-Hynd, about managing change:

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About Philip Cox-Hynd

Managing Director, Harley Young

About Philip Cox-Hynd

Managing Director, Harley Young

Philip's Background

Based in Henley-on-Thames UK, Harley Young is an implementational consultancy, comprised of change gladiators!

The co-founder, Philip Cox-Hynd, dovetails his expertise in human development with strategy and process improvement.

In the human development field his expertise was gained leading public seminars for Exegesis (the UK version of Landmark Forum) in the 1980s, working with the Human Awareness Institute of California, as well as collaborating with John Grinder, co-formulator of NLP. 

Philip combined this expertise with insights gained working with the inventors of business process re-engineering, work on strategy at Henley Business School UK, as well as hands-on experience on client projects over 25 years, delivering lasting corporate change.

This combination led to Philip becoming a strategic and cultural change management expert and, through his company, Harley Young, he has designed and implemented growth-led change programs for large and small corporations such as Barclays, Pfizer, Microsoft, Arup and Ella's Kitchen. 

Philip is interviewed about his life and work by BBC Radio and others on this page. 

Click the player below to listen

Click the player below to listen

Philip's Methodology

Philip's extensive experience gained within client companies enabled him to develop the Change by Choice methodology which encapsulates the definition, delivery, and hands-on implementation of strategy-led behavioural change. 

His expertise covers most aspects of how to accelerate growth in a company.

This is achieved via firstly improving leadership through the Radical Engagement process to crystallise direction and role-model relationships that inspire. 

Secondly, growth acceleration is also achieved via the Unreasonable Buy-in process used to engage and galvanise the staff themselves to drive change from the bottom up.

Engaging a critical mass of staff to the point where they want to drive change has become his speciality.

Philip has worked with companies in sectors as diverse as IT, food production, consumer goods, engineering, pharmaceuticals, customer service and investment banking.

Philip is a Vipassana meditator - Vipassana is the origin of mindfulness - and he started this discipline in 2003, continuing to this day.