Claudie Plen - Openness Consulting

Claudie Plen, Openness Founder

Claudie designs and delivers bespoke programmes which support business growth and engagement.

About Claudie Plen

Her expertise in leadership development, innovation, soft skills and team building, enable her to create deep shifts in company culture across the board but what’s really important to her is helping people to lead with meaning and purpose, teams to collaborate consciously and creatively and organisations to innovate and grow sustainably and ethically.

Starting her career in academic publishing, she gained senior management experience across production and marketing before setting up her first coaching and training business in 2003. She has nine years experience as a consultant, facilitator, trainer, and executive coach to CEO and board/senior management level.

Over the years Claudie’s clients have included a wide range of organisations including HSBC, Ford Motor Company, Nokia, Burberry, Google, Rolls-Royce, Savills, and The British Red Cross. She has delivered several publically funded leadership and business support programmes for the public sector via Creative and Cultural Skills, The Cultural Leadership Programme, The British Library, University of the Arts London, and UK Music and created the first Young Account Executives Academy for the Cannes Lions Festival of Advertising in 2012.


Every time I meet Claudie it is positive experience, that I leave the richer in some way. Working with Claudie is a joy. She gets it. It is rare to find someone who is as skilled, personable and fun to work with. Who can navigate the complex web of companies internal team dysfunctions, emotions and politics and then to get them working cohesively. Openness Consulting are an unbeatable team to work as positive agents of change for your company.

Andrew McKinlay Director, Global Marketing Operations, Nokia


Sam Lizars, Communication and Engagement

Sam is a specialist in internal comms, employee engagement and culture change.

About Sam Lizars

She has designed and implemented both internal and external communications and engagement programmes for some of the world’s biggest brands, including IBM, GSK, Nokia and Unilever.

In 2011, she worked with Lloyds Banking Group as Head of Communications for Retail Integration; leading the overarching communications campaign to win the hearts and minds of retail employees, as they went through the biggest change programme the organisation had ever seen.

With an innate understanding of the power of openness, Sam works with companies of all sizes to help them create a culture in which they can unleash the true potential of their teams; turn colleagues into collaborators and pave the way for a great customer experience.

Recently she has spoken at thought leadership events on ‘Employee Engagement and Sustainability’, and ‘Effective Internal Communications’.


Samantha has probably got the highest EQ of anyone I’ve ever worked with. She has this amazing ability to see the entire person in their role at work, making her an incredible team player. 

As an Employee Engagement Specialist she has an eviable mix of gut instinct, passion and experience that makes her invaluable to anyone lucky enough to work with her.

Lea Simpson, Strategy Director


Sarah Lane, Coaching and Training

Sarah brings a pragmatic approach to the psychology of change.

About Sarah Lane

With over 3000 hours of coaching experience and business focus, she helps individual leaders and teams performance to go from good to great. As a coach and trainer, Sarah understands that meaningful change occurs over a period of time. She uses an intuitive sense of what is needed by gathering facts to be able to hone in on the true heart of issues. Her style works with the knowledge that human beings are multi faceted by nature, so achieves lasting change with clients by taking a holistic approach and working with the whole person or organisational system.

Sarah specialises in top team coaching, talent management and behavioural change. She has coached and delivered training across various sectors making a significant difference to the outlook and capability to leaders, teams and businesses alike. Recent clients include: Allianz, British Red Cross, Abbott Laboratories, Telefonica O2, Parker Hannifin, HTC, BNP Paribas, BAE, the Telegraph Media Group and Topps Tiles amongst numerous others.


Sarah is a highly personable and approachable coach. With laser precision, she is a master at coaching executives to help them achieve outstanding professional results quickly. Sarah has a rare knack of understanding the subtleties of clients emotional as well as rational mind states and can navigate them both to bring enormously successful results. A rare star in the ever-expanding coaching world.

Richard Murfitt, Head of Brand Marketing at

Openness Consulting - Andy Smith

Andy Smith, NLP + Emotional Intelligence

Andy is a specialist in Appreciative Inquiry and emotional intelligence and has been a certified NLP trainer since 1997.

About Andy Smith


With 20 years of people development experience, he specialises in the practical application of leading-edge approaches to the personal development of leaders and key professionals. Andy is the author of “Leadership EQ: How To Lead With Emotional Intelligence” (Coaching Leaders 2014), “The Trainer’s Pack of NLP Exercises” (Coaching Leaders 2013) and “Achieve Your Goals: Strategies To Transform Your Life” (Dorling Kindersley 2006).

Andy’s work ranges from Appreciative Inquiry facilitation and training, through executive coaching to the design and delivery of coaching skills training for managers and coaches. He has developed coaching and facilitation models that incorporate appreciative and solution-focused tools in practical and jargon-free formats.

Andy has extensive training experience in the UK, and in SE Asia (Malaysia and Singapore) and the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar, and Egypt). His clients include O2, the NHS, the Defence Academy of the UK, GlaxoSmithKline, Handpicked Hotels, Mizuho Corporate Bank, and the Madinah Institute for Learning and Entrepreneurship (MILE) where he is a faculty member.


With great speed and precision Andy helped my business partner and I to identify very clearly what the issues in our business were, and then helped us fix them. On a personal level, he also helped me to improve aspects of my performance and ‘work persona’ in quite revolutionary ways! I think he possesses a powerful and creative set of skills that were employed with dexterity to produce real benefits for me and for our business, and I am grateful to him for doing so.

Martin Carr, Managing Director, True North