“If you want to build a ship, don't drum up men to gather wood, give orders and divide the work. Rather, teach them to yearn for the far and endless sea.”


Click on the arrows to browse clients’ testimonials...

Leicestershire County Council AI Development Day February 2017

“I really like the idea that when we ‘risk assess’ it’s an estimate – I hadn’t thought of it like that before & it gives permission to me to consider people’s choices in a different light.”

“Particularly enjoyed the dream exercise / the ‘star gazing’ what the future could look like; very thought provoking and led to possibilities.”

“All of the day was incredibly useful and insightful.”

Maximising Hope in Leadership January 2017

“Just finished transcribing your interview and wanted to say thanks you again -- incredible!”

Dr. Joan McArthur-Blair
Co-author of Appreciative Inquiry in Higher Education

NHS Clinical Leadership Programme for Safeguarding Children - NHSE South West

“Thank you so much for joining us in Taunton and for your presentation on ‘Appreciative Inquiry and Critical Incident Collaborative Inquiry’ to delegates attending Module Three of the above programme on, 1st June 2016.

At the end of each module delegates are asked to complete an Evaluation Sheet and discuss their opinions regarding aspects of the two day module.

Your presentation was really excellent and very well received by delegates who commented as follows;

  • • Excellent presentation
  • • Would like to read and learn more as definitely needed in safeguarding
  • • Helpful way to look at incidents
  • • Different approach worth exploring
  • • Knowledgeable speaker

It was a pleasure to work with you. We really appreciated your valued contribution to the programme and hope that we have an opportunity to work together again in the future.”

June Kidger, Jane Appleby
Programme Facilitators

Nick Moore - Head of Service for Looked After Children 2014-16

“I have just heard on the grapevine that you are leaving the service. I am very sad to hear this news as you have been a visible, kind and calm manager. I have appreciated your support and very much like your friendly style of working. You will be sadly missed and a great loss.”

Specialist Nurse

“I am very sad to hear that you are leaving. I really enjoyed my afternoon of supervision the other week and was looking forward to more. The service has been very lucky to have you and I feel will definitely be worse off without you being part of it. I have been in Wandsworth for 5 heads of service and this is the 1st time I have felt truly sad for the children, and for us of course. Thank you for all your support and encouragement.”

Clinical Psychologist

“We'll really miss your helpful reflections and support on so many levels.”

Head of Service

“I'm truly sad to see you leave because you are someone who has the integrity and genuine work ethic to want to make a change in a senior position.”

Supervising SW fostering

“Your loss will be keenly felt. I have personally valued your open and inclusive approach and constructive finding of practical solutions. It will be a difficult time ahead with you going.”

Foster carer

“I have really enjoyed working with you, its always a pleasure working with people who put children first and want what's best. I hope your great work that you started will be continued, you will be missed.”

Foster carer

“Its been a pleasure and a privilege to have you unwavering support. Thank you for enabling us to be included in more service development and I'll make sure it continues, You have always been able to cheer me up when I've needed it, thank you for always listening. You'll be missed.”

Participation officer

“I am really sad to hear you are leaving. I think this is a massive loss for Wandsworth and all of our young people. I have never experienced such hands on and supportive management from your level and selfishly am devastated because I was actually thinking that the challenge of the improvement programme would have been an enjoyable if tough process with you leading.”

Clinical Psychologist

“Thank you for everything that you have done to make our lives easier. May God bless you. Sorry that you're leaving.”

Young person Looked After

Feedback on ‘Critical Incident Collaborative Inquiry [CICI]’ June 2015

“It is excellent. A really practical handbook that explains the approach and gives clear and comprehensive guidance on how to apply it, with supporting documentation. It is beautifully cleanly written. Clear and to the point. It flows very well.

It is also inspiring. I believe you and Jayne have produced something of tremendous value and I am honoured to be mentioned in your reference list. Job well done.”

Sarah Lewis
Author of ‘Positive Psychology At Work’

Feedback from a 5 day modular AI workshop with folk from Guys and St Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust who train develop and support staff, and facilitate transformational change October 14 to March 2015

  • “Thank you all so much for what was an excellent program. I thoroughly enjoyed every session. I truly believe that using an AI approach going forward will bring about huge transformational benefits to our practice. Thank you, it's been an excellent learning experience!”
  • “Being told about SOAR, I feel confident about handling difficult meetings with seniors. I think I will have a different outlook take the personal and replace it with the positive. Different approach to dealing with difficult situations with people at a higher level. Thank you for a great experience.”
  • “Being asked to boast and appreciate others. It was amazing how uplifting sessions were and how much they have impacted the way we do things and have conversations. Many important quotes and materials. AI has added rocket fuel to several projects and general ways of doing things that are already heading in a good direction.”

Special thanks to Lesley Moore, Moore Insight Ltd

“I would like to give special thanks to Lesley Moore for being a gifted thinking partner as we discussed the focus of the residential, developed the initial information for distribution and put together the draft agenda.”

Anne Radford
Editor AIP
June 2014

Thanks for joining me on this summit journey!

“I appreciate all your help, tips, support, flexibility, wisdom, friendship, lightness and light (yet powerful) touch approach to facilitating appreciative change. So I am no longer a ‘summit virgin’ and it happened with the best partner and an amazing client system. I could not have asked for any better or more memorable experience!”

David Shaked
AI Practitioner & Author ‘Strength-based Lean Six Sigma’

Managing Family Placements 2013

“We enjoyed having Nick here. He was exactly the right person for the job and importantly for the stage we were at. He helped us to make a lot of progress, changing ways of working while keeping on board our best staff and foster carers. We will miss him, but he has made the job of his permanent successor a more manageable one.”

Kathy Bundred
Head of Childrens Services
London Borough of Havering

Multi-agency Case Reviews in Newcastle May & June 2013

  • “The full and frank discussions that took place were not what I was expecting.”
  • “The supportive way that information was sought and shared between professionals. It was non-judgmental and non-threatening, especially for those workers who had been close to the young person being discussed. The facilitation of the day was excellent and should be commended.”
  • “The opportunity to hear all of the story which enabled the whole picture to be seen.”
  • “I found the process very powerful in relation to reflection and I continue to use the learning from the session and the understanding of other professional roles to guide my daily practice and decision making as a manager.”
  • “This is a really good way of learning from practice, both what went well and also how we can all improve. The fact that it was multi-agency meant that learning could be disseminated and clarification could be sought on issues that could not have been gleaned from a ‘sterile’ set of written records.”
  • “I feel the process was easily to follow and therefore easy to see where things went well, this method also points out the gaps in support and areas where improvements can be made.”
  • “How valuable the approach was, no blame, just a learning focus, people felt enabled to contribute, and to openly reflect on the case and processes.”
  • “I feel relationships are stronger and the recognition that we all play a role in support and safety planning not just CSC, so information is more readily available which supports the decision making process in our roles.”
  • “I hope that more professionals who go through a loss of a young person/service user in this way is treated the same as I was and that they feel that this is a positive experience rather than ‘blame culture’.”
  • “Using this process to capture learning when there could be a traditional SCR. The openness and honesty of the process was helpful for everyone involved, which meant that learning could be more openly and quickly shared with others, than may have been the case with a traditional approach to a case review.”
  • “Excellent process where lessons can be learnt in a safe environment and practitioner’s ideas and recommendations taken forward. The honest/open approach, practitioners shared their knowledge and feelings to allow others in the group to increase knowledge. For the people who do not know the person/people well it brings that person to life to explore issues and ideas.”
  • “How enjoyable the process has been and how motivatory it is to be able to take away tangible and achievable solutions to some of the issues identified.”
  • “...hearing the detail, extent and commitment of professional involvement – this type of information is not always easy to see in records.”
  • “...the value of time to look back and reflect with others is vital and how it helps us to move forward in our practice.”
  • “It’s not just about seeking information but delving deeper and then analysing the information.”
  • “...utilizing this approach allows practitioners to reflect and learn from others to take practice forward. To listen to practitioners who worked and knew A which allowed me to understand and learn from the AICR, the strategies, strengths, difficulties within this case to reflect on my practice but also to take forward ideas, actions required within my organisations.”
  • “The way forward was allowed to come from those who were involved.”
  • “Fear and anxiety create paralysis. Open and safe positive processes create learning and movement.”

Re AI Serious Case Reviews: May 2013

“I thought yesterday was a very worthwhile, insightful and thought provoking day. It has confirmed my belief that AI is definitely the way forward to understand complex cases and to unpick the lessons that can (& should) be learnt from them. I think it was facilitated extremely well and the needs of frontline staff involved were acknowledged and met sensitively. I thought the day was very positive and I feel privileged to have been involved, thank you.”

Vanessa Powell
Named Nurse Child Protection (Community)
Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Great Supervision Looks Like This

“This is great stuff! I will mercilessly steal from it (which it also tells me is ok to do). Be good to talk more. Thank you.”

Jeremy Greenwood 2.5.13

AI Training With NSPCC Consultants May 2012

Here’s what they had to say:

  • “Already had some understanding of approach like this but found AI new & interesting & inspiring.”
  • “Very experienced facilitator – good listener, holding in the moment.”
  • “Lesley has a lovely approach. She is so knowledgeable & calm & this helps facilitate my learning. I knew something about AI prior to the course but still gained a great deal of new knowledge and a confidence about how to implement it in practice.”
  • “Very approachable trainer – Relaxed and safe learning environment - Thank you Lesley.”
  • “Left feeling really good at the end.”
  • “Thanks we’re off to a great start & need to keep the energy going to use this approach more.”

Additionally from NSPCC Consultants October 12:

  • “Up to date info on AI which we could use in our work context.”
  • “I never heard of AI before and really feel I can now use it a lot.”

Announced Inspection of Safeguarding and Looked After Children 2012

Testimonial from the London Borough of Merton, 1st Feb 2012

“Thank you for all the work and preparation you did to assist Merton with its Announced Inspection of Safeguarding and Looked After Children 2012. Your preparation of staff and multi agency partners enabled Merton to do well in the inspection and use the experience to identify further key priorities for the future. There is no doubt that the time you spent assisting us was essential in enabling us to achieve good ratings in key judgement areas. We couldn’t have done it without you!”

Melissa Caslake, Head of Children’s Social Care & Youth Inclusion, London Borough of Merton

NSPCC Safeguarding Looked After Children through Advocacy: Feb – July 2011

Objectives & Contract Specification Achieved

“Highly satisfied. Lesley Moore’s expertise on appreciative inquiry was invaluable but she also has a very sound understanding of social work, child protection and young people’s voice. The entire contract was achieved. Lesley always completed work on time and was amenable to suggestions and discussion. Lesley produced good quality materials and slides. The development manager was very satisfied with both the process of the summits and the content of the final report. The report is being used to help inform the development and delivery of 6 advocacy services in England.”

Recommendation for continued use

“Yes would highly recommend Lesley and would enjoy working with her again.”

“Lesley is a very good facilitator too. She was good at challenging me to think differently and has a strong interest in promoting children’s rights.”

Fiona Becker - Senior Consultant

Finishing off in Croydon March 2011

“It has been a great pleasure to have worked with you over the past few weeks and I would like to thank you on behalf of Croydon Council for the contribution you’ve made to our improvement journey throughout the period of your assignment. I am confident that your guidance and support in relation to ICS implementation, inspection preparation, and service and management development have all played their part in a positive way. Your leadership skills certainly come into their own in a workshop setting as the recent feedback shows!”

Team Managers Day 17.03.11 Evaluations

A few of the many ‘takeaways’:

  • “A sense that Croydon has ‘turned a corner’ and a real feeling of optimism about the future.”
  • “I feel listened to.”
  • “My views have contributed to developing strategies.”
  • “Preparation for inspection.”
  • “Move into the new HUB + Encourage staff to attend the mobile working and ESCR training.”
  • “Discussion regarding risk assessment Knowledge that there is support from my peer group.”
  • “Heads Of Service priorities & Information from serious case review.”
  • “Encourage staff to embrace the changes and accept that they are coming.”

And in addition people commented:

  • “Well structured. Nick did a great job.”
  • “Really useful use of time which makes the managers feel valued.”
  • “It was good to see senior and chief officers present.”

One Service around the Child - Multi Agency working in Croydon

In January 2011 Nick facilitated 2 glorious events: the first with Children’s Social Care, and the second with a range of colleagues from different agencies working with children and young people.

Amongst the things that people said they were taking away were:

  • “Re-charged batteries and new enthusiasm.”
  • “That communication is crucial and every professional is working as part of one big group.”
  • “Commitment & renewed enthusiasm for multi-disciplinary/multi-agency working and early intervention.”
  • “Commitment to putting the child at the centre of all we do.”
  • “The sense that, despite the array of challenges presented to us, we can rise to them.”
  • “A sense of being valued & having been part of a developing plan.”
  • “Sense of common purpose & everyone is working to the same goal.”
  • “Renewed perspective > Improved morale > Determination to succeed.”
  • “Determination to keep trying to engage with young people who are determined not to engage.”
  • “Motivation to progress towards common goals + New ideas on improving communication.”
  • “Reassurance that people feel passionate about safeguarding children.”
  • “A sense of optimism for the future of Children’s Services.”

Manchester Family Placements testimonials

We asked staff across Manchester Family Placements services to tell us what they thought about the contribution Nick Moore made to enabling them to create and manage the changes to their services between August 2008 and September 2009. This is what they said:

  • “As a new manager: I have found Nick extremely supportive on all levels. When times have been really hard, he has been able to help me motivate staff. It was really helpful to have staff in a positive mindset during the time of the inspection and I think a lot of this is the result of all those 'positive stories'.”
  • “He certainly helped to lift morale.”
  • “Nick is very approachable and inclusive. I found this aspect of his work a refreshing change.”
  • “I think without Nick's involvement the whole change process could have been much more problematic.”
  • “Nick is obviously up to date with modern change management theories and techniques.”
  • “Nick has an unusual combination of knowledge, strategic and practical skills, as well as having a flexible and engaging philosophy of management.”
  • “He offered a fresh approach and perspective. Nick was very approachable, felt he could see beyond what people were trying to express. An asset to the organisation.”

When asked what you will take forward into your own work:

  • “Including people means that they will contribute to the change rather than resist it.”
  • “Having a different perspective on how to do things - a holistic approach ... I enjoyed the connection between team and senior mangers. Philosophy - rocks.”

Jo Yelland of Plymouth City Council said on Increasing Choice and Control across the City of Plymouth 4.2.2011

  • I approached Lesley, on recommendation from another council, to help me to design and facilitated an Appreciative Inquiry programme to engage our service users and staff in our transformation agenda. Lesley helped me to think through the issues and advised me on the best way to get the outcomes I needed. She expertly facilitated a number of events for us and indeed we have one coming up next week.
    The events have evaluated very well and have been extremely successful in setting vision and getting buy-in from right across the system helping us to change culture. The AI process Lesley has led for has been highlighted as good practice and will featured in a guide for personalisation shortly being published.
    Lesley has always been open and honest with me and has been empathetic to the needs of the people we work with and has provided support behind the scenes to me and my team which we have really valued.

Comments from people working together in August 2009 on Increasing Choice and Control across the City of Plymouth

  • “It's like going to a really good dinner party, where we had really good conversations, but without the hangover.”
  • “Really well worked day - very useful”
  • “One participant commented that after months of wondering - an image that was created - enabled a new clarity and understanding of the journey ahead.”

From service provision to co-creating independent lives: Living the life I want to... no limits at AFC Bournemouth May 2009

  • “Just to say thank you for an extremely interesting, informative and above all enjoyable day.”
  • “Thank you for all the hard work and energy that you all put into it.”
  • “If there is another such event do please let me know.”
  • “What great feedback! - Pam Richards Dept of Health CSIP”

Making Research Count Seminar March 2009

  • “Trainers were interesting and very knowledgeable. This contributed to mood of training remaining upbeat. Opportunity to be funny and creative while learning at the same time.”
  • “People's commitment and creativity is inspiring.”
  • “This course has reminded me that I should promote my profession with pride.”
  • “I hated the dreaming bit at first! But by the end I thought it was powerful and important.”

Harborough District Children's Services 2009

What was the highlight of the day for you?

  • “Both days were fantastic. The highlight was meeting colleagues and getting a sense of the wealth of services in Harborough.”

What did you enjoy the most?

  • “The opportunities to discover and explore current levels of partnership working and how these can be improved and increased.”

What would you have liked more of?

  • “Nothing, it was great. It's up to us now.”

What are you taking away from this event?

  • “The energy to move forward. New relationships, new content to improve relationships and working together.”
  • “Lesley and Julie were fab!”

Lincolnshire County Council February 2009

  • “The day was a great success and people went away happy and feeling we are making real progress.”
  • “Thanks Julie for helping engender a real positive vibe - which I think is a trademark of your double involvement in these events. People were doing lots and lots of talking and listening, valuing/respecting, growing together and being positive - seeing it in action on the day was really satisfying - a real wow.”
  • “I know that Ian was really happy with the day and what has come out of it. A core group of people drawn from the Reference Groups will work with myself, and those who are the leads for the Leadership, Culture and Workforce Development work-streams to develop some concrete proposals to take to the Putting People First Board in May. The changes that come about will be of particular benefit to the transformation and culture change programme.”
  • “So I would just like to say a real big thank you to you both again - couldn't have done it without you - and your help with supporting, fostering and nurturing a core group of people from the Reference Groups has made a big difference - their involvement has added so much value to the whole process - thank you. Hope to still be in touch and hope we work together again in the future.”

Northumberland Children's Safeguarding Board November 2008

  • “Thanks again to you and your colleague. I really enjoyed the day and as importantly think it generated some really good thinking and energy for the future. Very interesting model and any web links would be much appreciated. Thanks and best wishes for your work.”

CSIP November 2008

  • “Many thanks for the great photos of the day last Friday. Thanks also for facilitating in such a lively and involving way - the day went very well and the approach really worked and certainly got people thinking and working together. We are busily typing up the notes so we can produce a report for everyone.”

Lincolnshire  Skills for Care Event 3rd September 2008

  • “Fantastic to meet people with different backgrounds and exchange information.”
  • “Everything was perfect, thanks!”
  • “Positive feeling of people with a common agenda working towards a better use of resources to improve individuals' lives.”
  • “Inspiring positive input, change is well overdue so I am pleased to be a part of this!”
  • “Broadened my views on caring, increased my self-confidence and become more motivated in my job.”
  • “Gave me hope for a better future, to be able to do my job the way the client wants it doing.”
  • “It was a good day and I have enjoyed it VERY MUCH!”
  • I really enjoyed the day, and working with each one of you was blissful!!!

Warwickshire May 2008

  • “Your facilitation was skilful and invisible”
  • “AI shaped the structure of the event/project and then disappeared. The process was less important than the topic which we were all focusing. We were not aware of moving through the different stages - we were just working out what we wanted to do next.”
  • “I am delighted at what we produced.”
  • “I am amazed at how far people moved during a single day.”
  • Your influence has been huge!

Care Services Improvement Partnership

  • “This is really good, I am very impressed and also glad I asked you as I was beginning to despair of finding anything about creating a vision that wasn't just management jargon! Is it OK to use it as part of the toolkit on the personalization network website?”

Safeguarding in Newcastle April 2007

  • “Light hearted way to broach a serious subject, focusing on positives, rather than much publicized negatives.”
  • “Putting ideas down in a creative and artistic way - space to be creative, group work and interaction.”
  • “Having some fun with the ‘envisioning the ideal future’ exercise! Excellent exercise – strong messages and learning.”
  • “Mixing with other professionals and getting to know them. Positive attitude to safeguarding and change is possible.”
  • “Concentrating on the positives helps to lift up the spirits.”
  • “A renewed enthusiasm! A more positive view of safeguarding processes”
  • “How liberating and refreshing it is to approach a topic.”
  • “Enjoyed it, positive dynamic approach. A change to focus on positives rather than poor practice and the culture of blame.”
  • “Probably the best training day I have attended to date.”

SCIE: Evaluating the Partners Council 2006

  • “That was the best discussion we’ve ever had (Advisory Group).”
  • “The AI process was particularly successful in identifying the challenges that faced the Partners’ Council; Julie and Lesley were very skilled in presenting these findings.”
  • “As the inquiry progressed, I became more certain that the methodology was very well suited to the task. Focusing on the positives and looking at what was already valued as well as where we wanted to be in the future proved incredibly helpful. A more traditional evaluative methodology may not have yielded such positive results. By focusing on the Council’s strengths the process of the evaluation boosted members and staff morale rather than sapping it.”
  • “The AI was an active process so not only were issues, problems and a new direction identified but actually, during the evaluation, the Partners’ Council began to move forward. It was particularly helpful in achieving greater involvement and commitment at SCIE Director and Trustee level and in developing a detailed action plan. We are making good progress in implementing this action plan and the Partners’ Council is changing and improving.”
  • “For us, the most important outcome from the inquiry was the way it allowed everyone involved in the Partners’ Council to recognize and value it, and focus on building on its’ strengths. The real difference the evaluation made is that we have moved from a situation where the Council was considered a bold experiment to the realization that the Council is a unique initiative with enormous potential and wide application and something of which SCIE can be rightly proud.”

Lincolnshire Adults Social Care (Advisory group)

  • “A remarkable level of positive feedback following the day. Even those with a gold medal for cynicism now have a thirst and enthusiasm for change.”
  • “Lots of enthusiasm and fantastic ideas took hold of people.”
  • “We have a new understanding of and support for our journey of change”
  • “Everyone really enjoyed the day, there was and is lots of energy and the positive feedback continues.”
  • “An effective model, which generates enthusiasm, energy and a wish for change, and is fun to do.”
  • “Brilliant.”

Integrated Children's System workshops

  • “We have achieved a new and shared understanding of outstanding practice which includes the most dynamic and mutually effective use of ICS and other joint working support systems.”
  • “We have imagined and begun the design of our ideal and preferred future in which best practice is clear, supported and happening all the time.”

Barnardo’s Safeguarding Children’s Board October 2010

What was the highlight?

  • “I greatly enjoyed the innovative and flexible approach … which allowed for the task to be accomplished in a lively and entertaining way.”
  • “I thought the exercise using appreciative inquiry was extremely valuable in helping me to think laterally about the ways in which I and others in my department help safeguard children.”
  • “The way in which we started broad brush with reflections on personal experience and funnelled down to strategic direction by the close of the day.”

What are you taking away?

  • “That the Board and leadership of the same have a clear plan to drive forward the work of the group and in particular the corporate responsibility.”
  • “Renewed hope that we can have a clear achievable strategy and effective safeguarding board.”
  • “I will be thinking a great deal more about how the safeguarding role can be made more explicit within my department so that all staff clearly understand and take responsibility for the role we have to play.”
  • “A real appreciation of positive enquiry.”
  • “A sense of a framework and priorities on which to develop the next strategic plan for safeguarding at UK level.”
  • “A sense of clarity about where we are, establishing a strategy and reassurance of energy and commitment in the group.”

And anything else?

  • “Big thank you to Lesley for all her hard work in planning the day and helping me go with an idea about what we should do, and for her excellent facilitation skills and style. I also think we should have time in the Board for some none agenda space to keep sharing success stories as well as things that needs improving or are difficult.”
  • “I enjoyed the different, fresh approach. I thought it was also very helpful to have an external facilitator in bringing objectivity and ‘bigger picture’ thinking to the day. I thought it was a stimulating event and we should create more opportunities for this kind of reflective / planning activity.”
  • “Very well facilitated and paced throughout the day – many thanks.”