"If you’ve got important stuff to discuss, and you meet badly, it’s hard to feel inspired, even confident in the ideas had and the decisions made."

Ginny Baillie, Drum Founder

"I want my people to come up with ideas and tell me how they think things should work"


In my 22 years of coaching if there’s one thing that leaders say to me over everything else (that I can repeat…) it’s ‘I want my people to come up with ideas and tell me how they think it should work’.

Having inspired people all pulling in the same direction, being able to hold dissenting views, challenge, innovate and energise themselves and each other has to be the holy grail.

It also seems to be bloody difficult.   My own leadership is chequered with stepping on other people’s toes, not listening when I should have and failing to notice talent in quiet spots.

Leaders also say, a lot, ‘I want to help’ – and what they mean by this is often ‘I want to help in the way I think is helping’ – a bit like I say I want to raise my kids right, then I shout at them to get in the car in the morning and then I sulk all the way to the bus stop when they’re three minutes late and have forgotten their sports kit.

The other thing is leaders read books and go on courses, they try really hard to do it right.  Leaders often feel pressure to be more like other leaders they know are effective. No need, you already have what you need to do it your way, you just might need to grow it more.  Feel free to be inspired by others and it has to be your way.

The way we do it at Drum is we get leaders together to talk about real stuff and we transfer the skills to meet well.  Without those skills it’s way less than it can be.

It really is about meeting well....


This ‘meeting well’ business means that organisations can be self sustaining in their development of their people, they won’t need external development interventions they way they do now.   People across businesses face such similar challenges and opportunities and they can be powerful resources for each other.   And there’s a rigor to this, in how you gather, and it’s not all agendas, and who chairs and minutes and timings.   It’s paying attention, genuine curiosity, just enough coaching, advice in groups of people who know the lay of the land and can be helpful in a way no external support can.

Leaders resource from each other in a Drum, and build skills to continue to do so


When colleagues get to hear that they, too, are feeling vulnerable and don’t know the answers.  They share ideas and issues with the very people who know what it is like to be in their shoes, the credibility of their support would have so much more weight.

This is not about finding a friend at work. It’s about sourcing trusted relationships AND getting strong support. It’s about meeting ‘well’, coaching each other and taking time to think things through. Spending time to invest in your leadership potential and leaving your discussions feeling that you have achieved the tools to be the leader you are proud to be.

Drum works by...


  1. Accessing the resourcefulness of leaders
  2. Bringing humanity, reality and vulnerability into the workplace.


Where I’ve come from



Leaving school slightly prematurely at 17, I went straight into property and finance. I continued my career in Hong Kong, operating as an equities broker in subcontinent markets working in weak-form economies. I was one of the first people to advise the Governor of the State Bank of Nepal on opening their markets to foreign investors. I returned to the UK to work on the London Asian Equity desk of UBS to continue my career as a stockbroker. But it wasn’t the same as in Hong Kong.

In 1997 I hired a coach to get me out of stockbroking, I was making lots of money but was utterly miserable and didn’t know what to do (making lots of money interfered with free thinking!). Coaching transformed what felt possible for me. I wanted to be able to give others the experience of being able to change how things are for them, even when nothing is changing around them.


I went on to teach on the faculty of CoachU, then the largest coach training org in the world. I designed and taught the top coaching diploma for the Institute of Leadership and Management. I was responsible for training many CEOs and senior directors in the NHS across Wales in coaching skills and approaches. In 2005 I became one of the first Master Certified Coaches in the UK. I speak and chair conferences and panels. My work as a coach is at the top of organisations and across many sectors: public sector, education, IT, private equity, global media, finance, global pharma, aeronautics and publishing.

Everything I know in my 22 years of full-time coaching is from my experience, my clients and colleagues and the various trucks of interest I have hitched rides on in that time. I consider myself a tracker of what’s useful, I’m always curious to know ‘did that really work’ and it’s all about the everyday for me, what works in everyday life, if it doesn’t sustain then it needs looking at again.  Hence the development of Drum.