Skip to content

What’s in our name?

talent… we’re focused on helping  ‘talent’  in any organisation perform to its best ability. For us talent means everyone.

smoothie… we want to help create the best blended working environment that works for whatever generation, background, orientation or skill set. Let’s be amazing together.

Check out our blended team.

Justine James Founder and Managing Director talentsmoothie (team photos)

Justine James

Founding Director

Justine makes it her business to understand what motivates and engages people at work. She is future focused and leads on-going research into Gen Y, Gen Z, the ageing population and the changing world of work. Before founding talentsmoothie she held senior management and consulting roles in top professional services firms such as PwC. She uses her 20+ years of in-house and consulting experience to help her clients’ organisations connect better with their people and create environments where people can thrive and do their best work. Justine has a BA Honours Degree in Economic and Social History from Exeter University, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (FCIPD) and sailed around the world at the age of 22.

Jan Abbey Consultant talentsmoothie (team photos)

Jan Abbey


Jan’s knowledge, insight and empathy inspires people and organisations. The combination ofher consultancy, coaching, management and operational experience is powerful; she has great empathy and builds trust quickly. She helps people achieve their potential, improve their impact and effectiveness and increase the performance of their teams. Her multi-sector and international experience enables her to coach leaders and teams for the challenges that face global business today. Jan works across our EVP and Employee Engagement areas. Jan has a BA Honours degree in Business. She is a qualified coach. She is accredited in the Schroder Leadership Competency Model and the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument and is a qualified MBTI® practitioner.

Ali Croome Consultant talentsmoothie (team photos)

Ali Croome


Ali loves helping our clients to create positive and inspiring places to work. She does this by identifying and helping to implement the things that employees want most at work. She has held HR generalist and specialist roles in successful blue chip organisations. In her consultancy career she has worked in the UK, Europe, USA and in the Middle East on EVPs, change, organisation, team and leadership development projects. She is also a career coach. Ali has a BA Honours degree in French and German. She is a member of CIPD and BPS (instruments include the OPQ) and is accredited in the Schroder Leadership Competency Model, the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument. She is also a qualified MBTI® practitioner.

Matt Keen Consultant talentsmoothie (team photos)

Matt Keen


Matt gets a huge buzz from dealing with the complexity, ambiguity and cultural challenges that come from working with people. He does this by helping clients develop scalable solutions to deal with the constantly evolving needs of their people. He has held consulting, commercial and HR roles in a variety of blue chip organisations and worked extensively in the UK, Europe and US. He specialises in leadership and talent development, culture, organisation design and AgileHR. Matt has a MA (Oxon) in Ancient and Modern History from The Queen’s College, Oxford, an Executive MBA with Distinction from Case Business School and is currently reading for a MSc in Executive Coaching at Ashridge. He is a Governor for St Albans High School for Girls, a Trustee of the Pioneer Youth Club in St Albans and Co-Founder of the AgileHR Meetup.

David North Consultant talentsmoothie (team photos)

David North


David is a seasoned organisational change consultant. He brings a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and insight to projects. And his approachable, empathic nature means he develops great relationships quickly. He has worked in talent management, leadership development, and organisational change for over thirty years. In his corporate career he has held senior roles the financial services sector and has worked in many parts of the world, including a five year assignment to the USA with a FTSE 100 company. David has a B Soc Sci in Economic and Social History and an MA in Strategic Human Resource Development. He holds a post-graduate Diploma in Coaching and Mentoring Practice and is a qualified MBTI® practitioner.

Jen Lawrence Consultant talentsmoothie (team photos)

Jen Lawrence


Jen is an experienced FCIPD HR Consultant, facilitator and Executive Coach. She is particularly passionate about Employee Experience and culture; she is on a mission to help people and organisations to be at their best. She has led a number of transformational programmes that have created and delivered innovative and forward thinking HR strategies, achieving both internal and external recognition such as Top 5 Great Places to Work, Business Culture Award winners and Britain’s Healthiest Workplace! Jen has worked across FMCG, Technology, Retail and Travel sectors holding HRD roles within Unilever, Lindt and Virgin Atlantic. She is a qualified practitioner of Insights, Luminar Sparks, Hogan and is also qualified Executive Coach. She enjoys bringing clarity and focus to her work with creative, energy/fun and pragmatic ideas. A mother of two teenagers and a fan of the outdoors, she loves kayaking, playing tennis and cycling.

Caroline Conner Consultant talentsmoothie (team photos)

Caroline Conner


Caroline has worked for ten years as a coach and facilitator. She enjoys working with groups and individuals at all levels to help them achieve their very best. Her warm approach and ability to partner with the organisations to achieve their goals has led clients to describe her as “our fifth Beatle”. Caroline held senior commercial positions within major UK magazine publishing houses. She uses her experience to help our clients create the right environment for their people to develop and grow. Caroline has a degree in Modern and Mediaeval Languages from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. She is accredited in the Schroder Leadership Competency Model, The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument and is an NLP practitioner.

Ali Herdman Consultant talentsmoothie (team photos)

Ali Herdman


Ali is a skilled facilitator and coach. She brings a wonderful sense of humour to her work and clients love her for the combination of her intelligent insight and down-to-earth, practical approach. Ali has over twenty-five years experience of people and organisation development in the UK and internationally. Before becoming a consultant she held senior HR and OD roles in the financial services sector including as Head of OD for a FTSE 100 company. Ali has an MBA from Lancaster University Management School, is a graduate of the Advanced OD/HRM programme at Columbia University, New York and is a Member of the International Organisational Development Association. She is a qualified MBTI® practitioner and TMS user.

Paul Alderson Consultant talentsmoothie (team photos)

Paul Alderson


Paul combines his conceptual insight with a diligent eye for detail. He has over 25 years experience in graphic design, through-the-line advertising, digital media and employer communications. He is confident taking a brief through from inception to the final product, having a talent and passion for crafting. He has won industry awards for many blue chip clients, including  a prestigious CIPD Award for Graduate Campaign of the year for KPMG (2011). Paul has Degrees in Graphic Design and Economics. He has worked internationally and in the UK. Paul is a dedicated cyclist competing regularly. He cycled from London to Istanbul in 2014 in less than two weeks. Any other time he spends with his family and walking the dog.

Katrina Wray Consultant talentsmoothie (team photos)

Katrina Wray


Katrina is an experienced behavioural consultant, facilitator and coach. She enjoys working with leaders, managers and individuals to help them build truly effective teams, where people can do their best work every day. She has worked across a range of sectors with clients in Europe, USA and APAC, and specialises in organisational design, leadership development and change projects. People describe Katrina as reassuringly calm, with a knack for bringing clarity to complex situations. She has a BSc Hons in Psychology from University College London and a Diploma in Training Management.  She is a member of the CIPD and BPS, is accredited in Schroder’s High Performance Leadership Framework and has a license to use a number of psychometric tools.

Joseph Hutchinson Consultant talentsmoothie (team photos)

Joseph Hutchinson


Joseph has over 10 years of employee communications experience and has been creative lead on accounts ranging all the way from the Ministry of Defence to HSBC. He has won multiple industry awards for his employer branding, website development and advertising work — and he has experience in a huge variety of creative activities including writing speeches for global C-suite executives, developing and running copywriting workshops and devising online games. During his career, Joseph has had stints with two major employee communications agencies, as well as spending time working as a creative-consultant-come-stay-at-home dad. He has a first-class music degree from Worcester College, Oxford.

Tim Cox


Tim is responsible for devising creative concepts and for making sure communications embody the right visual style to meet client guidelines and engage employees and candidates. Having initially trained in Art, Graphic Design and Advertising, he has 10 years’ experience in the communications industry, developing employer brands and internal communications materials, working closely with copywriters, digital, photography, print and production teams. Tim has worked on a number of award-winning pieces of work, including ‘Best use of Print Advertisement’ and ‘Ambient/outdoor’ at the CIPD, RAD and Ri5 Recruitment Marketing awards, and been shortlisted for categories ‘Best Campaign’ and ‘Graduate Campaigns’. Previously, Tim has worked at TMP Worldwide, AMS, JWT, Futurestep and Korn Ferry, for global brands such as Cadbury Kraft, Burger King, Abbey Santander, Rolls Royce, Tesco, RBS, E.ON, Barclays, HSBC, CapGemini and IBM.

Andy Hyatt Consultant talentsmoothie (team photos)

Andy Hyatt


Andy has spent 20 years in digital, with the last decade at Board level, working with some of the largest and most successful companies in the world to deliver effective, engaging and award-winning work. Equally adept at consulting or execution, Andy is a strong advocate of user-centric design and has acted as an industry advisor on the issues that digital channels have brought about. He has spoken at numerous conferences, written for several publications and key industry bodies and is frequently invited to judge industry awards. Over the last 4 years he has been engaged to define and grow the digital functions of agencies such as Bernard Hodes Group, People People Communications and agency:2. At the same time, Andy has continued to have a hands-on role in delivering a range of projects in marketing, communications, branding, strategy and HR. A father of three, Andy can often be found braving the waters of the South Coast. Even in winter…

Susan Sochart Consultant talentsmoothie (team photos)

Susan Sochart


Susan has over 25 years’ marketing experience, encompassing both client-side and consultancy. Throughout her career, Susan has actively pursued a dual passion for building brands and developing people, driven by a firm belief that a strategy will only be successful if it can be embraced and actioned by people. Alongside her brand strategy and marketing capabilities working with multinationals in the FMCG, pharmaceutical, financial services and telecommunicatons sectors, she has also developed employer branding, EVP and internal communications expertise, bringing together both Marketing and HR teams. Having herself led an in-house recruitment team, she has worked alongside client recruitment teams to build their capabilities by applying marketing principles to their approach for attracting talent. Susan is a Cambridge graduate who has held roles with Procter & Gamble, Added Value and Brand Learning Partners.

Sarah Hardman Consultant talentsmoothie (team photos)

Sarah Hardman


A straight talker with high levels of professionalism and a sense of fun, Sarah is a certified leadership coach and group facilitator with a passion for working with existing and emerging leaders, so that they bring the best of themselves into their organisations and are authentic leaders that others want to work with and to follow. Sarah brings her varied experience of working in senior level marketing roles within a wide range of sectors including technology, publishing and the heritage sector into her leadership development engagements working with clients to develop and play to their strengths. With a BA Hons degree in Geography, Sarah is a Certified Co-Active Coach, is a Professional Certified Coach with the ICF, a qualified practitioner of MBTI® and Strengths Profile, an NLP Master Practitioner and a CIPD Qualified Trainer.

Simon Walker Consultant talentsmoothie (team photos)

Simon Walker


Simon loves making connections between people, ideas and opportunities. He is an expert in leadership development, and is future focused. He is constantly thinking about the impact that changing technology and demographic shifts are having on how organisations are structured and how people want to work. Much of his work is with Boards and Senior Executives in organisations all over the world. Simon is regularly invited to speak on Gen Y, Generational Diversity, The New World of Work, and Leadership in Complex and Challenging Environments. He was a professional yacht skipper before entering the business world and has led teams on polar expeditions and round-the-world yacht races.

Dave Freeman Consultant talentsmoothie (team photos)

Dave Freeman


With over twenty years working in the creative industry, both agency side and in-house, Dave has diverse experience in producing designs from brief through to conception and production on a range of digital and print projects. Combining strong presentation and typographic skills with confident client liaison and a creative approach, Dave ensures clients have original and inspiring designs.

Cathy Hyde Consultant talentsmoothie (team photos)

Cathy Hyde


Cathy enjoys using her expertise to develop innovative attraction strategies and creative employee communications to support organisations with their employer brand and people sourcing plans. With over 20 years’ experience, Cathy has worked with many of the UK’s top employers as well as global organisations leading to effective outcomes and several award wins. In addition to her employer brand and recruitment communications knowledge, Cathy has a particular interest in social mobility which led her to take up the position of Assistant Director of Student Experience and Head of Careers & Employability Service at the University of Bedfordshire. This saw her working with the Vice Chancellor to develop and implement the University’s employability strategy with the aim of supporting students in their preparation for the world of work and connecting them to employers. Cathy has a BA Honours Degree in Communication Studies, is an experienced Board Director, was an inaugural member of the Association of Graduate Recruiters Advisory Board and played a key role in the development of the Employer of the Year criteria at the annual TargetJobs awards.

And behind the scenes we have a team of brilliant professionals who support us and contribute to our success: Sally Blake, Mike Gibbons and Gemma Moore. If you share our values, think you’d fit into the talentsmoothie team, and would like to work for us, email Justine explaining what you could contribute and why we must talk to you.