I’m Jean Gamester and set up Semaphora in 2012, as a leap of faith.
I knew I wanted to try something new. After many years of delivering programme and project management in local government, utilities and technology as an employee, I wanted to experience lots of ways of delivering change and to stretch myself too. I wanted to know if I could run my own business! I also wanted to create the flexibility for voluntary leadership in Toastmasters international. I didn’t know what would happen when I stepped away from the relative safety of pensionable permanent employment but it became something I just had to do.
In that time, I have definitely experienced lots of
different environments and stretched myself for sure. From interim CEO of a charity and head of
customer service of a training firm through delivering storytelling workshops
with hundreds of people, to running business simulations and coaching. It has been a fantastic learning experience
and I have had the privilege to work with some fantastic people along the way. More recently I’ve had the opportunity to
start research for a doctorate in organisational change which has hugely
broadened my understanding and ability.
Seven years in, the time it takes for a traditional
apprenticeship, I’m much clearer on what I have to offer to my clients, and the
kinds of work that gives me joy too.
People ask me what I do sometimes, and I tend to say I
deliver change consulting, coaching and research. You will see in this website what I offer to
people one to one, in groups and to organisations too – at the heart of all of
this is a desire to support, discover and transform.
Here are some of the facets of myself I bring to the
services I offer and when I collaborate;
Agent of Change – there is always change going on in my work, it is at the heart of what I do, whether it’s developing myself, coaching others, helping teams perform or transforming organisations. I bring my experience of delivering change in telecoms, utilities, technology and the public sector to helping organisations design strategy and express it in an accessible way, set change programmes up for success, troubleshoot to get back on track and advise boards
Coach – My coaching clients say that I’m great at helping them discover what is important to them and to explore how they can move forward to achieve their goals. I love these sessions, and learn as much from my coachees as they say they learn from me. I am currently experimenting with a form of coaching where we co-inquire together, so we are both learning.
Researcher – I started my career doing research on EU grant funding and am now deep diving into a doctorate in organisational change using action research. This kind of research involves lots of collaboration and co-inquiry, arts based creativity and I’m exploring voice, agency, gender and power for people and the organisations they work in.
Leader – I’ve had some great opportunities to lead, whether in Toastmasters leading a district of 4,000 members, programme managing organisation wide change or as an interim manager supporting teams reeling from tricky and traumatic histories.
Collaborator – I’ve developed products, delivered research, written papers and worked on sticky problems with a range of people and organisations. While I run my own business, the magic happens when I work with others.
Facilitator and Trainer – I love running workshops and delivering training sessions with groups large and small, I bring a combination of fun and focus, with an intention always for the group to be highly involved, collaborating to connect, discover and drive action together. I’m also an associate lecturer with the Open University, helping students unravel the mysteries and joys of project management.
Keynote Speaker – I’m told that when I speak about leadership, change and personal development that I am inspiring, funny and make the big issues personal.
Volunteer – I’ve spent many years contributing to charities and not for profits – as a leader in Toastmasters International, a mentor in young offenders institutions and ambassador for a medical dogs charity. As I move forward I’m going to be contributing some of my services pro-bono for local charities in Cardiff.
Storyteller – Once upon a time, I surprised myself by becoming a storyteller. A love of reading other people’s stories transformed into the ability to share stories when I joined a speakers club to get over my fears of speaking in public. Now stories infuse my work, my conversations and my writing. I wonder what might come next with the storytelling?
Jean is a change and communications specialist, helping organisations create a culture of change.
She delivers culture, business and technology transformation programmes and leads teams through interim management.
She provides troubleshooting, advisory and strategy development services.
She works with organisations to get their leadership aligned and their people engaged in delivering their vision together.