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David Firth is a consultant, writer and conference speaker specialising in the psychology of human change, communication and in corporate cultures. David is expert in both small and (very) large group facilitation and his consulting practice also incorporates innovative training in collaboration and performance.
David is currently an External Advisor on Diploma in Facilitation at Leeds Metropolitan University and has been Visiting Lecturer in Corporate Communications at Strathclyde Business School and Guest speaker on the MA in Entrepreneurship programme at Durham Business School. His most recent clients include Unilever, Gartner and HBOS. David has published eight books including How to Make Work Fun!, Corporate Voodoo; The Corporate Fool: saying the un-sayable, doing the undoable and Smart Things to Know about Change. He is also the MD of a personal and corporate development centre in West Yorkshire.
Areas of Expertise
On his passport, it says that David Firth is a consultant, conference speaker and business author. Beyond that convention, he acts as a professional experimenter, contrarian and path-finder. He urges people to embrace both the fun and risk of change.
His first book How to make work fun was a UK best seller in 1995, back in the days when people only associated fun at work with the office joker/jerk. Now even the most solemn of companies and gurus (from Gartner Research to Rosabeth Moss Kantor) attest to the importance of fun as a talent attractor and healthy context for knowledge work. His next, Sacred Business (Capstone 1997), was the first UK book to discuss explicitly the spiritual dimension of work and business. By 2002 there were 140 conferences worldwide devoted to the subject.
David's later works include The Corporate Fool: Doing The Undoable, Saying The Unsayable; Corporate Voodoo/My Voodoo: a guide to generating magic at work; Smart Things To Know About Change and Smart Things to Know About People.
David looks at the world from a different perspective, and in ways that only later will seem to be ‘the accepted way’. If you want the same old things said about Leadership or Communication or Corporate Cultures, book somebody else.
As a consultant, David works internationally with companies and individuals open to change and possibility. They come to him when what they have is not working, or what they think they need to do they’ve already done before.
David is passionate that organisations change in units of one, and nothing will change unless individuals give up the beliefs, assumptions and identities that they have used to craft their current reality. At the same time, he also believes in the power and beauty of the whole, and works whenever possible with large-scale interventions that release the energy, creativity and wisdom of the wider organisation.
His current book, Freedom and Power at Work (released on iTunes early 2007) recommends that business would be better served by giving up its addiction to the ‘leadership pornography’ industry.
David also wrote the best selling How to make work Fun! for Gower (nominated for the Financial Times Book of the Year competition); David is currently working on its sequel Business: The Movie, but it’s not much more than a great title at the moment, to be honest. His work in fun at work and Fooling has been featured extensively in the media. David also wrote Sacred Business, a book about spirit, heart and community in business, with Heather Campbell (a shamanic medicine woman).
He is the Consultant Editor of the SMART series of management books published by Capstone and wrote the launch edition, SMART Things to Know About CHANGE.
For eight years during the eighties, David ran an award-winning physical theatre company, The Lords of Misrule, and toured to Japan, America, Africa, Korea and Singapore. David began his business career with The LEK Partnership and Young & Rubicam, before co-founding his first consultancy, LFA, in 1990.
[After a workshop with David] The feedback I have received has been overwhelmingly positive; from enquiries about the titles of your books to 'the best management development session I have attended'.
Sophie Bindloss, Director of Organisation and Development, Clerical Medical Investment Group
His talk is ingenious. You come away thinking you've had some fun and been entertained. But then you realise that you have been challenged and made to take a fresh look at old ideas. It involves a great deal of very useful business information but presents it in a very distinctive way. It really opens your mind to new ways of thinking and doing.
Robert Greenshields. Head of Corporate Comms, Scottish Widows
[After annual conference] The most common feedback we received was ‘Why couldn’t we have David all day instead of the other workshops?’
Penny Fryer, Communications Manager, Halifax Retail Sales
[On David’s Corporate Voodoo] This book has woven its magic into my thinking and view of the world - both personal and business. It's stuff that I have felt for many years but have not seen presented in such a compelling and intriguing way before.
Peter Ryding, Head of Marketing, Tesco
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to others - but only if you dare to be different...
Peter Attfield HR Director, HPC Innovation, Unilever LatAm