My Brand Management background from Procter and Gamble, and Marketing, Commercial, Strategy and HR leadership roles in Tesco, help me understand the wider context and culture. This broad and deep business perspective gives me greater insight and understanding into the cultural, organisational and leadership challenges people face and the solutions that might help.
My natural curiosity, strategic thinking and people focus helps me explore complex issues, make connections, and design creative practical solutions that engage and empower people to achieve the results they desire. I am driven by a genuine passion for understanding and developing others, building relationships and achieving positive lasting change.
My expertise is in strategy, change management, senior recruitment, talent management, leadership development, graduate recruitment and development, training and senior executive coaching.
Catherine has that rare quality of combining the strategic with the highly actionable…her wide ranging experience at senior leadership level means that HR is not seen as a separate tool to leverage individual factors like retention or talent, but really is an integrated force to drive dynamic cultural change and efficient work throughout the company. I particularly value her innovative and fresh thinking attitude to capability building, where her grasp of both the big picture and the detail has enabled her to make a unique contribution to my thinking and approach
Catherine has always been extremely customer, colleague and business focused. She has strong leadership and change management skills which have left a legacy and improved individual and organisational capacity within the business.
Catherine has demonstrated great commitment and passion in her work with the NSPCC. Catherine is highly competent in her role as a leader in developing teams, taking organisations through major change and as an executive coach and mentor for senior executives. She is also an ambassador for young people, having led graduate programmes that have guided and nurtured young people on the start of their journey in work, and an accomplished strategist in both disciplines of marketing and HR.
Catherine has demonstrated real passion for young people and has helped them over many years through her seminars and lectures. She has proved to be an invaluable resource to the Master’s in Management students at the LSE. Catherine has inspired the students with her experience, energy and commitment. She has helped students make the most of their time in LSE, provided insightful and practical advice on finding the careers of their choice, and contributed to the development of the professional skills required for a successful career.
Catherine has provided a constant support throughout the development of the Global Management programme – Tesco’s headline development programme for high potential young people from around the world. From being a source of advice and consultation during the design process to being a committed member of the assessment panel; Catherine has most recently delivered an innovative and inspiring leadership session to the new delegates. She consistently demonstrates determination to provide the very best for young people and in doing so creates opportunities for them to learn and grow into the best leaders in the future
In March 2015, Catherine was the DCMS Independent panel member for the recruitment of Trustees to the Board of the Geffrye Museum. As Chair of the Museum, it was important for me that the Independent Panel member understood the requirements of the Geffrye and approached the process with a disinterested eye and a rigorous attitude. I am delighted to say that Catherine was one of the most accomplished Independent panellists I have come across. She not only discharged her duties with skill and professionalism but brought to the discussions real insight and understanding of people’s motivations. Catherine’s observations were extremely helpful – thoughtful, perceptive and constructive. As Chair, Catherine’s perceptiveness was of immense value in assessing and evaluating candidates for Trusteeship.
Catherine Baxendale’s report really resonates as someone who left the civil service – and then returned as an “external hire”. I was always amazed by the lack of interest among my civil service colleagues in anything I might have learnt in my 6 years in the private sector. And even though I was only away for 6 years, no one explained any of the changes in career management that had taken place while I was away (to this day I remain unclear how people are nominated to the High Potential Development Scheme for instance). As her report makes clear, the civil service needs to do more to get the most out of people it recruits in from outside – to their benefit – but also to the benefit of the civil service and the ministers and public it serves.
“Catherine was a pleasure to work with. Her personable yet challenging facilitation style helped us to define and deliver a Customer First programme that encouraged the senior leadership team to take a different approach to getting under the skin of the issues faced.”
I worked with Catherine on the launch of a major new security technology brand. She’s a communications tour de force, with an eye for detail. Catherine brings much needed clarity and vision in an all too cluttered world.
Catherine engaged from the start. Speaking from experience, she established a conversation with the students to explore how to develop the skills and aptitudes for career development. As a natural public speaker, she was able to communicate at a level that students found comfortable whilst also challenging them to reflect about career prospects.
Catherine joined our trust board in January 2017 and had an immediate impact – which is just what we were hoping for!
Catherine not only brings a wealth of her own experience to our discussions, and a useful objective perspective, but also helps us remain focussed on our trust’s central values – she prevents us from getting side-tracked by superficial issues.
With a track record of working at a senior level with large companies, Catherine is used to lively debate but is able to ensure that discussions remain constructive and strategic – she is open to the ideas of others and has an ability to build on those ideas.
One of the best things about Catherine as a director is that she is keen to get more widely involved with the trust in any way she can – as an individual school we really appreciated her support with reshaping our staff feedback surveys and have already found the information she helped us obtain to be of a far superior quality to our previous attempts.
Overall as a trust board member, Catherine absolutely embodies the idea of being a ‘critical friend’ – she helps us question the way we are doing things but always provides suggestions and support for possible changes. We really value her input!