Dr Matt Jacobs PhD, FRSA – Founder and Director
I am an organisational development consultant specialising in equity, diversity, and inclusion. I have 25 years’ experience working in the field across corproate, public, and voluntary sectors. I am a certified Leadership Coach (ILM Level 7) and Member of the Institute of Leadership and a Member of the International Coaches Federation (ICF). I have a First Class Honours degree in Business Adminsitration, an MSc in Ethnicity and Multiculturalism and a PhD in Sociology. My PhD explores everyday power and privilege at the intersection of race, gender, and class. In 2013, I established Wide Open Voice Ltd as a company providing inclusion and leadership consultancy services. I work with leaders in all sectors on leadership and inclusion.
Why I Do What I do
The current business environment is complex, knowledge based, relational, dynamic, and global. It is rapidly changing, and uncertainty is a central feature. Within this context, staff, stakeholders, and customers are demanding a more ethical and values-based way of doing business. Yet society and its organisations remain divided, exclusionary to some, and riven with inequitable power relations that prevent people and organisations from realising their potential in meaningful and authentic ways. Successfully addressing these tensions requires the development of contemporary leaders who are adaptable, self-aware, values driven, socially responsible, and culturally connected.
On a day-to-day basis, leaders operate in a multiplicity of organisational contexts. Each leader, each context, and each set of actors within that context are different and they all intersect to create a unique leadership environment. As such, the leadership experience is individualised and so the development of leaders requires an individualised approach. Whilst generic leadership development approaches based on classroom-style learning can provide generic leadership skills and knowledge, we need to move beyond this into personalised leadership development that only coaching can provide.
My leadership coaching approach deploys academic methodologies drawn from sociological research, including my own Doctoral research and combines these with the thinking of existential philosophers Heidegger, Sartre, and Kierkegaard on ways of being. In my work, I focus on freedom, responsibility, authenticity, identity, purpose, meaning, values, paradox, and dilemma. It is an approach that explores how people experience and give meaning to life, including the self, the other and the relations between them in work and life.
I provide a non-judgemental environment in which clients explore and reflect on their way of being and their way of leading. We discuss the issues they face as leaders, and develop their leadership approach to succeed in today’s business and social context.