• Interview with Kate Lye Saïd Business School

    Said Business School interview

    Senior leaders in professional services firms have distinct development challenges. The interview highlights five talent development challenges along with insights into how to tackle them.

    Read the article

  • Podcast

    How to build a resilience MO

    No-one needs a pandemic to hammer home the value of having high levels of personal resilience in business. For leaders personal resilience is both a necessity and a duty. However, the majority of the advice you can read provides ‘one size fits all ideas’ that generally fall short of the mark. This article details how to create a more personal action plan to build your resilience modus operandi.

    Listen to the podcast

  • KLI


Getting practical, we can help your business by:

Our clients

KLI’s clients know what they need to deliver – they have their vision and strategy. But as experienced leaders, they also know that some of the most difficult barriers to strategy execution are the internal ones. That’s why they turn to us.

Our clients may recognise their need for a more cohesive leadership community or want to bring their leaders together to kick start a new way of working. They may seek to initiate change but want to be sure to do it in a way that creates clarity rather than complexity.

Many need to get more traction around an existing strategy and engage us to review their behaviours, leadership accountabilities, structure and employee alignment.

Whatever the issue, our clients pick up the phone to KLI when they recognise they are just too close to the issue. They want fresh eyes as well as our external insights and challenge. They appreciate both our practical help and intellectual rigour.

Often clients know from past experience that off the shelf solutions from larger consultancies will not get to the heart of their challenge. They want a bespoke approach that builds on creative consulting ideas and preserves internal ownership for the project.

Our networked resourcing model means we will put together the right team of experienced professionals for you who have a track record of working together. We have a truly collaborative and lean way of working that will deliver results for you. Given our clients keep coming back to us year after year, we believe our track record speaks for itself.

Our clients include:


"Kate played a vital role in the successful Transformation of Ms Amlin. The key to any successful transformation is knowing how to prepare, harness or change the leadership cohort for the journey ahead and this was the value that Kate brought to us over a 2 year period.

Kate has an unrivalled ability to quickly assess individual and group leadership abilities. She intuitively knows what it will take to execute the task ahead and sets about steering the leadership team appropriately. Kate does this by combining an unrivalled level of emotional intelligence with, tenacity, commerciality, pragmatism and grace.

Kate was often two steps ahead, working closely with the executive committee, spotting potential situations before they arose and course correcting accordingly using a combination of subtle advisory nudges to more overt and conscious challenges. Kate has a strong understanding of what it takes to deliver a successful transformation with a particular focus on ensuring both the leadership and employees are fully engaged.

Every organisation that is going through complex, large scale change needs a Kate Lye."

— Rachel Hannon, Chief of Staff to the CEO and Transformation Officer, MS Amlin

Being coached by Kate was challenging, personal and hugely rewarding. Throughout my coaching with Kate I found myself being challenged to really get to the bottom of my behaviours. How did I react to people and situations, what were my communication and leadership styles and what could I do differently that would help my career and help my team. The sessions were sometimes difficult and definitely took me out of my comfort zone with regards to looking at myself and my motives closely. Kate would never let me off the hook with a superficial answer. She would keep probing until I opened up or went deeper. The sessions were very rewarding. I was taking away new insights and actionable changes.“

— Technology Leader, Fidelity International

Kate brings to her work the benefit of her professional training in organisational development and individual coaching combined with business acumen, pragmatism and strong organisation skills. She has a high degree of empathy with people and the maturity to be able to work alongside the most senior leaders, as well as those who support them. This ability to interact at all levels means that she is able to drive clarity at the strategic level while ensuring that it can be implemented at the working level."

— Senior Executive, AstraZeneca

Working with Kate on my leadership transition has been nothing short of transformational. Before we started I was stuck mid-career and lacking clarity about my path - both in terms of future ambitions but also historical achievements. Kate helped me understand how I got there, what the key issues were and, importantly, what I could do to move forward. Working with Kate has reinvigorated my career and I am incredibly grateful for her support and counsel without which my successful leadership transition would not have been possible.”

— Managing Director, Leading Investment Bank

Kate has longstanding experience in the organisation of large meetings. She is quick to grasp challenges and requirements and advises on content and delivery to maximise the effectiveness of every session. She also draws on her coaching skills to extract the best performance from speakers and guests. Kate has natural authority and exudes efficiency so she quickly gains the confidence of those around her. Where conflict occurs, Kate’s calm common sense, as well as her clear commitment to the task in hand, ensures that issues are resolved smoothly."

— Executive Team member, AstraZeneca

I have repeatedly sought out Kate’s support. I trust her judgment and I know that she fits into teams seamlessly, commands respect from the team quickly and has the highest professional standards. Furthermore, she is a pleasure to work with. She is hardworking, rigorous and committed while being able to bring humour to diffuse tense situations when needed. This approach is infectious so I know I can count on her to raise the performance of the whole team.”

— Head of Corporate Affairs, AstraZeneca

Kate possesses a unique ability to identify and navigate the individual and group dynamics that often prevent teams and businesses from achieving superior results. She was able to quickly develop trust at multiple levels of the organization and as such was highly effective in helping us achieve our goals. I highly recommend her."

— Head of Global Securities Lending, Brown Brothers Harriman


Kate Lye

Kate Lye brings a specialist focus on leadership development, change management and executive communication coupled with extensive international experience. She has a broad range of industry experience ranging from professional services firms, finance, pharmaceuticals and IT.

Kate's training is in organisational behaviour and psychology. She uses her expertise to deliver individual and organisational leadership development, believing there is an all important sweet spot between the two.

She started her consulting career working for Andersen Consulting and then specialist consulting firms in the UK and US. Kate was a Partner with Smythe Dorward Lambert, the first UK change and internal communication consultancy that was bought by Omnicom (NYSE). Originally based in London, she moved to Boston in 1999 to help open their US office with a team of six colleagues. She was promoted to be President of their Boston office. Back in the UK, Kate joined Stanton Marris in 2004 to spearhead their private sector practice. She founded KLI Consulting in 2007.

Part of her pro bono work involves being a member of the SupporTED team. This provides coaching for TED Fellows. TED is a nonprofit devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’. It brings together people and ideas from the worlds of Technology, Entertainment and Design.

Kate is a Founding Fellow of the Harvard-affiliated Institute of Coaching. She has degrees in Organisational Behaviour and Business Administration from London University and Oxford Brookes University, as well as a range of coaching and psychometric qualifications. She is an Editorial Board member for the Journal of Change Management.

She is a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and works in accordance with their standards. She regularly talks at conferences and corporate events. Kate has taught and coached on programmes for Saïd, Duke and Columbia Business Schools. Her published work includes articles on women’s leadership, executive development, coaching, M&A integration issues and organisational change.

Our beliefs

Our beliefs about designing powerful change interventions:


1. Co creation is central to our approach and success. You know your business, people and culture. We know the models, best practices and have practical experience from applying them in other global businesses.


2. We will build and leverage existing successful practices wherever practical.


3. We believe in building an organisation’s change capability rather than a handful of change heroes.


4. Context matters to changing behaviour so we aim to work in real business situations, and not a classroom.


5. We believe that simple, commercially focused, client relevant interventions will be more effective than a collection of generic change activities.


6. We bring a raft of tried and tested thinking and approaches from 20 years of designing and supporting change.


7. We are agnostic to any one change methodology but draw heavily on adaptive and systems leadership and adult development.


8. Behavioural change needs time and on-going support. We help clients adapt their systems to reinforce and lock in change.


9. We select a team of expert trusted colleagues, hand picked for the needs of the assignment, who have the ability to work at all levels and view your Firm as a system.


10. We combine deep expertise in

  • leadership development
  • organisational change
  • internal communication
  • executive coaching
  • diagnostic capabilities

In the press

  • Podcast quote
  • Podcast quote
  • Podcast quote
  • Podcast quote
  • Podcast quote
  • Podcast quote

Kate Lye quoted in The Times

"Kate Lye, a leadership adviser and HR expert, says the biggest sources of intergenerational conflict in the workplace tend to be political. At a recent meeting of executives she recalls 'discomfort around the room about whether businesses should take a stance on Roe v Wade'. There was a 'definite difference' between an older generation and a younger one “who do their campaigning at work."
'We are a nation divided as never before — by age' - James Marriott, The Times, September 30 2022

DIRECT LINK to the article

An interview with Kate Lye

Strategic Learning and Development in Professional Services. Client Director, Nick Blandford, talks to Kate about her experience coaching senior leaders in professional services. The interview highlights five key talent development challenges along with insights into how to tackle them.
Originally published by Saïd Business School


How to Build Your Resilience MO as a Leader

Resilience matters. No-one needs a pandemic to hammer home the value of having high levels of personal resilience. Whether you are in a boardroom, hospital bed or sports game, high resilience edges up the odds that you will find a way to pull through.
Originally published in Developing Leaders Quarterly

DIRECT LINK to the article

Five challenges for your Chief Transformation Officer

"Is the Chief Transformation Officer role here to stay or just the latest response to a VUCA world? Is the CTO a saviour or a cop-out? Recruitment colleagues tell me it is a burgeoning search in both public and private sectors and it’s not hard to see why..."
Originally published in Raconteur

READ THE ARTICLE on Raconteur's website

Protecting your cultural assets through an integration

If you are looking for clues as to the likely success of any merger or acquisition, then take a look at the integration plan. Research has shown time and time again that the quality of the integration planning, particularly around the softer people, cultural and communication issues, is a reliable predictor of future shareholder value.
Originally published in MA Financier Worldwide


Leadership models are based on male infrastructure

'Head to Head' interview with Kate Lye on what is stopping more women from occupying the mid and senior levels of leadership.
Originally published in The Financial Times


Ten questions to select the right executive coach for you

You are meeting two or three coaches to select one to work with you. It’s a significant investment of your time and money. What questions should you ask to really assess the capabilities and ‘fit’ of a potential executive coach? This article outlines 10 questions to help you make the best decision.


The cost of exceptional talent in the C suite

Boards and Chairpersons must be more alert to the unintended consequences of having an exceptional individual on the Exec team. Why? Because too often this superman or superwoman rescues, protects or otherwise overcompensates for the wider group.


Plotting a growth pathway through the pandemic

In this article Kate Lye and Julia Hayhoe share key reflections on how businesses have responded to the pandemic. We provide 5 areas of focus for leaders, drawing on our work with a range of leaders across professional services, in-house legal and corporates over the last year.
Originally published by Global Legal Post




Please call 44 (0)207 820 1202 or contact [email protected] if you would like more information or to arrange an exploratory conversation.

If you have a more specific request, then please use the form below to get in touch with us.