Core Team

Anne Cooper

Anne Cooper

Anne Cooper is the former Chief Nurse at NHS Digital and has many years’ experience of working in the NHS, with a focus on digital leadership. She has worked at all levels of healthcare technology delivery, from local deployment through to national policy development.

She was named as an HSJ inspirational leader in 2014, with comments from the judges as follows: ‘She is on a mission to get nurses involved with the information technology and informatics agenda – and it is a mission in which she is succeeding.’

Anne believes that focussed leadership development can help everyone to achieve their objectives.  She was the co-developer of the ‘Leadership for Informed Practice’ Programme, which was awarded the Digital Health CCIO Clinical Leadership award in 2012.

Anne is a Director of Ethical Healthcare, who support the delivery of the programme.

Ian Pettigrew

Ian Pettigrew

Ian Pettigrew runs Kingfisher Coaching, helping leaders to develop their true strength so they can get the best of themselves and others. He does this through designing and delivering leadership development programmes, coaching, writing, blogging, keynote speaking, and publishing a podcast.

Ian’s areas of deep expertise are strengths-based leadership (he is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach) and personal resilience. He wholeheartedly believes that everyone has talent, and anyone can shine, given the right lighting! He is a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and the Association for Coaching. Prior to founding Kingfisher Coaching in 2009, Ian was Change Director for AstraZeneca R&D Finance, and he has extensive leadership experience in Informatics and change management.

Ian is an OD Associate for the NHS, a trustee of Retrak (a charity helping street children across Africa), a member of CIPD Manchester branch committee, co-founder of Connecting HR Manchester, and founder of Connecting HR Africa.

Programme Coaches


Kathryn Winterburn

Kathryn Winterburn is an inspiring and accomplished organisation and leadership development consultant. Her work helps people see the context of their systems from different perspectives. She is skilled at challenging norms and behaviours and generating new possibilities for lasting change. She possesses a rare mix of international, public and private sector experience gained over 30 years, including 16 years in complex and fluid NHS environments.
She works with individuals, teams, boards, and other diverse groups, supporting their development and learning with a range of approaches. Kathryn is a strong advocate of experiential learning and reflexive practice. She has designed and delivered a broad range of leadership programmes, including clinical leadership development, board development and aspiring director programmes. She has successfully established communities of practice and learning networks that provide places of learning, inquiry, peer support and reflection. When working one-to-one, her coaching style is challenging but empathetic, working holistically with clients to create ideas and craft new ways of thinking, seeing and being. Using penetrating questions as well as a range of creative methods, working with Kathryn is a rich client-centred and supportive experience.

Kathryn is also Co-Associate Editor of ‘The Journal for Action Learning: Research and Practice’ and Visiting Research Fellow at the Liverpool Business School at John Moores University.

Natalie McMillan

Natalie McMillan is passionate about supporting women in leadership roles. As an HR professional she has worked across a range of sectors, including manufacturing, the NHS and not-for-profit. She has worked at board level as an HR Director and taken roles as Deputy Chief Executive and CEO. Having worked her way up to a Chief Executive in a business with 1,500 people and £70m turnover, she recognises the pitfalls and challenges that often mean women find ourselves having to work that bit harder than our male counterparts.

Nat decided that she would like it all as a working mum and defined what that means for her. After all, success is personal, and it depends on what you want. So, she left her six-figure salary and runs her own business offering HR advice and support. She can work flexibly and is a lot happier. This is Nat’s version of success.

Julie Hickton

Julie is passionate about working with individuals and teams to achieve their potential; you will find her to be calming, challenging, supportive, non-judgmental, creating a safe space for exploration and discussion. Her positive motivational personality is infectious, creating a real sense of purpose, focus and enjoyment for all those who work with her.

Combining her own experiences as a HR Director, NED and Coach, Julie brings with her a wealth of practical understanding and realism to the issues that teams and individuals face. She can see beyond the immediate issues and gets the people she works with to change the aspects that really make a difference to their performance and overall wellbeing.

As an author, Julie has written about resilience and wellbeing in her book “The Tree of Resilience”. She uses the art of storytelling to make connections that inspire others who are experiencing difficulties.