I was recently at a hospital retirement event where I saw a number of people I used to work with and who have been through Ron's Leadership Programme. Even though it's been years since we attended, I was struck by the fact we were all talking about Ron's programme and how many times it was noted as a life-changing event. That's quite a tribute considering the seniority and professions represented.

Peter Homa
Chief Executive
Nottingham University Hospitals Trust
Ron has a dynamic, energetic and entertaining style in putting across information and views and putting them into an appropriate context. His programmes explore in a sensitive way an individual’s personal motivation and work and home aspirations. The balance in my view is excellent.

The series of courses run by Ron were attended by the most senior management through to junior managers. The results were exceptional, initially in that the programmes were extraordinarily well received, but more importantly, in the impact they had on the actual leadership style of the organisation. It is without doubt that the working together with a common understanding amongst managers and senior clinicians improved very considerably and I believe that Ron’s programmes were instrumental in effecting that change. An empowering management style was exhibited and formally reflected in how the Trust operated.

It is typically the case that clinicians are sceptical of this type of programme and prefer to devote their time to clinical activities. It is a measure of Ron’s success that I was overwhelmed with applications from Consultants [doctors] to participate in programmes simply on the basis of word of mouth testimonies from their colleagues. This resulted in my having to run more programmes than had been planned, but also in a neighbouring Trust using Ron to run similar events simply because colleagues had been so enthusiastic about their own experience.

David WK Grafton
Director of Human Resources
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, UK

Ron was the highlight of last year's National Health Service Chief Executives Programme, 'Leading Change, Delivering the Future,' which the HSMC ran in partnership with the Warwick Business School (I am the Programme Director), and we have already signed him up for the next programme, extending his period of engagement from three to six 'plus' days. Though never the easiest of audiences, the chief execs took to him totally, being dazzled by his insights into leadership and leadership processes, and his ability to engage with them at both a conceptual and practical level. He is also totally thought-through and credible in what he does, and has a rapport and empathy with senior staff that I have not seen before. I know that many of the chief executives have continued to keep in touch with him on an informal basis since then, for which he has received no payment. This is another thing about him: when you sign him up you have him on a 24 hours a day basis.

There is something extremely captivating about his style and approach to senior staff development, and there is none of the recycling of tired transformational leadership recipes or cliches here. He is able to engage and work with people at a deep level, without ever coming over as too 'touchy-feely.' He deals with real issues both 'out there' in the organisation and 'in there' in their hearts and minds, bringing together personal and organisational strategies for change and development in novel, frame-breaking ways. He does have a good grasp and understanding of current modernisation challenges, having worked for a number of years in the NHS, but brings to the task a wider, cosmopolitan outlook, drawing on US thinking and practices, and extensive experience of working in the private sector (some wonderful material and anecdotes here).

Professor S P Bate
Chair of Health Services Management Development
Health Services Management Centre
University of Birmingham, UK

I have worked with Ron on a number of occasions since 1998 in very challenging circumstances and have found his approach to leadership development to be one of the most effective I have come across. His programmes are challenging and focused on the individual but also grounded in the notion that large-scale improvement can only really be effected by staff at every level becoming leaders for their own service.

Simone Jordan
Director of Human Resources
Leicester General Hospital, U

My first encounter with Mr. Donovan was in 1990 when he was asked to develop a Leadership program for the company where I was the Senior Organization Development consultant. The company was CIGNA Corporation, a Fortune 10 healthcare insurance company. The program was a resounding success.

Mr. Donovan was able to assess the restrictions to change and design an extraordinarily effective approach that had long-lasting effects. He was able to provide skill development to strong professionals but, more importantly, he was able to create and sustain cultural change in the organization. He was able to build support for the program, break down resistance to the change effort and sell the program to a very difficult population.

Mr. Donovan’s delivery approach is thought-provoking, entertaining, educational and practical. He has the tremendous ability to provide a clear set of activities that engages participants and provides them with clear actions to shift their behavior and the behavior of the organizations in which they reside.

Tim Doris
Enterprise Consultants, Inc.