people make it work

We help organisations change and develop.

people make it work has a name that speaks for itself, and customers who speak loudly on our behalf (90% of our new work comes from recommendation and referrals).

The company, founded by Richard Watts, is dedicated to delivering exceptional quality through our fantastic team of people who make it work. We do that with extraordinary clients who create outstanding creative work that shapes our society and the way we all see the world.  That’s why we focus on the Cultural Sector, why we work with amazing clients with transformational visions, why we have brilliant colleagues with enviable track records and deep experience. That’s also why we are all more committed to our clients goals than we are to our own, and why we are called people make it work.

people make it work officially came into being in 2000 as Richard recognised that it should be easier for Cultural Organisations to access the best support in order to create change and build resilience. The team has grown organically over time, so that there are now more than 30 people supporting leaders, helping test new business models, building business plans, establishing new ways of working and helping the sector change and develop.

With an ethos built upon the highest levels of commitment, deep and broad experience and a warm and supportive delivery, the company has been chosen by many of the most respected cultural organisations to help them deliver and develop.

We offer the complete change management consultancy, from helping you develop your new organisational strategy to building the plan to deliver it and supporting you as you engage your employees and other stakeholders.

We can even develop the training courses that might be needed to create the new skills and behaviours that the strategy requires. We can work on whole organisation projects, or with specific functions, teams or departments. Our approach is holistic – we like to consider the whole organisation we are working with… to understand all the factors that can be leveraged to create success and all those that need to be addressed to avoid failure. Our consulting work tends to be quite intimate – we work alongside leaders and their management teams, helping them to imagine, shape and then realise their business goals. Our job isn’t done until the benefits to your organisation have been realized – we focus on the impact you are seeking to create, and ensure that this is delivered by embedding the change in the organisation’s ways of working day to day… and we don’t rest until you can see the return on your investment.

Our current activity

Some stats


Supporting Organisations to Build Resilience


New Business Model Exploration and Development


Organisational Restructure


Organisational Culture Change


Coaching support with Leaders


New Venture Development

What are our values?

You need to find an organisation that shares your values… cos that’s how relationships start. So we thought we should be clear about ours… (we hope they mean as much to you as they do to us.)

  • Extraordinary Results
    • We are committed to results. We are excited by the potential that change represents and we work tirelessly to help ensure that the change delivers on it’s promise. We talk about results, we focus on results, we expect results, we love results and we ask to be paid on our results. We live for extraordinary results.
  • Meticulous Rigour
    • Great answers come from great questions. We ask the easy ones. We ask the hard ones. We ask the awkward ones. Then finally we ask the completely unacceptable ones. We know that extraordinary results only come from testing and challenging processes. Our commitment to learning means we will refine as we go. We bring rigour and insight to everything we do. If we can’t do that, we don’t get involved.
  • Warmth, humour and humanity
    • We think that being human, finding humour and bringing warmth all help create relationships that last and work that resonates and connects. We work hard to build rapport, make connections and relate to our clients and that means we stick together and deliver together.
  • Awesome People
    • We believe in Awesome people. We have a lot of them on our team. We know you have loads on your team. And we love finding ways for all of us to keep on being more and more awesome… How else are we going to get the job done? We believe in the awesomeness of people.
  • Safety, inclusion and diversity
    • We need everyone’s culture to be created by everyone, reflect everyone and be accessible and powerful for everyone. That means creating working and learning cultures and experiences that are inclusive, safe, welcoming and diverse.
  • Deep involvement
    • We know that our work is to help develop organisations not deliver projects, so we always create deep involvement, co-designed initiatives and activity and ownership across the whole organisation. Deep involvement grows deep roots and means change, skills and impact are embedded.
  • Unstoppable momentum
    • We are up to a lot. Our commitment to rigour does not mean we slacken our pace. We work fast, create value and bring momentum and confidence to the teams that we work within. Our mission is beyond our interests so we move on, leaving our skills and impact behind.
  • Customer love
    • We are not interested in customer satisfaction. We need customer love. We are more committed to our customers objectives than we are to our own. We over-service as a routine, because that’s how you treat projects that matter. We don’t rest until our customer’s goals have been met.

What do you get when you work with us?

We’ve been asked what it’s like to work with us… so we thought we’d have a go at telling you what we hear…

When you work with people make it work, you get a relationship not a transaction, a new member of your team, not a contractor and someone committed to your goals with a tenacity that matches yours.

Our clients work with us year in and year out (though we pride ourselves on leaving our skills behind, so it’s normally a new level of work each time… as their ambition and scale increases)

You get a peer to think with, a challenger to spar with, a coach to explore with and a colleague to build with.

You get an organisation that holds itself to account – delivering what we say we will, when we say we will, but one that is also happy to hold you to account too – we know that often the role we play is to bring some structure, accountability and momentum to an initiative that won’t keep moving without a bit of external support.

You get long heads and broad backs. The team have decades of experience, have often repeatedly experienced Organisational Development challenges that might be happening for the first time on your watch, and we’re ready to step in and shoulder some of the burden while we build a plan together.

A safe space and time to think. And that is sometimes worth it’s weight in gold.

What sets us apart?

What sets us apart… Well we think a whole lot of things, but here’s a few things to be going on with…

Our versatility in the scope, scale and nature of our work and broad ranging skills and expertise.

Our team of associates are leaders, practitioners and trustees active in their owns rights at the forefront of their sectors and bring this executive insight to their work with clients.

The warmth, empathy and respect we bring to every interaction, investing time to build in-depth understanding and long-lasting relationships with partners and clients.

Our positive frame of reference rooted in the belief that confident organizations and people create great opportunities and change… so we make sure that our work with you starts with celebration.

How do we manage your security?

We thought you might want to be able to see our privacy policy. 

You can download it here.

Designed, developed and delivered by people make it work, the Change Creation programme supports arts and cultural organisations to create lasting change. We’re currently shaping our future programmes, as now, more than ever, we know that we need to support the incredible organisations in our sector to re-model, plan and shape their futures.  Find out more about the programme.