A brief introduction to David Cook – Our Oxford HR Organisational Effectiveness specialist

By 26 June 2020 No Comments
  1. What is your professional background and what experience have you brought to Oxford HR?

I spent the early part of my career crafting my skills in consulting and business leadership in the property and telecoms sectors for well-known companies such as Nokia, as well as several start-ups. Changing direction in 2003, I retrained in organisational psychology and coaching, my key driver being a strong desire to help people gain more from work and for organisations to operate in ways that better sustain this. I’ve since worked successfully both in change leadership roles at director level within global corporations and national non-profits, and as an external consultant working with national and global organisations across the for purpose, public and private sectors. When you add all these experiences together, It’s given me a rich understanding of the complexity and challenges faced by the types of client Oxford HR serves, and an ability to offer practical, effective services that really hit the mark.

  1. What do you feel the Organisational Effectiveness suite of products bring to Oxford HR’s offering as an Executive Search firm?

There’s a short answer to this: quality information and effective approaches. To put this in context, we humans are hard wired to jump quickly to solutions. It feels good for example, when someone asks our advice, so we give it! But how many of us think to ask a question or two first, just to be clear we’ve understood things properly? And in the workplace, when it comes to understanding the true capabilities of a prospective appointee, how often do we hear about interview processes that give the impression of a candidate having the right capabilities, but only to find this doesn’t materialise once appointed?

In organisations, the financial costs and disengagement caused by hiring mistakes, poor leadership and change initiatives that add time and financial cost, not value, are well documented. But this is where we can help using our evidence based approaches to provide clear insight into the true capabilities of individuals for key roles, help shape more effective leaders and teams , and focus change initiatives on areas most likely to raise organisational effectiveness.

  1. Why do organisations need the support of Organisational Effectiveness Specialists?

I see this as a straightforward opportunity cost; the opportunity to have better information on which for example to make hiring decisions for key appointments, against the high financial and other costs of inviting the wrong person into a key leadership role in your organisation. The same could be said of change initiatives that go down the wrong track, an approach which can be avoided, as for example set out in a short case study in our ‘Enable Change’ brochure.

These services are commonplace in the corporate world and yet bizarrely underused in the for- purpose sector, but we can help change that.

  1. In this new world, how do you feel Oxford HR can support organisations within the For-Purpose sector in any changes they may be going through?

For the past 20 or so years, leadership as a profession has been increasingly defined by the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world in which we live. The pandemic has put this into even sharper focus. Never before has it been more important to find those best able to lead, and to help them, their teams and organisation develop effectively. I think Oxford HR is very well positioned to support our clients in these areas.

  1. Which organisations would you love to work with?

No specific organisation, but what I can say is that it’s great to work with anyone who, despite perhaps never having used these services before, is open minded about their potential to add value. This openness also happens to be a trait commonly found in leaders who develop stronger, diverse and more impactful teams and organisations.

For more information on our Organisational Effectiveness Services please click here or contact David Cook on

David heads up our Organisational Effectiveness practice. He has been working with Oxford HR since 2019 and brings 30 years of experience working both as a change leader within and a consultant to global organisations across the for purpose, public and private sectors.