‘Hello, I am Sue Heatherington and I'm a quiet disruptor...’
Nothing prepared me for the response to this phrase when I started using it in the summer of 2018 as a simple way to cut through the complexity that was my life at the time!
Instead of being bombarded with questions, there was usually a pause for the paradox to land, before people started trying it on for size. And hope started to rise, along with permission to be more true to themselves.
And so Quiet Disruptors was born. Not as a psychological definition, but an invitation to become the change you want to see.
So, sorry if you were expecting a box... there isn't one. Only a rallying cry to change the conversation.
What came next?
- MANIFESTO - capturing my emerging thinking and enabling others to share and shape it. The current version is No. 3
- BLOG - responding to the challenge to write and explore quiet disruptor wisdom, with short posts every weekday and a longer weekend reflection. These are written with the vulnerable discipline of reality, daily, not the safety of abstraction. The musings of a traveller...
- BOOK - is still in progress and explores the four particular dimensions that quiet disruptors contribute to work and life: curiosity, creativity, conviction and shaping of culture. It recognises the courage of these new changemakers to speak softly about things that matter in a world that might not understand...
Who am I?
My name is Sue Heatherington. I am a thinking partner for people and teams who are pushing boundaries, and facilitator for collaborative conversations.
I was privileged to be an NHS chief exec in the 2000s, impacting the lives of people in England and Wales. My approach to leading appears to have inspired others to find new ways of creating change together, including in mental health, emergency care and use of information technology. And the legacy continues in people who are now leaders in healthcare in the UK and beyond.
After leaving the NHS I qualified as an advanced professional coach in Switzerland. Since then I have worked with a wide range of leaders and organisations as an organisational strategist, which draws on my unusual breadth of experience prior to working in healthcare.
My innovative first degree in International Development, combined with my masters in Agricultural Economics and led to early research on farm diversification. Subsequently, I worked in education, small business management, marketing and church leadership among others. I’ve now come full circle and run our 40-acre valley in South West Wales with my husband, Steve (alpaca shepherd and podcaster), where we also create space for team away-days and rural retreats through our company The Waterside.
I work with clients both locally and globally.