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From 7th – 9th November, 13 of K2’s UK-based senior leaders assembled in Leicestershire to attend a three-day leadership development programme, delivered by specialist consultants from the Matt Hampson Foundation’s Learning and Development team.

Over the course of 3 days, departmental leads from different areas across the business took part in a series of activities and challenges designed to improve self-awareness, accelerate personal growth, and enable them to overcome perceived limits to reach higher.

Each of the exercises undertaken had a clear purpose: to help participants to hone their leadership skills. From blindfolded Jenga to making pizzas from scratch, completing deep-delving personality assessments to helping colleagues find solutions to real-life problems the tasks all served to encourage K2 leaders to evaluate their leadership style and their role in K2’s journey to growth without compromise.

The Matt Hampson Foundation: more than a rehabilitation facility

Matt Hampson chose to ‘get busy living’ after sustaining a life-changing injury in 2005. This is the philosophy behind everything the Matt Hampson Foundation does.

The Foundation’s raison d’être is transforming lives. They have helped over 1,000 individuals injured through sport to regain their focus, purpose, and self-esteem. Through this work, they’ve come to understand what it takes to build resilience, and to find and harness inner strength.

Now, The Foundation are using their unparalleled experience to drive a leadership and resilience movement in business. Their tailor-made programmes provide leaders, teams and organisations as a whole with the tools they need to perform to the best of their ability in the ever-changing, ever-challenging environment of business.

These programmes bring together a unique set of experts who have collective experience in elite sports, human performance, psychology, and executive coaching. Their progressive training model captures the benefits of high-performance, inner drive and focus, combining it with evidence-based psychology and coaching.

A globally recognised, purpose-built rehabilitation facility, the Get Busy Living Centre offers an inspirational backdrop for organisations to learn in, and serves as the perfect reminder of the important role that positive mind-set plays in overcoming adversity.

K2’s commitment to supporting continued professional development

‘People and culture’ is one of the strategic priorities outlined in K2’s Kinetic business plan, which launched in Q1 of 2022. Continued professional development is central to supporting the growth of our people and company.

K2 has been working with the Matt Hampson Foundation since the charity’s inception, and earlier this year embraced the opportunity to partner with the Foundation to create a corporate training and development programme that would ultimately result in increased employee productivity, engagement and retention through improved communication, teamwork and leadership.

We recognise that sustainable performance improvement and profitability can be driven forwards by the facilitation of practical people development at all levels of the business. Transformational leadership results in effective teams and helps to promote an inclusive and supportive workplace environment.

Supported through a surprising journey of self-discovery

Fearful of being sent on a stuffy corporate leadership training course, K2’s Global Marketing Director, James Marshall, admits he was initially sceptical about undertaking the training programme:

My first thought when I heard Leadership Development Training was ‘…do I have to…’, but when we arrived at the Get Busy Living Centre, Dan [Hipkiss], Claire [Drury] and Geordan [Murphy] immediately brought me round to their way of thinking, and I quickly understood the enormous value that the training was going to have – for myself, my team and the wider business.

Under Dan, Claire and Geordan’s tutelage, I went on a journey of self-discovery and holistic self-assessment, exploring potential without limits, celebrating strengths and identifying and disrupting certain – more unhelpful – habits.

This was an opportunity for all of us in attendance to find out a little more about ourselves and our colleagues and ultimately to become better leaders, not just for the benefit of our direct teams but for the whole K2 Global Family.”

James continues:

“A key takeaway for me was the principle that ultimately, to be a good team leader you need to not be afraid to make yourself redundant; an idea that I’ve aspired to but historically been cautious of.

By giving every member of your workplace community a voice, challenging them to think outside of the box, involving them in process development and knowing when to step back – team members feel empowered and supported to make decisions and take action, which enables you as a leader to confidently move on to the next project.”

After spending two days in the learning centre, where they had the opportunity to spend time with Matt and some of The Foundation’s beneficiaries, the leadership group were taken to Welford Road Stadium, home of the Leicester Tigers. Here they enjoyed a stadium tour and learnt more about Geordan’s journey from professional rugby player to professional development facilitator.

Hearing Geordan’s story helped attendees to acknowledge that breadth of individual experience is key to shaping someone’s approach, in both their personal life and business, and that these different paths enrich people with a mix of qualities that can contribute to a well-rounded team.

Reflecting on the experience of the three days, Sarah Coles, K2 Global Account Director, comments:

I would describe our K2 team as a close group, who know each other reasonably well, but the time together and the nature of the training definitely helped deepen that connection and our understanding of each other, as well as giving us the opportunity to explore other ways in which we can support each other. 

The Foundation and the team are incredibly inspirational and unique in their approach to training, which was highly inventive and challenged everyone’s frame of reference and personal perspective

I used the term ‘buzzing’ after this learning experience, as it really did have a physical and cognitive impact, leaving me feeling energised, motivated, and very positive.  It also left me covered in flour on the Monday evening – I haven’t laughed so much in a long-time, we had so much fun making pizza with Dan Hipkiss. Who knew how many talents this man has!

This wasn’t just training, this was training K2 style, exceptional!”


For more information about the Matt Hampson Foundation and the work that they do, visit their website.

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