May 29th 2018 | Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh


Michael Hughes

Regional Ambassador Scotland, Engage for Success

Michael Hughes is Regional Ambassador for Engage For Success, and Founder of Orbit Engage. His mission is to promote the benefits of employee engagement throughout Scotland to all business sectors.

For more than twenty years he has helped businesses across the UK to become better places to work, improving welfare and productivity including PLCs, SMEs and professional services, in a wide variety of sectors. 

Through his successful track record Michael's ability to understand organisations from all angles is clear.As a business owner he knows first hand the tough decisions and risks that go with running a business. He was also Honorary Consul for the Netherlands for 9 years which provided a unique and extraordinary insight into the workings of government, foreign office, national institutions and the Scottish Establishment.   

Michael is a straightforward, pragmatic and original thinker, not restrained by convention and has a tendency to go straight to the core of an issue.

He has three children, divorced and lives in Edinburgh. He is a member of The Merchant Company of Edinburgh, and Institute of Directors.

Dr John McGurk

Head of Regional Policy and Insights, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)​

After a varied career from driving trains through roles as an academic and strategically advising unions, Dr McGurk joined CIPD in 2007.  Starting in Research and Policy as skills and learning adviser, he progressed to lead CIPD’s research on learning and talent development delivering a wide range of research from E learning to analytics, innovation and pioneered CIPD work on behavioural science.  Appointed Head of CIPD Scotland in October 2013, he  has been at the forefront of developing CIPD’s approach to the labour market – and  collaborations with business, government, the education sector, trade unions and other professional bodies.  He is now Head of Regional Policy and Insights and supports devolved countries and the North of England on labour market and policy issues working alongside our Regional Heads to bring CIPD’s policy, insight and professional offer to our members and stakeholders. 

Stephen McAllister

Associate, Headtorch

After graduating from University in 1986 with an Honours degree in Psychology I joined Strathclyde Police, I retired in 2017 as Divisional Commander of Forth Valley Division.

An eclectic career allowed me to gain experience in a mixture of uniform and specialist posts including Counter Terrorism.

I completed an Msc in Forensic and Legal Psychology while a serving officer.   

I was a Police Crisis and Hostage Negotiator for 16 year and a member of the directing staff on a number of negotiator training courses. I was a member of the UK’S International Negotiating Cadre for several years supporting HMG in the management of a number of international hostage situations.

I also operated as a Force Mediator, Trauma Incident Manager and Post Incident Manger during my Police Service gaining significant experience in crisis management. 

My experience in crisis management and the success of Police Negotiators in saving life through the use of active listening skills, rapport, empathy encouraged me to look at the wider use such skills may have in producing a positive working environment, improving performance  and reducing absence.

Working with Headtorch has allowed me to continue the journey of encouraging positive attitudes to mental health in the work place.