Inemmo Team using leadership development solutions

Inemmo provides professional management and leadership development learning solutions and executive coaching that improves leadership performance.

Leadership development solutions are designed to prepare leaders for career advancement. Inemmo’s award-winning leadership development programmes help business leaders integrate critical management concepts and practices to enhance existing strengths and develop new skills, discover new methods and principles to promote better overall effectiveness, and identify those professional or personal issues that could be hindering expected performance and unlock their potential for future success.

Joy Maitland and Atiya Sheikh creating leadership development solutions


Joy Maitland and Atiya Sheikh are the Managing Director and Director. Joy and Atiya have been working as a partnership for many years, working with world-leading brands such as Vodafone, 3M, Sony, and RBS, just to name a few.


The successful pair have strong community ties to Lumina Learning as they have been our Strategic Alliances for many years. Throughout the years, they have implemented dynamic leadership development solutions, sometimes with the help of Lumina Learning’s inclusive and engaging selection and development tools.


Empowering young people to embrace their diversity and achieve career success – developing strategies to navigate social inequalities and biases

Inemmo runs a successful ‘levelling up’ coaching programme with the explicit purpose of supporting young people in inner London, who face inequalities, discrimination of all types, poverty and high levels of crime/unhelpful role-models in their local neighbourhood. Short coaching experiences are provided, with an ongoing mentoring programme for individuals who want to benefit from significant long-term interventions to support social mobility and the attainment of career and life goals.


The programme has instilled in the young people a strong sense that they are part of the true ‘levelling up’ agenda, as evidenced by their short videos.


An ABP 2021 Winner for Excellence in using business psychology to make a business impact

ABP 2021 Winner for Excellence in using business psychology to make a business impact


The Challenge

The Business Psychology intervention – LEVELLING UP

Since the Brexit referendum, the term ‘levelling up’ has been interpreted to mean addressing geographical inequalities through promises of economic investment such as road/rail infrastructure projects outside London. However, the Financial Times recently asserted ‘levelling up’ is “a running joke amongst No.10 staff – it’s a slogan without a purpose”.


For Inemmo’s young coachees, the process of ‘levelling up’ is a personal psychological experience, grounded in their lived experience in (typically) socially immobile and underserved black and brown communities in London. In the UK, meritocratic education discourse continues to present schools as ‘engines of social mobility’ regardless of an individual’s circumstances. Yet research by Ownes and de St. Croix (2020) still question whether schools can make up for the significant structural disadvantages of students with certain backgrounds, be they poor or marginalised in some way. This practical and psychological challenge is well articulated by the coachees.


The Solution

Why use Business Psychology techniques?

Inemmo used evidence-based business psychology models:


    • Coaching methods adapted from Cognitive behavioural therapy help the young people address their self-limiting beliefs, such as the often-quoted old adage used in schools and internalised by black and brown people in their early years, “You have to work twice as hard to be equal”. The young people’s views on this subject are enlightening
  • The ‘Sedona Method’ to enable the young people to examine their wants and explore their psychological needs for control, security, approval, separation and oneness.
  • Validated Big Five personality model (Lumina Spark) suitable for coaching around inclusivity, valuing diversity, derailing, self-esteem and how to navigate complex relationships.



What did Inemmo do?

Over the last three years, at no financial cost to themselves, 24 young people have been coached and mentored to develop their self-awareness and emotional intelligence in order to build their resilience, self-leadership, and accountability.


A unique personalised coaching contract was agreed with each young person and no two agreements were the same. Based on their needs, the frequency of coaching was increased when jobs were applied for, or critical conversations were needed. The coaching always started with weekly support, which was reduced as self-efficacy and confidence were built. An ongoing assessment of needs shaped the future frequency of all coaching interventions.


Personalised goals were set and later assessed, with all 24 of the young people reporting a positive impact on their personal and career goals, and 16 reporting a significant positive impact. One of the coachees was supported throughout the setup of a technology business.


Additional achievements reported by the coachees included a greater sense of belonging; banishing my ‘impostor syndrome’; finding my purpose; stopping self-sabotage; identifying my values and trusting myself.


Leadership Development Solutions ModelA proven learning model

The application of the coaching and mentoring programme was based on taking the young people through repeated iterations of Kolb’s 4 step learning cycle:


  1. Concrete Experience e.g., team exercises with peers and the creation of videos describing what they stand for
  2. Reflective Observation e.g., coachee gathers feedback to help plan for their future success. This included feedback on interview performance, as well as management feedback on performance at work. Coachee also keeps a personal journal to document their growth
  3. Abstract Conceptualisation e.g., understanding and applying the ‘Big Five’ to support valuing diversity and the building of productive, long-term relationships
  4. Active Experimentation e.g., role-playing conflict situations ahead of challenging interactions, such as discussions with parents or older adults/teachers who can have a massive positive or negative impact on the young person’s future. Here are the young people’s views on this:

Outcome Evaluation

How did Inemmo measure success?

The programme was designed with assessment in mind, using an adaption of the Kirkpatrick 4 levels:

Level I – The young people’s reaction to the programme was overwhelmingly positive. When asked for an overall rating for the INEMMO ‘Levelling-Up’ Coaching and Mentoring Programme, 23 scored 5/5 (Excellent) and 1 scored 4/5 (Very Good).

One student commented “I would very strongly recommend the INEMMO ‘Levelling-up’ Coaching & Mentoring Programme to everyone. For me, the experience has been amazing. Thank you for always being in my corner”, and another said “Thank you for the years of support and coaching”

Stratford to Harvard through leadership development solutions

Level II – when asked at least six months into the programme about their retained knowledge of their strengths, possible derailers and how to better relate to others, 19 scored 5/5 (strongly agree) and 5 scored 4/5 (agreed). In addition, 22 scored 5/5 for knowing how to have greater impact and influence, with 2 scoring 4/5.

Level III – the coachees assessed the impact and practical application of what they learnt. One coachee gave feedback, “All the help you gave me is very much appreciated. I used to suffer badly with imposter syndrome but with your support, I no longer engage in that behaviour. It’s like a big weight has been lifted off me and I can breathe again. Instead, I have grown to understand and appreciate my value both on a personal and a professional level.”

Level IV – the impact of the programme on their career and life goals was articulated in the coachees’ own words:

‘Levelling-up’ – Coachees reflections of what worked and what did not: 


Minimal Impact / Too Early To Tell Minor Impact Moderate Impact Positive Impact Significant Positive Impact
Achieving Results
Self-leadership and Accountability 1 23
Achieving my Personal Goals 8 16
Achieving my Career Goals 8 16
Emotional Intelligence
Working with My Opposites 1 9 14
Managing my Derailers 1 10 13
Building Self-awareness 6 18
Trusting Myself 1 7 16
Stability & Longevity 1 4 19
Building Resilience 1 4 19
Improving my Adaptability 5 19
Processing Self-Talk
(18 of the 24 had covered this in the coaching)
Banishing Impostor Syndrome 1 6 11
Less Self Sabotage 3 6 9


Coachees’ level IV testimonials:

  • “Without this coaching, I don’t think I would be where I am today. The structure, personalisation and delivery pushed me to my limits helping me uncover my true potential”.
  • “It has been life-changing – what happens when you have the courage to take your place in this world, and Joy and Atiya helped me see that. Thank you. If not for your interventions, I know that I would still be lost and having conversations with myself that are unhelpful and do not move me forward. I am now very proud of myself and all I have achieved.”
  • “Before joining the programme, I was not as confident, flexible and well-rounded as I am today. Their investment in me has led to roles in Engineering, Technology and Consulting with Rolls-Royce, Google and BCG. One year into coaching, I founded with a team of six, which supports thousands of young people’s access to STEM jobs and to become change-makers.”


What did Inemmo learn and what might they do differently?

Many of the coachees made such significant changes in their life, that it disconnected them from some of their old friends who they wanted to help but could not. A number reported “survivor’s guilt” and a difficulty (sometimes trauma) in “leaving others behind” which they describe here:

As coaches, Inemmo reflected on a shadow process, whereby they also needed to be aware of overplaying their desire to help the coachees and “rescue” them. Instead, Inemmo needed to make a safe place to empower them. It would have been easy for the coaches at Inemmo to become emotionally invested in the outcomes for each coachee, which would not have served them. Inemmo’s bigger purpose became to let the young people find their own voice, in their own time, in their own way.


As coaches, Inemmo also learnt the importance of building deep trust with the young people. For this community, creating a psychologically safe space is even more important, as is being non-judgemental of whatever is shared. For example, some young people raised very difficult personal issues concerning being in a gang, losing a friend, being estranged from their parents. Regular supervision and receiving our own coaching became very important.


Inemmo learnt it is very important to always gather feedback from the coachees as to what is working and what we could do better as coaches.


Other explanations for the results

The drive for many organisations to support diversity, equity and inclusivity means that those black or brown individuals who dare to stand out are more likely to be recognised for their excellence and developed. In addition, many of the coachees knew their parents were supportive of their success, and knowing that their parents had their back will likely have contributed much to their success. Here are the coachees’ own views on the important role of parental support:


With collaborations on previous award submissions to the ABP being successful, Lumina Learning and Inemmo are delighted take home another win in 2021 for excellence in social impact after the previous wins of 2014 and 2015.


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