David Woodward

David Woodward

“A good day for me always involves a great conversation, be it a work colleague, friend or simple someone you meet on your travels. Great conversations involve emotions and meaningful issues, sometimes they can be tough, but always make the day worthwhile. “I enjoy being able to help individuals & teams to understand themselves better and make an impact in the world around them. Colleagues & clients would describe me as a mentor coach, where I leverage 30 years of experience from the times when I have got it wrong as much as right! I am challenging, direct, emotional, but always honest.”


David spent over 25 years at KPMG working in the field of Corporate Tax, the last 12 years as a Partner,  where he built a reputation for growing businesses, developing teams & senior leaders, as well as leading strategy and transformation projects.  Most enjoyable of all, David spent 6 years leading KPMG’s EMA wide New Partner Development Programme.  In addition to which, he sponsored & co-developed a Mid-Career Partner programme and trained with organisation development experts Sheppard Moscow to be Partner Counsellor (providing ‘career’ support to UK partners). 


A coach/mentor and learning & development business leader, with a ‘play book’ of tools, models and experiences harnessed over 30 years.

Areas of focus are leadership development, team effectiveness, effective communications, managing well-being, creativity/innovation.

Examples of recent work

David’s client’s include professional services & global law firms, where he runs programmes to help develop senior leaders as they step into new roles.   In addition, David is supporting the transformation/turnaround of a high–tec manufacturing company, where his focus is on developing a high performing SLT and rolling out the concepts to the senior management teams and on to the shop floor.

Facilitation approach

David develops bespoke training programmes and events, alongside 121 mentoring and coaching senior leaders in order to achieve business goals. 

David likes to work alongside individuals & teams over a period of time.  With the ambition of helping them to create time to think and space play.  Hopefully, this enables the teams and individuals to both think creatively and simplify the world around them.  

Leadership is difficult with a constant flow of challenges and information to deal with.  Therefore, David’s model of change is to focus on simple models & concepts, that can be understood quickly, work out their application to the real world, then focus on practice, practice, practice – “ After all the best way to be good at tennis is to hit balls not read coaching books!”

Waverley Learning are very vested in what they’re doing, very committed. They’re dynamic individually and collectively, they are 100% invested to the learners when they go into a program, it really is a sense of ownership of the experience that I don’t necessarily always see with every other vendor or learning partner that we use.
Lisa Smisek - Director of Learning, Kearney
There’s a credibility and a humility that you just sense when you’re engaging with Waverley Learning. I’m personally very drawn to that.
Karen Brown - Director of People and Talent, Tearfund
It is the extent to which Waverley Learning understood all the requirements, the innovation that they brought, the talent they brought. Their whole style takes the frantic pace at which we work out of the equation, the messages comes through really clearly. They’ve tuned into the challenges of our organization and made observations that have given us added value. It’s always based on our needs.
Alison Maher - Head of Learning, GWR
Their Developing Skills course consistently gets the best feedback of any standard developmental course that we offer. They’re clearly doing something right in terms of engagement, for those individuals to realise their own development within that situation. Waverley Learning listen to what’s going on, the chats that they’re having with my colleagues. They’re able to play that back, this is what’s going on in your business. As an organization, they provide great insight into to us.
John Probert - Director, Mercer
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