Flexibility @ Work with Ross McIntosh and Annie Gascoyne

A four-part programme for cultivating flexible behaviour, effectiveness and well-being in the workplace

9th Jul - 15th Oct 2020


July – October
ONLINE WORKSHOPS + recording available after
Presenters:  Ross McIntosh &  Annie Gascoyne


Programme Overview

Acceptance Commitment Training (ACT) is an evidence-based approach for increasing employees’ personal resilience and well-being. Annie and Ross are champions of the application of evidence based behavioural science in the workplace and have developed this programme to share the application of the science for individuals, facilitators, teams and organisations as well as leaders.

In the modern workplace, employees can at times feel overwhelmed by uncertainty, challenged by complex or confusing circumstances, and can become disconnected from a sense of personal meaning in their work and personal lives. The global pandemic has the potential to exacerbate these feelings, which could lead to exhaustion, anxiety, depression and burnout. ACT programs delivered in workplace settings are designed to help people towards healthier and more effective outcomes, by becoming more aware of the qualities they most want to express in daily behaviour and by relating more skilfully to difficult or unhelpful thoughts and feelings.

The Mindful and Effective Employee by Paul Flaxman, Frank Bond and Frederik Livheim was published in 2013 and described a protocol for delivering ACT in workplace settings. Since 2015 Ross McIntosh has been working alongside Dr Paul Flaxman to revise and refresh the protocol. If you sign up to Module 2 of this programme, you’ll get a copy of the new protocol, which is a detailed overview of the four-session training programme developed by Dr Paul Flaxman and Ross McIntosh. Over the same period, Dr Annie Gascoyne was undertaking her doctoral research (under the supervision of Professor Frank Bond and Dr Jo Lloyd) which focussed on the use of organisational flexibility and psychological flexibility as ways to understand and improve the effectiveness and wellbeing of organisations and the people working within them.

Through co-designing this programme, Annie and Ross are combining their specialisms and their range of experience in designing and delivering interventions in both the public and private sector.

During each Module of the programme Annie and Ross will model their approach to facilitation and delivery, they will also share their experience of delivering interventions in a wide variety of workplace settings from public to private sector.

  • Introductory Webinar
  • Module 1 – Personal Flexibility @ Work
  • Module 2 – Developing Flexibility In Others’ @ Work
  • Module 3 – Introducing Organisational Flexibility & Prosocial
  • Module 4 – Flexible, Contextual Leadership


In this 1-hour webinar, learn about flexibility at work and how this programme, over four modules, can help you and your organisation through the current challenges and beyond.

This webinar aims to introduce you to key ideas and tools, clarifying flexibility and the benefits for developing flexibility in yourself, in others and in your organisations.

We will provide a taste for the modules in this programme, explaining their benefit as standalone modules, or grouped together to provide a coherent, holistic training package.

This introductory webinar is free and open to all, and is especially relevant to those who are interested in leading organisations and their staff towards greater flexibility.

It’s also an opportunity for you to get an insight into Annie and Ross’ delivery style and the way they aim to role model the skills they are sharing and seeking to cultivate.

Thursday, 9th July, 10-11am UK Time BST

The recording of this webinar is available and can be accessed by CLICKING HERE



What you will learn

Over four 2.5-hour sessions, develop skills for improving your own flexibility, in an online workshop format.


These sessions aim to develop your personal psychological and behavioural flexibility to enhance your effectiveness and wellbeing at work.

We firmly believe that an effective facilitator of ACT interventions in the workplace will have both an understanding of the ACT processes and an experience of applying those processes and skills in their own lives.

In Module 1, we will be helping to cultivate your personal flexibility, towards more effective and healthy behaviours at work, using ACT in the Workplace. This is ideal for individuals who may have heard of ACT and want to experience how it could impact their own lives. It is also ideal for people who are considering facilitating ACT workshops, in their organisations, but have limited experience of ACT. By taking this module, you’ll get the chance to experience the protocol from the perspective of a workplace participant, before becoming a trainer.

This experience will be valuable as a stand-alone experience for your working life and beyond. If you’re thinking of progressing to Module 2 – (where we’ll share the perspective of the facilitator) this module will give you a grounding and insights for the way you could adapt the programme to suit the organisations you might be intending to work with.

The workshops are based on an evidence-based approach for enhancing flexibility, known as acceptance and commitment training (ACT), developed by Paul Flaxman, Frank Bond and Fredrik Livheim, and recently updated by Paul Flaxman and our very own Ross McIntosh.

Who is this module for?

This module is for people who want to experience how greater psychological flexibility can help them in their work and especially for those who may be interested in facilitating greater flexibility in the workplace.

Session 1: Thursday, 30th July, 9.30-12pm UK Time BST

Session 2: Thursday, 6th August, 9.30-12pm UK Time BST

Session 3: Thursday, 13th August, 9.30-12pm UK Time BST

Session 4: Thursday, 20th August, 9.30-12pm UK Time BST

The workshop sessions will be recorded, so you can access it for up to three weeks after the event.



What you will learn

The aim of this module is to provide you with the knowledge and skills to deliver ACT-based training to working populations, to cultivate flexible behaviour, effectiveness and well-being in workplace settings.

In this 2-day workshop you will learn:

  • How to deliver engaging ACT programs to groups of employees in workplace settings
  • The behaviours and skills involved in ACT-oriented group facilitation
  • About the latest research developments around ACT in workplace settings
  • Key strategies to develop buy-in from employees and organisations

Day 1 of the workshop will demonstrate strategies used in a typical opening session of a workplace ACT program, along with examples of how to cultivate cognitive defusion in workplace groups. During their practical demonstrations, Annie and Ross will frequently pause to provide delegates with deeper insight into why they use particular strategies, and examples of how to respond to participants’ experiences.

Day 2 will provide demonstration of additional ACT strategies being used in workplace interventions. Ross and Annie will also ensure that space is provided for delegates in similar organisational areas to connect and discuss common themes. They will also lead discussions on how to market ACT programs, the profile of the employees who might volunteer for the training, the use of “taster” sessions, ethical issues, and evaluation.

Delegates will be provided with a copy of the latest trainers’ manual for delivering ACT in workplace settings.

As part the training package you will also receive a comprehensive manual for the new protocol. This training approach has been utilised by organisations spread across the UK, including by the staff support services in twenty NHS Trusts, by teams of educational psychologists, the prison service, and in central government departments. Their training has also been adopted by workplace practitioners in the US, Uganda, Canada, and Australia. In the private sector the protocol has been used as the foundation for interventions in a large global American bank, AIMIA, Nectar Loyalty and a global technology company.

Who is this ACT train-the-trainer course for?

This train-the-trainer course is particularly designed for psychologists, counsellors, therapists, and other mental health or occupational health/ human resources professionals who are in a position to deliver workplace interventions designed to improve employees’ psychological well-being.

Ideally, applicants for this course will already be able to demonstrate some or all of the following qualifications and experience:

  • An understanding of the basic processes and principles of ACT and mindfulness-based interventions
  • A level of experience of applying ACT in their own life,
  • Relevant professional training (e.g., clinical, counselling, occupational, or educational psychologist, counselling/ psychotherapy, human resource management)
  • Previous experience of delivering well-being interventions in workplace settings

Thursday 3rd and 4th of September, 9.30-4.30pm both days UK Time BST

The workshop will be recorded, so you can access it for up to three weeks after the event



What you will learn

In this 1-day workshop, learn about organisational flexibility and prosociality to help teams, groups, whole organisations and their staff to be more flexible.

This workshop aims to introduce you to key concepts and techniques for understanding and improving the flexibility of your organisation; clarifying how it relates coherently to the flexibility of the staff.

It will also introduce you to a related concept of prosociality as a perspective for working together better, supported by Nobel prize-winning research, by Elinor Ostrom, and developed for use in organisations by Paul Atkins. We’ll present perspectives and techniques designed to allow teams to develop their collaboration, co-operation and adaptability.

Who is this module for?

This workshop is for people who may be interested in facilitating greater flexibility in the workplace. Participants should have attended Module 1 or similar, and would benefit from having attended Module 2.

Thursday 1st October, 9.30-4.30pm UK Time BST

The workshop will be recorded, so you can access it for up to three weeks after the event



What you will learn

In this 1-day workshop, learn about how to develop and coach leaders to be more able to guide flexible organisations.

This workshop aims to introduce you to key concepts for understanding leaders’ roles in creating flexible organisations and supporting flexible employees.

The workshop will explore opportunities and challenges leaders may face, for themselves, in their contexts, and techniques for helping them to move forward in an authentic and flexible way.

There are hundreds of leadership models out there. We know that by introducing leaders to contextual behavioural science they can call upon the skills, whatever their seniority or status, to enable them to respond to emerging situations in a way that carries personal authenticity and meaning, as well as enhancing their own vitality and effectiveness.

Who is this module for?

This workshop is for people who may be interested in facilitating greater flexibility in the workplace. Participants should have attended Module 1 or similar, and would benefit from having attended Modules 2 and 3.

Thursday 15th October, 9.30-4.30pm UK Time BST

The workshop will be recorded, so you can access it for up to three weeks after the event


Your Facilitators

Ross McIntosh

Ross is an organisational and coaching psychologist. As a practitioner, he uses evidence-based psychology in all areas of his portfolio career.

In his research role at City, University of London, Ross designs and deliver Personal Resilience Training for both the public and private sector, based upon Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and wider contextual behavioural science. He lectures in organisational psychology at City, University of London, Goldsmiths and Birkbeck.

He also works part-time as the in-house organisational psychologist for an agency of HM Treasury. Here he focuses on leadership development, psychological flexibility and senior recruitment.

He founded the start-up, People Soup which aims to cultivate psychological flexibility in organisations. He has recently delivered evidence-based training to staff in the NHS, Civil Service, Nectar Loyalty, teachers, a global American bank and a variety of ballet companies including the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Rambert, Scottish Ballet and The Royal Ballet. Most recently he designed and delivered a development workshop for a group of Senior Leaders at a multinational technology company. In 2020 he’s been working on the design and deliver of interventions for specialist paramedics, wellbeing leads in schools and nurses in Uganda.

Prior to his portfolio career, Ross spent over 20 years in Senior HR roles in Government. He holds a BSc (Hons) in psychology from the University of Dundee and Masters degrees in Human Resource Management and Organisational Psychology. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) and also hosts the popular podcast – People Soup – psychology@work.

Twitter https://twitter.com/PeopleSoupPod

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/people.soup/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/peoplesouppod/LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/ross-mcintosh-261a2a22/

Visit Ross’ website – http://www.rossmcintosh.co.uk/

Hear Annie and Ross in action as they chat in a two-parter on the People Soup Podcast!

Dr Annie Gascoyne

Annie is an organisational psychologist and coach who uses behavioural science to equip people and organisations with skills to achieve their aims, with a greater sense of wellbeing, meaning and purpose.

Annie has over 20 years of experience across a wide range of organisations from multinational corporations through to entrepreneurial start-ups, and from financial services to charities. She has worked as an external consultant and coach, and as an internal manager of people, projects, operations and change.

Annie’s transition to organisational psychology was driven by her desire to help organisations and their people to work together more successfully and healthily. Her doctoral thesis, which researched organisational and psychological flexibility, provides her practice with a leading-edge, evidence-based perspective for improving our world of work.

She is also a visiting lecturer at the Institute of Management Studies (IMS), Goldsmiths University of London, teaching Organisational Behaviour & Health and Assessment & Selection courses on the MSc Occupational Psychology programme.

Connect with Annie on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/anneligascoyne/