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Posted 22 Sep 2021

Changes at the Helm of the Good Ship Genius

After 10 years at the helm of Genius Within CIC, Founder Dr Nancy Doyle will be taking a new role as Chief Research Officer effective from November 2021.

Dr Doyle will split her time between Genius Within and the Centre for Neurodiversity at Work at Birkbeck, University of London where she is Co-Director with Professor Almuth McDowall.

Current Commercial Director Jacqui Wallis has been appointed as CEO, by unanimous agreement by the Board of Genius Within, and will take up her new role 19th November 2021 after a two-month planned handover.

In response, Jacqui Wallis said “I am grateful and humbled in equal measure to take on the role as CEO of Genius Within. Since I started at Genius Within, I feel like I have found my own genius within, where my talents as a Dyslexic woman are warmly embraced, my purpose, my passion and my ambition realized, and I am encouraged and valued.

I know that Nancy is a tough act to follow, and both she and Fiona have my utmost respect for what they have created; an amazing company, full of talented wonderful people, who have carved out a world leading position in Neurodiversity. I am excited for what is next and where the future will take us.”

Reflecting on the last 10 years, Dr Doyle’s said “For the last 10 years, we have been able to keep the company agile enough to keep me happy and engaged, 10 years where I have been on the edge of my capabilities, and it’s been amazing.

We’ve created part time, flexible time, remote work, hybrid work, and an output-based, trusting culture, as well as a structure in which we can respectfully handle the emotions and misunderstandings that can naturally arise from having people with different neurological norms work together.

It is not always easy, but we do it because we know we need to role model to the world that neurodiverse businesses work. They can not only exist, but they can thrive, profit and make the world a better place all at the same time.”

In 2013 Genius Within become a Community Interest Company, meaning that it is legally written in our articles of association that 65% of profits must be invested each year into services for our community. Through this investment, we have paid for research, pro bono services and we are now developing the Blooming Genius Foundation to support ND kids and their families.

And from this month, we have launched a company share scheme, something that we can tangibly share with all our teams to celebrate and reward all their hard work.

This is a lasting legacy, ensuring that the company legal structures match the company values as we grow.

In terms of the new leadership structure, Jacqui will work alongside Fiona Barrett, who will become Chief Operating Officer and Royston Collins, set to take over as Commercial Director.

Fiona Barrett added “I am really proud of the business we have built; neuroinclusion is starting to become the norm, and Genius Within is leading the way, we work across all sectors from large corporate clients, the NHS, with long-term unemployed people and those in the criminal justice setting, because we know that neurodivergence impacts on people everywhere… I know the new direction and opportunities will be amazing”

Royston Collins commented “After many years working in both the private and public sectors, I feel I am home. It is genuinely an honour and a privilege to work alongside everyone at Genius Within, where there is such amazing camaraderie and great leadership.

Nancy asked me to join GW in 2018, and I’ve never once regretted it! This is my perfect fit, with values that so closely match my own. I am so excited for the future of GW and it’s a pleasure to continue on this journey.”

Dr Doyle closed by adding, “As an organisation, Genius Within has faced many challenges since our inception. Most recently, we’ve weathered an international calamity, yet we have come out stronger, not weaker. We came through those experiences, retaining respect for each other’s work and most importantly, each other.

Good strong relationships come through compromise, working it out, developing deeper trust through celebrating successes and commiserating failures. In the past two years Jacqui, Fiona, Royston and I have weathered those storms and I can tell you from the heart that I trust them to steer the ship.

I can’t wait to see what Genius Within becomes with all of us in its legal ownership core, with its fabulous, neurodiverse leadership team making things happen and our emerging leaders picking up the pace of their potential.”