Our Mission

At Koru, we believe that resilience training can be a catalyst for good in the world. We recognise that we’re always facing change, whether that’s climatic change, systemic change or personal change, even when we don’t necessarily choose that change. It’s in these moments that we often experience our most valuable & profound life lessons. We need those lessons to grow, perhaps, now more than ever. For this to happen, resilience is essential.

Our Values

Koru has been working all over the world for the last twelve years, whether that’s with medical colleges and NGOs in Tibet or communities in New Zealand. Our values are based upon what we’ve learned from our clients.

To embrace and embed the spirit of Koru (a Māori symbol for creation, growth, harmony and new beginnings) into everything that we do. Every. Single. Day.

We will bring authentic, positive energy to our work and the world, promoting personal growth, making people feel good about themselves, shining a light on their strengths and their potential to create their own positive change. We recognise that positivity becomes toxic if we refuse to acknowledge, challenge and overcome social & systemic injustice wherever we find it.

We promise to build an honest, authentic, compassionate relationship on our journey with you. Whether that’s for a lifetime or a moment. We’ll do everything that we can to help you reach your goals. We want to create a truly global, inclusive community of རོགས་པ rogs-pa (Tibetan for helper). If we feel that we’re not a good fit for you, we’ll be honest and signpost you to someone who is.

My Story

Hi, I’m Gill Thackray. My journey into the world of sustainable performance, change processes & wellbeing began whilst working in United Nations refugee camps.

Despite the traumatic events that had forced the people I worked with to leave their homes and sometimes their loved ones behind, their resilience was evidenced everywhere. What I was observing was the epitome of resilience, post traumatic growth. A counterintuitive response to trauma where human beings thrive. What I learned from the people I worked with in the refugee camp about resilience in the face of trauma inspired me.

I returned to the UK, accepting a role as Head of Workforce Development for a company in London (along with a crowded, daily four hour commute). At my interview someone was carried out on a stretcher by paramedics and nobody batted an eyelid…

It wasn’t long before I recognised that the long established systems, procedures and acceptable pace of working weren’t sustainable. They pushed employees into burnout and kept people disconnected from themselves, their emotional wellbeing and their inherent potential. Even worse, the level of stress related illness amongst my colleagues was off the charts. Work was literally making people sick. And then, I was made redundant. I had one month’s salary to my name, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

I knew that there had to be a better way. I felt strongly about creating a more connected world, one where we don’t leave our true selves behind when we go to work. Where we look at what doesn’t work and fix it. I put everything that I had into pursuing a new path. I took the lessons that I had learned about post traumatic growth and I retrained as a business psychologist. I felt an obligation to share what I had learned and started Koru Development so that I could help people live more authentic lives where they fulfil their potential without burning out or feeling miserable and disconnected.

Since then I’ve been working as a performance psychologist with Fortune 100 Companies, elite sporting bodies like UK Sport, the Football Association and the medical profession, non profits, small businesses & youth leadership organizations across the globe using evidence based strategies to create sustainable high performance individuals, teams and organisations. Change is a constant, it’s how we move through it that makes the difference.

I work internationally with individuals and businesses using data driven performance psychology strategies, teaching people to optimise their professional lives and their personal lives.

I work with some amazing companies, universities and organisations from tech start ups to established fortune 100s including

I’ve loved every minute of helping these organisations to optimise their performance, develop their leadership and build their resilience & wellbeing.

What we do

I consult, coach, train, speak at events & facilitate leader retreats. I’ve lectured in performance psychology & in 2016 I was invited to be Visiting Professor at CHE in Cambodia. I leverage my corporate and international experience to package the latest research in psychology, resilience, mindset and sustainable performance into something practical that works.

I regularly write about psychology & wellbeing  for publications including The Guardian, Thrive Global, Ultra Sport, Medium & HR Zone, contributing to international publications on everything from wearing red lipstick to toxic relationships (and of course, performance psychology).

My books “The Positivity Coach” and “The Mindfulness Coach” published by Michael O’Mara Books were published early 2021 & I’m a member of the Society of Authors.

Koru Development has been featured in The Guardian, Success Magazine, Refinery 29, She Knows, Dare Magazine, Everyday Power Blog, Accounting News and Stylist Magazine.

I regularly speak at conferences on the subject of leadership, resilience, wellbeing and performance in the workplace. A percentage of all Koru Development profits support the Koru Trust, a small trust that supports refugees on the Thailand/Burma border.

Professional Bodies

I am a member of the Association of Business Psychologists, British Psychological Society Psychometric Assessor, Institute of Leadership and Management, British Neuroscience Association, International Mindfulness Teacher Association Member, IMTA Certified Mindfulness Teacher Professional Level (CMT-P), a Registered UK Professionally Accredited Mindfulness Teacher adhering to the UK Good Practice Guidelines, UK Mindfulness Association, Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.

I’ve practiced mindfulness for over twenty years, having lived, worked and studied in China, Tibet, India and Thailand. I now live the UK Lake District and when I can, Paris.

Conferences

Gill regularly presents her research at conferences including;

  • Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre Conference, Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre. Mindfulness at work research.

  • Compassion & Wellbeing Conference, UK, November 2015. Research presentation ‘Making Mindfulness Work: The impact of Mindfulness interventions on leader stress, anxiety and resilience levels’

  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Learning at Work Conference. Presenting ‘Mindfulness at Work’ on expert panel. October 2015

  • Digital Mindfulness London, June 2014. Mindfulness Keynote

  • Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, Learning and Development Show Conference, May 2014. Mindfulness at Work.

  • British School of Osteopathy. Conference Keynote speech March 2013 Performance Management in Practice

  • Local Government Association. Healthy Workforce, Healthy Communities, October 2012. Mindfulness at Work