About Us

The Right Conversation is a team of experienced consultants, trainers and researchers with backgrounds in psychology, communication, change management and management development.

We are united by a single belief – that the ability and willingness of leaders and managers to engage in authentic and constructive dialogue with clients, colleagues and team members is critical to business and personal success.

The Core Team

Dik Veenman – Founder. Dik has 20 years experience as a communication consultant, including MD of pioneering internal communication agency Smythe Dorward Lambert in the 1990s. He is a qualified Executive Coach and has extensive experience of enabling conversations at all levels for a wide range of organisations in many different geographies. Dik has an MBA from London Business School and a degree in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College. In his spare time he mentors troubled teenagers.

John Higgins – Research Director. John is an author, researcher and highly experienced coach who has written widely on the subject of dialogue in the workplace.

He has been a Research Associate of Ashridge since 2004. Prior to that he was a business director at Ashridge working with clients such as The Body Shop, Beiersdorf, Watson Wyatt and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), exploring new ways of making a difference to people and organisations. He also created two open programmes, one focused on power and communication in organisations and the other on leading strategy and change. Before Ashridge he travelled the globe working for traditional management consultancies including Nolan, Norton & Co and AT Kearney.

Gavin Fenn-Smith – Director. He has twenty years experience as a advisor and consultant to managers and leaders. As a leadership development expert, he designs and facilitates learning experiences that are highly customised to the specific organisational context. He has consulted to organisations in many industry sectors across the US, and in many countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Gavin is also a Partner at The River Group in the US. Previously, he was a founding member of the London office of Mercer Delta Consulting (now part of Oliver Wyman), and the Boston office of Smythe Dorward Lambert, a change management firm. Gavin holds an MBA from Warwick Business School and a BA (Hons) Political Science from the University of East Anglia.