The History Collection

Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.

Winston Churchill

A Never Ending Mine of Wisdom

From the leadership crisis that triggered the Peasants Revolt, to the court politics surrounding Henry VIII’s six wives, the catastrophic decision making of Mary, Queen of Scots and the gunpowder plot that threatened her son – centuries on, lessons gleaned from the lives of our ancestors are still capable of shining light on the most opaque of modern challenges.

The History collection are highly interactive events, inviting participants to immerse themselves in the chosen era, entering the minds of the protagonists to explore the reasons why they did what they did, and the lessons left behind for future generations. Available as a basic two hour workshop or, to incorporate business specific outcomes, choose half day, or full day events. Bespoke programmes also available.

Prices start at £299 for a two hour workshop for up to 12 participants with one facilitator online.

Divorced, Beheaded, Died...

What the fate of Henry VIII's six wives can teach us about keeping our heads in modern day business.

Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived - most of us are familiar with the fate of Henry’s six queens. But what can we learn from their individual stories of passion, intrigue and ambition that can help us navigate the pitfalls of our own complex world. Hosted by Karen Carpenter, this is an interactive event during which we will consider how the lessons of the time might just help us keep our own heads and succeed in business.

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queen chess piece

Would you Adam and Eve it!

What modern leaders can learn from the brilliant, brave, and foolhardy actions that shaped, and ended, the Peasants' Revolt.

'When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman!' This was the question posed to the masses by the radical preacher John Ball in 1381. The ideal of a free and just society resonated powerfully with a people oppressed by the bonds of serfdom, and crippled by unfair taxes. The revolt it inspired was well organised, efficient, and very nearly succeeded in its aims but for the arrogant naivety of one man, their leader Wat Tyler. Hosted by Karen Carpenter, this is an interactive event during which we will explore how the lessons of 1381 can help us manage our own battles and lead our teams to success.

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adam and eve

Gunpowder, Treason and Plot!

What the failed attempt to blow up the English parliament in 1605 can teach us about risk management in modern business.

'Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot!'

Immortalised in the words of this nursery rhyme, most UK children grow up familiar with the story of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. In actual fact, the leader of the plot was not Guy Fawkes but the charismatic Robert Catesby, a young man with passion, vision, courage and influence – qualities we generally deem essential for modern leaders. Yet the project was doomed to failure almost from the very start and is, these days, believed by many to have been actively facilitated by government agents as a complex and elaborate trap intended to eliminate the suspected threat posed by recusant Catholics living in a largely Protestant country. Hosted by Karen Carpenter, this is an interactive event during which we will explore how the lessons of November 1605 can help us manage the risks inherent within our own projects, avoiding the fireworks and increasing our chances of a successful conclusion.

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guy fawkes mask

Mary, Queen of Chance!

What modern leaders can learn from the fateful decision making of Mary Queen of Scots.

On 8 February 1587 the tragic life of Mary Queen of Scots was brought to its brutal end on the orders of her cousin, Elizabeth 1. She had been a prisoner of the English queen for nineteen years, captured by those to whom she had turned for help in her hour of need. But the decision to flee to England was not the first risky decision made by the young Scottish queen during her six turbulent years in charge. Hosted by Karen Carpenter, this is an interactive event, during which we will use a combination of coaching techniques, and modern business tools, to reflect on the influences at play during Mary’s brief stewardship of Scotland, and consider how these same tools might help us safely steer our own course through the complex maze of 21st century business.

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Mary, Queen of Scots

Knock, Knock! Who's There?

Lessons in leadership from past occupants of No 10!

With our newest premier still settling into the role they will undoubtedly describe as 'the honour of their life', regardless of how they perform, what better time to explore the legacy and lessons of previous incumbents. From Robert Walpole to Rishi Sunak, No 10 has borne witness to some of the most brilliant and charismatic leaders of their respective generations – it has also borne witness to some of the most unsuited. Hosted by Karen Carpenter, Executive and Small Business Coach, this will be an interactive event, during which we will reflect on the trials, tribulations, successes and failures of some of the most influential, and disappointing, premiers that have graced the UK political stage and ask ourselves, what matters most; policy or personality?

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10 Downing Street door

Let Them Eat Cake!

What Marie-Antoinette's fate can teach modern leaders about the importance of emotional intelligence in maintaining business success.

Contrary to popular belief, Marie-Antoinette never actually uttered the fateful words ‘Let them eat cake’. Nevertheless, her profligacy during the early years of her reign quickly earned her the nickname Madame Deficit and she was widely blamed for the country’s financial struggles. Compounded by lurid allegations of sexual depravity, the unfortunate queen found herself the target of a building rage that was to lead, ultimately, to the complete destruction of the monarchy at the hands of the French revolutionaries. Hosted by Karen Carpenter, this will be an interactive event, during which we will reflect on how such a seemingly benign figure could provoke such a powerful contempt, and consider the lessons that can be drawn from the inevitable downfall of an institution unable and unwilling to adapt.

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Making an exhibition of yourself: the Victorian way!

Top tips on project management from the creators of the Crystal Palace.

The 'Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations' opened on 1 May 1851, on time and on budget. When it closed on 15 October, it was widely acknowledged to have been a phenomenal success, a unique feat of industry and innovation the scale of which, besides showcasing the major scientific developments of the day, launched a number of new business models that we still recognise today. The profits of the project were used to purchase land in South Kensington specifically for the establishment of educational and cultural institutions, creating a legacy for future generations which now includes; the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Royal Albert Hall. Hosted by Karen Carpenter, this will be an interactive event, during which we will reflect on the key principles of project management demonstrated so successfully by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, and consider their relevance to the conception, planning, and execution of modern day business plans.

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Doubting Thomas! Conflicts of interest in the Tudor Court

What modern leaders can learn from the epic rise, and spectacular fall, of the four great Thomases of Tudor England.

Thomas Wolsey, Thomas Moore, Thomas Cromwell, and Thomas Cranmer, four of the most influential men of Tudor England. Yet, ultimately, each was brought down by a conflict of interest that set them on an inescapable collision course with their sovereign. Hosted by Karen Carpenter, this will be an interactive event, during which we will reflect on the personal dilemmas faced by each of these great men as they sought, in vain, to defend their position and save their lives. And, with so many high profile conflicts of interest dominating today's news, we will ask ourselves, what lessons can we learn from the archives of the past.

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Nine Days' Wonder?

How to keep your head whilst bringing a new product to market.

On 10 July, 1553 Lady Jane Dudley (nee Grey) was proclaimed Queen under the terms of her cousin, Edward VI's last will & testament. Her reign lasted just nine days before the throne was reclaimed by Mary Tudor, oldest daughter, & legal heir, of Henry VIII. Recognised by Mary as an innocent pawn in the manoeuvrings of her ambitious family, Jane was initially spared execution - but her fate was sealed  when her father and uncles subsequently joined in rebellion against Mary's plans to wed Philip of Spain. Jane and her husband were beheaded on Tower Green on 12 February 1554. Hosted by Karen Carpenter, this will be an interactive zoom event during which we will be thinking about the parallels we can draw, and the lessons we can apply, when introducing a new product to a market that already has an established leader.

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Karen ran an enjoyable and challenging talk on the six wives of Henry VIII. By skillfully leading us on a journey, we were invited to reflect on appropriate behaviours and outcomes in our world. This allowed me to view through a different lens from what I have before and seeing things from a different perspective – thanks Karen

Simon Hague, Executive Coach
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Karen Carpenter’s webinar 'Divorced, Beheaded, Died: What the fate of Henry VIII's six wives can teach us about keeping our heads in business' was an insightful, brilliant and fascinating use of  British history as a springboard for identifying business lessons that we can bring into our modern work. It was a well-attended event, and Karen superbly orchestrated discussion among the attendees, enabling everyone to get to know one another and to network. Her enthusiasm for the topic was inspiring.  I’m looking forward to attending more of her events, and would highly recommend them to others.

Brad Borkan, Award Winning Author and Speaker
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I really enjoyed the event and am pleased I was able to make time for it. It was a very engaging session that demonstrated how important good leadership is, especially at critical moments. I loved the format and the way you repeated the same question was very clever…well done.

Jason King, Director Bayfield Vehicle Hire
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This was the first live event I have been to. Karen’s methods of delivery, and great sense of humour made it extremely engaging! This live event provoked a robust plan for my growth! It helped me to deeply reflect, and consider the type of leader I want to be - thank you for a great event!!!

Natalie Holt, Ward Manager
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I recently had the pleasure of attending ‘Would you Adam and Eve it! This was a really interesting review comparing the end of the peasants' revolt and modern day leadership and management thinking. Karen navigated us through the historical events as well as inviting comment and discussion on how we as delegates would compare our own leadership styles to that back in the 1300’s. I would thoroughly recommend these sessions – thought provoking and something totally different! Thank you Karen.

Marie Speight, HR Consultant
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Karen, Thank you for another engaging event. An interesting topic linked to modern business needs. I enjoy the use of historical examples and how we can use the real-life examples of others to put into practice in the here and now. I would recommend this event to members of my networks

Rachel Davy, Office Manager DMOS People
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An insightful and interesting discussion using business concepts on an interesting historical journey of Mary, Queen of Scots. An engaging and interactive session that really made you think and question your beliefs on how to use, and how to interpret the results from various popular business decision measurement tools. A very clear, clever and may I say artistic use of storytelling, coaching, networking and a bit of a history lesson all wrapped in less then 2 hours. A wonderful way to spend the afternoon. Highly recommend.

Stephenie Henson, Sales & Marketing Director, Six Ticks

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