Imag?ne facilitates personal and professional development through training, mediation, facilitation and coaching with organisations, individuals, personal and professional relationships.
Imag?ne collaborates with a range of highly experienced consultants and works across the cultural, educational, health, private and voluntary sectors worldwide.
At the core of Imag?ne is the principle of Uptimism and the use of the Upword language, conceived by Rivca Rubin in 2016.
Rivca Rubin (MSc Behavioural Science) is the Founder and Director of Imag?ne.
- Rivca Rubin
- What They Say
Our approach is founded on our experience that spans more than 30 years working primarily across the Arts, Cultural and Educational sectors. Through our work, we have acquired techniques, theories and tools from a variety of the most successful methodologies including Non Violent Communication, Neuro Linguistic Programming and a range of Behavioural Change and Systems Theories. To these we have added our own brand of creative inquiry…and humour. Our experiences of working in different countries, with different cultures and religions, has shaped a versatile, empathic approach that allows us to be at ease working across many arenas. The Imag?ne approach is to engage and support individuals and organisations to address their circumstances and issues with a focus on solving, resolving and evolving.
Taking a direct approach to the core issues with a flexibility to follow the different directions presented. Providing space to vent feelings of frustration and disappointment, supporting individuals and teams to move forward to address solutions. Deploying a range of tools and techniques, including humour, to understand and manage change and conflict situations.
Creating and maintaining a safe space that encourages individuals to express themselves honestly. A genuine impartiality in debate allows a state of active listening, cultivating curiosity, to tease out contribution from all participants. Engaging creative thinking techniques explore issues raised with confidence. Facilitating understanding beyond what can initially sound like challenging and negative viewpoints; to what is being said beneath the way it is being said.
The ultimate focus of our approach is on facilitating a sense of ownership and responsibility of actions, impact and response, to support improved interpersonal, interdepartmental and interorganisational communication. This leads to energised and productive home and working environments, maximising contribution and effectiveness to bring about a sense of invigorated joy.
Uptimism is a global appeal to revolutionise thinking through everyday use of language, first conceived by Rivca Rubin in Summer 2016.
The way we move through the world from our day-to-day communication to our internal thought patterns, our relationships with others and ourselves, our outlook and approach to life, are all hugely shaped by language.
As thinking and speaking are so habitual, the language we use and the impact it can have on our daily interactions and stream of consciousness, goes largely unnoticed.
Our language today is currently imbued with words and phrases that uphold what can be understood as ‘power over’ structures. If our intention is to move beyond systems that cultivate hierarchies and inequalities, to environments that nurture mutual benefit and ‘power with’ dynamics, we can choose to adopt language that facilitates, rather than hinders, this shift.
Uptimism proposes the Upword language - active language choices to address and respond to each other in a non-coercive, non-authoritarian way. With Uptimism, we can create more satisfied, invigorated and sustainable relationships, family lives, workplaces, societies, cultures; a desirable global world for all. When intention changes, the impact is instant; people engaging with Uptimism have reported that even very small changes have created instant positive impacts with self and others.
This is a grand vision and it is pragmatically achievable through using Upwords in our everyday language – with ourselves, partners and family, our peers, colleagues and students, strangers and friends alike, and our children, right from birth.
If you would like to get involved and help achieve critical mass, email email@example.com to register your engagement, keep informed, learn how to use the Upword language, or be part of disseminating and developing Uptimism.
What has happened so far...
Our first Uptimism Think Tank took place in January 2017, gathering together minds from across Education, Politics, Social Work, Creative Industries, Theology, and Science to develop the core ideas of Uptimism and the Upword language; our word choices when we address and respond to each other in a non-coercive, non-authoritarian way. We have since delivered workshops and presentations (in the UK, Czech Republic, Germany and South Africa), and apply the Uptimism approach to all of our facilitation, moderation, mediation and training. This year, we continue our presentations and workshops at Conferences, Festivals and Events, starting off in January 2018 at Dortmund's NRW Landesbüro Freie Darstellende Künste and Frankfurt's Künstlerhaus Mousonturm. This year, we launch the two-stage Upword language training programme, begin developing a short book and throughout the year will be in residence at Islington Mill, Salford working with artists to design Upword inspired iconography. If you would like to get involved in learning, developing and disseminating Uptimism, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rivca Rubin is the Founder and Director of Imag?ne. She assists people to live the lives they want to live, artists to ascertain their vision, locate the essence and refine their practice, companies to refine their vision, grow purpose, align practice to values, and create working cultures people engage with, flourish and enjoy working in.
‘Creative, stimulating and sharp’ and bearing ‘an incredible
precision of language’, her distinct approach and expertise has
seen worldwide application across the Cultural, Education, Health
and Social Change sectors since 1997 with a focus on leadership,
organisational, team, board and individual development,
predominantly in the Cultural, Education, Health and Social Change Sectors. She facilitates Visioning and Developmental Meetings and Away Days, SLT/SMT development, and delivers training. She is frequently called on to work with ‘dysfunctional’ teams, mediating difficult conversations and conflicts, and tackling ‘the Elephants in the room’ in a safely and thoroughly so they really do disburse. She coaches and mentors cultural leaders on a number of Leadership Programmes. With NGO’s she delivers training for mentors and trains trainers, to facilitate social and educational change globally.
Rivca is a behavioural scientist specialising in the psychology and sociology of linguistics. Her
expertise lies in understanding the impact of how we think and speak to ourselves and others, in particular as to what it is helpful, motivating and liberating or hindering, demotivating, and even harmful in our communications with peers, public and ourselves to achieve our organisational, global, professional and personal endeavours. At the heart is a shift from ‘power over’ to ‘power with’ thinking, communications and behaviours and aligning our language with our ethos of how we wish others to be with us and how we wish to be in the world. She is currently preparing a TED talk on this topic.
Rivca co-produces and co-delivers with a variety of UK, Europe and Worldwide based associates and organisations. She has recently become an associate of TimeWon’tWait working with the corporate sector.
She was as a producer and practitioner in the arts for 20 years, touring extensively throughout Europe. She ran Physical State International 1985-1995 and Kaizen Creative 1997-2002, catalysts for cross- disciplinary CPD training and laboratories for emerging artists. From 1997-2001 she was a Research Fellow at MMU. This year she started engaging with performance again, as a dramaturg.
Rivca holds an M.Sc in Applied Behavioural Sciences, is an NLP Master Practitioner, Independent Trainer of NVC, studied Clean Language, Spiral Dynamics, Systems Thinking and Philosophy, and has extensive experience in Performance, Dance, Improvisation and BodyMind Methodologies. She is member of the 'Association of Coaching', the 'International Association of Facilitators', and 'A Blueprint for Better Business Network'.
Clients include The British Film Institute & Regional Screen Agencies, The BBC, ITC, Heatherwick Studios, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Government Departments, Creative Partnerships, Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums, MIMA, The Royal National Theatre, The West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Lowry Arts Centre, Contact Theatre, Redeye, Panda, Islington Mill Salford, Manchester International Festival, The Clore Leadership Programme, Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy, Engage’s Extend Programme, Primary and Secondary Schools SLT, Staff and Inset training, TIPP; Theatre in Prison and Probation, NHS Leeds Care Trust; The Police Custody Team, HMP Prisons Armley, Wetherby, Wealsdun, The Program for Social Creativity & Arts in the Community Shenkar College Israel, SEED Community Johannesburg, AllOutAfrica Swaziland, The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, York St John College University – Executive Team, International, Arts, Business, Human Resources, Student & Staff Services Departments. She has worked in South Africa, Swaziland, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Ireland, Israel, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, Romania.
Please follow the link below to see a cross-section of clients.
What They Say
- Organisational Feedback
- Training Feedback
- Coaching Feedback
“Rivca came to work with us on a project which brought together a diverse, intelligent and challenging group of people at a time of enormous change. Her preparation in advance of the meeting she facilitated and her management of the group on the day was professional, calming and objective. The environment she created and the ground rules she laid down ensured everyone had a say, felt able to say what they thought and created a good outcome. I would have no hesitation in using Rivca again in the future.”
- Sally Joynson, CEO Screen Yorkshire
"Rivca's ability to ask a well-timed open question has unlocked many opportunities for my clients/ projects during the times I have used her skills. Her preparation and planning are detailed, her presence in the room attentive, and her assistance in getting agreement and action most effective. Having done training with her too, I would highly recommended it for anyone who wants to learn how to communicate and facilitate with clarity."
-Laura Drane, Consultant
“Bringing Rivca in to facilitate a number of sessions has moved a fairly complex partnership project on considerably. Her ability to listen, probe, reflect back and hold a strong overview of the all aspects of the process was invaluable. Her confidence, enthusiasm and humour put people at ease and her ability to be strong /tough when needed got people working effectively. As project manager, working with Rivca has been really valuable – we were able to plan and scope out the sessions together as well as reflect on outcomes and issues. The first session was so productive we have now brought her in to facilitate a further two sessions.”
-Sue Todd, Screen Heritage UK Programme, Regional Manager
“Rivca is undoubtedly one of the few trainer/ facilitators currently working in the UK, whose understanding of human interactions is reflected in her confident and humorous delivery style. This in turn is matched by high personal integrity and superb attention to the issues of importance to others, I cannot recommend her highly enough.”
- Viv Lever, Staff and Educational Developer, York St John University
“Her flexible, open approach inspires trust and confidence. She has been instrumental in developing effective teamwork and cohesion amongst the core staff team following a period of challenge and change. The mutual spirit of trust and respect generated has had a huge impact and enabled strong and lasting collaborations.”
- Nancy Barrett, Director, Creative Partnerships Greater Manchester
“Ranging from coaching to facilitating to training, the work Rivca has done has made a considerable impact on staff in all areas of the College. Her innovative and practical approach has not only enabled a diverse community of people from the Principal to the Porters to handle difficult changes but, for many, has also resulted in new ways of thinking positively about change and conflict.”
- Dr Judy Giles, York St John University
“When working with a University senior team -Vice Chancellor, Deputy VC and Pro-VC and the Senior Leadership Team, Rivca facilitated them to fully understand the strategic significance of how they communicate not only with each other in terms of embodying the core values of the organisation and illustrating this through personal action, but also directly creating opportunities for them to envisage how they might create an ecology where radical sector change is viewed as a place for opportunities and development.”
- Professor Steve Purcell, Professor of International Cultural Development York St John University
“Rivca is good at probing and drawing things out, and listening, and also straight forward and deal with what’s at hand. She has no vested interest in the debate which is vital. She hears and safeguards somebody’s point of view however apparently negative or challenging that point of view may sound, capturing the positive essence of an essentially negative contribution.”
“I thought you did exactly the job we needed you to do at that moment. Our conversations in advance helped you get the tone and the feeling right and I do believe that people trusted you in the room. We needed a light touch and you gave that yet also allowed people to express their deeper feelings.”
- Peter Moser, Artistic Director More Music, Morecambe
“Now our group can speak very openly and honestly in our sessions, and that is down to Rivca…“
- Member of Staff Pioneer Projects
“I went to Rivca after being asked to facilitate an important leadership development session at Heatherwick Studio. Rivca was fantastic at tailoring her ‘Facilitating with Ease’ course with specific reference to the work I was going to be undertaking and extremely sensitive to my pace and needs at all times. She showed a genuine care and commitment to the work I was doing. I would thoroughly recommend this course, and Rivca herself as a person, to anyone who lacks confidence or knowledge- I came away with both.“
– Emily Gottlieb, Royal Opera House
“Your style is fab ;-) I can’t bear being patronised or bored (which usually happens to me in training) but you make it hugely interesting. And amusing.”
- Claire Frawley, Dance City Creative Partnerships
“I would like to thank you for an inspiring three days. I found doing your course incredibly useful and it has helped me in lots of ways - I guess the main thing has been that I have been able to step back from situations and be more objective and less emotional about encounters as a whole.”
- Kate Hobson, Programmer Creative Partnerships East Lancashire
“I feel you are a real person, not a'' pretend'', to be a master in so and so..., ego character. I feel I can reach out to you, helping me over shyness and I can ask questions without the fear to sound stupid. You use a lot of humor and your own life experience to make it lively, entertaining and human. I feel curious in deepening some issues and go further than I normally would. It feels to me that you have curiosity in the subjects and knowledge, experience and understanding, so that I can trust to try out in a new way. So in other words; I think you hold the space really well, without moving on to fast so to give us time to really experience an exercise and not just touching on the service.”
- Sophie Ferman Course Delegate
“… the course gave me a renewed sense of confidence, and helped me to think about getting back in control of my life. Before then, I felt that things were happening to me over which I had no influence, but now I’m able to think more clearly about what I want, and how I might plan effectively to achieve it.”
- Jennifer Vickers Course Delegate
“I would describe Rivca’s approach as direct and friendly, grounded, clear, inclusive, generous, deliciously brain-frying in its intensity and fullness, with a welcome dose of humour and lightness.”
- Jo Shapland Course Delegate
“Practical, inspiring, no-nonsense, informed, fun. Rivca’s style is great for me as I know she will move at a quick pace which I like and that everything is fully practiced and comes from a place of experience.”
- Mairead Turner Course Delegate
“Rivca's style is both revealing and revelatory, direct to the core of the issue, while also leading in many directions.”
– Lucy Course Delegate
“They were the most interesting and useful 3 days I've had in years and the understanding and the skills you taught are already helping enormously. I found it all quite profound actually!”
- James Boardwell Course Delegate
“Rivca's style is that of the well-informed, well-practiced professional - her relaxed manner communicating a mastery of her subject matter.”
- Wayne Thexton Course Delegate
“Your approach, presentation and delivery felt smart, unique and authentic. I'm inspired!”
- Anisa Saleh Course Delegate
“Even though I regularly facilitate discussions I was amazed at how much there was to learn for me and after two days of training with Rivca I can honestly say I am now more prepared than ever!”
- Lindsey West Course Delegate
“It felt like several little light bulbs in dark corners of my brain were being switched on. The course will help you to better understand others, deal with conflict, be more assertive (without playing mind games or causing fights) and find your place in life and work. Highly recommended.”
- Si Waite, Artist and Musician
“Coaching has been a lifeline for me over the last couple of years as I've been faced with taking my organisation through significant change. Having the support of a trusted coach provides just that space you need as a leader to work through issues and has both renewed my confidence and helped me to unlock potential in myself and my team. I would also say its really helped me to become happier in my own personal leadership skin and find a more satisfying work/ life balance. I'm a real convert!
- Kate Brindley, Director Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
“Working with Rivca gave me clarity when I felt clouded and confused, and it put me back in touch with what I really wanted from work and from life, a perspective I had managed to lose in the anxiety and frustration of my work. Many of the good things I visualised with her have now happened, which shows her gift and skills, and also the power of working with someone who can help you unlock your own truth.”
- Simon Seligman Coachee
“When encountering wide ranging issues during a long career you need regular to take regular stops to take stock and learn. I have found myself returning to Rivca Rubin again and again to help unpick or bring clarity to situations for me and my teams in various posts. This is because Rivca Rubin's skills always produce resolution or, at the very least a finding the loose string to unpick the knot. More recently I asked Rivca Rubin deliver personal coaching as I wanted change and new challenges but wasn't sure what or how. The sessions were insightful, responsive and worked because they did not follow an off the peg model of coaching and worked beautifully. So much so that I regularly tell peers to bring Rivca Rubin in when they feel things need to change, either within their organisation or within themselves.”
-Andrea Hawkins, Independent Arts Developer & Producer
“Coaching has been an invaluable tool in enabling me to take on increased leadership responsibilities, feel more confident in those abilities and create time and space to develop new ideas and think strategically. The benefits have considerably outweighed the time spent.”
- Erica Love, Director PiCL
"The experience of being coached and then training to be a coach, completely transformed the way I approach my role as a leader. The biggest impact has been becoming able to differentiate between management and leadership and being conscious applying them appropriately.”
"Thanks for your coaching it really really helped - it gave me momentum and some bottle!"
Imag?ne collaborate with a range of highly experienced consultants, including Charles Lauder, Venu Dhupa, Eva Hartmann, Emma Haughton, Michele Taylor, Steve Purcell and Federico Schwindt.
Previous co-trainers and facilitators have included Linda Green/BBC, Laura Drane, Lesa Dryburgh, Sanson Sansom, Kate McCoy, Andy Readman, Deborah Barnard, Robert Meadows, Sara Robinson, and Nancy Barrett.
We provide a range of services for organisations, teams, managers and leaders, including:
- Leadership & Executive
- Staff Development
- Idea Generation
Leadership & Executive
An efficient and effective service that supports you in removing barriers to access your unique personal advantage. This enables you to maximise your potential for the fast moving multi-task work environment.
- Skills and techniques
- Focussing your business vision
- Creative thinking strategies
- Setting achievable short and long-term goals
- Effective and enjoyable managing of (yourself, your team, your managers, and your board)
- Creating and maintaining a productive workforce
- Attentive listening
- Idea development
- Presentation and public speaking
- Interview preparation
- Meeting preparation
- How to identify and realise your unique personal advantage.
At the heart of our consultancy is the belief that the ideas, solutions, and the ability to move an organisation forward exist largely within the individuals who make up that organisation. The role we take is to elicit what is happening, then help to determine what is needed and recommend what can be done.
When the people within are supported to drive what happens, devise ways to develop and grow, and deal with issues and move forward; change is owned, embedded, and lasting. The result is a renewed, empowered and willing work force, with a new lease of life and vibrancy.
Throughout the consultation period, your organisation will be challenged, encouraged and supported to find new mechanisms to generate ideas and explore different approaches where required. The goal is to ensure that in a climate of economic change and constant development your organisation can remain flexible and be ahead.
The work with you may include:
- Improving communication between individuals or teams/divisions, with the board, funders, or partner organisations
- Approaching challenge and conflict constructively
- Becoming resilient, being resourceful
- Conducting meetings with structure and purpose
- Creating and maintaining positive and productive work environments and a willingly engaged workforce.
Where suitable a training, coaching or mediation element can be provided.
Imag?ne offer staff development in the form of tailored development programmes and coaching. We also offer development in additional areas, including board development and governance (contact for more information).
Development programmes often follow on from an in-depth consultation process; working with individual staff, managers, teams, executives, boards and trustees to design and deliver programmes that meet their particular needs.
These programmes fall into three broad categories:
To increase awareness, develop new approaches and improve overall communication interpersonally, interdepartmentally, as well as externally with clients, the public and audiences.
Leadership & Management
To develop leadership confidence and a leadership style that maintains reciprocal flow of ideas and communication, generating a working environment where everyone feels valued, takes responsibility and contributes fully.
Conflict Skills and strategies with which to approach conflict as a creative challenging; to identify, understand, mediate, and resolve.
Our staff coaching helps to improve performance, facilitate improved co-working, assists in overcoming obstacles, develops new skills and approaches. Advantages can be immediately discernible for both the organisation and the individual. See individual COACHING section for more on our coaching approach.
Imag?ne offer facilitation for visioning meetings, retreats, diagnostic meetings, strategic meetings, and difficult conversations. Our facilitation offers a safe and open environment to encourage and enable open and honest contribution from participants; providing opportunities for all voices to be heard. This approach ensures that the essence of issues is reached, whether they be concerns, ideas, feelings, or visions.
By addressing the ‘elephant’ in the room with ease and humour; in a way that avoids unnecessary confrontation, sessions can be enjoyable as well as effective. Enabling groups of people with potentially disparate ideas to converse, converge and reach agreements with mutual benefit and respect.
With a focus on solutions and actions, and rigorously maintaining a flexible structure with clear outcomes and trajectory, participants leave feeling motivated and capable of moving forward.
Imag?ne is built on a 30+ year career of working with creative thinkers and makers. Our idea generation session curiously explore the seemingly impossible. By assisting you, your team or your organisation to think beyond limiting habitual thought patterns, different perspectives are accessed and assumptions challenged to be able to fully explore ideas. This supports you to arrive at the essence of an idea, project or future vision - however crazy or impossible it may seem at the time. From here we can assist you in shaping it and making it realistically achievable.
We can also engage more directly in a creative dialogue by harnessing your thought process to facilitate your creative explorations, working with you in what is more of a thinking partnership.
Imag?ne delivers a professional and confidential in-house mediation service that enables individuals to voice their concerns and perspectives, to identify underlying issues, and find effective strategies and constructive solutions at less cost; financial, emotional and psychological.
Change in employment legislation advocates the use of mediation within the workplace and has received national publicity.
"Indeed, the old statutory three-step grievance procedure (statement of grievance, meeting, appeal meeting) has recently been repealed. New employment legislation gives statutory force to a code of "best practice" set out by Acas, the advisory, conciliation and arbitration service, which includes guidance advocating mediation."
- Can't we talk about this? by L. Tickle, The Guardian, 31.10.09