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Lincoln College Group acquires Human Alchemy consultancy

March 15 2021

Lincoln College Group has bought the Human Alchemy Consultancy and will work with its former owners over a three-year transition period to help grow the brand into a global leader.

LCG CEO Gary Headland, who signed the deal with founders and owners Dawn and Paul Barron this week, said he was delighted the couple would remain in the business to help guide its growth into new markets.

Mr Headland said: “Dawn and Paul Barron have a wealth of knowledge, experience and insight that they will continue to share with business leaders.

“Over the next three years we intend to leverage LCG’s presence internationally to grow the business, taking on new consultants who Dawn and Paul will train personally.

“As with all of our commercial ventures, profits generated through Human Alchemy will be reinvested in education and training in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.”

Dawn Barron Founded Human Alchemy in 2000 after a successful career as a Director in HR at the UK’s largest electronics company, GEC plc and as a consultant with the international consulting firm Mercer.

Since then she has worked with senior business leaders in organisations including Airservices Australia, Sky TV, UK Central Government and many local businesses.

Dawn said: “When I was creating the company, I was inspired by the book The Alchemist and the concept of transforming something ordinary into something extraordinary. We’re all about helping people to achieve the extraordinary – hence the name.  Since then, we have built a very strong brand in Human Alchemy, which I am now thrilled the College will build upon.

“Lincoln College has fully embraced our training and are the perfect choice to take Human Alchemy forward.  My ‘baby’ is in very good hands!” 

Paul Barron joined the business in 2010 after roles including CEO of NATS the country’s Air Traffic Control Service, as well as Alstom Gas Turbines, which was Lincoln’s largest employer. 

Paul said: “Dawn and I have reached a point in our lives where we want to continue to work and explore other business opportunities, but also spend more time in Australia where two of our children live.

“As a former Lincoln College apprentice, I have maintained a relationship with LCG over the years and in Gary and his team I see a natural fit to take what Dawn and I have built, into their global markets.

“We will remain in the business as consultants for the next three years and will continue to support our established clients during that time. We will also help train new consultants to ensure the premium quality of consultancy is maintained. 

“We are both really excited about this next chapter for Human Alchemy and we can’t wait to get started.”

Lincoln College Board of Corporation Chair James Pinchbeck said: “The need for effective, high-quality leadership and management has been highlighted as businesses and other organisations have had to deal with the unprecedented circumstances of a pandemic.  

“The recent White papers on skills provision highlighted the need for the FE sector to offer more in the way of business focused provision, to enhance productivity and business performance, through the concept of business ‘centres’ or ‘hubs’ and a focus on the development of management for local businesses.   

“Lincoln College, will now be well placed to support not just businesses across Greater Lincolnshire and wider region, but also to the growing number of other institutions and organisations seeking professional training and development for existing but also future leaders and managers.” 

Photo: (l-r) Dawn Barron; James Foster, Managing Director - International and Commercial, Lincoln College Group; Paul Barron; Gary Headland, CEO Lincoln College Group

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