Howard Exton-Smith

History and experience

Following a general management career in the private sector, Howard has over 20 years’ experience as a consultant, facilitator, trainer and coach specialising in personal and organisational development, strategy and performance improvement and the management of change.

From a background in psychology and marketing and with expertise in public, service user and stakeholder consultation, Howard is interested in the connections between attitudes and behaviour and skills and competencies. He has extensive experience in a wide range of management development areas including budgeting and finance, business planning and objective setting, and feedback and performance management.

Since graduation, Howard has also garnered a Masters degree in Management, in which one of the primary specialisations was financial services. Therefore alongside his expertise, Howard leads our Budgeting and Finance for non-financial manager’s courses held at the Centre and is also creates bespoke finance courses when required. Howard states that the purpose of these courses is ‘not to turn people into accountants but to empower them to look accountants in the eye and not be bamboozled in budgeting.’

Howard is passionate about strategy formulation and implementation, project management and governance and he has a particular focus on successful outcomes. He has lived and worked in Europe, Africa and North America and has been both a Trustee and a Chair of a UK charity.

“I now feel more confident when dealing with budgets. The course was excellent and the trainer was very knowledgeable and kept the topic interesting.”
NT, Goldsmiths University of London


Howard has had extensive experience with private technology and professional services companies, international organisations, charities, housing associations and the public sector. Based on his experience, he believes that managers and leaders from all sectors often share a common set of problems, and he now works at the intersection of the private, public and third sectors to build capacity by strengthening individuals and organisations.

Howard has worked with an extensive number of private sector companies including: Aimia, AOL, Arcadia Group, AstraZeneca, Bibby Group, CEVA logistics, FTI Consulting, GSK, Mundipharma, Odgers Berndtson, Old Mutual, Omega Pharma and View from the Shard.

Training style

Howard uses a wealth of stories and personal experience to illustrate his training and can call upon good and bad examples from a wide range of business areas to reinforce your development experience. Client-centred and flexible, Howard employs a facilitative and collaborative style to share learning, and participatory techniques to foster ownership and responsibility.

From strategic planning consulting through to facilitation of awaydays and planning meetings, and from Board retreats to stakeholder consultation and coaching, Howard is available to work with you and your organisation using the same tools and techniques you will experience at the Centre.


In partnership with the Centre, Howard has developed a portfolio of management development courses. Some of these are available on our current calendar of events held in London or he will work closely with you to develop customised in-house training and facilitation programmes that meet the specific needs of your organisation or your team.

Courses include:

  • Strategic planning and thinking
  • Strategy: from the vision to implementation
  • Business planning: turning the vision into reality
  • Monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment
  • Partnering for success
  • Budgeting and Finance for non-financial managers
  • Preparing tenders and proposals: the pitch, process and presentation
  • Marketing: getting your message across
  • Risk management


“Howard was interesting, knowledgeable and calm. He was a good listener and excellent at interacting and giving food for thought. His pace of delivery and material were excellent – well organised and comprehensive.”
MGM, Financial Services Compensation Scheme

“The course went a long way to building my confidence and for that I am grateful. Howard was engaging, interesting and made a complicated topic very accessible. I am very pleased I attended.”
JC, The British Academy