What our clients say
We were looking for someone to guide the Charities Regulator through the process of developing its third Statement of Strategy with a particular focus on stakeholder engagement as part of the development process. Mary’s structured and comprehensive approach to all stages of the strategy review and development process enabled the Charities Regulator to finalise its next Statement of Strategy in a way that I am confident will enable the organisation to track and report on progress made in achieving our strategic objectives over the lifetime of the strategy.
Chief Executive, Charities Regulatory Authority
Mary Carroll played a vital role in the delivery of our strategic plan. It was a complex assignment which included her working with a number of different groups and stakeholders. She managed these sessions excellently and also kept one eye on the bigger picture at all times. What was delivered was a succinct and impactful strategy. I would have no hesitation in recommending her services, she brought positivity, productivity and professionalism to the task.
Head of Operations and Development, Druid
During my 10 years as CEO Concern Worldwide, I engaged Will Devas from Growth Potential as an external consultant on a number of critical assignments including supporting the development of Concern’s current organisational strategic plan, evaluating our advocacy effectiveness, reviewing our safeguarding function and facilitating the development of our future work place policy.
A key part of Will’s strength is that he brings his own extensive experience in the NGO sector, having worked for many years in diverse and challenging field assignments , through to programme evaluations , policy development and facilitating the setting of meaningful strategic goals and objectives.
He has repeatedly demonstrated an ability to tackle strategic issues that require dealing with complexity and sensitivities. This is an area that he is both comfortable operating in and navigating through.
Even outside specific assignments, in my time as CEO, I found that Will was an accessible and valuable sounding board
With an ability to always see the big picture, he remains grounded in organisation’s values and culture, bringing practical and imaginative solutions.
Former CEO, Concern Worldwide
Mary Carroll of Growth Potential facilitated and led our global strategy planning process – 2023 -2027. She began her work with our organisation at a time of significant transformation, when the organisation was embarking on a merger which meant a doubling in size and scale. In addition to the merger, a change in brand was being worked out in the background. Navigating the complexities and challenges of a group of entities came naturally to Mary who was inclusive, thorough and professional throughout the process. Her ability to work across countries, departments, entities, staff and boards alike was hugely impressive. Mary brought a mix of organisational, interpersonal and academic skills which were neatly blended into her approach, managing to keep the process fresh throughout. She has the ability to flesh out the ambition but at the same time recognises the constraints. On a personal note, I enjoyed working directly with her throughout the process – solid, creative and credible.
Integration & Strategy Manager, Self Help Africa
Mary Carroll worked with Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) to develop our Strategic Plan 2017 – 2020. Working with multiple stakeholders including board, senior management and cross functional working groups, Mary’s pragmatic and flexible approach allowed us to revisit and restate our Values, Vision and Mission to reflect our organisational ethos and personality. Combining her coaching and business management expertise, Mary facilitated a process that enabled our SMT to grow as a team and develop a set of clear and measurable strategic objectives. We are well on track to delivering on our Strategic Plan 2017 – 2020 and the clarity of direction and metrics in our strategy has received significant positive feedback from IWA’s own stakeholders, external evaluators, and our industry peers. If you want to develop a strategy that will deliver for your business, talk to Mary!
CEO, Irish Wheelchair Association
I have not seen anyone grasp our business model and what we do as quickly as Mary did. I was very impressed. She supported us in developing a Sales and Marketing action plan. The engagement resulted in a complete change in mindset for us, moving us from a place where we didn’t really see a gap in our sales and marketing to a place where we now see it as priority. Mary helped us to identify areas needing attention and lots of opportunities to grow our business; and to develop a plan to implement the necessary changes.
Managing Director, Lawrence Engineering
The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) contracted Mary Carroll of Growth Potential to assist the Federation in developing its new four year Strategic Plan. Growth Potential was chosen following an in-depth selection process involving a number of highly reputable and experienced strategic consultants who tendered for the project.
From the outset I was impressed by the manner in which Mary approached the project. DFI is a complex organisation with a large number of diverse affiliated organisations that represent, and meet the needs, of a wide range of people with disabilities. The initial consultation process undertaken by Mary was necessarily very extensive and detailed, and provided valuable insight into the priorities of our stakeholders.
Following the consultation exercise, Mary guided and supported our strategic planning steering group, in assessing this feedback and absorbing its implications. Mary helped us to revise our mission, set goals and agree clear strategic objectives, actions and metrics for the four year plan. Overall it this was a thorough, and in many respects, ground breaking piece of work for the Federation.
Throughout the process Mary exhibited tact, patience and strong inter-personal skills as well as an eye for detail.
On a personal level I found Mary a pleasure to work with and I learned a great deal from her. As a consequence I have no hesitation in recommending Mary and Growth Potential for a similar strategic project.
Chair, Disability Federation of Ireland
Will is our go-to consultant of choice when it comes to strategic projects and working through “wicked” problems. What I value most about Will is his ability to facilitate high level work that also links to our day-to-day operational reality. This is due to Will’s extensive breadth and depth of experience which he can draw on. His facilitation skills are second to none and has an exceptional ability to understand interpersonal dynamics and work these into his approach. I would have no hesitation in recommending him.
CEO, Sightsavers Ireland
Mary worked with Debra on the latest strategic plan for 2022 to 2025. The process was thorough, insightful and very professionally run. We were challenged and as a result ended up with an excellent strategic plan that represents solutions to the challenges facing our key stakeholders. I have no hesitation in recommending her to any organisation seeking to develop a robust and meaningful strategy
CEO, Debra Ireland
Bhí ár dturas le Mary Carroll, Growth Potential, le linn phlean straitéiseach Ghaillimh le Gaeilge a fhorbairt an-ghéarchúiseach, dírithe agus taitneamhach. Mhúscail sí smaointe nua ionainn, shoiléirigh sí ár gcuid smaointeoireachta agus spreag sí muid lenár ndícheall a dhéanamh chun ár gcuspóir a bhaint amach.
Tá straitéis réalaíoch, uaillmhianach cruthaithe againn anois a bhfuil muid bródúil aisti, agus, b’fhéidir níos tábhachtaí fós, tá a fhios againn gur féidir linn mar fhoireann í a chur i bhfeidhm. Ina theannta sin, d’éirigh léi roinnt seisiúin le páirtithe leasmhara a bhainistiú go rathúil agus súil ghéar á coinneáil aici ar bhuiséad na straitéise chomh maith le cuspóirí na heagraíochta.
Is eagraíocht dhátheangach é Gaillimh le Gaeilge a chuireann an Ghaeilge chun cinn i gCathair na Gaillimhe. Cé nach cainteoir líofa í Mary (fós!), rinne sí gach iarracht a ‘cúpla focal’ a úsáid inár gceardlanna, rud a raibh gach duine an-bhuíoch de.
Níl aon leisce orm Mary a mholadh. Go simplí, is duine gairmiúil í agus déanann sí jab den scoth!
Bríd Ní Chonghóile
Príomhfheidhmeannach Gaillimh le Gaeilge
Our journey with Mary Carroll, Growth Potential, during the development of a strategic plan for Gaillimh le Gaeilge has been very insightful, focused, and enjoyable. She unlocked new ideas for us, clarified our thinking and pushed us to the limit of our abilities to achieve our goal.
We now have created a realistic, ambitious strategy that we are proud of, and, perhaps more importantly, know that we can implement as a team. Furthermore, she successfully managed a number of stakeholder sessions while keeping a close eye on the budget for the strategy as well as the organisation’s objectives.
Gaillimh le Gaeilge is a bilingual organisation that promotes the Irish language in Galway City. Despite not being a fluent speaker (yet!), Mary made every effort to use her ‘cúpla focal’ in our workshops, which was greatly appreciated by everyone.
I have no hesitation in recommending Mary. Simply put, she is a professional and does an excellent job!
Bríd Ní Chonghóile
CEO, Gaillimh le Gaeilge
The DRCC worked with Mary over a number months to create a business plan to expand a key area of our work. Mary was very effective at focusing our team by asking insightful questions and by challenging us when we needed it. With Mary’s support we delivered an ambitious yet realistic business plan that made a sufficiently compelling case for support that we secured three-year funding for growing our youth programmes. Mary’s professionalism, her ability to help us clarify our thinking, and her commitment to our success made her a real asset to our organisation.
Strategic Comms & Business Dev Mgr, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre
Mary Carroll coached us in developing a sales process aimed at delivering fast growth in sales of engineering solutions to the Medical Device sector. She did an excellent job in taking our value proposition for this sector on board and acting as a catalyst for the development of a robust sales process. This sales process, which included rolling out new and complex offerings, delivered a marked increase in sales in this sector. Our value proposition was far from clear until Mary analysed it and helped build it.
Mary exceeded expectations in that she moulded the team into a unit. She also took part in the early customer visits and played a key role in clarifying the offer and winning over the early customers.
I would recommend Mary’s skills and enthusiasm to other organisations. These skills are broad and include team coaching, process design, customer facing activities, drawing up achievable but demanding project schedules and innovative approaches to obstacles.
General Manager, Festo Ireland
…Growth Potential’s Mary Carroll worked with us to develop a strategic plan. Mary’s dynamic nature has been instrumental in helping us to grow our services.
Mary was instrumental in helping us to identify a wider funding base for the organisation. She helped us identify key critical challenges for the Centre going forward and as such we were then able to develop strategies which will ensure the effectiveness and viability of the organisation into the future.
As a direct result of Mary’s expertise and input we have grown in confidence and have since hired a support worker and a part-time fundraising assistant. This renewed self-belief has seen a greater focus on achieving our goals and enabled a greater understanding of future-skills requirement within the organisation. Mary engaged with staff and volunteers individually and was a delight to work with. We…would have no hesitation in recommending her.
Director, Children's Grief Centre
I found the facilitation and direction by Mary Carroll through a disciplined structured process invaluable for our senior management team. Apart from the practical aspects of questioning the fundamentals of your business model and revisiting our Value proposition, the great benefit is our refreshed culture and mind set with a jointly agreed strategy for growth…….the outcome is that everyone has already started implementing the strategy and this is already delivering significant growth in turnover and margins.
Managing Director, Dolmen
I worked with Mary in 2018 on the development of our 3 year strategy. Mary was excellent at keeping me focused, she pushed me to provide a rationale for all the decisions we made, so that not only do we know what we’re doing, but we know how and why also. Since completing our strategy, we refer to it constantly when making decisions, when engaging with stakeholders and when communicating with funders.
I would absolutely recommend Mary for ay strategic development or business modelling work.
Founder, The Shona Project
Mary was an executive coach with BEC Consultants Ltd and had an extremely positive influence on the individual managers she worked with and the company as a whole. She was able to assist managers with assessing and clarifying their role in the company and the role of work in their lives. At a company level ….she facilitated the management team producing a 5 year strategy for the company that we are now implementing……. I think we all feel that the strategy has provided the company with more direction and impetus.
Managing Director, BEC Consultants Ltd
Mary gives 100% commitment all the time. She brings order to complex environments and I rate her problem solving, project management skills and ability to deal with stressful situations very highly. She works from the ‘bigger picture’, always gets to the best decision, using logic and a clear and easily explained fact based approach. Her ability to analyse situations and data to come to a conclusion or course of action and to understand and clearly explain data trends and variances are balanced by a good “gut feel” element.
She creates a positive “can-do” attitude which people find motivating. Her leadership and communication style is open and inclusive – she demonstrates empathy and listens and hears what others are saying. I see her as very flexible, willing to try new approaches and freely contributing good suggestions across a large range of areas. Mary remains calm in all situations and I always felt confident that she was in control and would get a good result.
ex-CEO, Creganna Medical
We worked with Mary on developing our strategy over the course of 4 months…It was a truly great way to gain a trusted business advisor and be part of a dynamic process designed specifically for us by Mary. Her immense experience in business and consulting come through in her listening skills and guidance. Her questioning skills drew out and clarified our company’s purpose and goals together with developing a meaningful strategy & business plan.
Astute business insight and a propitious, supportive approach have made Mary’s sessions a rewarding investment in our business.
Financial Controller, Apex Geoservices Ltd
WITS is a voluntary membership organisation that supports women working and studying in STEM science, technology, engineering and maths. Growth Potential’s Mary Carroll has worked with the WITS Executive over the last year to develop a strategic plan.
The process enabled us to get back to our roots and to make sense of what we are and then plan what we want to do. Having been through the process this year we presented a strong strategic plan to our members. Members found it clear and thorough and endorsed it strongly. Growth Potential has enabled WITS to explore its potential and develop an appropriate plan to achieve it, thank you
ex-Chair, WITS (Women in Technology & Science)
Mary Carroll has supported me through one-to-one executive coaching. Always conveying a belief in the power of coaching to improve performance, she was consistently professional and displayed empathy, a great ability to develop rapport and very effective listening skills. I have found Mary excellent at helping me to improve my morale and supporting me in assessing my competences, prioritising my development needs and creating and monitoring a personal development plan.
I have far more clarity about what I want and a clear and focused resolve to get there. Unexpected benefits have been acknowledging what I am already, & confidence in my future & current work. I cannot describe how valuable it is to have a structured approach to development; someone to help me clarify things, turn ideas into action & hold me to account.
Former Head of Corporate Programme Office, NHS London
I cannot recommend Will highly enough for one to one coaching. I have never had the opportunity to avail of professional coaching before and wasn’t sure what to expect but Will immediately put me at ease. His manner and gentle questions allowed our conversation to flow, and really gave me the space to consider my career, how it relates to my family, what my ambitions are, what my hopes are for the future and crucially how I might go about getting there. Without pushing me in any direction, Will’s style meant that I was able to unpick my own behaviour and choices in relation to my career and look at what my strengths are. Ultimately I came away with a renewed confidence and clarity in my own ability and professional worth and very excited about what the future holds for me. For anyone thinking about coaching or for anyone who feels they are in need of some direction, I would absolutely recommend Will as you will absolutely see the benefits and return of this investment in yourself and your career.
I worked with Mary as part of a leadership training program and really benefitted from her expertise and ability to create a secure space for reflection and growth. Mary’s approach is fundamentally based on sound scientific evidence and, regardless of the topic, is able to provide additional reading to solidify the learning. Mary clearly is continually learning herself and ensures she keeps abreast of the latest thinking. She was able to put me at ease immediately and allowed me time to explore the topics that were important for me. Mary is very insightful and has the ability to focus in on the most important issues very quickly. Thank you Mary for all your help and advice.
Senior Leader, Central Statistics Office
I am very happy to recommend Will for one-to-one coaching. He has a wonderful approach as he listens, guides and encourages you to reflect on subjects you have chosen to discuss and explore. He is extremely knowledgeable and professional and I am so pleased I took the decision to avail of a series of sessions. They have been really helpful to me in a professional and personal capacity. If you feel you don’t have time for this support – then you definitely need it!
I was coached by Mary Carroll on a one to one basis to help me to reach my full potential and achieve my professional goals. I found her approach and insight extremely helpful and the questions she raised very thought-provoking. She helped me to develop my management and business skills and motivated me to become a top performer in my field.
I have used quite a few business and executive coaches in my 23 year history in business and Growth Potential has raised the bar. I would be hard – pressed to consider any other company for our business and executive coaching needs and recommend Growth Potential unreservedly.
Marketing Manager, Festo Ireland
Will is a great listener who enabled me to identify genuine insights to help guide my career and personal development path.
Ernst & young
Mary was an executive coach with BEC Consultants Ltd and had an extremely positive influence on the individual managers she worked with and the company as a whole. She was able to assist managers with assessing and clarifying their role in the company and the role of work in their lives. At a company level ………. I think we all feel that her work has provided the company with more direction and impetus.
Managing Director, BEC Consultants Ltd
…The sessions … helped me to re-discover my potential and identify career opportunities. With the help of Growth Potential I am now in a job that I’m passionate about and that offers exciting future perspectives. Finding out what I really want to do next and how my current experience can support that direction was the key to success. I would encourage anybody to talk to Growth Potential for career advice or skills set assessment.
We engaged Mary Carroll to work with us to design, develop and deliver a more comprehensive gender awareness component within our existing management development programme, Pathway. Her knowledge of the subject together with her ability to ask pertinent questions resulted in a session where participants questioned assumptions and reflected on their own experiences and situations .
Mary then went on to support us to deliver the session ourselves, developing resources and coaching our in-house trainers. Mary brings a professional approach, while her ability to share many real and meaningful insights in the area of gender awareness has made an important contribution towards a successful management development programme for Concern.
Head of Learning and Org Development, Concern Worldwide
Facilitated by Mary Carroll, the ‘Women into Leadership’ workshop was engaging, thought provoking and has stayed with me since.
The workshop presented well researched materials to participants which left them in no doubt as to the urgency and importance of promoting women into leadership. Interactive discussions and activities enabled the group to understand the multitude of barriers that can stand in the way of women’s progress but more importantly, how these can be overcome at both a personal level and within a workplace.
I have dipped in and out of the references provided a number of times since taking the course. Overall, a day well spent !
Programme Leader – HIV & Gender Equality – Trocaire
Great company to partner with for our unconscious bias training sessions. The trainer worked very hard to understand our company and culture, to ensure that our objectives were met. The course was very informative and made us think about unconscious bias both in and out of the workplace. I would recommend this course to others.
I was delighted to have had the opportunity to participate in the Double X workshop recently. It was an extremely informative and valuable day.
The structure of the day and Mary’s style of facilitation allowed everyone to learn key facts about gender equality in the workplace while also providing some building blocks to apply in our own careers. Although the participants were from different backgrounds and working in different industries, it was surprising how many common themes and shared experiences surfaced.
There are still inherent behaviours and choices made by both men and women that can limit a woman’s career path. As somebody in a leadership position, the Double X workshop highlighted some positive changes I could make to my own behaviour and also to reassess how to facilitate more women into leadership positions.
Director, Vizor Ltd
As a working Mum, it was great to be able to give “Women into Leadership” and my career planning dedicated time with other working women to get their perspectives and experiences. Looking at it from different angles, with supporting data and different opinions, really opens your mind to your values, assumptions and opportunities. You take it from an abstract discussion to concrete opinion, learning, data or action plan.
Mary employed a very inclusive approach, appealing to many different styles of learning or discussing. She covered a lot of ground in a calm, safe but thought-provoking & challenging environment and engaged the audience throughout, using different techniques.
I recommend this workshop as it’s a very positive 360 approach to the subject and offers many levels and approaches to solutions.