Richard Winfield – Founder of the Brefi Group

Richard Winfield The Independent Authority on Director Development
Clients call me when they need to bring structure and clarity to their thinking. I can help you identify core issues and make the complex simple, holding the space for you to create your own solutions.​

Richard Winfield's expertise has developed over a series of careers and specialisms, always combining his love of learning with his talent for systems and communication and a commitment to helping individuals and teams realise their potential.

The result is a rounded individual with comprehensive international experience and knowledge that is both broad and deep.

“Recognise him for his sharp interventions and a wicked sense of humour. If you think he is being direct, notice the warmth in his eyes. He is driven by curiosity; he wants to make things clear.” Jason Jackman

Award winning transport planner

Richard Winfield started his career as a transportation planner focusing on public transport.

He designed, developed and commissioned the software for the world's first bus location system, on London's longest bus route !!.

He then project managed one of the earliest feasibility studies into the use of automated personal rapid transit systems, and won three wards for his work in determining the need for transport in rural areas.

Publisher and author too

Richard honed his communication skills as a publisher, firstly of an international transport policy newsletter. then as the co-founder of the leading trade newspaper that recorded the deregulation and privatisation of the bus industry. These were followed by of transport policy texts by guest authors.

As an author in his own right, Richard 's titles include Reflections of a Corporate Coach, Stories from a Corporate Coach and the New Directors and AIM Directors Handbooks.

Coaching thought leader

For ten years Richard attended the major international coaching conferences and learned the latest thoughts and techniques from the masters - and from practitioners like himself. As a result, he was invited to join the Board of Governors of the International Association of Coaching

An exercise he developed to teach coaches in Sofia, Bulgaria, has developed in the very simple but powerful 'Coaching on a Credit Card®', and been expanded into 'Invisible Coaching® - the art of natural coaching'.

First mover in management development and training

As a systems thinker and an enthusiast for the latest developments, Richard has often been involved in the development or testing of new ideas and programmes. He supported the first local authority in Wales and the first magistrates court in the UK to achieve Investors in People status. Henley Management College commissioned him to advise their client in Abu Dhabi on how to introduce Management Charter Initiative competencies and his exposure to a South African approach to scenario planning led to evolution of the Brefi Group approach.

Corporate governance and director development

Richard has always loved working in corporates and specifically with senior management teams and boards of directors. He is committed to helping improve board performance, because that is where the leverage is.

Corporate governance is another process supported by formally approved systems , and is a natural sequel to Investors in People. Richard has implemented board performance evaluation and directors appraisals, and run director training workshops in the UK and overseas.

Entrepreneur and Non-Executive Director

Richard has sat on several boards as an NED/Governor. These include an innovative engineering company backed by Electra Risk Capital, The International Association of Coaching and Birmingham Forward, where he represented them on the West Midlands Business Transport Group.

He has launched and built several businesses with colleagues, and successfully negotiated their sale to blue chip companies. He has trained and mentored senior managers and directors of SMEs and international companies.

International facilitator

Richard loves to apply his systems thinking live, working with senior teams internationally.

Corporate retreats and team away days should be an important element of every company's top level programme. Strategy meetings, scenario planning, skills training and team building all benefit from an experienced facilitator with a comprehensive grounding in corporate processes and an ability to manage an agreed programme structure with a light touch.

Farmer, cowboy and pond builder

Richard has a long standing practical involvement in the outdoors. For some years he combined a small livestock farm with his professional life, he has designed and built four ponds and spent a holiday working as a cowboy.

Currently living in an urban environment, he has a productive vegetable garden and is learning how to grow roses.​

This creative relationship with nature is directly parallel with the approach he takes with his clients, seeking to bring out their natural talents and provide a structure within which they can develop and grow successfully.


“We approached the exercise with an element of cynicism - after all we know our business better than others right? How wrong we were. Through careful and thorough pre-meetings and detailed analysis thereafter, Richard brought together the strengths and exposed the weaknesses in the organisation. The resulting clear actions have improved business no end.”

Nigel Payne, chairman, Hangar8

“Thanks for the two days of your valuable assistance and expertise. The structure was most successful and in your quiet and diplomatic way you kept us on track. It was a most worthwhile exercise and we really progressed our strategic thinking."

Kevin Foo, Chairman, Victoria Oil and Gas

“Thank you for facilitating our meeting last week.

It's amazing how much clarity and harmony can be achieved by an hour or so of quality interaction and reflection. Great feedback from the team and raised levels of enthusiasm for new monthly meetings. Neil has already organised the next one in the Midlands.

Thanks again for your expert intervention.”

John Skivington, Director, LHC

“Richard was a very capable facilitator who understood the brief that we set. He facilitated from a position of knowledge and experience, but did not impose this on the group; he kept the meeting flowing and managed the time well.”

Ann Bentley, Director and member of global board, Rider Levett Bucknall

“Having an external facilitator enabled people to say the things that concern them that possibly they would not raise normally. Everyone felt listened to and that what they had to say mattered. By agreeing processes/the way forward and having individuals take ownership and others supporting that person in their ownership has really helped move the organisation on. 

“It has brought things to the surface, made difficult conversations easier to have and really cleared the air, if not necessarily on the day with all the follow up work that happened after. “Our direction, operationally and strategically is a lot clearer now that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet!

Paula Fowler, Managing Partner, Fisher Jones Greenwood

“This project was well organised with the right mixture of internal and external input. All member feedback has been positive and for the first time we have individual and organisational development plans, which are already being implemented.

“Richard Winfield listened to our requirements and delivered a quality process, which he managed professionally from beginning to end.

“The fact that we have positive feedback from all our members and effective outcomes speaks for itself. A very well managed project.”

Chris Almgill, Chairman, Worcester Community Housing

“Thanks for a stimulating two days, which has resulted in my senior management team reviewing the way they work, plan and implement. The biggest change has been in how they work together as a team! We are now already using 10 minute brainstorming sessions very productively. We are very pleased that a number of important business issues have been identified and already worked upon with the next steps clearly identified. In summary, excellent.”

Roger Randall, Managing Director, Biomet UK.

“Thorough, competent, knowledgeable and an excellent communicator capable of articulating his knowledge in a well paced manner.”

Richard Pearce, Birmingham City Council

"The retreat organised by Oando PLC and facilitated by Richard was extremely professional. The team enjoyed the retreat and followed through actions has changed their behavior. The facilitation style was very easy to follow and interesting. The outcome of the retreat was also used to develop the outline of the Quarterly Management retreat."

'Demola Ogunbajo, Manager, Avaizon Consulting, Nigeria

"Thank you very much for delivering the training for NF Gold team.
"We enjoyed working with you, and I was personally very happy to see how responsive you were in adjusting the program when required. We went through a lot of material, and I am convinced that the participants will be able to recall and hopefully apply many of the techniques presented in the sessions."

Dejan Popovic, Director, New Frontier Group, Austria

"The day exceeded our expectations and a great deal emerged which will be very valuable going forward. You brought a refreshing and innovative approach to the day and the personality profiling which you did in advance and used to illustrate board behaviours was inspirational."

Peter Maskell, BHSF, UK