Home to The Successful Founder Print & Digital Magazine 
Advice Articles, Interviews, Founder & Brand Spotlights 
Home of The Most Advice-Feature-Rich Entrepreneurship Magazine Around

Inspirational Female Founder Spotlight: Dr Lynda Folan

Dr Lynda Folan is an Organisational Psychologist, renowned Leadership and Organisational Development specialist, and author of ‘Leader Resilience, The New Frontier of Leadership (2021)’.  Lynda has considerable expertise in leading organisations through transformational change and works with organisations across the globe to deliver Leadership Development, Organisational Development, Cultural Transformation and Resilience. As the Managing Director of Inspired Development Solutions, Lynda leads a team that provides leading-edge and bespoke solutions for businesses across the globe. Website: https://www.inspireddevelopment.net/

Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?

Raised in South Africa, I initially pursued a triple major in Psychology, Economics, and Marketing. My HR career ignited a passion for organisational psychology. A move to Europe led to a second degree in Belgium, followed by a transformative role at Tesco in the UK. By 29, I became Vice President of HR for the Hard Rock Café, offering extensive international exposure. Completing a Master of Organisational Psychology at Birkbeck, I excelled in leading large-scale transformations in the UK. Relocating to Australia in 2007, I founded Inspired Development Solutions. In 2020, I earned a Doctorate, publishing “Leader Resilience,” shifting focus to global resilience support.

How did you achieve awareness?

Inspired Development Solutions thrives on delivering exceptional outcomes, relying solely on word of mouth for a consistent flow of work. We prioritise excellence in every project, regardless of size, eschewing traditional advertising. Our growth is rooted in client relationships, with new clients coming to us exclusively through referrals. Unlike other consultancies, we don’t just pinpoint issues; we collaborate with clients to achieve their goals, fostering sustainable strategies.

How have you been able to gain funding and grow?

I’ve personally funded the business. Despite challenges during COVID, our independence was preserved, avoiding work misaligned with our values. Organically, our revenue grew 20-30% annually, rebounding after a slight decline in the pandemic’s first year. In 2022-23, we nearly doubled revenue, supporting my book promotion, social media evolution, and global conference engagements.

What are the key successes?

For me, the key successes are our clients’ achievements that have been delivered with our support. Some recent examples:

  • A CEO who has turned around the organisational culture and delivered an 84% uplift in revenue.
  • A leader with mental health issues effectively managing this and learning to thrive in a pressured leadership role.

From a personal perspective, the things that I am most proud of are:

  • Successfully parenting my gorgeous son though to adulthood and seeing him begin his adult life and start to find his journey of success.
  • Completing my Doctorate while leading my organisation, delivering work excellence, and being a loving and supportive parent.  

What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?

Remaining relevant in organisational psychology demands constant learning. I’ve tackled this by discarding timewasters like TV and personal social media, redirecting that time to ongoing study. My commitment to relevance relies on disciplined time management. Another challenge is working with clients in male-dominated environments where ingrained sexist behaviours persist. Confronting these issues demands courage and diplomacy, draining personal resilience. While no longer shocked, it’s disheartening to witness unhealthy workplace behaviours. Overcoming this involves introspection, respectful confrontation, and extensive mentoring, empowering women in leadership to openly address and combat sexism.

What are your plans now/for the future?

Our growth trajectory involves expanding our Organisational Psychology services and exploring innovative approaches. In 2024, we aim to broaden our impact by disseminating research through various platforms:

  • Extending our podcast series, ‘The Business Learning Lounge,’ with insightful global business topics.
  • Expanding online programs covering ‘Flourishing in a Volatile World,’ ‘Psychologically Safe Organisational Cultures,’ ‘Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace,’ and ‘Building Cohesive, Collaborative Teams.’
  • Addressing the global demand for mental health, well-being, and resilience support through ongoing online content development.
  • Currently crafting ‘A Practical Guide to Flourishing in a Volatile and Uncertain World,’ slated for a 2024 release.

What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?

Embarking on my business journey has been thrilling, filled with unexpected successes, continual learning, and personal growth. It allows me the freedom to pursue my passions, challenging societal norms. Balancing an international career and parenthood poses challenges, but prioritising meaningful moments and achieving success in business, academia, and writing has made it an incredibly fulfilling and diverse entrepreneurial experience.

Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?

  1. Find something you are passionate about and build your business around this
  2. Inspire and value those around you
  3. Keep learning and developing yourself so that you evolve with the times
  4. Never settle for average, always strive for excellence
  5. Nurture long-term relationships with clients
  6. Make time for self-care and take care of your resilience

Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?

Stephen Covey’s teachings on personal and leadership effectiveness deeply influence my work. Studying with him in Utah remains a standout experience. Oprah Winfrey’s impressive career and ability to facilitate open conversations inspire me. Dr. Andrew Huberman’s neuroscience podcasts simplify complex topics, aiding mental health understanding. Nelson Mandela’s commitment to forgiveness and peace is enduring. Working with CEO Roy Tutty, his humility and authenticity left a lasting impression.

What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?

“Leadership is not a rank or a position, it is a choice.” Simon Sinek

“If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control – myself.” Stephen Covey

What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?