Getting to know you: Mo Cohen

What do you currently do?
I run a transformative learning and development organisation called InterBe. We specialise in Narrative Transformation, which is our own unique approach to training and development. Our tagline is “Changing stories, changing lives”. In essence, we coach people to identify the thoughts, beliefs and stories that hold them back in their lives and to identify more empowering alternatives. In this way, they can achieve their full potential, free from the constraints of the past.

What is your inspiration in business?
I am inspired by the concept of a future in which all organisations are committed to maximising the potential of all their people and to being creative communities that make a difference in the world. If every organisation did that, they would take a lead locally and use all of their resources (financial, creative, digital, human) to make a difference to all aspects of the local community – environment, poverty, housing, education. They would see that they are the bridge – from individual through organisational to global transformation.

Who do you admire?
I admire people at every level who are committed to making a difference, from mums at home, teachers in primary schools, headteachers, leaders in organisations to frontline staff. I admire ordinary people doing ordinary things because this is what leads to being extra-ordinary. We are currently working with a large care organisation where the staff show up every day and take care of elderly people and give them a sense of purpose, belonging, love and care. That is the sort of thing I admire.

My role models are: Werner Erhard (the originator of transformational training) for his vision, commitment and inspiration. Every day I am grateful for what I got from the training programmes that he created; Simon Daly (my colleague at InterBe) for his extraordinary capacity to be generous; my mum for her unbelievable stand for others; Kurt Vonnegut (author of Slaughterhouse 5) because he never stopped kicking against the system; and Michael White, co-creator of Narrative Therapy which inspires our work.

Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
There have been three or four moments in my life where I have been stopped by fear. Given the chance to revisit them, I would summon the courage to make a different choice. In business, it is the same. I would like every day to notice where I am constrained by fear or concern about failing and to say “yes” instead of “no”.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in business?
Think globally, act locally.