collective voice

Thanks for dropping by our blog page. Our team of over 60 full-time experts use the latest thinking in behavioural design and enablement via our people-shaped methodology to Make Better Happen for individuals, organisations and communities. Our specialisms of applied behavioural insights, design through co-creation and leading-edge social marketing and engagement are at the core of all that we do. Our mission is to be part of a society that is well, confident and resilient. If we can help you take a journey to be your best self, please call us on 0845 5193 423 - our promise to you is that we never settle for second best.

An ICE experience - our values

October 18, 2018 16:53

At ICE, our mission is to make better happen for individuals, communities and organisations. Our values permeate throughout ICE and inform every decision – big or small. From ideation sessions and administration to delivery and evaluation, our values are our guiding principles.

When they’re done right, values can serve as an organisation’s anchor. During times of celebration, change and challenge, they remain constant and are truly representative of an organisation’s lived behaviours.

So, what are our values and how are they reflected in our lived behaviours?

“Passion at ICE runs high – in all the best ways! All our team live and breathe Passion in everything we do. We get a thrill from bringing our expertise to get the very best results for our clients every time. Passion for us is about commitment – a commitment to ‘make better happen’ for organisations, individual people and communities – and that commitment doesn’t stop at the 9-to-5. Even outside working hours, we’re thinking, working, researching, travelling and going above and beyond to help our clients meet and exceed their goals. I love the buzz across the ICE team as we take on every new challenge that comes our way, with enthusiasm, energy and determination. Personal success is a great thing, but success driven by united passion with colleagues and clients working towards a shared goal is remarkable. Passion in numbers can truly change lives for the better – and that’s the best feeling ever!”

-          Marie Broeders, Senior Change Practitioner

“Within the digital team, fairness is important on many levels. It is vital to us that we are building products which are of value, not only to our partners but also to the wider population. These products need to be simple to use and to each user’s benefit. Moreover, we need to ensure that all users can access our products. Accessibility is a key priority within ICE, and we build digital that is inclusive and accessible to all. The open and democratic nature of ICE lends itself to a culture of fairness to each other, to ICE, to our partners and, most importantly, to our users. We strive to make everything we create the very best it can be, and this ethos is reflected across our 5 specialisms of applied behavioural insights, design and system thinking, communications and engagement, leadership and culture and integrated lifestyle services.”

-          Chris Ashton, Chief Technology Officer

“For me, Integrity is part of our DNA - it has to be; it runs through ICE like blood in our veins. ICE have grown year on year during the last 19 years and we have done this through bringing our all and everything to each new opportunity. We bring Integrity by showing honesty, consistency and high standards to every piece of work - big or small, old or new - because without it we wouldn't be being true to our ethos.”

-          Sarah Jackson, Bid Manager

'Are we being brave?'

"As a trusted partner across the health and care system, we know that briefs are there to be challenged. We adopt the role of a ‘critical friend’. Refusing to come from a place of assumption, we use applied behavioural insights to understand what’s important to individuals, communities and organisations. Once this fundamental truth has been established, we are able to facilitate meaningful and sustainable change. Bravery at ICE comes through daring to do things differently, challenging ourselves and others, early adoption of innovative technologies and methodologies and having no fear."

-          Jane Cryer, Director of Organisational Development and Leadership

“To me, creativity goes way beyond the look and feel of a campaign, product or experience. It’s also about adding value to any task or idea and doing so in a way that takes a lot of factors into account. Working in finance, people don’t necessarily associate creativity with my field of expertise. In fact, we use creativity every day to solve problems, maintain standards and develop new processes. At ICE, we have a massive culture of shared learning – it’s a bit like having a pool of expertise that you can dip into at any time. We’re curious by nature. Sharing best practice and exploring how things can be as efficient and effective as possible is a massive part of my role, and it’s a pleasure to work within an organisation whose purpose is so aligned to my personal values.”

-          Ellie Connolly, Finance Practitioner

“You can’t spell ICE Creates without SUCCESS. Whilst that’s not technically true, expectations of success are built into the DNA of ICE. We get what we expect, and we expect what we get. At ICE, we are positive and expect success to Make Better Happen. Success means adding value and having collaborative and compassionate working relationships with our clients and each other. Success means achieving our targets and outcomes for our clients and for ICE. Success means taking ownership of tasks and sharing what great looks like. Success means having fun, smiling and being the best you can be. Success means never accepting second best. At ICE, we know that our success depends on each individual succeeding in their mission. Everyone in our team comes together to help each other to be successful. At Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire, we depend on each other and the wider ICE family so we can complete our mission successfully, and we’re on track for our most successful year yet 🚀”

-          John Russell, Director of Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire

On World Values Day, take a minute to think about what’s important to you. We believe that we all have a role to play in creating a society that is well, resilient and confident, and there is no better time than now for us all to step up and play our part.

An ICE experience - Claudine's first three months

September 27, 2018 11:01

It was a gloriously sunny Monday morning as I drove down the A41 with what felt like a flock of butterflies wearing steel toecaps charging around my stomach. I was starting in my new role as HR & Operations Manager with ICE Creates, and didn’t have a clue on what to expect, apart from it was going to be very different to anything I’d ever experienced before.

I’d come from quite a corporate background, and my last HR role had been with a construction company – Watkin Jones Group – so ICE was about as far away from this as you could get. Apart from the nerves, I had a really positive feeling about the company. When I came for my interview at HQ I’d been met by Cara, ICE’s Executive PA, who’d instantly put me at ease. The offices were amazing – all bright colours and comfortable chairs - and the interview was like nothing I’d experienced before; it was relaxed but really challenging. Stu (ICE’s CEO) and Jo (ICE's Finance Director) were fantastic – they explained the company to me and talked me through ICE’s ‘Values Map’ and ‘Talent Map’, which are forms of psychometric testing that everyone within ICE completes. The results were so accurate - it made the hairs on the back of my neck go up.

But what I took away from the interview was the feel of the company. A lot of businesses espouse their values, but few live them. My two interviewers embodied them, and I left wanting really desperately to be a part of the team. After a conversation that night, I was delighted to find out that I would be joining the ICE team in July.

On my first day I was welcomed by Ethan, who then introduced me to our office dog, Georgie, who was woofing away at the newcomer. I had a great induction and the perfect touch was a pink sparkly bag with stationary, my own special mug and chocolate, as well as an individualised induction folder – I’d never had anything like this before... what a welcome! My first week flew by and I got to travel to ICE’s many offices as I got stuck into my new role.

Wherever I went, the teams were always the same – supportive, helpful and all genuinely nice people. The dedication, hard work and loyalty to the business was incredibly inspiring to experience. I loved visiting the Gloucester office and joining in on discussions about food and friendship. I picked up some superb tips; incidentally, if you join ICE, ask John about the best pizza in the UK - we all agree on that. I got to visit the picturesque Coventry office in the Canal Basin and I met the hilarious team there who were preparing for the Godiva festival. I can’t forget ‘Mr. Cig’ and seeing the stunning medieval street in Coventry. However, as the team will testify, I was less than enamoured with the Coventry Ring Road!

I'm now three months in and I can say that one thing remains constant throughout ICE: the values. You see, we have what’s called our Code of Honour, which means our company values. Well, these were co-created by ICE’s team, so we all live them in the business. I did wonder if this was all because I’m new – the ‘new paint’ syndrome - and when it would change. But it’s not; our culture is who we are, and it shows. I take pride in who we are and what we do, as does everyone else who works here, and it is really clear to see.

I’m looking forward to my future challenges as the business grows and develops because here at ICE, we Make Better Happen and that’s our promise.

An ICE experience - Zoe's eight months

May 2, 2018 14:03

‘Behavioural design? Behaviour change? What’s that?’ I thought…

I was interviewed in the boardroom, overlooking the sun-drenched, iconic Liverpool waterfront. Stunning. My pre-interview nerves were soon calmed by the friendly demeanour of the interviewers. Who were these coders, bloggers and communication experts speaking so passionately about their organisation? After a second meeting with the energetic and passionate CEO, I was inspired. Thrilled to be offered the position of Business Development Executive, I accepted without hesitation.

After finding a welcome pack on my desk including stationery, chocolate, and a mug with my name on it, my first day involved an introduction to the team, including Georgie, the office dog, and a lunchtime game of pool with my new colleagues. The following week began with ‘Chill and Chat’ - a shared Monday morning breakfast of freshly made pancakes, croissants and coffee around the wooden kitchen table. ‘Breaking bread’ together as a team, we shared our recent successes of contract wins, and work we’d been asked to pitch for, while planning our strategy for the coming weeks.

‘I think I’m going to like it here’ I thought. I was wrong… I loved it!

‘How has this great culture come about? What drives it?’ I asked myself.

In my first month, my new colleagues and I were invited to ICE’s ‘Natural Leaders’, the leadership retreat course at ICE’s farm on the gorgeous Cumbrian fellside. Natural Leaders uses sheep and sheep dogs to develop leadership skills. While I was sceptical at first, it turned out it was the perfect setting to really get to know my new colleagues. I learnt what makes my colleagues (and myself!) tick. I formed a deeper connection with them than I had with some of my former colleagues who I’d worked with for years. It was incredible! It even transpired that I was a distant relative of one of them!

A couple of months later, it was time for the Christmas do. After finding a Maltesers advent calendar on my desk, the morning was full of hilarious yet purposeful team building activities, an informative and inspiring presentation from the board, and a group discussion to co-create ICE’s new website, followed by an all-expenses paid afternoon at one of Liverpool’s best restaurants.

At last, my question was answered. What drives ICE’s unique culture? It’s the people. The talent. Celebrating each other’s differences, while being bound by common values and a shared vision. Skillsets spanning Communications and Engagement, Social Marketing, Design, Digital, Behavioural Insight, Organisational Development, Leadership & Culture, and Healthy Lifestyle Services experts. They all come together to deliver unrivalled behavioural design and implementation for the public sector, be that helping to reduce inappropriate attendance at our hospitals’ A&E departments or helping our citizens to stop smoking or lose weight.  This is all done in tandem with the sharing of ICE’s values: Integrity, Passion, Bravery, Creativity, Success and Fairness.

My time at ICE has been incredible, and I’m proud to have been part of something so creative. As I embark on my next chapter, returning to my roots of recruitment, I hope to take my experiences and knowledge with me, and to - as our ICE leader kindly bid me - ‘enjoy life’s journey and go well.’

If you’re an experienced Business Development professional with a demonstrable track record in an autonomous and targeted sales environment, and you’d like to explore becoming part of team ICE, please send your CV and a short covering letter today to

An ICE experience - Ethan's first two weeks

May 1, 2018 14:24

I had a trial morning at ICE with the Business Development Executive (Zoe), listening in on her calls before having a go myself. Zoe talked me through what her day to day looked like at ICE, and showed me the kind of things I would be doing if I joined ICE. I thought that I would find it challenging at first with not knowing much about ‘behavioural design’, but thought it was worth a shot anyway. I was up in Cumbria when I was told I had got the job as Business Administrator - I was absolutely made up and accepted the offer without a second thought.

So, how did I spend my first two weeks?

I was down in Coventry meeting the team there, as well as having training around the sort of things I would need to know and what I’d be doing. The Coventry team welcomed me with open arms and were so nice. I then went to the Wirral office, and the team there were the same. It was like walking into a big, warming family that I was going to be a part of! Tea and breakfast such as croissants etc. were offered on my first morning at ICE; it couldn’t have been any better. To top that off, we have an office dog Georgie, who is very sweet, and I can tell is a big part of the ICE family.

Since then, I have been studying for and successfully completing assessments related to areas such as smoking cessation. One of my key responsibilities is to check in with healthy lifestyle service users and to see how their journey was with us – what went well, where could we improve, and do they have any suggestions that they would like to see in our offer? As an organisation, ICE never settles for second best. By catching up with clients, I’m able to understand what’s important to each individual, and I then feed this back to the wider team, so we can ensure our offer is inclusive, proactive and supportive.

The thing that makes me most proud of ICE is how much difference is celebrated, and actively encouraged. There are so many services and products, and there is even a bespoke leadership course. ‘Natural Leaders’ gives organisations and individuals an experience to remember. By taking them to a farm up near the Fellside of Cumbria with lots of sheep and working dogs, people can connect with and recognise the people they work with – the ultimate goal is for everyone to unite as one.

We also run a lot of healthy lifestyle services across the UK on behalf of councils. With so many different skillsets within team ICE, it’s only natural that we’d have so many offers!

I couldn’t be any happier with the position I have been given, and I’m sure I’ll learn great amounts about myself and about the world we live in today and how it’s constantly changing – there’s a lot to look forward to on my journey at ICE.