Our Story

Invisible Grail began from a kernel of an idea. This idea, sown in early 2017, was that higher education, and all the people, teams, departments, schools and universities within it, deserve more from the stories they are telling the world.

We are a small team of leadership and communication experts. Our purpose is to help people in higher education make the intangible, tangible. To find the narrative that will energise and galvanise people around a common purpose and shared vision.

We work in partnership with universities and their people to create greater impact through the narratives they choose to tell, and we do this in two ways:

  • * by creating unique and imaginative projects that build capacity within university communities, tailored to specific needs;
  • * through a portfolio of open programmes that enhance individuals’ own leadership narratives and practices.

At the very core of what we do is the desire to make a meaningful difference. We work not as a typical provider, but as a partner, and we do this with honesty, openness and compassion.

We are Paul, Louise, John, Jamie and Stuart. We come from all corners of the UK, and bring with each of us unique skills, voice and creativity to Invisible Grail.


Dr Paul Gentle

Academic Director

Paul Gentle photo - business writing and leadership expertsDr Paul Gentle has facilitated leadership development programmes in higher education for more than 10 years.

“I’ve been Programme Director of the Leadership Foundation’s Top Management Programme, and learned a great deal about how universities work at the most senior levels. I’ve also been Dean and Head of Department for nearly 20 years in two English higher education institutions. My writing focuses both on research in engaging leadership and on narrative fiction and non-fiction. In 2016 a thrilling journey among Atlantic islands of Europe inspired a personal quest, and led serendipitously to my wanting to enable leaders to make an impact with their own writing.

Contact Paul, e: paul.gentle@invisiblegrail.com



Why Invisible Grail? You can light up people’s lives with your writing; yet sometimes we let this go unseen.


Louise Clifton

Director of Marketing, Communications and Operations

Louise Clifton photoLouise Clifton has crafted a career in marketing within the higher education sector. She has led the communications for UK-wide development programmes in pursuit of realising and celebrating the potential of all who work in the sector.

“Throughout my career, writing has anchored me to seminal points of change. Challenged by my former mentor, my first foray into academic writing sowed the seed, unknown to me at the time, that words can be more than the sum of their parts. I am lucky now to be able to bring together a love of words and a profession in communication, and to do this with the very same person. Invisible Grail is the manifestation of this. I believe that we all have the power to create extraordinary narratives which bring alive the passion for what we do. Invisible Grail is that little step to help along the way.”

Contact Louise, e: louise.clifton@invisiblegrail.com 


Why Invisible Grail? We are the authors of our own story, sometimes we just need a little space, a little time and little inspiration to start writing.


John Simmons

Director and Programme Facilitator

John Simmons photo - business writing and leadership experts

John Simmons, through his books and consultancy, is widely considered the leading exponent of more expressive words as an essential element of communication for brands and organisations.

“For many years I worked in international identity companies, including Interbrand, helping organisations of all kinds to communicate more effectively. Increasingly I focused on what seemed to me the neglected aspect: language. Words matter. They are the means to engage with audiences.

I put my philosophy and practice into books such as The Invisible Grail and creative workshops named Dark Angels (after another of my books). Many people claim that their writing, and even their lives, have been transformed as a result. In recent years I have also had three novels published, most recently The Good Messenger, personal evidence of the power of storytelling.”


Why Invisible Grail? Curiosity – the quest for knowledge and understanding – is a quality that underpins both academic research and effective writing.


Jamie Jauncey

Director and Programme Facilitator

Jamie Jauncey photo - business writing and leadership expertsJamie Jauncey has spent the last thirty years helping organisations and individuals to find their voices and tell their stories.

“As a business writer and trainer, personal development facilitator, novelist and musician, every breath I take has something to do with connecting people. I see language and stories as the primary lenses through which most of us make sense of the world. Those lenses needs constant polishing in order that we understand ourselves, organise our thoughts well, and communicate them in a meaningful, human way. Nor must we forget the music to be made with words, its power to reach into people’s hearts. Time and again I’ve seen how a simple story told with a little flourish, a little imagination, can change the way an idea is received.”



Why Invisible Grail? Because only by communicating with energy and enthusiasm can we be certain that what we say will be heard in the same vein.


Stuart Delves

Director and Programme Facilitator

Stuart Delves photo - business writing and leadership expertsStuart Delves co-founded Dark Angels in 2004 – a decade on, into ‘the daring night’ with Invisible Grail.

“My background is playwriting and I had early success on the Edinburgh Fringe. More recently I have been involved with community theatre, which I find hugely rewarding. I stepped into the commercial world in 1985 as an advertising copywriter. I now write for businesses and institutions across multiple platforms. From 1990-1993 I was Centre Director for the Arvon Foundation in Devon and since, have consistently developed the residential course model co-designing Bloom Reading Holidays and Dark Angels. I believe a day away can prove extremely fruitful and that a couple of days away, in a retreat setting with peers and an inspired programme, can prove transformative.”



Why Invisible Grail?  It’s a matter of listening. The more you trust your voice the more genuine authority you have.