Caroline McHugh and Lucy Ratcliffe IDology

May 6, 2016 by Laura Gomez


The Chief Emeritus

Caroline McHugh is Founder and CEO of IDOLOGY, a movement dedicated to helping individuals and organisations be fully deployed, original versions of themselves. IDOLOGY is her word for putting your self to work, and it has gone from being a fanciful idea, to a bit of a lapel grabber, to qualification criteria for anyone determined to perform to their potential.

For more than two decades, Caroline has been inspiring captains of industry, politicians, global economists, and internationally renowned artists, all with the intention of helping them discharge their talents more fully. She and her small team of IDologists have swept through organisations from Mastercard to MTV, proving that when personal engagement rises, productivity and profits do too – turns out putting yourself to work is not just good for you – it’s good for business, because it’s the only place in your life you have no competition.


Speaker, teacher, coach and author of “Never Not a Lovely Moon”, Caroline delivers keynotes and masterclasses at dozens of Fortune 500 companies, on Leadership, Reputation Management and Women at Work. Experience has only redoubled her long obedience in the same direction – that people who are afraid to be themselves will work for people who aren’t. In a world that’s ever more competitive and precarious, her message has brought a whole new meaning to ROI – a Return on Individuality.

Caroline’s wisdom and insights are as piercing as her warmth and wit. She’s one of the real sages of our time, and this book is the holy grail for personal fulfillment.”

From 2016 IDology became a Partnership,Lucy Ratcliffe, Director and Patner with Anna Jones and Katie Casey.



Lucy Ratcliffe

“I, and my colleagues (and we’ve discussed it), had a great two days; in my twenty working years have yet to experience a session incorporating intellectual, emotional and practical aspects of my life – extraordinary. For much of the weekend I was lost deep thought and reflection; I’m already trying to make changes.”
– Sales Director, the world’s most admired technology firm

Lucy spent the first ten years of her career as a professional actress. Highlights include writing and performing a one woman show for Kenneth Branagh’s Theatre Company and being part of the Olivier Award-winning Spanish Golden Age season at the Gate Theatre in London, directed by Steven Daldry.

In 2005, she became involved in the pioneering Elite Coach Programme for UK Sport, an initiative designed to develop the most talented and successful coaches working in all sporting disciplines into gold medal-winning coaches, and to help them become the next generation of leaders. She’s developed projects with the gold medal-winning British Equestrian and Cycling Teams, and worked alongside world class coaches such as Yogi Breisner (Head Coach of the British Equestrian Team), and Chris Boardman and Tim Foster from British Rowing.

Since joining IDOLOGY in 1996 Lucy has developed dynamic relationships with CEOs and senior business leaders in corporations all over the world, designed and delivered high-potential talent programmes for American Express, BP and Sainsbury’s, and is simultaneously consulting many of our clients on corporate culture, resulting in accolades not only for us but for them.


Lucy Ratcliffe, Director and Patner at IDology Interview:

What is IDology? IDology is a business and philosophy dedicated to helping people manage their life at work and understand what it means to ‘just’ be yourself.

Which is the Philosophy of IDology? IDology the philosophy is centered around the self. In our work we explore
authenticity and what it means to be an individual individual. We spend time with our clients all over the world helping them engage with two central, deeply personal questions:

Who do you think you are? and Who do you think you are becoming?

Beginning to answer these questions is a lifetime’s work and giving people thespace to explore their responses, helps them understand how to take their most authentic selves with them wherever they go.

Which IDology programms offers? Our work is centered in two main areas, Communication and Leadership. In both, we help people understand the possibilities that emerge when you make things personal. Our first ever workshop Life’s a Pitch, focuses on contemporary presentation skills and how to talk so people listen. Searching for the Edge explores impact and influence. Our ID Leader and ID Team programs focus on leading from every chair through a concentration on who you are rather than what you do.

Which are the keys to being yourself? The dictionary definition of authenticity is being of undisputed origin, not a copy,genuine. Being authentic is not a box that can be ticked on a competency framework. It’s not something you can learn in a class or in the pages of a book, it’s a practice. And like everything we practice it takes work.

The first part of the practice is to look inside and begin to notice you, how you think, feel and talk to yourself in the never-ending conversation you are having with yourself.

In our work we have developed a framework we describe as the I:Complex, which we use to help people understand how we show up for ourselves and other people.

Understanding other people’s perceptions and whose perceptions are important to us, can help us move towards the next phase in our evolution – possibility.

This part of the conversation with self is founded on the tantilising question, how good could you be? What would you love people to see in you, who could you be if you were the man or woman of your dreams….?

And for the rest… you’ll have to come to a class!

List of IDology clients? Over the years we’ve worked all over the world with among others: British Airways, Sony, American Express, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Sky, MTV, Turner Broadcasting, Warner Brothers, Edeleman, British Gas, UK Sport, Universal Music, Axa Investment Management and Apple.

The Art of Being Yourself

How many times has someone offered you that careless but well meaning invocation to ‘just be yourself’? Like that was an easy thing to do? Being nobody but yourself is hard in a world where most people would rather you were everybody else. Being like everyone else? Well that’s a low fence.

The opening years of the 21st century left us battered by pervasive corporate scandal, broad distrust and a dangerously bruised workforce. Now, we’re looking for more honesty everywhere – never has integrity been a more sought after virtue, and integrity is what happens when what you think, what you say and what you do are in complete harmony with who you are.

The Art of Being Yourself keynote is designed with the mercurial business environment in mind, but is just as determined to address what will never go out of fashion – the drive to be the most authentic, integral version of yourself you can be.

Why is it important to organisations? Organisational culture is no more than the product of each person’s spirit, exercised. If you want improved engagement, create an environment where people can bring themselves to work. If you’re looking for sustainable competitive advantage, put authenticity to work – because being yourself is the only place in life you have no competition.

Inspired by curiosity and possibility, Caroline shows how we can get more out of our selves with every passing year using the Interiority complex, the model she’s developed to help people take the next evolutionary leap. It’s a framework with four facets that turns identity into integrity and integrity into purpose. She’ll cover, amongst other things:

The Authority of perception – plugging your self into the working landscape
Being better than your So-Far Self – how to jump start your maturity continuum
Developing equilibrium – the stability of living egologically
How to activate your superpower

This is the operating manual you should have been born with, one for those who take low fences in their stride.