Huginn Ltd. was founded in 2012 by Phoebe Miles, who had previously worked in executive search and diversity and inclusion consulting.

She founded the UK’s first dedicated Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Practice at her search firm, working with mainly corporate clients . Such work usually involved setting D&I strategies which would be grounded in business objectives, and helping to create environments which would foster greater diversity and so be able to attract a broader range of talent with which to innovate and improve customer solutions.

After several years it became apparent that diversity management, a burgeoning concern for large companies and especially listed businesses, was often doomed to failure by its very conception. Many of her clients developed diversity targets which failed to acknowledge the cultural change processes that are required in order to achieve them – in order to build an inclusive culture which can retain and foster true diversity.

Not only that, but often the diversity and inclusion recommendations she made to her clients were proxies for building a more self aware leadership team who could enable cultural change or adaptation. Ironically, a more diverse workforce was just one of the potential benefits to be had from doing this.

Phoebe set up Huginn to broaden the conversation about cultural change and the manifold performance benefits of building a self-aware organisation, diversity and inclusion being only two.

Why “Huginn”

In Norse mythology, the greatest God Odin has two ravens, Hugginn the “Raven of Thought”, and Munnin the “Raven of Desire”. Often depicted on Odin’s right shoulder, Huginn flew all over the world capturing people’s thoughts, whilst Muninn captured their desires. They relayed them back to Odin, and are thus two sources of his prodigious wisdom. Not a bad way of seeing what we do for companies.

As part time wildlife conservationists, we also just think that ravens are really cool. Ravens are amongst the brightest and most social of birds, displaying high levels of learning ability and use of logic and creativity for solving problems, in some tests bypassing the chimpanzees. Wild birds can master complex tests such as "no tests" or "trial and error" problems which they would never encounter in the natural world. They have even been taught to count! They’re also very playful, if sometimes wicked. In Yellowknife, northwestern Canada, ravens perched on the roofs of supermarkets and waited for people to pass so that they could push snow on them. That bit rarely features in our proposals....