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We are an entrepreneurially-led HR & change consultancy and are experts in the HR space.


[Noun, Latin Po’ten.ti.a/]

People | Purpose

Passion | Performance

Working with Potentia

We believe in people-centric change as the key to unlocking the potential of organisations, teams and individuals, enabling them to step out of their comfort zone with confidence to thrive in the digital age.

We believe that creating a compelling sense of purpose is critical to organisation success. We talk as much about the ‘why’ as we do enabling the ‘what’ and the ‘how’.

We believe in harnessing the passion of authentic, human and empathetic leaders to inspire and engage their teams and communities to deliver greatness.

We believe in business performance that is driven by clarity, alignment, action and impact.


Potentia is a positively disruptive HR & Change consultancy, ready to unlock the potential of your organisation, teams and individuals. We work with you to enable the necessary conditions to enable your future success to flourish. We help you define, deliver, embed and sustain that which is possible but not yet achieved.

This is your potential. Unlocked. This is Potentia. Your change. Delivered.

Led by James Hartley, and working on a mission-based model with a network of associates who are experts in change, talent leadership, communications and engagement, we are ready to partner with you for short or long term assignments to enable people-centric change, create a compelling sense of purpose, harness the passion of your teams and drive business performance.

What People Say

James is an outstanding People leader. He supported us whilst we dealt with a lot of change both strategically and in the Executive and Leadership Teams. He provided supportive and candid feedback to both myself and to the Executive team during a number of offsites which undoubtedly helped to support where we are today in terms of both people effectiveness and team work and the transformation journey. James was also sensitive and worked well with our internal HR team and took time to develop them as well as to support them. I would recommend James highly particularly if you are facing a transformation agenda and people changes.​
Building Society
James was pivotal in leadership and delivery of change. He was critical in the hiring of new leaders, delivered a new performance culture, delivered leadership interventions, delivered a new global OKR structure. James delivered in an extremely high pressured environment. He lead from the front and led in terms of values and behaviours. He coached and mentored from juniors to seniors with ease. He is a true example of a servant leader. He could flex his style easily. James is also very commercial and focused on the customer experience, top line and bottom line/RoI. Personally James delivered and co-delivered a number of critical and difficult programs and business cases on time and under budget. His technology and operations delivery has been extremely impressive and I’ve loved working closely with him. Given the opportunity I would work with James again. He is a pleasure to work with and is such a fun, proactive and energetic person.​

James Hartley

Founder & Managing Director
  • Deeply commercial and positively disruptive Chief People Officer & Transformation Leader with a focus on people solutions that deliver short term as well as sustainable mid-long term value.
  • Culture transformation specialist with an outstanding track record in the people, digital and process components of business change.
  • Focused on driving strategic outcomes that stick and prioritises the people agenda items that deliver the biggest returns for colleagues, customers and shareholders.
  • Increases organisational alignment and engagement and channels them to help companies go further faster with their strategic blueprints.
  • Purpose-led, progressive, outward-looking and inclusive leader who engages, inspires and creates followership to deliver lasting success.
  • A high-energy and compelling communicator who wins hearts and minds by connecting with people’s current reality and giving them hope for a better future.
  • A truly enterprise-wide leader who contributes to business success well beyond his functional role scope.
  • International outlook, global experience and highly culturally aware.


Having recently founded Potentia to help unlock the potential of organisations, teams and individuals to thrive in the digital age, James has an impactful track record as a visionary, strategic and positively disruptive Chief People Officer and Change Leader. He has delivered change and supported growth in complex global corporates and private-equity backed, entrepreneurial businesses. He has championed culture change, effective organisation design and development and partnered with Board and C-Suite leaders. Click here to read more.

He was recently a Managing Director & Global People Leader at Swiss Re, initially supporting the $10 billion multi-business EMEA portfolio and latterly the Group Operations, Global Functions and Digital Technology portfolios, based in London and Zurich. Prior to Swiss Re, he was Group HRD at Minova Insurance, a high growth private-equity backed insurance portfolio, having spent several years at HSBC, both in London and Hong Kong, latterly as Global Head HR for Commercial Banking.

Previous experience includes with AllianceBernstein, a major international asset management firm, as Global Employee Relations Director, based in New York and with extended periods in Singapore and Tokyo. In his early career, James worked for PwC Outsourcing in HR and Operations’ leadership roles strategic change and HR roles in manufacturing.

James is married to Jeremy, a feline veterinarian, with two obligatory cats at home, Artie and Humphrey, and together with his husband, is a partner in The London Cat Clinic, an entrepreneurial feline-only veterinary practice in central London.

We are an entrepreneurially-led HR consultancy. As a purposeful, motivational and empowering consultancy, we combine high energy and focus to inspire and enable teams to drive sustainable business growth. We are passionate about unlocking the potential of organisations, teams and individuals to thrive in a digital world.

Personal connection at global scale. We have a high impact record in a range of sectors in organisations of varying scales and with different operating models, including regulated financial services and technology firms, start-ups, global FTSE-businesses and high-growth, entrepreneurial, private equity-backed businesses.

Internationally experienced and culturally savvy, Potentia works with clients in the UK, Europe, Asia and the United States. Based in London, we are nationally and internationally mobile .