About Clear Transition

Clear Transition is a unique collaboration between Lisette Howlett and Neil Urquhart. It brings together two highly competent professionals with the same drive and values but very distinct yet complimentary expertise.

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.

Matthew Arnold / Isaac Asimov

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Our goal is to make transition as pleasant and peaceful as possible

Principal Consultant Profiles

a photo of Neil UrquhartNeil Urquhart has 15 years international training, facilitating and coaching experience with world-renowned multinational organisations in both the public and private sectors.

As an expert in communication skills and culture, Neil blends his corporate sector experience (SAP, Cargill, John Deere) in Europe and the Americas with his past experience in education in Asia and the voluntary sector in the UK to create a strong results-focused offering. It enables groups, teams and individuals at all levels of responsibility to work together more effectively in international contexts. He is also part of the team delivering induction training for mixed groups of civil servants from 27 different nations at the European Commission, Parliament and other EU institutions in Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany and Italy.

If there is a common thread to Neil's professional activities, it is facilitating change in organizations and individuals in transition. On the macro level he works with businesses on internationalisation projects and helps firms navigate the post-contract phase of international mergers and acquisitions. Smaller scale interventions include international team-building, developing cross-cultural leadership skills and intercultural coaching.

Using a combination of transformational tools, experiential activities and practical techniques, he enables organizations and teams to leverage their cultural diversity with passion, zest and inspiration.

a photo of Lisette HowlettLisette Howlett is a strategic HR consultant with a track record in successful global change and business transformation (including Mergers and Acquisitions, talent management and capability development, business restructuring and outsourcing / offshoring) in blue chip organizations including ICI, AstraZeneca/Zeneca and Syngenta as well as local government and the public sector. She works extensively in the UK, Europe, US and Asia.

Prior to setting up her consulting business was a senior VP, HR, Global Business Projects for Syngenta AG, a world leading agribusiness.

She possesses a unique range and depth in HR – from compensation to organisation development and learning; from acquisitions, new business launch and business transformation to divestment and closure; from new policy development and implementation to performance management, recruitment and recruitment effectiveness, global talent management, succession planning and reward management; from training programme design and delivery to individual and team coaching and mentoring.

Lisette has worked for many years in partnership with numerous Board-level executives, providing coaching, support, challenge, facilitation, ideas, and practical help in strategy development, organisation design, and consequent change programmes. She is business focused, adds value and builds strong relationships with business partners / clients. Lisette works effectively at all levels – from the board to the unions. Her experience is complimented by strong intellect, creativity, and commitment to deliver, and underpinned by academic qualifications.

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Our Associates

Where we believe additional expertise or resources are required we have access to a wide range of associates, each with a strong track record of success.

Some testimonials for each of our team

I worked with the consultant closely since the formation of Syngenta in 2000. As the member of the Executive Committee responsible for merger integration, I had a number of delicate and complex projects to complete. She acted as HR lead on a number of these. Her work demonstrated qualities of thoroughness, sensitivity and at the same time directness on tough issues. She is at her best on project work of this type and I have no hesitation in recommending her.

Executive Board member

I have worked with a large number of HR professionals over the years and Lisette is the best. She is very knowledgeable of HR systems and regulations in both Europe and the USA having led successfully many major HR projects on both continents. Lisette is very hard working and always delivers what is expected on time and on budget. She is also a good people manager, tough but fair. She built up good teams under her and paid attention to developing individuals to their full potential.

Head of R&D

Excellent at diligence evaluation, but does not stop at simply identifying issues. Highly focused individual able to offer well thought through HR solutions to problems across geographies.

Head of M&A

In addition to her strong experience in HR practice, the consultant was able to provide astute judgement about the likely effectiveness of proposals which was extremely useful in a variety of issues. Her judgement was always balanced, well argued and highly valued. As an aside, I would also commend her level of numeracy skills, which are particularly strong compared to many HR professionals… In terms of style, she is a pragmatic hands-on operator who is well suited to tackling difficult issues, capable of building management trust quickly while driving forward with a strong results orientation.

Group Financial Controller

Lisette is a highly experienced HR professional with global experience of several key functions in business. She possesses a formidable intellect and energy to match. She characteristically involves herself very deeply in projects and always gets the job done, whatever the pressure.

R&D Director

Very knowledable, very professional, detailed but flexible in her work and an absolute joy to work with. Her ability to understand a problem, develop a strategy to solve it whilst taking time to understand and incorporate the best ideas from colleagues ensures a well structured solution to projects. I have no problem in recommending her and look forward to a continued and profitable business relationship.

Managing Partner

The most business focused HR expert I have ever met. She has sharp business acumen and is a very articulate and direct communicator. I highly recommend Lisette to address strategic HR challenges.

Managing Director

Lisette is the real deal. What she doesn't know about HR would probably fit on a postage stamp. She has experience at the highest level on a global scale with multinational corporations and is a creative, generous, flexible thinker on the subject.

Managing Director

Lisette has a profound knowledge based on broad experience across the arena of HR. She is open minded and able to create innovative approaches as well as quickly understand and contribute to new ideas suggested by others. I found every conversation with her to be both enjoyable and beneficial.

Executive Director

The consultant has always impressed with the depth of subject knowledge and how to apply this to business situations. I've always welcomed the consultant's input and would not hesitate to work with the consultant again.


Lisette supported M&A activities of the Biopharma business in the area of human resources. She handled the people aspect of transactions in a very professional way building on her long-standing experience in human resource management. Lisette's sound understanding of the business context allowed her to develop solutions that were truly supporting the transaction's commercial objective. Lisette is a very efficient human resource professional and will be a great asset to everyone in need of support with complex situations in the field of human resources.

Head of Biopharma Alliances

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Clear Transition Strategic Transitions Clearly Delivered

  • Lisette Howlett on +44 207 512 9878 or 07888 706572
  • Neil Urquhart on +44 207 231 8185 or 07979 246660

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