Interview  •  Portraits

Interview with Don Rapley and Emma Noguchi from TYC: "We enjoy working together, designing and delivering workshops in an experiential and engaging way"

They talk about how their boutique training firm came about, and their passion for unleashing potential in leaders through their conversations.

What is your background?

Both of us come from a mixed background (Emma is French-Japanese, Don is British-Dutch) and we have both worked in the corporate world for many years, leading teams across Europe and Asia. We’re also both completely bilingual English/French and we regularly deliver sessions in both languages.

We’ve always had a keen interest in conversations at work and what are the components of effective, impactful conversations. So a few years back, we decided we wanted to work together and offer a whole series of training and workshops around “Leadership Conversations”. 

A few words about your business

TYC was born in 2016 to fill a gap in the training landscape. Many companies were focusing more on teaching skills through established tools and models, but none were addressing  “work conversations” as a means to lead, engage and energize people, focusing not only on conversation skills, but also on mindset and behaviours.
When Emma joined Don in 2017, we started designing and delivering workshops, using both training and coaching styles blended together to offer a new learning experience to our participants.


How did the business evolve?

Interesting question! Especially in this upside-down year, which has seen tremendous changes in the industry and the way we deliver our learning programs. From 100% classroom, face-to-face training, we moved to 100% virtual learning experience during the circuit-breaker period. Now that we are slowly able to meet again physically, we are designing hybrid programs, blending classroom and virtual delivery to best meet the needs of our participants working from home, but also wanting to connect ‘physically’ with their peers in a learning environment. 


What are the next steps for your company?

We are investing in digital marketing as we want to become more visible, beyond the clients who already work with us. We needed to define more clearly who we are and what we do and this means learning new skills and understanding how to use marketing tools more effectively.  We have changed the way we are present on LinkedIn and created a monthly newsletter to reach a wider audience and know that these are all investments for the long term. We have also taken the plunge and launched our own podcast channel "Transforming Your Leadership Conversations”  which has been a great experience to see how we can potentially use audio to reinforce our conversation messages. 


What makes you different?

Definitely our partnership! Don and I simply love working with one another. Our personalities and skills are very complementary and we share deep trust. We work together because we want to, not because we have to and all our clients can sense the strong chemistry and passion for what we do. We also believe it’s more fun to work as a team. 
As entrepreneurs, it’s easy to feel lonely and discouraged, but when working with someone else, we are much more motivated and engage. We know we can go further working together than working on our own.


Your business motto?

Talk less, listen more …and avoid giving advice! “Transform Your Conversations” is our Company name and we try hard be role-models. We value open and direct communication to address what’s important and express encouragement, support and gratitude. Being able to give each other feedback is also very valuable so we can constantly improve, both individually and as a team.


Find out more




Get your copy of FOCUS 78 Edition: CEO Sustainability Series Second Edition!