About Martin Lewis Knowles

behind the scenes at beyond

5m of learning everyday is 3days training per year!

My mission here is to help professionals like you increase your organisational value by applying best practice in the workplace that gets you rewarded and recognised. I am here to help you lead in whatever you do, from wherever your starting position is.

Go Beyond

Learn to Learn, Log and Lead


You are consuming too much content or too little without clear goals or direction.


You are not making intentional learning a shared, daily, active practice.


You are expecting to achieve similar results without similar starting points, effort, resources or conditions.


After 25+ years in learning and talent development I can tell you, there is more beyond.

We all have different skills, experiences and talents serviced by our backgrounds, beliefs and values but most people at the end of the day are self taught!

: Log

If you think about it, most of the learning that embeds into who you are and what you do is not consciously learned, mostly it is unconscious. Your brain is a learning machine, constantly updating, refreshing and refining what you do, how you do it and who you are to maximise your experience. Only a small percentage of that is conscious learning, and only a small percentage of that is retained.

: Lead

Nobody starts in a leadership position even royalty has to wait in line and learn as they go. So, let me tell you my story, and how you can turn just 5m of deliberate learning everyday into 8000 times more value add to an organisation that can help you progress, achieve goals and go beyond you wildest dreams!

25yrs in Learning and Talent Development

After University I used my new computer skills to get my first real job in a Tech Startup. Quickly picking up tech I began helping induct new starters and soon developing tech engineers and architects, boosting pass rates from 25% to 75% following a 2 day workshop.

I progressed to train sales, service, management and leadership, growing as a manager myself, and becoming one the youngest department heads in a company of 35,000.

Winning the awards for Best Training and Development in Europe, I began to contract and grow a small business consultancy before being offered my dream job as Head of Learning for Apple…which I then declined, but that is another story.

  • Department Head for over 15 years
  • Improved Retention (60% to 90%)
  • Management Engagement Index (78%-93%)
  • Key Performance Index Up 10%
  • Business Growth ROI 8%.


Director of Learning & Development

2022 – Present


Head of Learning 

2017 – 2022

Structured Learning Solutions

Founder / Talent Consultancy

2013 – 2017


Head of Learning & Development

2009 – 2013


Learning Consultant

2004 – 2009


European Training Manager

1997 – 2004


  • Learning Needs 
  • Skills Matrices
  • Management Trainer
  • Leadership Trainer
  • Delivering a Compliance culture
  • Creating a Learning Organisation
  • Elearning Solutions
  • Instructional Designer
  • LMS and LXP Platform Designer
  • Social Community Manager


  • Soft Skills Essentials
  • Performance Essentials
  • Management Essentials
  • Leadership Essentials
  • Leadership Development
  • Expert Leaders Development
  • Coach and Mentor
  • Academies of Learning
  • Career Development
  • Development Planning


  • Talent Strategy
  • Talent Indentification
  • Talent Engagement
  • Talent Performance
  • Talent Management
  • Talent Succession
  • Talent Systems
  • Talent Mobility
  • Talent Competencies
  • Talent Development

Awards & Education

Learning Technologies Award

Best Learning System Implementation Bronze Award

LXP Implementation resulting in 20x increase in engagement and 50% reduction in cost per learning hour.


Korn Ferry Leadership Architect

Leadership Architect & Psychometric Assessment

TalentQ Dimension, Emotional Intelligence ESCI, Leadership Styles & Climate ILS/OCS, KFLA 360

2015 – 2018

Animas Centre for Coaching

Diploma in Transformational Coaching

18 day certificated coaching diploma course.

2015 – 2016

Cranfield School of Management

Executive Development Programme

Finance, Business Acument, Business Simulation, Business Project, Account Leadership

2011 – 2012

European CCA Award

Best Training and Development in Europe

Finance, Business Acument, Business Simulation, Business Project, Account Leadership

2002 – 2003

Realisation at Stenhouse

NLP Practitioner Certificate

18day Neuro-Linguistic Programming Certification

2002 – 2003

Nottingham Trent University

Law LLB (2.1 Honours)

4 year Sandwich degree, 1 year practice with RJW Solicitors

1993 – 1997

Time for the Backstory

After over 20 years in learning and development, I know one thing for sure. I am really good at helping people find their best self at work, capitalise on what they do well and accelerate their careers.

I have spent many years training and developing people to build their performance, introducing them to new styles and techniques, thinking, behaviours and processes. Most of the people I help will go on to be great managers and leaders, and some even CEOs and Chairman.

I have been in awful situations at work, discovered who I am under pressure, discovered what I am good at, and got insights into my limits. I want to share that with you so you can learn from my experiences, apply them to your work life and accelerate past me. It is that simple.

My first job was working for my Mum in a flower shop before I left school, sweeping the floors. I got more than I should have done and wasn’t very good at it.  As I grew I worked in cake factories, pie factories, bars and clubs, went to University and worked in one of the top 5 (Magic Circle) law firms in the World.

I went to Uni, but don’t remember much, and I got my first professional job on £6k per year, when most of my friends were earning £20k and worked my way up the ranks to be European Training Manager after 5 years, earning over 5x that.

I have worked as Head of Learning for global retailers, a top 100 Super Brand with more than 500,000 employees, and a privately owned highly successful online gaming company. 

I have turned down Apple for their Head of Learning role because I didn’t think the iPod would interest me, and worked for a company I had never heard of having the best 3 years of my life helping people discover their talent!

I have worked as Head of Learning for global retailers, a top 100 Super Brand with more than 500,000 employees, and a privately owned highly successful online gaming company. As Head of Talent Development I was able to identify, manage and develop talent and mobilise expertise.

Most of my career has now been as Head of Learning or Head of Talent and running a department is as much a joy as it always was. Impacting and developing business initiatives through strategic practice ensure transformation at scale, whilst it does come with its challenges too!

I have not had it easy, by any stretch. My father died when I was 3 of leukaemia, a little understood disease of the time, where the doctors didn’t understand how to administer safe doses of chemotherapy to treat him. My mother died from the impact of breast cancer after many treatments over several years, and at the same time my girlfriend was diagnosed with breast cancer and I was sacked for whistleblowing.  I could not cope to the point where our relationship did not survive and I was on a downward spiral for several years.  

I have been bullied at work, sacked unfairly more than once, I have been made redundant and have the employer refuse to pay redundancy. I have sued for wrongdoing and been successful both times, and been sued myself by a manipulative crook pretending to be a business women, thankfully unsuccessfully for them. I have lost everything more than once – the only thing that kept me from losing it all was the devotion of my (now) wife.


I have worked where people have so much money that they have tried to buy a £60m home they didn’t realise they already owned.  I have worked where people earn less than it costs them to live, where their wages barely cover their travel costs, where their employers force them not to work more than 5 hours so they didn’t legally have to pay them a lunch break, whilst driving around in supercars themselves, where the inequality made me feel so nauseous I could hardly bare to go to work. In those moments I realised one very important lesson…we choose where we work, so I left without another job to go to, and setup my own consultancy instead!

I have discovered who I am under pressure, discovered what I am good at, and got insights into my limits, capturing my learning along the way in a series of journals that I would encourage everyone to do. I am not the finished article, there is no such thing, nobody is, and that is why I seek to go beyond, everyday.

Do you want to Go Beyond?

We can do it together.
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