HRMI 2021: Emma Cotton, Managing Director, Innovation Central

As managing director of Innovation Central, Cotton delivers tangible returns on investment. She has extensive experience working with clients in the public, private, and charitable sectors.

Cotton is passionate about demonstrating a pragmatic and straight-talking approach to people, leadership, and performance. To her, this means taking the best of academic theory and translating it into something people can understand and apply to the workplace immediately.


Before she came to Innovation Central, she worked at SFL as Chief executive, after being their client services director for four years. Before then, she was with Retail L&D at Matalan.


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HR Most Influential 2021: who were our top practitioners and thinkers?


Emma Cotton was ranked 20th on the list of HR Most Influential Thinkers in 2021.