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Becoming a better business leader

Dr Stewart Desson, Lumina Learning Ltd, TAB Member since 2018.

Founder and CEO of Lumina Learning, Stewart Desson has built a business which effectively integrates the multiple roles he has had in his career. Perhaps unusually for someone with a scientific and analytical background, Stewart’s raison d’être is developing and inspiring people, and creating Lumina Learning enabled Stewart to combine both of his skillsets.

Lumina Learning innovates psychometrically, technologically and practically, helping organisations realise that people are different, and to produce high performing teams, they need supporting in different ways.

The desire to 'go global' came quickly for Stewart and within 12 months of launch his international expansion started in Japan, on the basis that if they could make it work there, they could make it work anywhere. Given they are now in 30 countries, Stewart was right.

Dr Stewart Desson
Lumina Learning

20-50 employees
Behavioural assessment provider

I took the decision that as a CEO it’s important to have peer learning and support, and that I’ll be a better leader if I have that.

The results from joining TAB


The challenges of the last 10 years have been varied. During growth, like many businesses, cashflow was the main issue. Now it’s more about finding, training and retaining great people.

With the success that Stewart has enjoyed over the last 10 years, you might not think he’d have the need for the extra support and help that TAB offers, but he shared:

"As a CEO, it is quite lonely to make tricky decisions in a business, especially those that may not be in everyone’s interest. The idea of peer support, from people not invested in my business, to help me with those decisions was very appealing."

Stewart admits that he is "ludicrously time poor" but has taken the decision that a CEO needs peer learning. "I book time in my diary for a number of important things, including my TAB meetings, and they are not allowed to move."


Having a day a month to become a better leader and strengthen my backbone to make some hard decisions is time well spent.

The future for Lumina Learning is to continue to innovate, differentiate and increase their market share.

The closing comment from Stewart when asked what he is most proud of was "Having challenged the status quo academically and businesswise, and having built a global team that is empowered, passionate and growing."


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