Dr Inmaculada Adarves-Yorno
Senior Lecturer in Leadership Studies
+44 (0) 1392 722588
Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK
Dr. Inmaculada Adarves-Yorno (PhD, MA, MSc, BA) is a researcher, leadership trainer and TEDx speaker. She was a CEO advisor, HR manager and a "revolutionary" leading a Mindfulness revolution in Kenyan Prisons. For over a decade, she has investigated change agents and trained hundreds of individuals to lead change within and around them. In her quest to understand how we can change ourselves at our core, she has combined her academic research with Tibetan and shamanic training. In her pursuit of wholeness, she has also become an artist who captures wonderfulness and challenges in abstract paintings. Her academic and artistic work has been presented internationally. Her cutting edge leadership training combines innovative techniques with deep inner work. Her research has been published in top tier journals.
Since 2007 Dr. Adarves-Yorno has been exploring what areas resonate not only with her intellect but with her whole self. She is particularly interested in the contradictions between our inner and outer lives, some of which are reflected in her work on paradoxes of authentic leaders. She is passionate about change agency and how we can all make a difference utilising mindfulness and social identity processes. Proof of that can be seen in her impact work where inmates become mindful leaders who are transforming themselves, people around them and their institution (see details).
Her research, teaching and impact work are currently driven by the fields of social identity, mindfulness and resilience.
As a practitioner, Dr. Adarves-Yorno worked for five years as an organisational psychologist (CEO advisor and HR manager) for an engineering company in Spain. She has particular expertise in areas such as leadership, organisational commitment, communication, performance and employee wellbeing.
- PhD on social identity and creativity (Exeter University)
- MSc in Psychological Research Methods, (Exeter University)
- MA in Social Psychology (University Autonoma, Madrid),
- BSc (5 years) in Psychology (University Autonoma, Madrid),
Dr. Inmaculada Adarves-Yorno started conducting research in 1996. She worked and collaborated in a wide range of topics (including ‘perverse norms‘, discrimination, affirmative action, social influence, framing, leadership and health related behaviour) with a number of researchers from Europe and Australia.
Social identity, Authentic Leadership, Change Agency, Mindfulness and Wellbeing.
In 2002 she started her work on social identity which lead to the development of a new approach to creativity together with Prof. Alex Haslam and Prof. Tom Postmes. This work has been in a range of high impact papers. A review of this body of work can be seen in our Personality and Social Psychology Review paper and engaging articles for all audiences can be found in Scientific American Mind.
In 2011 she started working on authentic leadership and change agency. This was a very insightful period of her career and a few qualitative studies were conducted. All those insights have informed her work in all areas although no empirical papers have been formally written yet. Her findings made her realise how essential is to work with social identities when leading change and how social identities can present an unspoken paradox within the authentic leadership realm. Studying change agents she also discover how essential is mindfulness for individuals who are leading change. This reinforced her interest in and commitment with Mindfulness both as a researcher and as a trainer.
Her current mindfulness research programme is titled “Mindfulness within and beyond the individual”. Among other things she is looking at (1) What is the impact of mindfulness for individuals, specifically in helping deal with and lead change? (2) How can mindfulness benefit individuals, institutions, communities and society? And (3) How can others and our shared identity help us become more mindful?
Combining mindfulness and social identity some of the questions that she is looking at are: Can identification with a mindful identity can help us become more mindful? And what are the combined benefits of social identity and mindfulness on psychological outcomes such as mental wellbeing and resilience.
- 2018 ESRC Impact Acceleration Award
Cultivation Award: Mindful Leaders disseminating teachings and impact
- 2018 ESRC Impact Acceleration Award
Rapid response: supporting change in the Kenyan Prison Services and Beyond
- 2017 ESRC Impact Acceleration Award
Knowledge Exchange Fellowship: Expansion, Evaluation and Consolidation of the Inner Rehabilitation Programme in Kenyan Prisons
- 2016 ESRC Impact Acceleration Award
Economic Development and Welfare Scheme: Inner Rehabilitation Programme for Kenyan Prisons
- 2015 ESRC Impact Acceleration Award
Cultivation Award: Authentic Leadership and Change Agency Training in the Kenyan Prison Services.
- 2007 ESRC Seminar Series
Balancing the Tensions: Using Organisational Theory to Inform Business Practice
- 2005 ESRC
Post-doctoral Fellowship: New Approach to Creativity and Innovation in Organisations
Publications by category
Publications by year
Awards and Honours
2019 AMBA awards shortlisted for an impact award
2018 Times Higher Education Award shortlisted for the best research in Humanities and Social Sciences
2009 Rising Star Award winner Exeter University
Advice to Government, Parliament, devolved and English regional administrations, other national, international, regional or local agencies; advice to non-government organisations and to private practice
2006 Development for Top Leaders. Corporate Research Forum. (Directors of UK FTSE 100 companies)
2019 Associate Editor for Frontiers in Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology
External Examiner Positions
Re-accreditation of MSc on Holistic Science for Plymouth University and Schumacher College
Approval of the MSc on Psychology of Leadership for Plymouth Marjon University
Evidence of impact on policy and professional practice
Transformation of the Kenyan Prison Rehabilitation Service using mindfulness and social identity. This led to a 4* case study that has been featured across four continents.
External doctoral examining nationally and internationally
2007 Sharyn Herzig “the role of middle managers in organizational change”. University of Queensland
2009 Cláudia Moreira Martins “Transformational leadership and gender in military organizations”. Complutense University of Madrid
2020 Marta Puebla Guedea "The impact of mindfulness on psychological and biological variables". University of Zaragoza
Invited lectures & workshops
2014 Invited speaker to commemorate the International Women’s Day in the series of talks from inspirational women leaders who have ‘been there, done that’.
2015 Invited to give a TEDx talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6EPUQDoRaE
Her main teaching is about “Leading Change in Practice” and upcoming module on “Mindful Leadership development”. Many students declared that the module has transformed them and that it was the best module they have ever taken. It is not just about the content, but also about (1) the process of inner change the go through (2) the practice of external change in which they see the difference they can make in the world and (3) the community of change agents that we create in the module. You can see some of their change projects here.