Authentic Leadership

Authentic Leadership

                                  “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” Brené Brown

MLC Building, 105 Miller St, North Sydney

In the highly competitive world of big business, the idea of a leader being authentic (especially if that involves vulnerability)  is unheard of.  Traditionally we have put business leaders on a pedestal and given them a ‘god-like’ status where they have all the power and can seldom be wrong. And even if they do make the wrong call, they deflect responsibility to other factors.  

For most traditional leaders, having control is critical so the idea of demonstrating any vulnerability would be perceived as loss of control and therefore failure as a leader, which is unacceptable in most organisations.

However, there is a new leader that is emerging. A leader who takes responsibility for his own actions and not shy to say “I was wrong or I don’t know’.

This leader leads with a strong sense of humility balancing strength and vulnerability with the team.  The authentic  leader has a high level of engagement in their team because the team sees someone like them, with similar fears and insecurities, taking on the challenge of leading by example.  Authentic  leaders build loyalty and create great business outcomes with their teams because they create an environment of trust and collaboration.

So what does authenticity  look like in the world of big business and  everyone is paranoid of how they are perceived? What does it take to be authentic  and how can we cultivate this quality? What is that fine line where vulnerability translates into strength vs. weakness? And most importantly what is the business impact of authenticity on business outcomes?

Join us for a fascinating conversation when business and thought leaders sharing perspectives on what it really looks like to lead with authenticity and how this creates better outcomes for all.

The event will be co-hosted with Elizabeth Granger from Openground and we are grateful to Andrew Gale for providing access to the venue.


9:00 – 9.10: Welcome

Muneesh Wadhwa, Founder, Humanity in Business






9.10- 9.15, Sponsor Welcome: Ush Dhanak, Collaborate HRush-dhanak




9.15 – 10.15Workshop & Case Study

Leading Authentically: Why it is fundamental to engagement and performance and how to do it right.

Michael Bunting, Director, Work Smartm bunting





natalieNatalie McNeil, HR Director, Novartis

Novartis Australia successfully transformed their culture and dramatically improved their engagement scores and staff turnover numbers. Today their culture is a strength, and their leadership team’s levels of trust and engagement from the business are at an all time high. The core of that was a Mindful Leadership process combined with an HR Director determined to model authentic leadership and hold her senior leaders accountable to the highest values. Truly self-aware leaders, however, know that values perfection is impossible. So how do we strike a balance between being an inspiration for the finest values and paradoxically acknowledging our frailties?

This workshop will lay out the path for how to get that balance right, so you can ensure the highest levels of trust and engagement in your team, just as Novartis did.



10.15 – 11.15:The Authorship of Authentic Leaders

Prof David RooneyProfessor David Rooney, Macquarie University




Dr Steven Segal, Macquarie Graduate School of ManagementSteven Segal

Leaders develop their authenticity and authorship through the way in which they respond to and overcome adversity. This is exemplified in political leaders like Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi. In a corporate context leaders like Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel and Time “man of the year” in 1997 wrote extensively about the way in which he developed his authorship as a leader through emotions such as anxiety — so too did Ricardo Semler of SEMCO. Even Machiavelli writes of the significance of working with emotions to develop the power of authenticity. In all of the leaders mentioned above, their power lay in no particular technical competence but in the attitude that enabled them to actualise themselves as leaders through the way in which they responded under extreme conditions. This was more often than not with a mixture of quiet resolve,  humility, self determination and mindfulness.

In this talk we will offer you an appreciation of the process of mastery required for authenticity and development of your own voice as a leader. We will also invite you to reflect on nurturing your ways of responding to moments of adversity. There is no one way to the authorship of authenticity. You need to find the way that works for you and we will facilitate the beginnings of this.

In this discussion, we will help leaders:
– Develop the emotional intelligence of strategic vision
– Develop the yin yang of resilience and flexibility, openness but focus
– Allowing chaos to reign in order to reign chaos in
– Bringing out the best in others
– Leading in the unknown

11.15 – 11.45Morning Tea

11.45 – 12.30:

Finding the Ground For Authentic Conversations

Timothea Goddard,  Openground

Much of the actual work of leadership involves being paid to talk; not just any old talk but skilful, generous and enabling conversations.  Humans are social animals and the social landscape is complex and nuanced.  Sometimes the conversation that is going to be the most skilful or necessary is challenging to ourselves or the other party.

In this short experiential workshop we will explore some exercises and practices which can serve us to open to and be curious about the current conversations that are challenging for us as leaders and as people.   We will explore ways to examine, soften and embolden ourselves – so that we can go forth in ways that serve the context well.

12.30 – 1.15: LUNCH

1.15 -1.55 pm: The Place of Vulnerability in Creativity and Innovation.

Steve Pozel, Innovation Strategist, former CEO and Creative Director of the Australian Design Centres pozel

To be vulnerable is to be open to risk and failure, two aspects critical to achieving creative breakthroughs and innovative success. Remaining curious is at the core of creativity and questioning everything (divergent thinking) is a key tool in the innovation process. In a world where disruption is the new norm, business and industry have to re-imagine the mindset required for the generation of new ideas, services and strategies. Vulnerability is intrinsically linked to this 21st century mindset.



1.55 – 2.35pm: What if we’ve got motivation all wrong? Shaping greatness: Performance and Vulnerability

Lisa Forrest, Olympian

Somewhere along the way, we’ve traded the love and joy of the game for the language of scarcity and the unforgiving philosophies like when-the-going-gets-tough-the-tough-get-going, no-pain-no-gain. We’ve forgotten that what we used to call butterflies-in-the-tummy are a normal response to the fear of a new challenge – not a pathological condition – and if met with kindness and encouragement can be the gateway to inspired performance.  

Swapping self-criticism for self-compassion has never been more difficult but the leader who can do it will have the edge.

2.35 – 3.20pm: Case Study

Transformational Leadership in Practice

Tim Ebbeck, (ex CEO) Oracle Australia & New Zealand, in conversation with Elizabeth Grangert ebbeck

I joined Oracle when the business had been underperforming for a number of years and there was no real growth for 5 years.
Staff were at 75% of capacity with staff attrition at 35%
Very poor customer satisfaction and dysfunctional sales engagement led to very poor collaboration
There was no sense of success and a very tough and imposing top down culture
I have a love for teamwork, and have an authentic focus on people, which makes me different from other leaders. I believe people are the most important part of any business. A great idea with average people will fail, but an average idea with great people has a real chance. I build strong teams that have the energy, intelligence, and balance to make ideas shine. Together we succeed through thick and thin, always with a sense of humour and authenticity.

With this mindset I transformed the local operations of some of the world’s largest companies. From my early days as a CFO, to my time at SAP & NBN and my current role as MD of Oracle ANZ and with CPA Australia, my focus on people, teamwork, and making the right decisions at the right moment were the keys to success.

  • Returned business to +30% growth after years of stagnancy
  • Returned business to 100% staff capacity from a period of very high attrition
  • Grew cloud business 200%

3.20 – 3.40pm: Afternoon Tea

3.40-4.25pm: Case Study 

How Transparent and Authentic Leadership can Enable Business Transformation.

Mark Bilton (ex) Group MD, Gloria Jeans Coffee & MD ThoughtPatrol, in conversation with Elizabeth Grangerm bilton

Gloria Jean’s Coffees was in a word of trouble with declining sales, angry Franchisee and systemic problems.
Having over 440 franchise partners in Australia and operating in 40 Countries presented an enormous challenge for incoming Group Managing Director Mark Bilton.
The scale, complexity and urgent nature of the change required would usually necessitate a ‘command and control’ leadership response.
Mark chose to operate in his usual modus operandi as an Authentic Leader.
Leading with transparency, vulnerability, and collaboration led to a dramatic turnaround, not only for the shareholders with a $163M transaction, but also for the Franchisees seeing an average 10% growth in revenues and a 25% increase in profitability.
Seemingly ‘soft’ leadership values resulted in ‘hard’ commercial outcomes.
Come and hear Mark’s story and find out how a transparent and authentic leadership approach enabled this business transformation Leadership Panel Discussion

How can we create a culture of authenticity in the workplace?

What does authentic stakeholder engagement look like?

How do we recruit, train, educate our future leaders so they develop into authentic leaders?

How can we be more authentic in large organisations?

Moderator: Elizabeth Granger, Openground 147876291219647-1




Mark Bilton, ex Group MD, Gloria Jeans Coffee & MD Thought Patrol




Nick dasek

Nick Dasek, Leadership Recruiter, Atlassian




Matthew Lawrance, Chief Technology & Operations Officer (Acting), NABmatt-lawrance





Natalie McNeil, HR Director, Novartis                                                                                                                          natalie





5.15pm: Closing Remarks 

Muneesh Wadhwa, Founder Humanity in Business  



$610 +GST per attendee

$1020+ GST for 2 attendees

Humanity in Business is supporting St. Laurence House with this event by giving $10 of every ticket purchase to support homeless youth.  


Thought Leaders




147876291219647-1Elizabeth Granger is a founding co-director of Openground for Organisations Pty Ltd, which offers tailored mindfulness programs to a range of different organisations. She is also a qualified trainer in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) having taught MBSR for many years to members of the public through Openground. 

Prior to that, Elizabeth worked as a litigation lawyer for 14 years, including at partnership level during that period.

Given her corporate background, Elizabeth has been passionate about bringing mindfulness into organisations and is strongly committed to helping people maximise their full potential as well as effecting organisational cultural change.

She is also on the MEC Advisory Board of Australia21 – a not for profit public think tank which specialises in promoting new evidence based thinking about the big issues confronting Australia in a rapidly changing global environment


Prof David RooneyDavid Rooney is Professor of Management in Faculty of Business and  Economics at Macquarie University. His research focuses on understanding  the role of wisdom and knowledge in the economy, work, and leadership. He  has published a number of books including Public Policy in Knowledge-Based  Economies, the Handbook on the Knowledge Economy (Vols 1 & 2), Knowledge  Policy, and Wisdom and Management in the Knowledge Economy. David regularly  presents seminars, workshops and keynotes around the world.   

I run marathons to keep my mind awake,  do mindfulness meditation every day to help me be who I am, and I play bass  guitar to remind me that great things happen from unity.

Timothea Goddard

is recognised as a pioneer in bringing MBSR to Australia over the past 12 years and is an accredited teacher through the Center for Mindfulness, UMass Medical Center, USA. She is the founding Director of Openground – an Australia-wide network of clinicians and teachers offering MBSR and related mindfulness programs, workshops and retreats for individuals, organizations and schools.

Timothea has worked in private practice for 28 years as a psychotherapist and educator. She also works with organisations to design and implement mindfulness based programs for stress reduction, leadership and innovation. In 2013 she co-founded founded the Mindfulness Training Institute – Australasia and is involved in teacher training of mindfulness teachers in the region. She is passionate about pedagogy and is actively involved in the process of creating an international network of teacher training organisations to care for integrity and standards.

Lisa Forrest, Olympianl-forrest

Lisa is an Australian Commonwealth Games dual gold medalist in swimming. At age 16 Forrest was the captain of the team at the 1980 Summer Olympics.  She was a finalist in the Women’s 4x100-metre medley relay in swimming at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

After retiring from competitive swimming she was a sports commentator, actor, reporter, writer, and media personality

Mark Bilton (ex) Group MD, Gloria Jeans Coffee and MD Thought Patrolm bilton

Mark has an MBA from Auckland University and is a Fellow of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Management. Mark has led transformational change in many sectors and is internationally recognized for excellence in ‘Business Transformation’. In 2011 he was awarded the “Young Presidents Organization’s’’ prestigious “Terry Plochman Award” for global “Best of the Best”. In 2014 he received the Michael Page ‘Australian Retail Executive Award’.

m bunting

Michael Bunting is CEO of WorkSmart Australia in January 2003 with the specific intent of bringing a truly authentic, mindful and disciplined approach to leadership development. In late 2008 Michael partnered with two of the world’s most famous leadership development experts, Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner, to bring an even higher level of research, rigor and expertise to WorkSmart’s offerings.

Michael is constantly innovating in an obsessive quest to answer the question,“What does it take to sustainably and positively transform leadership, team and organisational behaviour?” This question has led Michael and his team to challenge the very paradigms of their profession.

Nathalie McNeil,  Human Resources Director Novartis Australia,natalie

Nat joined the Pharmaceutical  Industry 17 years ago. She has held a number of roles in Australia and abroad, across multiple disciplines including Medical,  Marketing, Strategy and more recently Human Resources. While her leadership career is diverse, she has consistently maintained a sharp focus on the People Strategies that drive Business Performance. With a keen interest in Leadership Development, Change Excellence and Organisational Health, her most recent
assignment as HRD for Novartis has yielded impressive outcomes for the company.

Nick dasekNick Dasek is a Technical Leadership Recruiter for Atlassian. He is passionate about solving critical hiring needs for progressive organizations. Prior to Atlassian, he spent six years at Google driving the diversity leadership hiring program and recruiting software engineers.
Nick believes in working hard, trying new things, and taking chances even if the outcome is unclear.

s pozel

Steve Pozel is former CEO of Australian Design Centre and has worked with hundreds of the world’s leading creatives exploring ideas and disciplines that are driving the world forward. Over the last thirty years, in both Canada and Australia, Steve’s research and work in design thinking, creativity and innovation has been the catalyst to consult to a broad range of industries – from banking and telecommunications to engineering and property development, and from cultural and community organisations to State and Federal Governments.

Steve thrives on being able to visit great museums and galleries around the world. When not traveling or working in Sydney, he spends as much time as he can at his home in the Blue Mountains. Steve is also exceptionally bad at karaoke and does not have a discerning wine palate.

Steven SegalDr Steven Segal is a Senior Lecturer in Management at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management and a registered psychologist. Through his range of teaching, research and publications he creates the space for students, researchers and practicing managers to bring out the best in themselves, to develop their own theories of practice as a basis for developing practical wisdom and making a contribution to knowledge. Creating unexpected futures through research and teaching underpins his educational process.

Steven’s work is informed by both his personal and professional experience. His own lived experience of anxiety and depression has challenged him to think “outside of his cave,” opening up unexpected, surprising and exciting possibilities for himself and others. He has coined the term “anxietment” to describe the way in which working through the uncertainty of anxiety creates the space for previously unimagined futures.

Tim Ebbeck, (ex)MD, Oracle Australiat ebbeck

Tim has over 30 years’ experience in business in a range of industries and roles.
He is a thought leader and was awarded a LinkedIn Power Profile in 2015.
Tim is presently a director of ASX listed Nvoi Limited, a director of CPA Australia, and a trustee of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in NSW. He is also the principal of his own consultancy focused on Transformation, Innovation and Growth.
Previously, Tim was Managing Director of Oracle in Australia and New Zealand where he lead a significant transformation of the business and returned the business to material growth with a shift from traditional on-premise operations to a vibrant, diversified organisation leading in the cloud

Mattthew Lawrance,
 Chief Technology & Operations Officer (Acting), NABmatt-lawrance

Authentic leadership to me is about integrity, honesty, respect and consistency…. in everything you do….and how you behave as a leader

Matt was appointed to the role of Chief Technology and Operations Officer (Acting) in September 2016.
Prior to this Matt held the role of Executive General Manager NAB Wealth Operations & Transformation. His responsibilities included Customer Servicing and Transactions, Digital, Contact Centres, Management Assurance, Business Management, Technology and Transformation for the NAB Wealth business.
Matt has been with NAB since 2005, and during this time has occupied senior roles leading large operational and transformational teams across the Wealth, Finance and the Australian Bank businesses.

Prior to NAB, Matt occupied senior roles at Woolworths (2002-2005) and Qantas (1996-2001).

At Woolworths Matt was Chief Financial Officer -Supply Chain & Logistics. At Qantas Matt held the position of GM Profit Enhancement & Operations Performance, including CFO for Qantas’ Operations Division


Openground– Principal Partneropenground

Openground engages with individuals and organisations to promote the practice of mindfulness as a transformational process in health, education, industry and community development.

We are particularly interested in the possibilities that arise when people engage in a regular sustained practice of mindfulness rather than using it as a one-off technique for self-improvement. Openground maintain close professional links with the Centre for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre (USA).

Collaborate HR – Sponsor Partnercollaborate-hr-logo

Collaborate HR manages all facets of the HR space in your business. We offer a tailored on site solution which will provide Support, Structure and Strategy for your business. Collaborate HR will assist to ensure that not only is your business functioning well from the usual HR strategies, it will work with you and your people to build EQ. As Warren Bennis said “Emotional Intelligence is much more powerful than building IQ, in determining who emerges as a leader. IQ is a threshold competence. You need it, but it doesn’t make you a star. Emotional Intelligence can”.

Inside HR – Media PartnerINSIDEHR_liz_logo



Project Leadership Summit

Project Leadership Summit

Project Leadership Summit

In spite of having all the best frameworks, tools and methodologies, it is commonly estimated that over 50% of projects don’t succeed. Mckinsey identifies some key disciplines required to improve project performance which are stakeholder engagement, securing the right talent and building effective teams. Yet most organisations continue to focus on the processes and technologies rather than focusing on the people skills which are essential for successful business outcomes.

In almost every organisations similar challenges still persist – fear of failure; poor collaboration amongst teams due to lack of trust; inability of team members to speak up due to fear of retribution; focus on speed of delivery vs. quality of outcome; high stress environment impacting wellbeing and most importantly, command/control leadership which is stifling creativity and innovation.

We believe the key to delivery of successful programs is great leadership that fosters a great culture. The key is creating a team that accepts failure, is emotionally self-aware and understands each other well enough to enable real trust and collaboration.  

We hope our stories inspire you to lead successful programs and create better business outcomes for your organisation.


After each presentation below you will have the opportunity to discuss the content at your table to make it relevant to your organisational challenges.  

We therefore encourage project teams to attend the program together to discuss the content in the context of their organisation challenges.


The event will be co-hosted by Tim Ebbeck, ex CEO of Oracle Australia in a panel discussion format.



Muneesh Wadhwa, Founder, Humanity in Businessmuneesh-wadhwa




Yvonne Butler, CEO, AIPMyvonne



9.10- 9.30

Opening Address:

Transformational Leadership:  Transforming Oracle’s Delivery Capability for Sustainable Outcomes

Tim Ebbeck (ex) CEO, Oraclet-ebbeck




9.30- 10.00

Culture – what is it, what can be done about it and why should I care?

Led by David Hodes, Founder and CEO of Ensemble Consulting Group

In an interactive session, David will provide some brief insights into culture

– The three levels of culture
-Espoused beliefs and value
-Basic underlying assumptions
-The problems of internal integration and external adaptation
– How leaders embed and transmit culture

This will be followed by a round table conversation, inviting you to think about organisations and projects with which you have been involved and share those thoughts with the group.

10- 10.45

Adopting the Behaviours for Project Success -The Toyota Financial Services Journey

Scott Nicholas, Manager of Planning and Analysis, Toyota Financial Servicesscott-nicholas

The experience at TFS echoes the responses in the Chaos Manifesto by The Standish Group: that the ability for teams to work together well is a determinant for project success. Of the 10 recommendations identified in the Chaos Manifesto, 8 are behavioural. To that end, TFS embarked on a journey to embed mindful practices in its project delivery teams.

This was done in two primary ways:

  1. Educate all project delivery teams about mindfulness and why it is important
  2. Induct every project team member into projects using mindful principles

Some of the outcomes expected are:

* Reduced re-work as a measured, collaborative approach is adopted. We won’t just strike out and start the project without truly understanding the outcomes to be achieved. This translates to increased schedule adherence, predictability and reduction in unforeseen costs.

* Less “painful” delivery, with participants able to work better together (I.e. Reduced stress, increased collaboration, less emotional outbursts, arguments or hurt feelings)

* Increased employee engagement

* Reduced risk as participants feel more willing to speak out about issues and risks and call out problems as they arise. Problems can only be addressed if we know what they are.

* Less attrition and loss of IP. People have an intrinsic desire to be part of a successful, fun project.



11.05 – 11.50

Authentic Influence in Leadership – Building a Culture of Collaboration

Melinda Penna, (ex)GM Project Delivery Capability, Telstra with Tim Ebbeckmelinda-penna

In 2015, Melinda took on the role of GM Project Delivery Capability and Community. New to the organisation, with no network or experience with the people, culture or processes, there were some substantial challenges. People were not connected to each other, to the processes, to any cohesive sense of ‘what good looks like’. Collaboration was problematic and it felt like ‘hope’ was now the 11th knowledge area of the PMBoK guide!

This presentation shares an insight into the journey that built a culture of collaboration and kick-started the remarkable Telstra project delivery professional capability uplift.

Described by many as a truly remarkable achievement in bringing together a disconnected, uninspired, and struggling group. Melinda will cover the real-world examples, strategy, and outcomes she used and invite the audience to share a discussion on how bringing the People to the head of the table shared by Processes and Governance is relevant to all organisations and teams seeking to leverage the humanity factor in our increasingly complex project environments

11.50- 12.35pm

The Project Leader as Storyteller: Building Teams through the Power of Narrative

Dr Bradley Rolfe, Program Manager, (ex) Macquarie Bank and MGSM Lecturer

A project is, first and foremost, a story. It is a story narrated by the project manager, where the drama is played out, not in the pages of a book, or on the floorboards of the theatre, but in the cubicles and meeting rooms of the organisation. The characters of the story are not actors dutifully following their lines, or fictional constructs, alive only through the words of the novel, but real people with dreams and ambitions, and writing their own stories as they go. The project is an intersecting story, one coming in sideways against the multitude of extant stories already in play within a place of work. How it is received by the would-be actors in its arc is of prime importance to the project manager, the would-be narrator, for whether or not the actors participate in this interloper to the daily serial of their life depends on how well the story is written.

Using his research and over 20 years of project management experience in banking, telecommunications and government, Bradley will develop the idea of project leadership as storytelling. Like any story that serves to engage us, it needs to have fully developed characters, ones that we can, in some way, identify with. There must be a quest of some definite kind that the characters can attribute their purpose to, and there must be the inevitable villain, whose counter purpose is, paradoxically, that which makes the quest worthwhile. Bradley will demonstrate how a deeper understanding of the archetypal stories that inform all our lives can help build better teams, make us better leaders, and achieve greater project success.

Some expected outcomes are:
How we use stories to build better teams by identifying the universal storytelling ‘tropes’ in every project that bind people together with common purpose.
How leaders use different narrative techniques to direct, inspire and challenge their teams to improve project outcomes.
Finally, we identify the dangers leaders must avoid to ensure stories remain positive and geared towards project success.

12.35 – 1.20  LUNCH

1.20 – 2.05

Does the End Delivery Justify the Means?

Is the way one delivers a program just as important as getting the outcome?   

Ilyas Bardak, (ex)Program Director Next Generation Infrastructure Services, Transport for NSWilyas-bardak

In this topic I discuss my experience delivering large scale programs /portfolios ($100mil+) and look at this balance of outcomes and people.

I use a specific case study for a major financial institution where a series of major technology investments were kicked off in parallel. The board approval of this portfolio was, at the time, one of the largest in Australia’s corporate history, had high visibility and commensurately aggressive deadlines to meet business need.

On top of this, several of the deliveries were foundational and so had to achieve their outcomes to enable the others. I had accountability for one of these foundational deliveries and led a team to achieve and enable the institutions outcomes.  

In this context, I will look to discuss and cover:
The prevailing culture; getting the outcome at any cost and the pitfalls of the “delivery at any cost”  
DIY Oasis: How a level of  self-awareness, trust and compassion lead to sustainable outcomes.
Leaders as creators; building and developing a successful (happy, engaged, focused) team is akin to art.

Some outcomes from the initiative were:
1. New platform and capabilities delivered in line with Scope, Budget, and Time frame and business benefits.
2. Delivery enabled dependant strategic deliveries at requested times and also all additional new capabilities in the institution would use this foundation platform. This was  delivery of key a foundation enabler for the business.
3. Morale and Engagement were consistently high (top quartile) throughout the 2 year delivery. Monthly pulse checks showed a consistently good outcome even under the most intense period of pressure and stress



Embedding DevOps at ASX –  Creating a Culture of Transformation

Katherine Squire, General Manager, Application Development and DevOps, ASX Ltdkatherine-squire

DevOps is better defined as an ideology, a culture of collaboration and sharing aimed at bringing the software development and operations teams together to help eliminate constraints and decrease time-to-market. DevOps shifts the tradition of how IT is organized, how engineers interact. It brings a set of best practices that guides how engineers and IT works that is markedly different than a traditional set of principles. It’s a culture of automating, measuring, and sharing in the name of increased efficiencies throughout the software development life cycle.

Katherine will share her lessons learnt on this journey.

Tackling learnt helplessness and disengagement by taking small, authentic, achievable actions.
Building momentum through strategy convergence
Expanding your circle of influence with stakeholders through “micromoves”

2.50- 3.10pm  AFTERNOON TEA


Overcoming Challenges of Stakeholder Engagement

Declan Brady, Principal Consultant, Elabor8 & (ex)Agile Coach Westpac & IAGdeclan




Gillian Coutts, Director, Potential Projectsgillian

Gillian and Declan will explore through a dialogue some of the challenges facing Program and Project management team members in organisations, particularly when it comes to engaging stakeholders. We will cover how these typically play out for both individuals and collectively as teams and organisations and how mindfulness practices and related mental practices can assist in providing some fundamental tools for better navigating these issues, and the positive outcomes these tools can have for the individual and the teams and organisations they belong to.

Some outcomes to be shared are:
– develop greater clarity and focus within the complexity of project work. Leads to better decision making and prioritisation of doing the right things.
– more clearly see organisational distractions and develop capacity to better manage these. Leads to increased effectiveness as a PM.
– gain deeper insight into why an aggressive stakeholder might be reacting in a particular way, and better maintain a calm and balanced mind in the face of this pressure. This results in better communication and trust between you and your stakeholders.
– create an environment of safety and trust for your team. This leads to increased engagement and responsibility taking by team members.
– Leadership behaviour has a greater impact than any other variable on engagement. Better understand your behaviours and what’s driving them so you can ensure your behaviours are the right ones for maximising engagement


Development of Project Leaders for Human Centred Complexity in Major Projects

Errol Benvie, CEO Wisdom Labs & Program Director Senior Leader’s Program, Australian Catholic University Executive Educationerrol




Dr Maurizio Floris, Program Director Executive Leadership in Major Projects
The John Grill Centre for Project Leadership at the University of Sydneymaurizio

Human Centred Complexity, playfully translated as “the trouble people cause”, describes the strange and paradoxical behaviours and phenomena that a project leader must learn to recognise, work with and influence.  It requires an understanding of how people create meaning, exercise power, and are driven by – for example – the possibility of shame.

In this session Maurizio and Errol will share their development of “Person and Meaning Centred” learning methodologies to transform project leaders to work inside Human Centred Complexity.  These methodologies are grounded in adult cognitive research over the past 60 years and focus on changing ways of thinking to change outcomes.

The discussion will include:
Stories about the development of the teaching methodologies over the past 5 years in executive education at AGSM and ACU.
Stories about the development of a catalogue of knowledge, models and concepts accumulated from the humanities, sociology and philosophy that replace old broken models.
Stories about the application of these ideas to project leadership development in the Grill Centre, Telstra and other situations.

4.40 – 5.25

Leadership Panel Discussion:

The Link Between Employee Engagement & Project Success

Panellists will explore the link between project success and employee engagement with their specific perspectives and workplace experiences, sharing what they are experimenting with that brings their teams wholeheartedly along the change journey, all the way through to sustainable business outcomes.

Catherine Mccormick,  Change Director, icare NSWcath-mccormick




Michelle Bevan, HR Director, TOGA Far East Hotels Ltd.michelle-bevan




Michael Devlin, Managing Partner, Certus 3



Chantal Patruno, Change Director, Blue Seed Consultingchantal-patruno

Closing Remarks – Muneesh Wadhwa, Founder Humanity in Business


$600 +GST
Team Table $3200+GST for table of 8
(includes, branding on our website, event flyer, table with signage)




Venue: Level 17th University of Sydney City Campus, 133 Castlereagh St Sydney 2000

Thought Leaders

We asked our leaders what project leadership means to them and here is what they said. You can click on each name to go to their LinkedIn profile.


Dr Bradley Rolfe, Program Manager, (ex) Macquarie Bank and MGSM Lecturerbradley

Project leadership is, in many ways, about an attunement to stories and the way those stories interact within the context of the project. These are the stories of the stakeholders, the customers and the team members, and the project manager that understands and respects those stories and the universal structures that underpin them, finds themselves in a powerful position to lead their project to success

Catherine Mccormick,  Change Director, icare NSWcath-mccormick

Project Leadership for me is about building trust with your team and stakeholders to deliver toward a common goal.  Building trust with your team and stakeholders will get you through the inevitable problems that arise, retain talented people and be the determining factor in gaining stakeholder buy in.

Chantal Patruno, MD, Blueseed Consultingchantal-patruno

We all know that human-centred approaches are best – people are the driving force that determines project failure or success.

So Project Leadership needs more than IQ and EQ. It must also have ‘CQ’ (change intelligence) which bring a blend of wisdom, curiosity, courage, creativity, tenacity and a lovely balance of push-pull and art-science.  Without these, achieving sustainable business outcomes through people is far more challenging.

Declan Brady, Client Services Manager, Elabor8 & (ex)Agile Coach Westpac & IAGdeclan

To me project leadership is about creating safety for others to excel. You achieve this through consistent behaviours and actions that support safety by living from sound principles and values.

Errol Benvie, CEO Wisdom Labs & Program Director Senior Leader’s Program, Australian Catholic University Executive Educationerrol

Project Leadership is a sophisticated integration of the technologies of project management with the authentic humans who perform these technologies.  It is the recognition that this complex interface requires artistry, skill, experience, insight and intuition.  Project leadership is the effective harnessing of the people to the technologies channelling the rational and mitigating the vagaries of behaviour and emotion in the authentic worker.

Gillian Coutts, Director, Potential Projectsgillian

Great project results come from the right actions, taken through conscious choices, arising from calm, clear attention to what matters.  Great project leaders intentionally shape how and where people place their attention.


Ilyas Bardak (ex)Program Director Next Generation Infrastructure Services, Transport for NSWilyas-bardak

Transformational project leadership is about creating. Using all your skill both logically, emotionally and artistically.  It means creating a journey with clear outcomes.   Creating a team that is greater that the sum of each individual. Creating an atmosphere where there is inspiration, trust and empowerment to achieve  sustainable and successful outcomes.

Katherine Squire,  General Manager, Application Development and DevOps, ASX Ltdkatherine-squire

Project leadership is the ability to motivate, mentor, engage and understand people.  On top of that, to be able to effectively understand business value and how best to achieve outcomes within a sustainable, healthy rhythm

Dr Maurizio FlorisProgram Director Executive Leadership in Major Projects
The John Grill Centre for Project Leadership at the University of Sydneymaurizio

I see project leadership is the mobilisation of a temporary organisation to do something new or different in order to create organisational or societal value. In the case of major projects (the domain in which the John Grill Centre operates), that temporary organisation is constituted by many different individual and organisational actors who try to effect significant value through transformational change.

Melinda Penna, (ex)GM Project Delivery Capability, Telstramelinda-penna

Project leadership means walking the floor – it’s about connections to the people at all levels of the many processes, having an understanding of the Emotional Barometer readings such that you can anticipate, guide, support, and influence the achievement of business benefits.
Project complexity is rooted in the human factor, not just the artefacts. An experienced project leader is able to leverage an evolved sense of self and others to get things done. It’s no small or simple matter and it is quite amazing to experience the difference that the serious professionals make to delivering outcomes.

Michelle Bevan, HR Director, TOGA Far East Hotels Ltd.michelle-bevan

Project Leadership is challenging, dynamic and can range from incredibly simple to extraordinarily complex.  Our project leaders, lead using the same values, principles and behaviours as other leaders, they all are a reflection of our culture.

Scott Nicholas, Manager of Planning and Analysis, Toyota Financial Servicesscott-nicholas

Project Leadership is about enveloping the science of project delivery in the art of people leadership. People deliver projects and leaders can creatively harness the collective power of those people through wisdom, compassion, generosity and trust


Michael Devlin, Managing Partner, Certus 3

Project Leadership’ represents a group of leaders who collaborate to achieve a single objective within a defined timeframe. Today projects are large, complex, span multiple years and effect significant business outcomes and, as such depend on carefully coordinated and aligned leadership teams for success. Any project that stands to bring about material change cannot be stewarded by the Project Manager, or project leadership team alone instead, they must be strongly supported by other senior project stakeholders. Project Directors, Project Sponsors and Business Unit Executives have integral support functions to perform – all must align to ensure the continued clarity of project objectives and their eventual achievement.



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Leading Happy Workplaces

Leading Happy Workplaces

Humanity has always strived for happiness in life and the idea of being happy at work seems alien to many employees. Coming across someone loving their job in corporations (not just liking it) is truly rare. When was the last time you heard someone say “I can’t wait till Monday!?” How can we truly bring our best effort to work if we really rather not be there?

If happiness comes from within, then what is the role of the leader? Does making employees happy make the leader happy? If money can’t ensure the happiness of employees then what will?

With only 30% of our workforce truly engaged, along with an increase in complexity and uncertainty brought about by constant change in business, the concept of happiness at work has become critical to improving engagement and thereby productivity of organisations.

With productivity taking centre stage in business, could happiness be the silver bullet leaders are looking for? It seems only logical that we should be more productive when we are happy, but what does happiness mean for leaders, their teams and the organisation?

Leaders have an important role to play in creating the right environment for their teams to ensure they are passionate about their jobs and love what they do. As leaders, how can we empower employee by aligning their skills and passion to create highly engaged teams?

Join the conversation with cutting edge thought leaders who are bringing a fresh perspective to employee engagement and productivity


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kdhfg Tsssdd westpac camp

How is this event different?

  •  The day is focused on having a conversation with thought leaders versus them presnting
  • Attendees have a chance to discuss the content presented in a group discussion at their table
  •  Your team can come together for a day to discuss how to impplement the ideas in the context of your organisation
  •  Each thought leader will be in discussion with our Chair, Clair Devlin, GM Capability, Leadership Talent, Telstra


9:00am: Welcome
Muneesh Wadhwa – Foundermuneesh-wadhwa
Humanity in Business


9:10am: Rewire your brain for happiness

Sarah McKay – Neuroscience Academysarah mckay

In this session, Sarah will provide an quick introduction to neuroplasticity and introduce a six-step model you can apply to master a new skill or make a change in your behaviour. Sarah will also provide practical tips in regard to the daily habits you can instill to optimise brain function and wellbeing.

9:30am Table Discussion

How can you use the six step model to change a behaviour or learn a new skill in your team?

9:50am: What can we learn from the Bhutanese Gross National Happiness?

Meg Hart – Hart & Mind Associatesmeg-hart

Happiness is a hot topic. Variously described as a state of mind, an inalienable right, a self-fulfilling virtue and a bottled commodity (dispensed by Coca-Cola Happiness Machines), it is perhaps the most defining and elusive of human aspirations.
Most of us want to be happy (and avoid pain), but what is happiness and how do we come by it?
The year I spent working in “the world’s happiest country”, Bhutan, gave me the opportunity to explore some of the practical applications of happiness to work, collaboration and societal wellbeing.
In this interactive session, we’ll look at Bhutan’s quest for “gross national happiness”, the science behind current happiness research and the question: What’s happiness got to do with workplace wellbeing and productivity in Australia?

10:10am: Happiness is an inside job – how can mindfulness help

Timothea Goddard – Opengroundtimothea goddard

Mindfulness is everywhere and there is a lot of hype (and some evidence) about it’s capacity to transform stress, and increase happiness, improve productivity, enhance leadership and contribute to creativity and innovation. But there are some challenges in transporting this ancient practice and theory into workplaces to increase productivity and happiness. Let’s talk about it!

10:30am: Table Discussion

How can we encourage more mindful practices within the organisation?
10:50am: Morning Tea

11:20am: Happiness at work is a serious business. Are we emotionnally bankrupt?

My Holland – EQ at Happiness Quotientmy holland

In this session, we will explore why happiness at work is a serious business. It’s about how employees feel and are valued. Do we want to be driven by stress and negative emotions or by optimism and enthusiasm? Happiness at work is measurable and has strong links to engagement and productivity. It provides a win win to employers and employees.

11:40am: Table Discussion

Does the team feel valued for the work they are doing? Is stress impacting productivity? How are we coping with workload?

12:00pm: Happy Leaders = Happy Teams.
                    What does it take to be a Happy Leader in a large and complex organisation?

Open Discussion with Attendees Moderated by Tim Mullen, Co-Founder, Job Vibe
Andy Fell, GM Westpac Premium, Westpacandy




Julie Hunter, MD Institutional Markets, CBAjuile
How do leaders motivate themselves?
How do they balance personal and business priorities?
How do they stay true to their values in a complex stakeholder environment?
How can leaders be authentic and vulnerable and still inspire their teams?

12:20pm: Lunch

Eating mindfully session | Timothy Goddard – Openground (20 minutes)

We can bring mindfulness to every single activity in the day – which is excellent for busy people. Before we have lunch we will explore a short eating meditation – to give us a slow, unhurried taste not only of a delicious piece of fruit, but also a taste of the essence of mindfulness: paying attention,on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally.

1:20pm: The Business of Laughter – How to laugh all the way to the bank.

Merv Neal – Holistic Services Groupmerv neal

In this interactive (and funny) session, Merv will share the results of his research study that he did with Deakin University to determine the psychological impact of laughter on people in business. The outcomes will astound you. He will also present the 7 areas of Holisitic Health and how laughter has a positive impact on all of them. Merv’s presentation always concludes with some laughter excercises for the audience to experience first hand.

1:40pm: Table Discussion

How can you and the team have more fun in the office?

2:00pm: Minding your Mindset

Lucinda Gannon- The Positivity Institutelucinda

Your mindset has an impact on how you and those around you think, feel and behave. Your mindset can change and you have the power to change it. Having a growth mindset brings about many benefits such as improved performance and better mental and physical health. We will discuss some tips and techniques to build a more positive mindset.

2:20pm: Table Discussion

What can we do to create a more positive mindset at work?

2:40pm: Morning Tea

3:00pm: A Happy Culture as a Competitive Advantage

Simon Rountree – Camp Qualitysimon
Interactive Workshop

In this practical workshop, Simon Rountree shares how culture is truly the only competitive advantage a business has and by taking this philosophy, Camp Quality has gone from being close to bankrupt to being ranked as the most trusted children’s charity in Australia. He will outline how Camp Quality has given its stakeholders the tools and skills to become more optimistic and resilient which has led to an innovative and empowered organisation that grows from strength to strength. He will be sharing these tools with you so you can leverage them within your organisation

3:40pm: A Culture that Fosters Well-being in the Workplace

Srilatha Reddy – Google APACsrilatha
Organisation culture has a strong bearing on driving well-being outcomes for employees. Google’s cultural under-pinnings creates an environment that naturally fosters employee well-being.

4:00pm: Table Discussion

What can you do to create a bigger focus on well-being in the workplace?

4:20pm: Leading Purposeful Teams for Sustainable Engagement and Happiness

Suzanne Mercier, Purpose to Profitsuzanne
Interactive Workshop

The key to growing healthy, happy and productive cultures lies in the hands of leaders. They impact every measurable dimension of business. Leaders can inspire or limit the engagement of their people through their own leadership approach and style. Finding your Purpose for leadership is the path to inspiration and the highest levels of engagement. Helping your people identify their team Purpose and embed it in their day-to-day activities is the key to them finding fulfilment in their work leading to happiness, resulting in high performance. Learn how to bring your team alive with Purpose and Vision.

5:00pm: The Role of Compassion in Leading Happy and Engaged Teams

Panel Discussion in conversation with Samantha Payne, Founder, Compassion Club 
Neil Thompson, ex CEO, Virgin Velocity,Neil




Claire Devline, GM, Leadership, Talent & Capability, Telstraclaire
What does compassion look like in the workplace?
How can we cultivate it?
Why is it important for team engagement and happiness?

5:30pm: Closing Remarks

Muneesh Wadhwa, HiB

5:35pm: Celebratory Drinks

What is Humanity in Business?

We are a movement that supports leaders to create purposeful businesses. We believe the purpose of business is to make the world a better place. And to create a purposeful business that addresses challenges faced by humanity, we need to first create a highly engaged culture. Our mission is to support leaders with the thought leadership needed to help their employees be the best they can be and create future leaders who are passionate about creating more human organisations.

Muneesh Wadhwa, Founder, Humanity in Business



$450 +GST
$650+GST for 2 attendees.
Team Table $2400+GST for table of 8
(includes allocated facilitator, branding on our website, event flyer, table with signage)

All ticket sales support Camp Quality. Helping create a better life for children living with cancer 0-13years. Individual sales will incorporate a $50.00 donation back to Camp Quality and team tables will incorporate a $100.00 donation. The money raised from the ticket sales of Leading Happy Workplaces will ensure 2 families are supported for a year providing the best quality of life by bringing them back together as a family, connecting them with others on a similar journey and most importantly empowering them with the joy, hope and optimism that has them

(If budget is a challenge, please drop us an email and let us know how much you can justify)


Corporate Thought Leaders

Claire Devlinclaire

GM Leadership, Capability & Talent, Telstra
(Conference Chair)
Happiness at work for me is knowing I am making a difference and its worth all the small hurdles because there is a greater good/ a cause that I am personally contributing to, that has impact and longevity.
Knowing I am growing, learning being stretched and challenged.
Knowing people in my team are motivated and working to their full potential because they “want” to not because they have to.
Knowing I can spend time with my two girls and that I am still a respected mum and leader at the same time. I can juggle well – given the chance.
We asked them what happiness at works means to them rather than having their bio! For more info on their background, click on their names to go to their LinkedIn page.

Andy Fellandy

GM, Westpac Premium Banking

”Happiness at work emerges from a contented and fulfilled inner state- personal health and wellbeing accounts for so much in life. I want to feel fantastic each and every day and I am lucky enough to have a choice. Every day I choose my attitude and decide to have a great day. My ideal performance state is one I describe as ‘relaxed excellence’- achieving greatness whilst being in a wonderfully happy and positive performance zone”

Julie Hunterjuile

MD, Institutional Bank

”Happiness at work is an environment where everyone uses their strengths in support of the organisation’s goals and to assist each other to succeed.”

Neil ThompsonNeil

ex-CEO, Virgin Velocity

”Happiness for me is the ability to live in authenticity, or congruence, in all parts of life. An important part of that is removing the all-too-common separation between “work’ and “life’.”

Srilata Guntakasrilatha

Health and Well-being
Program Management (Asia-Pac), Google

”Happiness at work for me is driving programs that has a real positive impact on Googlers (google employees) and their families – ‘Health Happy Googlers’.”

Thought Leaders

Sarah Mckaysarah mckay

Neuroscience Academy

Sarah McKay is a neuroscientist and science writer who specialises in translating brain science research into simple, actionable strategies for health and wellbeing. Sarah is the director of The Neuroscience Academy, which offers online learning and in-person trainings that focus on applying neuroscience to life and work.

Dr McKay completed a MSc and PhD in neuroscience at Oxford University and she sums her PhD thesis up as: ‘Nature, Nurture or Neuroplasticity?’ After five years at the lab bench conducting brain research, Sarah worked up the courage to hang up her lab coach and pursue a career teaching others about the mind and brain. Now she lives on
the Northern Beaches in Sydney, Australia with her husband and together they are raising two little surfer dudes.

Meg Hartmeg-hart

Hart & Mind Associates

Meg is an experienced organizational consultant, international facilitator and leadership coach. She has worked with major companies, their leaders and teams throughout Australia and the Asian region for over 25 years providing coaching and training in executive leadership, synergistic cross-cultural team collaboration, skills for managing complex change and reflective mindfulness-based practice to enhance concentration, relational intelligence and ethical decision-making. She has recently returned from Bhutan where she worked for the Royal Government on the New Development Paradigm project, utilising her cross-cultural skills to help facilitate an international collaboration between 70 experts in fields such as ecology, economics, social psychology, architecture and policy-making, to produce a report for the United Nations’ post-2015 development agenda. She has also worked as the Director of Consulting at The St James Ethics Centre, and earlier, designed and delivered leadership and corporate responsibility programs for Cathay Pacific, HSBC, Esprit, UNEP and other international organizations.

Merv Nealmerv neal

Holistic Services Group

Following a work-related life threatening health issue in 2002, Merv found out firsthand the importance of Being Well, or Well being, at work. As Director of Holistic Services Group and the CEO of Laughter Yoga Australia and New Zealand, he travels the world speaking to a variety of groups about the importance of looking after your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health at work, and at home.
He is presently working with the Victorian Health Industry, Department of Innovation, The CEO Institute, and The Executive Connection (TEC) to name just a few.

Lucinda Gannonlucinda

The Positivity Institute

Psychologist with over 10 years corporate experience in Melbourne and Sydney. Lucinda has spent the past 8 years working as a Senior Consultant in an in-house Organisational Development team for a global technology and innovation company. Her focus was to address issues of culture, climate, morale and engagement and to support the development of a high performing culture which supported business performance.
Recent projects have included designing and implementing a Positive Leadership program to Executives and Managers in Australia and New Zealand. She has also designed and delivered workshops on specific Positive Psychology topics to help Managers and Executives embed new behaviours in their work. Topics included VIA Signature Strengths, Mindset, positive emotions and positive relationships, Learned Optimism, Energy and Attention and Mindfulness Meditation.

TImothea Goddardtimothea goddard


Timothea Goddard is recognised as a pioneer in bringing MBSR to Australia over the past 12 years and is an accredited teacher through the Center for Mindfulness, UMass Medical Center, USA. She is the founding Director of Openground – an Australia-wide network of clinicians and teachers offering MBSR and related mindfulness programs, workshops and retreats for individuals, organizations and schools.

Timothea has worked in private practice for 28 years as a psychotherapist and educator. She also works with organisations to design and implement mindfulness based programs for stress reduction, leadership and innovation. In 2013 she co-founded founded the Mindfulness Training Institute – Australasia and is involved in teacher training of mindfulness teachers in the region. She is passionate about pedagogy and is actively involved in the process of creating an international network of teacher training organisations to care for integrity and standards.

My Hollandmy holland

EQ at Happiness Quotient

My is a social entrepreneur, positive psychology, happiness at work and emotional intelligence assessor-consultant. She believes that bringing well-being to work will benefit not only our workplace but also our wider community. She believes in ethical living, conscious capitalism, kindness and empathy on a daily basis: at work and on a personal level. She has refocused her management and lecturing skills towards helping corporates to be productive and efficient in a kind and caring environment. She has worked with Macquarie University, Westpac, NSW Health, TAFE to name a few.

Simon Rountreesimon

CEO Camp Quality

Since joining Camp Quality in 2000, Simon has moved the organisation to adopt a unique organisation culture built around optimism, resilience, fun and wellbeing which has enabled it to grow its program delivery to over 225,000 children per year, increase revenue and staff, whilst decreasing the cost of administration to a very low ratio. Along the way Camp Quality has won the 2011 PwC Transparency Award for the Not For Profit Sector and is currently ranked the most reputable children’s charity in Australia in AMR’s charity reputation index.

Suzanne Merciersuzanne

Purpose to Profit

Suzanne helps organisations, leaders and managers find their purpose – their highest motivation and their unique contribution and then deliver on it. Along the way, we work out who they truly are, what they want to achieve, what stands in the way of that and how we can move them beyond those limitations. She helps them engage and inspire people to make their unique contributions. The workplaces we create together are connected, authentic, respectful and diverse.

Change Leadership

Change Leadership

The only thing that is constant in business is change. However, organisations are still unable to lead change successfully! Research statistics from McKinsey & Co., Harvard, IBM and Towers Watson all point to the fact that only 30% of change initiatives succeed. These results haven’t changed in the last 40 years.

So what needs to change?

Delivering sustainable change is complex. And it won’t always go to plan. However, often it is not the tangible outcomes that are our greatest challenge – it is having a change ready culture and the most effective leadership so sustainable change is secured.

A new competitor, a new platform, or a new way of working can pop up ‘seemingly’ overnight and ‘take off’ with such force that if you are not able to adapt with the same velocity or better than your competitors, you find yourself lagging behind. Continually trying to play catch-up or scrambling to find a new competitive advantage and bring it to market isn’t a long term, successful business strategy.

At this highly interactive event, our objective is to challenge your thinking around how to lead change effectively. We want to inspire you with stories of great leadership and cutting edge thought leadership that have created change ready and agile organisations.

Some of the questions we want to address at this event are:

  • • How do you successfully lead sustainable change?
  • • How do you know if your team’s highly engaged and best able to quickly adapt and
    respond to change?
  • • What’s the best way to create and sustain an organisational culture that is change
    ready and able to withstand and thrive through constant change?
  • • Whether part of a transformational change program or a continuous improvement
    initiative, what does being a great leader of change look like?
  • • What are the foundations and values expressed by leaders of sustainable and
    successful change?

This event is about having a conversation, rather than just presentations. After each panel discussion, you can facilitate a discussion at your table so attendees can learn from each other as well.

We look forward to welcoming you to be part of the change you want to see in your organisation.

Why Attend?

  •  Learn from practical case studies and model behaviours of leaders who have found success in delivering sustainable change in their business.
  • Enable your stakeholders to learn from each other through a group discussion at your table after every panel.
  •  Learn skills and take away the tools that you can use in your organisation to ensure that you are agile enough to respond to and lead change.
  •  Discuss barriers to change and learn from thought leaders on how to address them.
  •  Engage your team to create a change ready culture.


9:00 am: Welcome
Muneesh Wadhwa – Founder Humanity in Businessmuneesh-wadhwa





Louise Ledbrook – Founder and CEO Pro SMARTlouise ledbrook





Michelle Gibbings – Founder and Director Change Meridianmichelle gibbings



9:15 am: Cushioning the impact – the foundations of delivery success.

Rick Woods – Group GM, Energy Australia
Emotional Connection in Driving Sustainable Changerick woods

It’s one thing to come and tell an organisation everything that’s wrong and everything that needs fixing, but almost always a business is in the predicament it is for some good reason.

To build a coalition of the willing, it is important that individuals in the organisation don’t feel humiliated about being “Where they Are” so acknowledgement and reconciliation of the history is important.

The challenge from that point is to achieve buy in to the challenge ahead. Making the case for change and overlaying what’s in it for employees is critical.

The glue that holds any change program together is the emotional connection a leader has with his/her team via trust and authenticity which are critical to navigating the many tough times ahead.

James Sheffield – GM Proprietary Lending, Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Your role in cushioning the impact of change. How can you be in business and make ethical decisions around change?james sheffield

  • • Compassionate Intention: Checking your motivation and understanding your intention.
  • • Discernment: Ensuring you understand the context of change from a holistic view ; reviewing the
    choices of actions you have and understanding their outcomes; understanding the pro’s and con’s.
  • • Understanding the course of action that is, on balance, and in tune with reality, most likely to yield
    the greatest long-term benefit for others.
  • • Understanding the final check question.


10:30 am: When things go wrong: maintaining authenticity, trust and momentum

David Thurkle – General Manager, EPMO & Workforce Management, NAB Maintaining momentum through uncertaintydavid thurkle

A highly interactive presentation and workshop focused on sharing insights and ideas on how to best maintain momentum when ‘things go wrong’. David will draw on his years of experience to share and discuss techniques to:

  • • Keep stakeholders and the project team engaged and aligned during times of uncertainty and when things go wrong
  • • Inspire and motivate your team in the face of changing circumstances

11:15 am: Morning Tea

11:45 am: Leading the Change – values and actions of a great change leader

Louise Ledbrook – Founder and CEO, Pro SMART
Michelle Gibbings – Founder and Director, Change Meridian
Facilitated Discussion – A highly interactive session leveraging the expertise in the room to draw
out the characteristics of change leadership

Leveraging the wisdom in the room, this session will debate and contrast the characteristics of change leadership:

  • • Identifying the values and actions of a great leader and sponsor of change
  • • Discussing – is a great leader of change different from other leadership styles, or is it the same?
  • • Reflecting on each individual’s skills as a leader, as well as ideas from others in the room.

Walk away with practical ideas and new techniques on what you can do differently and apply in the workplace.

12:30 pm: Lunch with a Purpose

During lunch, we have invited The Funding Network so as a community we can collectively raise funds in real time (live!) for three special community projects. The Funding Network’s high energy events have captured the imagination of thousands of people across Australia. It is live crowd funding, but with real stories, real presenters and a real crowd. In this special, ‘pop-up’ version of TFN, three outstanding grassroots charities – The Malpa Project, Fighting Chance and Raise Foundation – will pitch their inspiring work to the audience for its support. This is ‘feel good’ giving at its best so be prepared to make a difference to people’s lives.

1:30 pm: Being real and honest in our decision making – how to make the tough decisions

Chris Bartlett – Non Executive Director, Mirvac, GBST, Clayton Utz and The Smith Family Making the best decisions while maintaining core values, and securing great progresschris bartlett

Christine will share her practical experience on:

  • How to make tough decisions and ensure continued sponsor and stakeholder support
  • Acquiring the resilience and courage to make tough decisions


Michelle Gibbings – Founder and Director, Change Meridianmichelle gibbings

Drawing on the latest in neuroscience, Michelle will provide insights into the dangers of decision making and the bias that pervades it. Through a facilitated discussion the group will generate ideas on how to remove or mitigate the bias from decision making.


2:30 pm: DNA of change agility – the organisational perspective

To understand the essential elements necessary to embed a culture where you are ready for anything at an organisational level

Nigel Dalton – CIO, REA Group
Understanding Servant Leadership – Mystic Fad or Workable Principle?nigel dalton

When Herman Hesse wrote Journey to the East in 1932, it is doubtful he would have imagined that 80 years on, the underlying mystical themes of his short book about a quest undermined by the loss of the lowly servant Leo would be impacting the management of major corporations.

Igniting passion in people to own change through a leadership model that emphasises listening, observing, and guiding can be a solid solution to ensuring the change sticks. Hesse after all was merely building on 2,500 year old Taoist foundations of leadership – where the highest form of leadership is observable when the people say “we did this ourselves”.

Alicia Aitkin – Chief Project Officer, Telstra
Building Momentum for Transformational Changealicia aitkin

In a world where change is constant the modern day worker is accustomed to the idea that change will happen. However, when leading transformational change the challenge remains on how to achieve simultaneous change in the same direction at scale. In this discussion Alicia will share with us the power of tapping into emotions and using the power of this tool to ignite the fire that will propel transformational change.

Alicia will draw on her experiences working across industry as well as her current role at Telstra leading the transformational change journey to world class project delivery capability.

Yung Ngo – GM NSW/ACT, Westpac Premiumyung ngo
The importance of ‘Purpose’ – never forget your purpose, the true north for change

  • • Leaders can’t just be adaptable to change, leaders need to ‘design’ change
  • • The importance of external focus
  • • Stress test your success to be ahead of the curve
  • • Go bold and ambitious vs safe and incremental]

3:30 pm: Afternoon Tea

4:00 pm: Thought Leaders Panel

Jesper Lowgren – Principal Management Consultant, Telstra
A new paradigm – How to think and act like a disruptor:jesper lowgren

  • • Nature and anatomy of a digital competitive advantage (it is much more than digital marketing)
  • • Why Purpose is becoming essential to sustainable change
  • • How to design and build a purpose-led operating model designed to prosper in change and disruption

Michael Bunting – CEO, Worksmart
The Role of Mindfulness in Leading Changemichael bunting

  • • How our Insecurities both drive us to change and be our biggest block to change
  • • Getting over “Sunk Cost” bias
  • • The single most important mindset for any change leader

Roma Gaster – Director & Global Partner, The Leadership Circle Asia Pacific
Remaining Relevant in Times of Complexity & Changeroma gaster

Most leaders admit that there is an uncomfortable, growing gap between the rate at which change and complexity is expanding and their capacity to creatively adapt. The current global, economic, cultural, environmental, and political challenges prompt a deeper enquiry into a better way forward.

  • • Why are our previous ways of thinking and leading no longer capable of encompassing the level
    of interdependence and complexity we face?
  • • What does it take for our leadership to match the complexity of our role and working environment?
  • • How does evolving from the inside out help us to develop agility of mind and leadership
    effectiveness regardless of context?

5:00 pm: Orchestrating the change and next steps

Michelle Gibbings – Founder and Director, Change Meridian
Louise Ledbrook – Founder and CEO, Pro SMART

A discussion on how you bring all these elements together so that you can successfully land change in a complex environment.

A facilitated panel discussion with audience.

5:20 pm: Closing Remarks 

Yvonne Butler, CEO, Australian Institute of Project Management

Muneesh Wadhwa – Humanity in Business

5:30 pm: Celebratory Drinks



$600 inc GST per person

Corporate Sponsor
$3400 inc GST for table of 8
(Includes branding on event flyer, table with signage, branding at venue)

If budget is a challenge, please drop us an email and let us know how much you can afford!


Thought Leaders

Dr. Alicia Aitken

Chief Project Officer, Telstraalicia aitkin

“I am passionate about pure mathematics and people. The fascination with humanity is multifaceted but combines to feed my driving passion; to create opportunities for people to lead more exciting and fulfilling lives than they had dreamed possible.”

Christine Bartlett

Non Executive Director
Mirvac, GBST, Clayton Utz and The Smith Familychris bartlett

”I seem to have a track record of taking on tough jobs throughout my executive career. Whether I am crazy or courageous I like the sense of achievement from taking on a challenge and making a difference. I like teamwork and creating the climate for teams to thrive. There is something very exciting about the energy and ideas that come from a committed, dedicated, and hardworking team.”


Michael Bunting

CEO Worksmartmichael bunting

”I am and always will be passionate about the art of self knowledge and developing a kind of awareness that brings compassion, wonder and wisdom to all it touches. My work in leadership is all about supporting leaders to rediscover their finest qualities and help them do exactly the same for their people.”

Nigel Dalton

CIO REA Groupnigel dalton

”I believes that making technology work forpeople in this turbulent, web-speed era is possible – with careful attention to some obscure parts of our industrial past, and by making organisations resilient to the quirks of the new means of production, since land, labour and capital have been demoted, and entrepreneurship has won out. Curiosity about how the work works, is what gets me out of bed every morning.”

Roma Gaster

Director & Global Partner
The Leadership Circle Asia Pacificroma gaster

”My passion lies in opening up the deeper conversation that leaders have not previously had, are often hungry to have and have not yet realised they long for. Conversations about “Who am I being in this moment?’, “How am I choosing to show up for what matters most?‘ “How do I get out of my own way in order to become more effective?’.“Am I creating an environment for others to flourish?’ … This is truly privileged work.”

Michelle Gibbings

Founder and Director
Change Meridian, and author of
Step Up: How to build your influence at workmichelle gibbings

“Change happens. Make it work for you. That’s the motto by which I live my life. To me change isn’t a process. It’s about critical moments, and knowing the turning points to take within those moments. I’m passionate about helping organisations, teams and individuals succeed in complex, changing environments.”

Louise Ledbrook

Founder and CEO Pro SMARTlouise ledbrook

“I have spent my entire career delivering change for customers and their teams. I love it!I am passionate about finding innovative and streamlined ways to leverage past experiences to create the best outcomes for the people involved. By continually challenging and building upon our knowledge and effectively applying our lessons, we empower our people to add more value and open up opportunities for innovation and creativity.”

Jesper Lowgren

Digital and Business
Transformation Thought
Leader and Principal Management Consultant, Telstrajesper lowgren

“My passion comes alive from applying my gift to the digital world. I make a radical difference to how organisations operate, for the betterment of owners, employees, stakeholders, community, and the economy as a whole. I create new business operations models, designed for change and disruption, to thrive in the digital world.”

Yung Ngo

State General Manager
(NSW/ACT), Premium Banking
Westpac, Chair of Asian Leadership EAG, Westpac Groupyung ngo

“I’m passionate about leading organisational change to drive business success. In managing any business, I subscribe to my simple principles of 3 Ps: stay true to your Purpose, invest and develop in People to drive strong sustainable Performance.”

James Sheffield

General Manager
Proprietary Lending Support,
Commonwealth Bank of Australiajames sheffield

“To ensure I try to authentically and consistently represent myself at home and work in the same way and try to consider others in all actions I take.”

David Thurkle

General Manager
EPMO & Workforce Management NABdavid thurkle

“I am passionate about harnessing the power of people to create and deliver meaningful change. This passion is based on the belief that through encouraging the development of others, creating an environment where diversity of thought and opinion are valued and then empowering and backing your people, great things can be achieved.”

Muneesh Wadhwa

Founder Humanity in Business &
CEO, Quay Collaboratemuneesh-wadhwa

”Organisations that can authentically build a sense of community within their culture create an environment of trust and care, which is critical to collaboration and innovation.”

Rick Woods

Group GM Energy Australiarick woods

“I’m passionate about building high performing teams and watching individuals grow as a result.”


Yvonne Butler

CEO, Australian Institute of Project ManagementYvonne-Butler

I am a passionate advocate for ensuring sustainable change through impactful project leadership and project management. Each year around Australia we are delivering billions of dollars’ worth of projects spanning every industry sector, so I find it highly rewarding to see the results of our work which include having knowledgeable and competent people in the right jobs to deliver these projects successfully.


$600 inc GST per person

Corporate Sponsor
$3400 inc GST for table of 8
(Includes branding on event flyer, table with signage, branding at venue)

If budget is a challenge, please drop us an email and let us know how much you can afford!