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From my time as convenor of Make it Better and as Executive Chair of the donkey wheel foundation.
Mel, CEO, International Development Agency

As a senior leader I have been on my fair share of leadership and organizational development courses over the years. The impact of these has been varied and sometime intangible to my daily work.

 

What I absolutely loved about this experience was its intimate size - being together with other CEOs in a safe but challenging space - and working on real challenges that were keeping me awake at night as a senior leader. I had the gift of unpacking and working through is a deliberate manner with very diverse and impressive leaders. I also felt connections I have not experienced previously as all of the leaders were purpose driven - seeking deep change across systems and structures in a myriad of different but connected sectors.

 

Thank you for opening me to this, for extending my network of extraordinary leaders and challenging me to think and address a deep challenge in a new way.

Lisa, Board Chair & environmentalist

The Make it Better team have created a unique and special place, bathed in nature and nurturing for both mind and body, where, through a simple but well crafted program, leaders can bring sticky problems into a safe space, and have them viewed from all angles, prodded and threaded and exposed to the light of day, with a small, select group of people with curious minds and open hearts!

 

Although l've been to leadership retreats before, and worked collectively on big problems, this time I brought my problem, and through a beautiful confluence of events was able to find a resolution to something that my eyes alone couldn't see.

 

Thanks Col, Paul and the team for being a great support crew for me and my organisations.

Michael, Writer & Media Advisor

You and your team created a crucible of change and debate, making donkey wheel house a pillar of the not-for-profit community, a sector that accounts for about one in eight jobs and 10 per cent of our economic output in Australia, a nation where one in five people volunteer with one or more of our 600,000 NFPs.

 

Evidently, it would be hard to quantify the exact social and economic benefits of the advocacy and facilitation of the work the donkey wheel foundation led and/or in which it was involved, but it is thoroughly appropriate to celebrate the intangible ripple effect of the enlightenment variously fostered.

Anna, Founder & CEO

Through my involvement in donkey wheel's programs, my worldview has expanded, perspective on approaches to social change matured, confidence in my own style of leadership built, and my sense of purpose in life deepened.

 

I am certainly a more capable and confident leader as a result of my experiences with donkey wheel, have access to a broader community of support, and feel sure that the social impact of my endeavours will be far greater over the long-term than it might have been without my connection to donkey wheel.

Melanie, Senior Executive

I want to call out the Make it Better program for what it exposed me to and how it encouraged me to stretch my thinking. As a CEO, being able to bring some of the most complex organisational and global challenges to a group of other CEOs, working across different parts of the system, all challenged by their own areas but willing to listen, guide and offer insights and reflections was invaluable.

 

There are far too few ‘safe’ working spaces for leaders to come together. We come together at courses and conferences, but far less do we come into a collective working space. Make It Better has been this for me – a collective, safe, expert working space – to get things done – in an environment of trust.

Stu, Global Head of Strategy, Social Change Consultancy

I want to send my deep gratitude to you and the Make it Better team. Trying to make a difference in this world is hard and sometimes lonely work. It requires creativity and community to move the needle, and those two things are hard to find at present. 

 

What I loved most about Make it Better was those two things were not just programmatic outcomes you sort to drive; they were who you were. They were qualities that your team embodied and, as such, brought out in others. 

 

I have personally learnt a lot from your practice. From how you modelled the creation of intentional spaces to the power of asking the right questions.

From my time as Principal at Vocate when I worked with CEO's, and other senior leaders, to help cultivate
leadership cohesion, strategic clarity and stakeholder buy-in.
Bevan, MD, Legal Services

Col helped a large and disparate organisation rediscover its purpose and belief that good things can come from what might appear hopeless situations, if people and processes get truly aligned, around things they share in common.

 

Over eighteen months, Col partly prodded and cajoled, he certainly designed and modified processes to suit us, he got to know us from top to bottom and from all sides and angles, but he always stayed true to his brief and belief in appreciative enquiry and listening to others – and that it was our task to come together and decide things – not his.

 

I don’t think we would have got to where we are without Col’s wise counsel and deft touch. He is great at observation, a very good listener and armed with insights and encouragement that seem to fall out just when they are needed and which suit the situation at hand. Col doesn’t dole out his formula he helps you find your own.

Todd, COO, Development Foundation

Col was involved in design and implementation of a major organizational reform process for the largest Development Foundation in the South Pacific. He worked closely with senior management to successfully lead the largest organizational change in the Company's eight year history.

Aside from having sound technical knowledge on how business and not-for-profits generally work, Col tailors his approach to the needs of the business. There are no cookie-cutter solutions with Col.

Here in Papua New Guinea the operating environment is complicated and difficult. Here, you need to have outstanding communication and social skills and the intellectual dexterity to make change happen - Col is one of the rare people with the full suite of such skills."

Fiona, CEO, Legal Services

Col is a delight to work with.  He brings wisdom born of experience, insight born of an inquiring mind and a deft touch to facilitating strategy development. 

 

When working with us, he understood very clearly where he could add value and never inserted himself into the process or thinking unnecessarily.  His approach was very rare - it focused on the strengths our organisation brought to the process and encouraged us to utilise these fully, while introducing and encouraging new thinking.

 

The result is strategy and processes which are authentic to our organisation and staff who feel empowered to implement them.

Adam, CEO, Business Consultant

Apart from his strong facilitation skills, what impressed me about Col was his ability to think on his feet and deal with client issues as they arose. Col and his staff were an integral part of a highly successful project and I would have no hesitation in recommending them for any work in the corporate advising field. They comes across as one of those rare organisations where the staff seem genuinely committed to both their clients and each other - they were an absolute pleasure to work with.

Luke, CEO, Digital Agency

Col has has become embedded into my everyday thoughts and disciplines as a CEO. His wealth of experience, mental models, strategic workflows are in themselves quite remarkable, but these are only tools Col brings.

 

The real magic of Col is who is he and why he does what he does. He has inspired me to be the best I can be and probably more profoundly, believe in a better me.

One of the most amazing people you will meet in your career.

Kristen, Commissioner

Col is an fantastic facilitator. He can read the mood of the room perfectly and knows how to get the very best out of people. He engaged us all in a stimulating and sensitive way at a pace that allowed for respectful and robust conversations.

 

After even a day in his company our team feels energised and stronger for the insights that Col gave us.

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