Our “stuff” includes

  • Facilitation: meetings, conferences, public consultation, stakeholder engagement
  • Change Management: project leadership, performance conversations
  • Training: Facilitation, Change and Innovation, Performance Management
  • Leadership development programs customised for organisations or across sectors
  • Getting into action on commitments and agreements

Get to know us and our approach with a short workshop


Advice and resources on Facilitation



The make stuff happen TOOLBOX

We have a robust repertoire of tools to deliver results, based on extensive testing and problem solving in organisation, such as:

The Stakeholder Wheel – dialogue on different stakeholders perspectives

Conversation Cafe – intensive small group discussion processes to develop project ideas, strategies, directions (and we have applied variations of this in different contexts eg the Strategy Cafe for strategic planning sessions)

The Continuum – simple kinaesthetic exercises to quickly see where a group is up to

The Team Challenge – a highly energetic project development process

Future Perfect – thinking into the desired future and measuring progress

Theory U – a design for managing complex and uncertain futures


ideasWe promise a high energy, high impact experience to bring specific benefits to your team or organisation. make stuff happen can give you a workshop that will make a difference. From a two-hour introduction, to longer term change programs across whole organisations and over longer periods of time we work in ways that initiate and support change.

In addition to the workshops below we also offer SHORT WORKSHOPS – spend two hours making stuff happen for your organisation.

Conversations for Performance – a half-day workshop on conducting feedback conversations, how to give (and just as importantly) receive feedback on performance. The Great Australian non-conversation. Read this post from our blog

Inside Out Leadership – a program to support and develop leadership skills in emerging and to refresh experienced leaders, over a time frame of 6 to 8 months, using action based learning, we cover

  • Generating collaboration – run great meetings that get results, tools and processes for effective meetings.
  • Thinking on your feet – practice real skills in improvisation
  • Doing change – knowing yourself and working with difference
  • Figuring it out – analysis of driving forces and reluctant stakeholders, creative problem solving
  • Skills for managing change – communication, participation, standing up and speaking out
  • Networking – it’s not just schmoozing, it’s about building momentum.
  • Tell your story – build an authentic narrative, turn jargon and business babble into language that brings people alive. Make more sense to more people, be direct, see instant results.


sustainabilityThe Sustainability Snapshot – for small to medium enterprises that want to save money and do the right thing, we have the tools and experience to help with

  • initial measurement – where are you on the ladder?
  • identifying the low-hanging fruit – most companies can find and implement changes that will affect the bottom line quickly with low expenditure
  • engaging your staff – tools and strategy for change
  • creating strategies for improvement
  • networking with others for mutual benefit


Make Groups Happen – build that team with meaningful interaction and commitment, create engagement AND results.

  • Problem solving – Use improvisation techniques in groups to stimulate engagement and find fresh eyes on old problems
  • Harness difference – navigating differences in thinking and perspective can be challenging; harnessing difference can lift an idea, a team, or a whole business to a new level.
  • Do conflict better – What does unhealthy conflict do? What does conflict avoidance cost? Build norms for healthy approaches to difference and conflict



groupsFacilitation Skills – one and two day workshops

Is your common experience of meetings boredom and time wasting? Do you and your colleagues often seem to work at cross-purposes?

We can help you make your time count: leading dynamic discussions, influencing and inspiring groups, making conflict work for you, getting great results.

Attend our one day course “Facilitation Essentials” or two-day course “Face2Face: Engaging People in Groups”. Build your capacity to:

  • Run purposeful meetings, clarify expectations, use techniques that fit your purpose
  • Find out why facilitation is such a valuable skill
  • Make the fundamental distinction between content and process – what is the meeting about and how is it being conducted
  • How to engage participants in spirited interaction and robust conversation
  • Build dialogue between participants – find and expand the common ground


skillsFacilitation – 2. advanced facilitation skills

This is an opportunity for people with some facilitation experience to hone your skills and build your confidence. The course is designed to improve your ability to get results from your client groups.

  • Session design and planning – designing for purpose, closing the distance between the client’s expectations and the reality of the group
  • Experiential techniques – improvisation, kinaesthetic activity, storylines
  • Dealing with difficult people – power in groups
  • Make conflict work for you – develop a robust approach to healthy conflict
  • Know what to do when the meeting goes ‘pear-shaped’
  • Asking good questions – complex, provocative, high quality prompts
  • Proactive engagement with your client and participants – testing assumptions, fine tuning the agenda
  • Decision making tools and approaches


“Influencing skills for change agents”

  • Engender purpose and confidence in others
  • Influence groups and individuals without manipulation
  • Create openness, options and movement amidst the doom and gloom,
  • Be coherent, flexible and engaging with diverse groups


spring“Strategic Change Management”

  • Paradigms for Change – what you see determines what you do and what results you get
  • The three stages of change: prepare, engage, persist.
  • The personal, the social and the systemic. Putting them all together.

“Conversations for Performance

  • Practice the ‘crucial conversations’ that can challenge staff performance
  • How to give (and just as importantly) receive feedback on performance


“Resilience in the face of change”

  • Build your resilience in ‘tricky’ situations
  • Be proactive – step out, step up
  • Managing transitions, the hard part of change.
  • Managing priorities when there is never enough time

Planning for facilitation – the 3 big P’s

PURPOSE, PEOPLE and PROCESS (and product, probable issues, power and place just to keep the ‘P’ thing rolling along)   1. Purpose – the WHAT and the WHY   Purpose is gold. And too-often hidden. Get it clear. WHAT are you aiming to achieve. Begin with the end in mind. Get the purpose sharp and available to the group. They should know exactly what they are coming for days before they arrive in the
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About facilitation – thinking big and thinking simple

The best place to start thinking about facilitation is from a very simple place. What makes a great conversation, one to one, or in a small group? In the course of this conversation, something shifts, for all parties. New meaning is created, future directions become clear, needs are met, and commitments are made. Good conversations always enter unknown territory. When you start, you don’t actually know how it will tu
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What we learn from Tolstoy

In Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace, Pierre returns a changed man, after nearly being executed by the French. “There was a new feature in Pierre’s relations with Willarski, with the princess, with the doctor, and with all the people he now met, which gained for him the general goodwill. This was his acknowledgement of the impossibility of changing a man’s convictions by words, and his recognition of the poss
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Courage and Renewal

  At 9am on a Sunday morning, in front of a group of new acquaintances, I was shedding quiet tears. From a bluetoothed ipad, Cat Stevens sang ‘Morning has Broken’ as I regarded a carpet of tree collages on the floor of the meeting room – the product of a workshop exercise the previous day. Let me be clear. I don’t cry in public. I reserve that for movies, in private, about dogs doing something noble. What was I
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What makes great dialogue: conversations with depth and delight

Thinking about facilitation. I ran a session at Sydney Facilitators Network last month. The question was “What nurtures great dialogue?” We ran a ‘fish bowl’ role play with seven people conducting a dialogue, the rest of us paying close attention to the dynamics. The instruction to observers was to stay more alive to process than to the content. When the role play finished I asked for two observers to debrief each di
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What makes a great conference?

At the end of the first day, feedback from some table hosts was not good. “If we keep going on this, we will lose them tomorrow”. It was a critical point in the conference. Five star hotel, beautiful food, an ample budget, 200 smart people, great hospitality staff, and in imminent danger of going off the rails. The convenor made a snap decision to reshape the table topics, and respond to specific requests. The next d
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I offended someone yesterday

“All life is meeting” Martin Buber I offended someone yesterday. After a workshop, a woman came and told me that I had embarrassed her in front of colleagues and subordinates. I apologized. She left quickly, still unhappy. She was also a senior officer in the organisation for which I was working. As I cleaned up the training room, I pondered whether to go back up in the lift to reception on the next floor, ask for he
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Creating Learning Networks

A Guidebook for creating rural learning networks Ian Colley, Bruce Thomson and Monica Redden This project developed a Guidebook for creating and sustaining rural skill networks. It involved extensive discussions with primary producers, farmers, extension officers and people involved in regional business development networks. The main focus was on developing strategic management skills through group activities among p
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Urban and Regional Revitalisation

The success of major projects relies on a complex mix of planning, politics, community and business. A strong partnership approach that engages key stakeholders smoothes the way. We have worked with small businesses, big business, government ministers, agencies, local councils, artists, shopkeepers and students to bring energy and focus to revive local economies.
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