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

Getting here from there – the paradox of the future

A tourist in Dublin asks a local resident for directions and gets this reply “ahh you can be getting there well enough, but I wouldn’t be starting from here”. Matt Taylor, who invented the ‘DesignShop’ methodology (for more detail, see below), encourages ambitious change agents and innovators to “start from there, not from here”. In other words, get clear about the future before the doing the planning, problem-solvin
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The Gospel according to Mark – grounded questions

“Human beings are both full of dignity and broken.” My ears pricked up. I am not accustomed in everyday conversation to an acknowledgement of human complexity, and especially, of the darkness in us. I was listening to a presentation by Dr Mark Strom at the Sydney Facilitators Network. Mark is an Australian, residing in the UK, with a history in senior consulting and change roles, including as CEO of an NZ private col
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Solutions Focus

I stood and up and invited my colleague to walk out of the room. She looked surprised and a bit anxious, but complied. We were practicing a role play on solutions-focused coaching in a workshop run by UK consultants Paul Jackson and Janine Waldman. I was determined to shift things, break up the fussiness of the conversation, and happy to try something different. We walked in circles outside the training room. Then my
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Facilitation Training

Facilitation Training   One day courses in facilitation at Univeristy of Technology Sydney, or online:   ‘Facilitation Essentials’ at the University of Technology, Sydney. The 2021 dates are: 21 April, 15 June, 10 August, or 13 October Enrol here:  https://enrol.vetenrol.com.au/?clientid=VT-UTS&progid=28 ‘Facilitation for Design Thinking’: 14 April, or 12 May Enrol Here:    https://enrol.vetenrol.com.au
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Design thinking approach to business models

I was impressed by a new way of thinking about business design this this weekend.  We were working with a talented nineteen year old musician and producer, who had invented an audio program using movement to shape music. It could be used to enhance concert events, dance parties, DJ programs. Jack wrote the program for a university course, and his friends were wowed by the results. He was interested in whether it was
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Small is Beautiful

Our work with small businesses across the Duck River industrial precincts west of Sydney, has taught us that many small businesses are way ahead of governments in their sustainability thinking and appetite for immediate action. Small is beautiful, and it can often seed something big. We came across the following example of this during our research for the Streamline program. It is a great example of something that st
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Hunter on the prowl for National Broadband Network

The Hunter is on the prowl. By taking the lead in developing a skills strategy, the region is unique in its efforts to engage with the NBN and make the most of the largest infrastructure project since the Snowy Mountains Scheme. More than double the number of expected participants attended the meeting to identify the skills needed and opportunities related to the rollout of the NBN. By bringing together more than 60
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Duck River Idols

In September 2009, make stuff happen won the job to create a business network that could support the sustainability efforts of small and medium sized businesses across the lower Duck River industrial precincts that straddle Parramatta and Auburn City Councils in western Sydney. Small and medium sized businesses were perceived to be lacking the support larger businesses could attract through other government or indust
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Models for collaboration

Do we have models for 21st century collaboration. In the internet age, are we doing it differently? I recently attended a seminar organised by the Australian Centre for Social Innovation. It featured Tonya Surman, founding executive director of the Centre for Social Innovation, based in Toronto. She offered a simple model that captured something I had been struggling with. For collaborative activity across a number o
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