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

Simple frames for deeper conversations

I helped facilitate a community conversation on sustainable communities last week. It was in a cafe at night. The process was a light touch combination of world cafe and Theory U. World cafe puts different questions on different tables, allows people to choose their topic, then rotate to another topic and a new table group. It is very interactive, and encourages warm networking among strangers. The piece from Theory
Read More

The dollars in biodiversity

It is important to cut through the simple oppositionism of economy versus ecology. Pavan Sukhdev, head of the UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative, argues that the greening of economies is a new engine for growth, employment and the reduction of persistent poverty. He has put numbers on it. It is possible to demonstrate that a wetlands outside Kampala is creating more value in water treatment for the city, than conv
Read More

Making a hobby of communication

For the past couple of weeks I have attended a training session in Marshall Rosenberg’s non-violent communication skills. I was attracted by the idea of doing it every Monday night for five weeks, in the next suburb. Like going off to a community choir, but instead of doing scales we practice fundamental communication skills. I had a good time the first night, feeling quite moved by an exercise (“empathy poker”) wher
Read More

Finding what works and why

Knowing is not the same as doing. That’s Rule Number 18 from Alan M. Webber’s recent book, Rules of Thumb.[1] Webber was the founding editor/owner of Fast Company, the hip business magazine he established after a long stint at the much more staid Harvard Business Review. Rules of Thumb lists 52 business insights, all written in Webber’s engaging journalistic style and peppered with great stories about how to make sen
Read More

The two sides of collaboration

collaboration: act of working jointly act of cooperating traitorously with an enemy that is occupying your country I once worked with a woman who refused to use the word collaboration or collaborator. The Nazi occupation of European countries during the second world war relied on the venality and fear of local ‘collaborators’ and, for my work colleague, this invocation of the word had contaminated it forever. While c
Read More

Towards a Viable Australia

Early in March, I joined a three day workshop with an incredibly ambitious aim: “Creative Thinking Forum on Creating a Viable Australia”. The event drew some 60-70 people together from around Australia. I wondered if we were all crazy. Yet the process, ‘Design Shop’ created and facilitated by Matt Taylor and hosted at The Difference in Sydney was extraordinary and enlightening. Matt is an irrepressible 70 yr old, wit
Read More

Performance Conversations

In the past year I have done quite a few training sessions on performance management. The sessions confirmed my suspicion that the Australian working culture is abysmal at performance feedback. Contrary to the popular stereotype of blunt, frank and open communication, in our workplaces we are, in the main, unassertive, indirect, ironic, passive and excessively accommodating. With some rare exceptions – the people who
Read More

Performance Conversations

In the past year I have done quite a few training sessions on performance management. The sessions confirmed my suspicion that the Australian working culture is abysmal at performance feedback. Contrary to the popular stereotype of blunt, frank and open communication, in our workplaces we are, in the main, unassertive, indirect, ironic, passive and excessively accommodating. With some rare exceptions – the people who
Read More

If you are stuck… do something, anything

Often our stuckness equates to procrastination. And at the heart of procrastination lies fear and inertia. So the answer can be simple: do something, do anything. Walk, run, dance, stand on your head, hang a picture; go to a museum, skating rink, climbing wall or a swimming pool. Why? Physical movement literally increases the amount of oxygen to your brain. As often as we ignore this fact, our mind and body are direc
Read More