Expertise in the psychology of strategy and
Strategy for an evolving world
Expertise in the psychology of strategy and business
We help organisations to
thrive through emerging
complexity with innovation
and quick adaptation to
We facilitate your business
transformation resulting in
alignment and systems-
thinking capability to deliver
We call this sustain-agility.
What we do...
We create sustain-agility in businesses.
• Expanded strategic thinking that encompasses intuitive knowing and rational
• Swift, effective response to emerging conditions
• Robust decision-making in the face of uncertainty
• Eagerness for learning, innovating and creating new opportunities
• Conscious intent for long-term viability
• Navigation of the interconnected, complex systems in which we operate
•We design and facilitate strategy formulation processes for intact executive
teams, boards and extended key stakeholder groups.
•We individually mentor, support and challenge executives to observe, decide
and act with clarity and intention in the face of complexity and uncertainty.
•We run workshops to skill individuals and teams to be more effective and
robust in their key business relationships.
•We work beside individuals, in their business, on their business, helping
them apply new strategic thinking and relationship skills.
•We review organisational culture, climate, structure and leadership systems
How we do it...
We design a unique process for every client we work with. Strategy formulation and implementation is tailored to their specific
strategy needs and situation. The operating environment continues to evolve as the work progresses, so outcomes are continually
re-confirmed with the organisation’s leadership and processes are re-designed as required.
We have a strong partnership with the
sponsor of the work and the leadership team.
On-going individual and group facilitation
means that these people are aligned, robust
and cohesive as they lead the processes for
the organisation. We facilitate their strong
Individual mentoring supports and challenges
people to transform themselves first. This is a
requirement for any value coming from a
strategic business transformation or change.
We facilitate individuals to rapidly and
robustly increase the complexity of their
thinking and feeling, helping them to thrive in
their increasingly complex world.
We have developed and tested unique
frameworks (such as the one to the right for
sustain-agility). We tailor and apply these
frameworks to individuals, groups and whole
Who we are.....
Brent Sheridan, Director
Over the last 20 years, I’ve designed and facilitated strategy formulation and implementation processes with energy companies
and global mining, metals and professional services businesses. I’ve led learning leadership and organisational development
functions in banking and financial services and had line management and leadership roles in tourism and hospitality, I’ve worked
with private and public organisations. I’ve worked in Australia and overseas.
Enough of the routine stuff… Who am I really…?
I love ideas. And even more than ideas, I love patterns and connections between ideas, the elegant, simple explanation
underneath the apparently confounding complexity. I can get quite consumed in figuring out how systems work.
When I was young, I used to get lost looking up words in the dictionary. I would find the one I initially wanted to know about, but
then the adjacent ones would capture my attention and I was compelled to keep reading, discovering one after the other.
And I have realised that I have a lot of empathy; I can often feel what other people are feeling. Rather than making me want to
get closer to others, the experience was a bit disconcerting, so sometimes I can defer to an analytic or task focus, so I do not
have to feel quite so much. This talent has been the hardest one for me to come to appreciate. It is the most challenging for me.
I have a great desire to see systems operating well, be it a family, a board and executive team, a whole organisation or our whole
civilisation. I believe that we have a great opportunity to create a new ways of creating meaning for ourselves and for what we
do; through that meaning-making we all can continue to thrive. This motivates me, even when I get frustrated or sad when I see
some of the madness of our current world.
My contribution to making any system more aware and more capable to fulfil its purpose gives me joy. I love this work and the
part that I can play in making organisations better able to navigate complex environments so that they can do that for which they
Who we are.....
Michelle Bloom, Director
So this is the place where I get to tell you how credible I am and what wonderful outcomes I’ve created/ supported/ been responsible
for and basically tell you through a 3rd person editorial a list of my outstanding achievements. Well I am not going to do that exactly. I
am going to tell you about who I am and what I see as my strengths and my limitations so that you get a real sense of what I can do for
I am a powerful consultant who knows how to build value in your organisation/ system through your intangible assets. What the? Well
what I mean by this is ... I know how to support people and systems, to apply ‘solvent’ to their stuckness so they get more of what they
want. This is really valuable. Most change efforts fail as they don’t attend to the intangible aspects of change...the messy bits which I
love to work with and am really good at getting to operate effectively.
I am smart and understand complexity well... I think strategically and systemically which means I can see things from meta view and I
can see what is getting in the way of people/ systems achieving what they want. And I know what to do about it. I am really good at
supporting people through their fears and helping them to imagine what’s possible. I love doing that.
I am a trusted executive mentor and love supporting people and organisations to be courageous, authentic and to make robust
decisions in the face of uncertainty. I am not always as patient as I would like. I tend to understand things fast and my thinking moves
quickly, which can leave people behind. I know my work has created value because past clients have told me so, but you need to speak
to them to be the best judge of that.
I bring to my work a deep curiosity about people and organisational systems. I have studied with a spiritual teacher for many years and
practice a number of approaches to lifting my own level of thinking and being. I have a gifted and wonderfully spirited son who
continues to be a way-show-er in my life, leading me to the edge of my next evolution.
I am deeply committed at a values level to creating a legacy of supporting people, organisations and systems to become sustain-agile
enabling the next generation to thrive in our rapidly evolving world.
And finally I have all the necessary pieces of paper from various universities to tell you I know how to think and write essays well.
Who we are.....
Sabine Simmonds, Director
My business career started in my early 20’s when I moved to Europe to start up a sales and marketing company supplying
products to the toy, sports and nursery sectors. Over the next 17 years I set up two more companies and distribution for
our products across the northern hemisphere, designed product ranges and sourced their production in Asia.
I was young to be doing this, so even with a business degree behind me, my learning curve about leadership and
management was steep. My experience of running organizations was that while the commercial outcomes were
tremendously exciting, they didn’t give my life the meaning and depth that I yearned for.
During those years travelling the world in pursuit of business I also explored my inner world through therapy, personal
development and interest in spirituality. I wanted to make sense of myself, the family I grew up in and importantly make
a more meaningful contribution to the world than simply selling more products.
My mother’s terminal illness in 2005 brought me back to Australia. I spent a year nursing her, confronting the
inevitability of death and ultimately losing her to the illness. It was the most profound, challenging and yet precious year
of my life. I was catalyzed to sell my business interests, emigrate back to Australia, get married and begin a new career
Since then my creativity has been applied in management consultancy designing and delivering long-term, top-level
transformational interventions for large organizations. I love exploring the space where the person, their role and their
organization meet. It’s a rich, complex and dynamic place that can hinder or project a person and organisation toward
their desired outcomes. It’s a space that requires brutal honesty with oneself and taking risks to be and do differently.
Becoming a parent recently has been yet another transformative experience for me. It may sound clichéd, but seeing the
next generation up close and in development has given me a compelling need to make my life and this world more
Sustain-agility is the only way we will all survive in this swiftly changing world. Organisations and their leaders play a
crucial role in enabling this survival. I am committed and passionate to support visionary leaders in not only achieving
their outcomes, but doing it in a way that contributes more meaningful to the world we are in.
Who we are.....
Phil Oldfield, Director
I have been teaching Gestalt theory and practice since 1986 and am a co-director of the Sydney Gestalt Institute. This
work has provided me with much joy, love, challenge and stimulation as I have worked to co-create the largest and most
successful Gestalt learning institute in Australia.
I also have a Gestalt practice in Sydney, seeing private clients, training and supervising counselors and Psychotherapists,
conducting training programs for government departments, hospitals, community organizations and businesses.
I have come to recognise my considerable capacity to sense, understand and reflect back to groups and individuals what
they are doing as they singly and collectively make meaning of their experience.
I also have a great joy of joy-making! There is far too little joy in this world, and I know too well the cost of too little love
and joy in the lives of people to believe it is not important in the existence of organisations.
I am excited to be applying myself in the field of strategic systems. I know from my long experience in this field that
people in strategic and business contexts benefit enormously from the simplicity and powerful nature of how the Gestalt
modality works, providing expansion of awareness and encouraging growth, wholeness and integration. This is why I do
Why we do it.....
We are united in the belief that our ethical purpose is to leave the world in a better state than
when we got here, not merely do no harm.
We want to help create low-friction business models that reflect monetary and intangible value
such as strategic networks and wisdom.
We believe that our current financial, economic, psychological, social and environmental systems
are under strain and in various states of dis-ease.
What we have been doing and how we have been doing it seems to be unsustainable.
And in our rapidly evolving and increasingly interconnected world, we believe we all need sustain-
agility to assess where we are, have the courage to act even when we do not have as much
information as we would like, and most importantly, reflect and learn from what has happened.
Accelerated evolution has over 50 years combined experience creating strategic
breakthroughs, executive alignment, business transformation and thinking skills for complex
What we have done.....
The Chairpersons, MDs and CEOs of the organisations we work with have a desire to significantly
improve the strategic agility, and performance of their businesses.
They know that they will not succeed without executive alignment. They also know that their
business transformation begins with themselves. Transforming their own actions and interactions
are a key to their success.
Our client list is confidential. However we can tell you we have extensive experience in the following
• Energy (generation, distribution, retail)
• Mining and minerals
• Banking and finance
• Pharmaceutical and health care
• Professional services
• Hospitality, tourism and leisure
The following pages outline the work we have done
What we have done.....
As part of a 4 year strategic transformation process, we worked with multiple layers of an
operations business to leverage the integrated value of the business and formulate breakthrough
strategies to deliver growth. The transformation process created sustain-agility to deliver on the
You want more adaptive intended strategy and at the same time capitalise on the opportunities that emerged in the
capacity for our rapidly environment.
Part way through this work, a hostile bid emerged ‘from no where’. Almost simultaneously, new
You need sustain-agility! opportunities also emerged, and more continued to do so every week. The executive adapted to
these competing possibilities applying strategic thinking from multiple perspectives and
exercising their more effective and robust business relationships, allowing them to act with
courage in the emerging environment
Outcomes for the
Grow the organisation over the
business 15% 4 years have
each year. included:
• 75% increase in
• Being taken over • doubling of
by major global market cap,
player ‘A’ • sustainability
• JV with major • successful
global player ‘B’ acquisition of
new assets such
• Create new that the market
market in green responded
What we have done.....
This process occurred over 12 months and resulted in a strategy that will create between
$75M - $100M revenue to the organisation’s bottom line.
It required the whole leadership team of 40 people to understand how their parts of the
You want to invest and create
process were interconnected with each other and their external environments to create their
LT value as well as ST returns… Breakthrough.
ethical governance create It also required of them to realise that what they were doing had ethical implications for
opportunity themselves and the business, was unsupportable and also unsustainable.
It is the first step in a fundamental repositioning of the business, allowing it to continue to
operate aligned to the emerging needs for sustainable industry in terms of materials used,
technologies employed, environmental footprint and community impact.
1. Leadership team 2. Through a whole- 3. The ‘impossible’ 4. The ‘impossible’ has
recombined in non- system approach, challenge is set down become the
functional groups to ‘the problem’ is ‘imperative’
explore what they uncovered The business is
should be doing restructured to Interactions within and
differently Individuals are support this work outside the production
challenged and system are being
Given new supported to think People are supported discovered, problems
awareness of how at more complex to realise how their solved and issues
they are interacting levels and to siloed operating resolved
with each other interact in a more stops themselves and
that is getting in the effective way when each other from People align behind the
way of operational dealing with this undertaking ‘the ethical stance of what
excellence complex issue impossible’ challenge now ‘must be done’
What we have done.....
The ‘Cynefin’ approach by Snowdon illustrates this work best
4. Finally people started talking and 2. We helped them to see the ‘Complicated’
exercising shared leadership through honest nature of the problem by involving the next
exchanges about what was happening in layers of the organisation and revealing the
Fast and effective decision- Complex
each area and what was driving each complexity of the internal and external systems
making requires collective person. The situation was recognised to be they needed to consider. But they still held onto
wisdom and results from Emergent, requiring Experiment and the hope that this problem might be able to be
dialogue cooperation. handled with a conventional approach
They worked together to Probe (first) – They tried to Sense – Analyse (with some
Sense – Respond and created an effective external content experts) – Respond, but again
strategic approach. the results were less than required.
Uncertain order Certain
3. Because of the increased pressure 1. The executive had created a big, bold vision
from the Board and their external for themselves but were divided about how to
stakeholders (media, government, do it, and even if ‘it’ was possible. Some
community), panic ensued. The situation wanted ‘business as usual’ or ‘best practice’
was perceived to be hostile, chaotic, and approaches but conversations were not being
in crisis. had and political agendas were rife.
This organisation loved a crisis. They They tackled the problem as one they had
sprang to Act – (and only later) Sense – Simple seen before and tried to Sense – Categorise –
Respond. Unfortunately they misread the Respond their way to a strategic solution.
conditions and key blunders were made
in their haste. This was not working and the board was not
What we have done.....
The CEO and CFO of this global pharmaceutical company had a history of low-level conflict
in their strategy and decision-making processes. While their disagreement and hearty
debate didn’t threaten the relationship between them, they often got stuck and the
You need flexibility and strategy was stuck too. In a series of Strategic Governance sessions they wanted a higher
resilience to create a strategy level of performance to deliver to investors and shareholders.
that deals with increasing
In many ways, these two leaders were at different ends of the spectrum in how they solved
complexity problems, made decisions and operated in the world. The CEO was rational in his thinking,
required lots of data analysis and was slower and more considered in his approach. The CFO
was an intuitive thinker and moved quickly to decisions, sourced data from a number of key
people in the business and trusted his gut instinct and wisdom.
This difference in approach at times led them to misunderstand each other and assume the
other was blocking the way forward. This undercurrent played out in unhelpful politics in
the exec team. The company was falling well short of capitalising on the strategic wisdom of
the players at the top level.
Both were employing previously successful strategies for dealing with complexity. However,
the roles they now had and the environment that they were in required new capability in
both of them.
Through the Strategic Governance process they were able to move from fixed positions to
more complex strategic thinking, empathy and dialogue. Through a real conversation,
dialogue, they found new sources of resilience in themselves, with each other, and only
then could they work together to mobilise the resilience the organisation needed in the rest
of the exec team.
The exec politics shifted as they dealt differently with each other and the executive. They
devised a stakeholder strategy that had the key players align with their position which
returned value to the shareholders and external stakeholders.
What we have done.....
This large Australian business had recently restructured and a number of senior people had
been let go because they were seen to be blockers to the new direction. The leader of the
Creativity and a sense of management team had selected her new team based on both their technical and their
legacy result in opportunity! leadership capability and many were untested at this level of complexity.
Two months post restructure fear was rife, paralysing people’s capability to perform. Micro-
managing, justifying, blaming, rationalising and general inaction were impacting the
financials with an unexpected shortfall in the half-year results.
We supported each person in the team to be honest about their present situation and only
then was critical information and strategic wisdom available. The information shared was
used to develop real time strategy: what to do with the presenting circumstances. It became
easier to have the difficult conversations. They were willing to let each other know where
they felt confused, unsupported or lost. Performance challenges were addressed and seen as
valuable information to move the business forward.
There was an increase in trust. They had greater enthusiasm, sense of purpose and vision.
They regained their sense of what they wanted to create for the long-term.
The management team were able to devise a strategy that addressed the short term
financial challenge while attending to their longer term vision of creating a world class
business that created value for them, their customers, shareholders and the community.
The sense of commitment that individuals discovered in themselves was no longer primarily
based in fear of consequences but in the courage to lead and do what best served the legacy
they wanted to leave.
Without this capability they would not have been able to deliver their business outcomes.
strategy for an evolving world
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