Peter Dunn - Preparing To Lead In A Crisis book cover

Peter’s book – click the link to buy a copy

Here’s to a happy, safe and healthy Lunar new year in 2020.  Last year was a huge year for us, and for many of our clients.  It was also a tough end to the year for many people with the implications of climate change making themselves so apparent.  We would like to extend our gratitude to the many volunteers and emergency service workers who continue to do an extraordinary job.  At BI we’re also sending our thoughts and best wishes to our Associate Peter Dunn who lives in Lake Conjola and is now coordinating the area’s recovery post fires. We continue to recommend Peter’s book ‘Preparing to to lead in a crisis’. Peter is a member of Emergency Leaders for Climate Action, and a part of the Beasley team.

We are grateful for the opportunity to work with so many incredible people.  In the last year, we have seen a continuation of many themes we saw emerging in 2018, both in the world of our clients, and in our own business.

Some of the team catching up in Sydney recently (L to R: Karen G, Rachel R, Matilda E, Ramona S & Tamerlaine)

Our clients are continuing their digital transformation, as are we.  In 2019 we moved our business HQ into a building with 2500 others working on digital scale up/start up –‘ Fishburners’ at the Sydney Start Up Hub.  Fishburners is an incubator which gives us unique access to expertise, a community of incredible others working on similar challenges, and a fabulous hub for our business.  Click here to see the music video put out by Fishburners for the holiday season (my little cameo in the lift scene!). An expanded, secure online ‘homebase’ for Beasley Intercultural and our clients is critical.  We’re in the building phase so watch this space!

At the Australian High Commission in Dhaka.

Digital transformation is also changing the way we deliver our services for our clients.  In  our facilitation of large events, we are now maximising inclusion and ‘making thinking visible’ through using live data gathering, aggregation and sharing.  It’s a bit of a mind shift to ask people to get out their phones, but it is incredible to aggregate and live feed the thoughts of hundreds of people on a topic and have the opportunity to facilitate dialogue and ‘conversations that matter’.  In 2019 we applied our efforts to facilitating highly inclusive and responsive dialogue on issues for leadership development, strategy and planning sessions.  We facilitated discussions to Deputy Secretary level on climate risk and adaptation, supported national strategic planning for large industry bodies and MC’d international events and forums focusing on regional and international collaboration.   We also worked with global teams in country in locations as diverse as Bangladesh, Vietnam, Fiji and the Philippines. Maximising inclusion, facilitating participation, and enabling people with diverse views and perspectives to effectively work together on shared problems is a critical area of need, and one we are committed to continuing to deliver on.

Our online and blended programs continue, in key areas of : inclusive leadership, global mobility, cultural capability, and resilience through change.  We are delivering an increasing number of small group programs for cohorts of participants in different countries as well as 1:1 Coaching/Advisory for senior global leaders around the world.  As geography no longer bounds us, we are able to match the best and most appropriate consultant with our clients and work with them throughout their global mobility – either relocating home base, or simply working in a role requiring travel or unusual hours.

Our learning and development expertise continues to be focused on getting the most practical outcomes.  We were delighted to welcome Dr Karen Gonsalkorale to the team in 2019. Karen brings deep expertise in behavioural insights, adding another dimension to maximising the impact of our work.

Global mobility support continues to be a significant focus.  Geoff, Ramona, Matilda, Liz and Camilla have all been busy working with both inbound and outbound participants.  Our longest programs are a week of intensive training preparation, or 8 month coaching and support for high profile priority postings, our shortest program comprises of online resources complimented with a one hour zoom session with a coach. It’s satisfying to see so many clients recognising how important this important area is for ensuring the effective adjustment, performance, and resilience of their staff and their families. Resilience through change was one of our popular programs, and one Ramona has been busy delivering through much of 2019.  We anticipate this need will only grow. Through preparing leaders and teams, it is possible to develop strategies to support people work together through change.

The importance of Inclusive Leadership is increasing as complexity and change defines so many workplacs.  Karen has been developing and delivering ‘Inclusive Leadership through Change’ to the top 200 leaders of the NSW Department of Justice (now Communities and Justice) with incredible results.  She has also been providing support to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and other corporate clients on this important topic.  Matilda has been delivering extensive ‘Addressing Unconscious Bias’ programs. Institutions across Australia are working

Graduation of the 2018-2019 VC’s Sponsorship program at the University of Sydney.

to tap into and better leverage the talent within, and ensure leadership ranks better reflect the communities they serve.  Tamerlaine has been delivering the one year in duration Vice Chancellors’ sponsorship program at the University of Sydney for a second year, working with incredibly talented future women leaders from diverse cultural backgrounds. The inaugural Asian Australian Leadership Forum was a great initiative in 2019, convened by PWC and Asialink and Tamerlaine also attended the Crawford Leaderhsip forum at the ANU.

In 2019 I also was active on the Board of the Australia ASEAN Council for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, actively Chaired by Christine Holgate.  Flagship programs we funded included the Australia-SEAsia Muslim

Australian ASEAN Board hosting Muslim Exchange program participants in Sydney

exchange program, the BRIDGE school partnerships and Australia Vietnam Young Leaders Dialogue.  Our Board also visited WA where we engaged in the Perth US Asia Centre SEAsia dialogue where I spoke on people to people linkages across the region.

The capacity of our leaders and organisations to adapt to a changing context, and harness the creativity and capacity of global communities will have critical implications for our future. We need to work together across difference, to apply evidence-based thinking, and innovate at a scale we have never done before.  There has never been a more important time to build resilient, culturally-capable, inclusive and effective institutions and businesses.   This is not only necessary when working internationally, but also at home.

We look forward to keeping in touch with our extraordinary global network of friends, colleagues and clients. In 2020, we hope the lunar new year is one of peace, good health and prosperity for you and your community.