Leadership Accelerator Program (LAP)

The University’s Leadership Accelerator Program is a targeted leadership development opportunity designed to build and embed leadership capability in the University. Participants will be nominated by their Faculty/Division senior leadership team.

Participants will undertake a multi-faceted program over the course of nine months. Six learning modules will focus on providing content in the areas of leading self, leading others, systems thinking, organisational culture, leading change and developing service culture. Learning modules are followed by sandpit forums and group coaching sessions.

Program Objective

The Leadership Accelerator Program (LAP) aims to:

  • build strong leadership capability which will enable more effective management of the leadership challenges that arise in the University context.
  • build a culture focused on service effectiveness.
  • enable participants to extend their networks across faculties, divisions and schools, thereby establishing a better understanding of the University and the broader context in which it operates.

Program outline

Launch event The launch event will provide participants with an overview of the program, its objectives, what to expect and a chance to network and meet the other participants. This will be followed by a session on “setting the context” for leadership to lay the foundation for the program to follow. 
Learning Modules Develop core leadership thinking through a series of six full-day workshops.  
Individual Diagnostic Completion of the Team Management System’s profiling tool will provide constructive, work-based information outlining individual work preferences and personal strengths that an individual brings to a team.
Sandpit Forums Sandpit sessions take place between workshops and offer a supportive and challenging way for participants to be exposed to complex decision making and develop their ability to take a more systemic view.
Group coaching Provides a supportive structure for participants to reflect on progress, share experiences, have robust discussions and create invaluable connections across functional areas.
Graduation To celebrate and close the program, participants will share their learning journey with each other ending with a celebration. 

Learning Modules

  • Module 1: Leading Self

    During the Leading Self module, participants will develop self-awareness using the TMS profile tool, understand their personal preferences and how these influence our interactions with others, explore what leadership is and how it may differ from management.

  • Module 2: Leading Others

    Participants will consider how thriving teams develop, practically explore team roles and leading an effective team. The module will look at the importance of networks, inter-team collaborations and the challenges of continual group learning in a changing environment. The role of psychological safety will underpin the workshop.

  • Module 3: Systems Thinking

    During this module participants will be introduced to the concept of systems thinking and how it applies in the University organisation and more broadly. Using an action and problem-based approach you will learn to apply systems thinking rather than event-based thinking principles, the role of feedback and paradigms in solving problems and the application of a number of readily usable tools.

  • Module 4: Organisational Culture

    A familiar cliche is that ‘culture eats strategy.’ In fact, the organisational culture will determine what strategies are even considered, let alone implemented. In this highly interactive and experiential day, we will take a systemic view to explore how organisational culture evolves and how to exercise leadership to influence it. Josie will also share examples from her practice of influencing culture over the last 20 years.

  • Module 5: Leading Change

    Leading Change will look at change management and how this applies within the University context.

  • Module 6: Leading Change

    This session facilitates rich conversations and the sharing of mental models, identities and deep narratives to gain insight into a variety of perspectives.


David Pender

David is a leading Australian consultant specialising in the development and success of knowledge-intensive organisations. He has worked widely in the public and not-for-profit sectors both in Australia and overseas concentrating on sustainable performance improvement through people and organisational development. The application of knowledge management principles and negotiation skills are a key part of his work. David is also an adjunct lecturer at the Business School conducting classes in negotiation, knowledge management and leadership. He is also completing his PhD in knowledge management at the School.


Dr Josie McLean, PCC

Josie has a broad business background as a corporate strategic planner and a manager of a finance company branch in Melbourne. The theme in her work has been strategy, people, process and change. In 1999 she commenced an executive coaching practice and, in the process, became a pioneer of the professional coaching industry in Australia (President of the International Coach Federation Australasia in 2003). Josie is an internationally recognised professional coach (2009 ICF President’s Award) and has developed into a masterful systemic coach with over 20 years of experience. Josie has a successful track record of collaborating with CEOs and Directors of People and Culture to assist them in transforming their organisational cultures and behavioural change initiatives.


Steven Nayda

Steven is an experienced management consultant, facilitator and executive coach specialising in the areas of leadership development, strategy facilitation, strategic human resource management, and economic development. Steven has been managing and delivering contemporary leadership and learning programs for over two decades through various consulting firms. He assists leaders articulate their strengths and fosters their confidence to incite real cultural change and business transformation through improved knowledge and performance. A highly engaging facilitator, Steven is able to cut through the clutter and simplify the key issues current within a complex operating environment. Steven presents customised Strategy programs in PACE, which integrate the themes of leadership and innovative thinking techniques.


Andrew Stevens

Andrew is passionate about the role that management and leadership development plays in making organisations, communities and even societies more productive, more human and more successful. In his former role as the Assistant Dean and Director of Executive Education at the University of Adelaide, Andrew has had the great fortune to work with senior managers across a diverse range of private, government and not-for-profit organisations. This experience has allowed him to understand that the leadership attributes needed for success in today’s world are changing. In response, he has come to realise that the way we design and deliver leadership development needs to evolve. Andrew designs and delivers programs in Australia and the USA on managing in complexity, mindfulness, VUCA, adaptive leadership, leadership effectiveness and change. In addition to program design and delivery, Andrew consults in the areas of leadership development architecture, leadership capability frameworks and vertical development.


Taryn Sexton

Taryn is an experienced facilitator, leadership expert, coach and executive. Passionate about developing present and emerging leaders to tackle the complex issues we face in a rapidly changing future, she is an Alumni of the Transformative Leadership Program (2016), a collaboration between the University of Adelaide and the Lyndon B Johnson School of Government at the University of Texas and a Fellow of the Governor's Leadership Foundation (2009). She has 16 years’ experience as a not-for-profit CEO and has also worked in several universities supporting doctoral, masters and research programs and teaching marketing. She is currently undertaking a Master of Workforce Planning and is an accredited Executive Coach, Resilience @ Work Practitioner and Team Management Systems Practitioner. Taryn is skilled at working across content while holding programs and groups together, and synthesizing information into digestible, relatable language. Her facilitation style is warm, inclusive and results driven.


Target Audience

The Leadership Accelerator Program targets professional and academic staff at HEO 7-10 and levels B & C who have 2 or more years of leadership experience and may not have participated in a frontline leader program previously.

Participating staff will be nominated by their Faculty/Division senior leadership team.




Any queries about the program can be directed to the Learning and Development team on 08 8313 8006 or by email.