Transformative Leadership Program

Transform your thinking, gain new tools for addressing increasingly complex issues and collaborate with executives in similar leadership roles.

Your commitment: 105 – 120 hours


  • 1x 5 day intensive (Queensland)
  • 1x 4 day intensive (Adelaide) 

Delivery mode: Face to face, virtual

Location: Queensland, Adelaide and virtual

Start date: 22 October 2024

Program fees: $19,900 AUD - excludes flights and accommodation

Download a flyer Register for an information session Apply now

  • Program overview

    Designed for senior leaders and high performing executives, the Transformative Leadership Program will equip you with the knowledge and skills to lead with impact in an increasingly complex and unpredictable environment. 

    Over a four-month period, you will join other high-performing leaders to engage in deep, experiential learning, allowing you to develop advanced complex and adaptive thinking abilities and enhance your leadership skills. 

    You can expect:

    • On-site intensive learning led by renowned educators
    • On-site visits to organisations known for leading edge applications in excellence
    • Interactive online sessions
    • Purposeful interactions with peers outside the classroom; and 
    • The opportunity to hear from high-profile guest speakers.

    You will have the opportunity to instil and apply the lessons learned to your organisational context, and undertake individual and group assignments designed to broaden your understanding of the concepts taught. 

  • What is covered in the course?

    Topics covered include:

    • Adaptive and complex thinking.
    • Taking on multiple perspectives.
    • Leading transformative change.
    • Evolving as leaders.
    • Neuroleadership.
    • Power and rank.
    • Work and purpose.
    • Recognising the adaptive challenge.
    • Leading in complexity.
    • Leadership challenges.
    • Deeper adaptive and complex thinking.
    • Immunity to change.
    • Executive simulation.
    • Minding the system.
    • Liberating structures.
    • Transformational leadership.
    • Sustaining leadership.
  • Learning outcomes

    Research has demonstrated that leaders who develop the following competencies learn more, adapt faster and generate more complex solutions than those who do not. We have therefore ensured they are all addressed as part of the Transformative Leadership Program. 

    Mental agility: Awareness of a tendency to act, think, communicate and learn in a narrow “expert” mode, and the ability to consciously reframe one’s thinking to a higher leadership agility level.

    Mindfulness: The ability to recognise when thoughts of the past or future distract attention from what’s happening in the present, and refocus one’s attention on the internal and external experiences occurring in the moment.

    Test assumptions: The ability to recognise and test assumptions that restrict exercise of leadership, and understand how these may drive or constrain one’s thinking.

    Understand purpose: Understand organisational purpose, and how this connects to one’s work role and provides the energy and drive to exercise leadership.

    Understand role of authority: Understanding the role of authority in providing direction, protection and order in solving technical problems and its limitations in dealing with adaptive challenges.

    Identify adaptive challenges: The ability to understand and differentiate between the technical and adaptive aspects of a challenge.

    Taking multiple perspectives: The ability to view a situation from multiple perspectives, in the moment, to better observe the actions, behaviours and patterns of others and one’s self.

    Subjectivity: The ability to recognise that observations are subjective, and may be interpreted in a multitude of ways.

    Awareness of automatic responses: The ability to recognise one’s automatic responses, based on past experience, and to assess, in the moment, whether they’re appropriate in the current context

    Work across factions: The ability to recognise and engage different factions that surface, and understand how to work across different factions in the service of making progress on adaptive challenges.

    Active collaboration: The ability to broaden one’s focus beyond the people in the room and the group most directly involved, and to consider how one can collaborate effectively with each player to engage their constituencies.

    Delivering transformational outcomes

    Like its name suggests, research shows that the Transformative Leadership Program truly is transformational.

    An internationally-certified psychometric test found that 70 per cent of participants developed improved thinking capabilities over the course of the program. This can result in broader and more complex world views, and increased self-awareness in participants: key attributes of successful leaders who can think independently and strategically in complex environments.


  • Why should I attend?

    The Transformative Leadership Program will provide you with a unique opportunity to: 

    • Develop the capabilities and mindsets needed to lead effectively in a fast-changing world.
    • Increase your capacity to consider multiple viewpoints, leading to improved problem solving and decision making.
    • Discover how to make better decisions in VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) operating environments.
    • Apply tools and techniques to act and make progress on complex challenges.
    • Have access to a strong cohort of fellow professionals.
    • Understand how to grow your organisation’s capacity to learn, change and adapt in a rapidly changing environment.

    What will your organisation gain?

    The Transformative Leadership Program has been developed to specifically help leaders understand the nature of complexity and change, giving them various tools to view organisational situations from multiple perspectives. This will allow them to take a fresh perspective and adapt to significant change.

    This unique experience will transform participants’ thinking and leadership effectiveness. The opportunity to interact with those in similar leadership roles is intended to instill and enhance the new perspectives needed for addressing increasingly complex issues.

  • Subject matter experts

    This program brings together a facilitation team from Australia and the USA, with the key subject matter experts being:

    Andrew Stevens

    Andrew Stevens

    Andrew’s work focuses on the connected realm of leadership and complexity. He’s passionate about the role that management and leadership development play in making organisations, communities and societies more productive, more human and ultimately, more successful.

    As co-director and co-founder of the Uncharted Leadership Institute, Andrew consults to various entities in Australia and internationally, with clients large and small from both the public and private sectors. With a deep interest in keeping at the forefront of leadership he is committed to helping leaders successfully navigate the turbulent and complex business landscapes in which they operate.

    Andrew enjoys designing and facilitating programs on leadership, managing in complexity, adaptive leadership and change.

    Barry Bales

    Dr Barry V. Bales

    Barry is a Director of The Uncharted Leadership Institute, USA. Previously he was the Assistant Dean for Professional Development at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin.

    Barry continues to hold a faculty position as Clinical Professor of Public Policy Practice in the School’s Executive Master in Public Leadership Program.

    Barry is a frequent seminar / conference speaker in the areas of leadership, systems thinking, strategic planning, and executive development and has taught, consulted with and coached leaders and executives in 15 US states and 9 foreign countries. He has a Ph.D. in Adult and Human Resource Development Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin.

    Guest Speakers

    Examples of the guest speakers this program has previously had the privilege of working with include:

    The Hon Julia Gillard

    Ms Gillard is the first woman to ever serve as Australia’s Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister. In October 2012, Ms Gillard received worldwide attention for her speech in Parliament on the treatment of women in professional and public life. Ms Gillard is a Distinguished Fellow with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution in Washington. In February 2014, Ms Gillard was appointed Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, a leading organisation dedicated to expanding access and quality education worldwide.  In February 2015, Ms Gillard was appointed Chancellor of Dücere, Australia’s leading education provider for business and management courses from Diploma levels through to a world’s first MBA program. Ms Gillard also serves as an Honorary Professor at The University of Adelaide, and is Patron of the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library in Perth, Western Australia. Ms Gillard’s memoirs, My Story, were published by Random House in September 2014.

    Grant Stevens

    Grant Stevens APM has been Commissioner of South Australia Police since July 2015. With 36 years of general and specialist policing experience and over a decade as a member of SAPOL’s senior executive, Grant has personally led and delivered some of SAPOL’s most significant programs including, the State’s COVID-19 emergency response, outlaw motorcycle gang enforcement, specialist sexual crimes investigation, and service reform initiatives around frontline service delivery and demand management. He is also committed to improving employee wellbeing, gender equity and the elimination of discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

    Dr Lisa Lahey

    A faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and co-author of How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work and Immunity to Change, Dr Lahey and her colleague Dr Robert Kegan were recently awarded Boston University’s esteemed Gislason Prize for exceptional contributions to organisational leadership. They also received the Vision of Excellence Award from Harvard’s Institute of Coaching in 2013.

    Dr Betty Sue Flowers

    Dr Betty Sue Flowers is Emeritus Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and a member of the international team responsible for writing Global Scenarios for Shell International in London—stories about the future of the world for the next 30 years. She edited a book in collaboration with Joseph Jaworski on the inner dimensions of leadership, Synchronicity, and has published another with Jaworski, Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer on Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future. Dr Flowers was the editor of global scenarios for sustainable development and scenarios for the future of biotechnology, both sponsored by the World Business Council in Geneva.

    Dr Jennifer Garvey Berger

    Formerly an associate professor at George Mason University, Jennifer believes that the best organisations help make people bigger, more creative, more capable; organisations can and should be places where we live on our growing edge, expanding our own capabilities as we do good work. Leadership, then, is about creating the conditions for people to be their biggest selves. Almost no one knows how to do this intuitively; leadership is a discipline as much as accounting, law, or engineering. As Jennifer says in her first book, Changing on the job: Developing leaders for a complex world, if we want organisations where people are thriving and bringing their best, we need leaders who are learning. Jennifer and Keith Johnston have written a new book about their leadership development approach, Simple Habits for Complex Times: Powerful Practices for Leaders. Jennifer has worked with senior leaders in the higher education, private, non-profit and government sectors, in North America and Australasia (including The University of Adelaide, the University of Sydney, Google, KPMG, Microsoft, Lion, Wikimedia, the New Zealand Department of Conservation).

    Ms Diana Renner

    Diana is Director of Not Knowing Lab, an international consulting practice focused on building the capability of organisations and individuals to successfully navigate uncertainty and complexity. She consults to senior executives in a range of commercial, government and community organisations around the world. She is co-author of Not Knowing: the art of turning uncertainty into opportunity, with Steven D’Souza, published in May 2014. Diana’s diverse career spans the fields of law, strategy, communications, refugee advocacy and leadership development. She has facilitated a variety

    of leadership programs, including as a Faculty member with Harvard University Kennedy School of Government for ‘The Art & Practice of Leadership Development’ and workshops for The University of Adelaide, The University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs, Monash University and the Centre for Sustainability Leadership.

    Joyce Sparks

    Joyce is the Director of the Governor's Centre, LBJ School of Public Affairs, at The University of Texas. The Centre provides professional development services for thousands of managers and leaders at all organisational levels each year.

    Joyce is an ICF Credentialed Master Certified Coach, has been doing executive coaching for over 17 years and has worked with government executives as well as private sector clients. She has provided leadership development and coaching sessions for executive officials from across the United States, Canada, Eastern Europe, Africa, Brazil and Australia.

  • Application process

    This program has an application process that requires prospective participants to respond to a range of criteria to ensure suitability for the program.

    Applications are now open and will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Applicants will be notified of their application outcome via email.

    Places are limited, we advise applying as soon as possible.

    Application process:

    1. Click Apply now (applications are now open)
    2. Complete your personal details
    3. Read through the Eligibility and Selection Criteria
    4. Respond to each question in the online application form, addressing the criteria in the areas of Aspiration, Ability, Readiness and Motivation
    5. Once you have submitted your application, we will be in touch to advise you of your application outcome by email
  • Eligibility

    The Transformative Leadership Program has been developed specifically to meet the needs of senior, or soon-to-become senior, leaders. It is designed to enhance the complex thinking capabilities of high-performing professionals who are already able to think strategically, work effectively in teams and who are open to new perspectives.

    The program provides a unique opportunity to network and collaborate with executives in similar leadership roles. Please note that numbers are strictly limited to 25 participants.

    To be eligible for the program you must: 

    • Hold a senior leadership position in your organisation and/or be a high performing executive who can think strategically and work effectively in teams.
    • Be available to attend and participate in all program elements including in person and online sessions.
    • Have support from your relevant organisation and/or senior leadership to participate, including support to attend program in full and opportunities to apply learnings.
    • Agree to the Terms and Conditions of the Program.
  • Key dates

    Program element


    Time (Adelaide)

    Time (Queensland)


    Information Session

    Wed, 1 May 2024

    8:30am – 9:30am




    Program Orientation

    Tues, 22 October 2024




    Virtual session #1 - Setting the Context (macro)

    Tues, 29 October 2024

    8:00am - 12:00pm



    Virtual session #2 - Setting the Context (micro)

    Tues, 12 November 2024

    9:00am - 1:00pm



    Program Welcome Dinner

    Sun, 17 November 2024


    6:30pm - 10:00pm


    venue TBC

    Queensland intensive

    Mon, 18 - Fri, 22 November 2024


    Mon -  Thurs 8:45am - 5:00pm & Fri, 8:45-1:00pm

    Queensland, venue TBC

    Virtual session #3 - Diversity (with guest speaker)

    Tues, 10 December 2024

    9:00am - 1:00pm



    Virtual one hour check-in (optional) Tues 17 December 2024 9:00am - 10:00am   Online

    Virtual session # 4 - Adult development (with guest speaker)

    Tues, 21 January 2025

    9:00am - 1:00pm



    Virtual one hour check-in (optional) Tues, 28 January 2025 9:00am - 10:00am   Online

    Adelaide intensive

    Tues, 4 - Fri, 7 February 2025

    8:45am - 5:00pm


    PACE, University of Adelaide, South Australia

    Graduation dinner

    Fri, 7 February 2025

    6:30pm - 9:30pm


    Adelaide, venue TBA

    Post-program session

    Tues, 25 February 2025

    9:00am - 10:00am 



    Please note: the above dates are tentative only and subject to change.

  • Program fee exclusions

    Program fees: $19,900 (GST free)

      Exclusions: Flights and accommodation in Adelaide or Queensland.

    “I’d encourage anyone to do it…even if you don’t plan on being a CEO, the program is fantastic. It has helped me both personally and professionally, and really made a difference to my outlook on different aspects of my life."

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    Victoria MacKirdy

    Victoria MacKirdy, CEO, City of Victor Harbor

    “It's the best leadership program I’ve ever done. Be prepared to be challenged. Be prepared to think differently, observe different ways of doing things and broaden your understanding of leadership.” 

    Read more

    Marina Bowshall

    Marina Bowshall, CEO, Preventative Health SA