About

We are strategic, pragmatic and full of heart

 

We bring a passion for social change and express it through coaching and facilitation.  We’re grounded, strategically skilled, and kind.

We love what we do, and are honoured to partner with a diverse population of thoughtful, visionary and competent people.

 

The individuals, teams and organisations we work with achieve tangible results and sustainable change. Their successes are part of a ripple of performance improvement which accelerates the achievement of social outcomes.

 We bring experience from across the sector 

  • The Arts
  • International Development
  • Disability
  • Health
  • Children’s Services
  • Community Services
  • Religious entities
  • Philanthropy
  • Environment & Heritage
  • Indigenous
  • Aged Care
  • Independent Schooling

Meet the Team

Elise Sernik

Elise Sernik, Founder

 

Elise is an experienced Executive Coach who has partnered with leaders and managers from across the nonprofit sector to transform their impact, and commercial executives to reinvent their careers. A 20-year prior career that spans commercial, social purpose sector and management consulting provides her clients with a trusted thought partner for steering through leadership. As a student of human change, Elise draws from immersion in the fields of neuroscience, gestalt, mindfulness, systems dynamics and interpersonal effectiveness. In 2015 she was awarded by ICF NSW for her contribution to the nonprofit sector.
Barb Barkely

Barbara Barkley

 

Barb is an Executive Coach, with a business and accounting background, a Masters in Sports Management and a senior social purpose career. As CEO of Womensport Queensland, National Manager of the Telstra Foundation and through her own strategy and executive coaching business, Barb has created partnerships, developed strategies and delivered programs across sport, community, corporates and government.  Barb engages collaboratively, and with a leader’s perspective to help people and organisations clarify their vision of where they want to go and how they could get there while staying true to their values and purpose.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What is coaching?

There are many definitions of coaching. One of our favourites is this one: “Coaching is a collaborative process of enabling others to experience their situation from a fresh perspective.” What we like about this is the emphasis on coaching as a partnership of skilled and intelligent peers working together to achieve more than could be achieved alone. This definition is courtesy of authors Ty Francis and Malcolm Parlett in their book Contact and Context, New Directions in Gestalt Coaching.

How does coaching differ from mentoring?

Coaching suggests a process which creates personal and professional growth because the coachee is engaged in developing themselves through self reflection and insight.  Mentoring tends to infer that one party is sharing their wisdom and bringing content knowledge.

Will you give me specific advice, tools, contacts and knowledge?

We will always ask you to do your own thinking first before we offer our own expertise. We do this because the research in brain science shows that adults get the best outcomes when they have insights triggered by their own thinking and reflection.  We recognise that our content knowledge, tools, networks can also be of value. We generously share all that we can when we together agree that it is useful.

Why do you call it the social purpose sector?

There are many names for the organisations and enterprises that are not businesses with a commercial focus. These tend to capture one aspect of some organisations (e.g. volunteers are important for some organisations but by no means all organisations), or a subset of organisation (some organisations are community organisations), or define the sector by what it is not (e.g. nongovernment). The most common label, not-for-profit, is both misleading and profoundly unhelpful. All organisations must make some kind of a surplus if they are to become sustainable over the long term. The difference is that organisations that exist to support a social purpose, will direct their surplus towards beneficiaries who require their support, or the organisation will reinvest it for the same purpose. The growth of social purpose businesses and social entrepreneurship is an exciting innovation in the sector that supports both social outcomes and sustainability.

Do coaching programs help during times of organisational change?

There is a growing body of evidence around coaching outcomes. According to Sydney University research, ‘well-designed, evidence-based coaching programs during times of organisational change can deliver clear business benefits, enhance executives’ ability to deal with change and help them become more resilient leaders, as well as have a positive impact on their personal lives.’ Our experience with our clients certainly bears this out.

(Anthony M Grant PhD, Coaching Psychology Unit at the University of Sydney’s School of Psychology.)

What is the evidence for professional development, including coaching?

There is a growing body of evidence which demonstrates significant returns on investment from professional development, including within the nonprofit sector. The report Learning for Purpose which focuses just on the Australian nonprofit sector found that for each $1 spent on developing people, there is a return of around $6 in terms of income and impact. Older studies such as one by Olivero, Bane and Kopelman found that a training intervention with managers increased productivity by 22%, but adding a one-to-one (8-week) coaching program after the training pushed productivity to 88%.

Do you have a question that we haven’t answered? Send us an email and we’ll be happy to answer it for you!