Productivity and Engagement 

Most staff have never experienced anything like this in their lifetime, which fuels anxiety and fear. How do we help our staff focus for the months ahead on service delivery, operational support and new ways of working? ​

Create Trust and Engagement 

Build trust through clear, transparent, multi-way conversations that both describe the facts and the scenarios that could eventuate, as well as demonstrate calm, pragmatic optimism for the future – don’t let mixed messages and rumours create unnecessary anxiety and scepticism.


Create Trust and Engagement

Bunker Mentality

A crisis can turn our focus on the easy answer and the things we can control. We turn to our colleagues for comfort and support. How do we ensure that we are solving the really ’hairy’ challenge?

Collaborate to Solve New Challenges

New problems require collaboration to resolve quickly, so move immediately to collaborate with other teams, other organisations, other commercial partners and the community – don’t just talk to the same people and be left wondering what might have been possible.


Collaborate and Accelerate 

Short-Term Decision Making

At a time of crisis we often rise to the challenge and get things done, but only realise later the deeper impacts on the business and its workforce. And then these become bigger problems to deal with later. How do we quickly diagnose these underlying issues and develop strategies to address them in a timely and comprehensive way?   ​

Accelerate the Shift to the Future

Lift up to think through how to build the organisation’s or the team’s capability and capacity for the future while adapting to the new way of working – don’t just bunker down and react and miss the opportunity. 


Crises often bring out the best in an organisation – suddenly we are collaborating and are entirely outcome focused. So how do we make that part of BAU? ​

Reflect and Learn 

Take the time to reflect on what we are learning about our own and our organisation’s adaptive capacity and most importantly our client’s needs. Use this disruption to rethink, reset and reprioritise – don’t just bounce from one crisis meeting to the next.


Learn from Disruption

Dispersed Workforce

This crisis is triggering a need to disperse our workforce and adopt new ways of working. How do we do that effectively and be confident that it can be sustained for a prolonged period? ​

Build Virtual Leadership Strengths

Rapidly accelerate leaders’ capability to shape culture and support people virtually – don’t rely on old ways of working, where leaders just add more noise with numerous emails sent from their home offices.


New Ways of Working

Slow Response

Crises suddenly demand new things of us and our systems – we may be coping, but with some targeted interventions, we could be more successful than we are. So how do we identify what needs to change quickly and make it happen?   ​

Devolve Decision-Making

Devolve governance and provide good data so that decision-making is moved as close to the issues as possible - don’t try to control all decisions and create helplessness and nurture fear. 


New Ways of Working

Learning Objectives 

  • Rapidly accelerate leaders’ capability to support people working remotely


  • Support people making the transition to remote working on practical and emotional levels


  • Devolve governance and provide good data so that decision-making is moved as close to the issues as possible.

Content Includes 

  • Practical, proven guidance on how to conduct yourself as a leader in a crisis, the short, medium and longer term


  • How best to support your people transitioning to working from home, in new ways


  • The seven levers of transformation that you can use to help your organisation rapidly adapt to remain viable – and thrive – in the face of uncertainty


  • Techniques to rapidly identify actions to respond quickly and effectively to the current crisis with sustainable ways of working.​


Create Trust and Engagement

Learning Objectives 

  • Build and maintain trust as the foundation for sustainable remote engagement


  • Build and maintain the capability of teams and individuals to engage successfully remotely


  • Demonstrate calm, pragmatic optimism for the future.

Content Includes 

  • How to build trust by in a way that builds pragmatic, realistic optimism and enduring work relationships, regardless of where and how people are working


  • How to avoid the destruction of value that occurs in a low trust environment  


  • Guidance on critical skills for maintaining relationships in times of crisis – giving and receiving feedback, having crucial conversations and powerful techniques for influencing outcomes.​


Collaborate and Accelerate

Learning Objectives 

  • Collaborate with people inside and outside the organisation to solve new challenges quickly


  • Accelerate the shift to the future by identifying and developing critical capabilities for teams that will be important now, but will also make the most of future opportunities.

Content Includes 

  • How to improve your team’s – and your organisation’s – ability to collaborate productively while working from home


  • Harnessing the collective intelligence and commitment of your people to solve complex challenges


  • Embedding these capabilities in the culture of your organisation, so they become “the way we do things around here”.


Learn from Disruption

Learning Objectives 

  • Reflect and learn from the how the organisation has responded to the challenges faced


  • Identify opportunities to rethink, reset and re-prioritise how we work.

Content Includes 

  • Making the most of what you learn as you respond to the shocks and disruptions


  • Avoiding being simply resilient and preserving BAU at all costs – how to take an “antifragile” approach where you harness the experience and insights of your people to adapt the business to the new realities in your operating environment


  • Practical techniques for identifying and testing improvements based on what your organisation learns, that make the most of your organisation’s capabilities and instils ownership in your people.

Leading Through Adversity​

A virtual leadership program to support leaders to rapidly develop the capability to lead in a new way and respond effectively to change

We are in the midst of the greatest adaptive leadership challenge we have faced.

Mobilising and engaging people, leveraging technology and adapting processes to support remote working, employee cohesion, motivation, performance and delivery is critical – and must be done fast in a time of intense anxiety and uncertainty.
There has never been a more urgent need to create an adaptive, collaborative and agile workforce.

If we get it right, we set ourselves up for the future

Throughout this program you will:

  • Rapidly accelerate your capability to shape culture and support people virtually


  • Devolve governance and provide good data so that decision-making is moved as close to the issues as possible 


  • Build trust through clear, transparent, multi-way conversations 


  • Lift up to think through how to build capability and capacity for the future while adapting to the new way of working 


  • Collaborate to resolve new problems quickly


  • Reflect on what you are learning about your own and your organisation’s adaptive capacity and your client’s needs.

Leading Through Adversity is brought to you by two of the country’s foremost authorities on leadership education and digital learning.​

The Leadership Challenge and

The Leadership Opportunity

Work with other leaders to overcome the challenges and leverage the opportunities of working through crisis.​

Program Overview​

Course Facilitators and Subject Matter Experts

This course will utilise a tandem-facilitation approach where a subject matter expert will co-facilitate with a virtual learning expert. For in-house programs we will draw on our extensive faculty of experts to select the facilitators that best understand your context and needs.​

Jason Renshaw

Chief Operating Officer

Jason Renshaw is a learning and leadership executive with rich cross-sector experience across four continents. Jason pioneered ASAM’s unique approach to synchronous and asynchronous leadership learning using digital and distance-based environments, following his time at The University of Melbourne setting up Master Degrees for fully online delivery. He recently returned to ASAM after a stint as Chief Learning Officer at Australian Unity, responsible for leadership development, organisational development and culture, enterprise learning and talent frameworks. His leadership experience spans education, finance, law, engineering and health sectors.​

Antony Maxwell

Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach

Antony Maxwell leads the Government and Public and Sector Learning initiative within ASAM and is a highly skilled leadership and management facilitator and executive coach. He is committed to people and their personal growth through self-awareness. Antony’s leadership, professional development and coaching expertise were gained in both private and public sector industries over the past nineteen years.​

Dr Janet Smith

Program Director and Senior Facilitator

Dr Janet Smith is a Program Director and Senior Facilitator for ASAM. Her specialisation areas include workshop facilitation, leading national and international events, teaching online and face-to-face leadership education, course design and executive coaching. Prior to her work at ASAM, Janet worked as a senior consultant, focusing on leadership, coaching, mentoring, emotional intelligence, communication, mindfulness, reflective practice, spirituality and well-being. Janet is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Canberra, where she taught and researched in Educational Leadership and Teacher Education for 25 years.​

Paul Larkin

Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach

Paul is a senior facilitator and executive coach for ASAM and has been facilitating and coaching in Leadership Development for over 20 years. Prior to joining the ASAM Group, he was a Senior Consultant within Royal Dutch Shell, facilitating advanced leadership and organisational change programmes globally. This was preceded by a successful career in IT, involving a progression of operational, technical, management and leadership roles.​

Minimum Time for Maximum Impact

Four short, high-impact modules that address practical strategies for leadership in your current reality. Each module consists of a 120-minute live webinar where the focus will be on fostering rich dialogue and debate. These webinars will be supported by asynchronous pre/post learning. You will:

  • solve real challenges and make a difference to your organisation


  • collaborate in real time with other leaders facing similar challenges – either in public or in-house cohorts 


  • be guided by a faculty of experts including leaders who have led through crises before 


  • choose the pace that suits you – we can deliver the course in an accelerated (1 week) or spaced (4 weeks) timeline 


  • have options to engage in facilitated peer group coaching to support, challenge thinking and hold each other to account.

Subject Matter Experts​

Virtual Learning Experts​

Established in 2003, The Australian School of Applied Management (ASAM) is one of Australasia’s most prolific and highly regarded providers of online and face-to-face leadership and management education. Working with around 8,000 learners each year we provide innovative learning solutions, for today’s leaders.

Our online learning system utilises the very latest in integrated digital learning technology and marries the very best of connected dialogic learning with easy to use and highly accessible online environments. Our high touch, learner centric approach continues to drive market leading satisfaction and completion rates across all our products and services.

About ASAM​

Effective and engaging online learning​

Anyone who has previous experience using Facebook, Skype and Microsoft Word already has all the technology and skills needed to excel in our online environment. By focusing on simplicity, accessibility and engagement we create highly immersive learning experiences flexible enough to meet the needs of 21st century learners.

Live online sessions are designed to create maximum interaction between participants and facilitators. Focused on rich discussion and healthy debate the live sessions quickly become an integral place for participants to reinforce their learning and share their experiences.​

Our blended learning environments include the very latest in digital learning technology including high quality video, animation, quizzes, written/recorded submissions and real-time feedback. Incorporated into these environments are participant generated discussion boards and collaboration spaces where learners can engage in professional conversations and discuss top of mind issues.​

Industry Leading Learner Support

During the program our engagement and support specialists undertake a highly detailed process intended to ensure each participant feels supported and nurtured throughout the learning cycle.​

Cutting Edge Design and Delivery​

Highly Interactive and Engaging​

Simple to use and Accessible

About Nous Group

Nous Group is an international management consultancy operating in 10 locations across Australia, the UK and Canada. For over 20 years we have been partnering with leaders to shape world-class businesses, effective governments and empowered communities. Our work reflects our optimism and ambition for a better future. We are your partner in the pursuit of performance and positive influence.

Nous has deep expertise in strategy, public policy, transformation, leadership and talent. We mobilise and develop leaders, and facilitate contemporary learning so that your people are committed and enabled to do extraordinary things. Nous’ clients include major government departments, ASX 100 companies and national not-for-profit organisations across a broad range of sectors. Find out more at

Kirsty Elderton


Kirsty is a leading digital and design government specialist, with over 15 years of experience in participatory design, working with users to (re)design products, services and systems. Kirsty blends digital and design with contemporary implementation methods to help organisations deliver their strategic vision in ways that work for users. As former director in a large London borough, Kirsty led the corporate and customer service teams through the swine flu crisis, various storms, floods and snow events. She led operational responses for communications and community awareness, deployment of staff and their safety in response mode, community safety and coordinating relief effort.​

Tony Fiddes


Tony is an experienced HR and organisational development executive who has led leadership, people engagement and change initiatives in organisations experiencing significant disruption. This experience includes as Manager Organisational Development at Qantas during September 11, the collapse of Ansett and SARS. Tony was subsequently Head of Talent and Reward for Westpac’s Retail and Business Bank through the Global Financial Crisis. Tony is an expert facilitator of leadership development at all levels.

Franca Venetico


Franca is a passionate customer experience leader who has achieved commercial results in challenging operational and sales environments, delivered with uncompromising focus on the customer. She has 18 years of experience in banking and health insurance across product development, pricing, sales and service, marketing, operations and process improvement. Franca led a customer experience transformation program during a major crisis for a health insurance provider where a new systems deployment caused major compliance and customer disruption and loss of significant market share.​

Dr Prins Ralston


Prins is currently providing COVID-19 strategic advice to the Mayor and CEO of Townsville City Council and coaching executives to boost their capacity and capability. Prins has also advised the Mayor and CEO of Townsville City Council in response to severe weather events in 2019. In the 2011 Brisbane floods, as Executive Leader Services Delivery, Prins coordinated the Mission Australia response, which included continuity of services to 360,000 Australians. During 2008 GFC he was Managing Director and Group CEO of Employment Services Holdings, and as President of the Australian Computer Society, he led the profession through Y2K.​

Stephen Teulan


Prior to joining Nous, Stephen had 21 years in senior management roles in the health and aged care sectors. He managed through several crises. As CEO of a human services organisation, he announced and implemented the divestment of disability, child and family, and childcare services by the owners without knowing which organisations would acquire those services. As Director of Ageing for Uniting, he led responses to resident mistreatment, and fire and flood evacuations.​

Rod Camm


Rod has held a number of CEO roles in government agencies, statutory bodies, government-owned corporations, the National Centre for Vocational Education Research and private sector organisations, and was a member of the national CEOs committee. As CEO of the Australian Council for Private Education and Training, he led the sector through college closures following the VET FEE crisis, including 1300 organisations to develop a response and make decisions to maximise viability, coordination of ideas and collaborative responses to influence public policy, engagement with Commonwealth and State Ministers, negotiation with international insurers to maximise the payouts to students impacted and intensive engagement with media.​

Michael van Koesveld


Michael is an international aid worker and strategic leader, with experience managing crises related to conflict, political violence, natural disaster, epidemics and medical emergencies in East Africa, the Middle East and South-East Asia. Michael has supported Australian and global organisations to prevent, respond to and recover from complex crises, including famine in Ethiopia/Somalia, medevac of staff in the Middle East, provision of health services during conflict in Ethiopia and Myanmar, and emergency preparedness and planning during civil war, conflict and political upheaval. He applies approaches that utilise resources efficiently, solve challenges dynamically and build capabilities sustainably.​

Peter Horne


Peter has over 20 years of leadership experience. He has operated as an executive and non-executive board member across the public and voluntary sectors. He has run manufacturing units, led an internet start up, and operated as a senior leader in the UK Civil Service​. His distinct perspective on leading through adversity is informed by his experience as Director of Regulation, when a regulatory decision became highly politically controversial. His insights into the challenges of leadership, and maintaining resilience when organisational foundations shift under you, shape his coaching.​

Rachael Cronin


As the former Deputy Director-General for Mineral and Energy Resources, Rachael led the Queensland Government’s response to the re-emergence of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (black lung disease). With the health and safety of miners of paramount importance, her leadership approach delivered an agreed path forward in collaboration with mining operators, industry associations, unions and medical experts. Rachael has led responses to many natural disasters (flood, cyclone, drought) that have impacted regional communities. She worked across a regional footprint and across industry and government agencies to facilitate a rapid response to the crisis.

Tim Marney


Tim has over 28 years of experience in economics, finance, health and human services. Tim was the Western Australian Under Treasurer for almost a decade. He led reform of the state’s finances, revenues, procurement, shared services, public works and strategic projects. As Under Treasurer, he successfully navigated the WA public sector and economy through the Global Financial Crisis. He also led the WA State economy through the Asian Financial Crisis as Director of Economic Policy, WA Treasury. He was Mental Health Commissioner of Western Australia over five years. During his public service career, Tim worked directly to four premiers and 11 ministers.​

Richard Bolt


Richard was a Secretary of three Victorian Government departments over 12 years, with responsibility for primary industries, education, economic development and transport. He had leadership roles in many emergencies and crises, including the 2007 national equine influenza outbreak, the millennium drought, the 2009 Black Saturday fires, the 2010 floods, major staff and budget cuts in education in 2011, disruption to regional rail services in 2015 from unprecedented wheel wear, the 2016 disabling of the Portland aluminium smelter following a power outage, and adverse findings in 2018 against a tourism body’s response to historical child sexual abuse.

Steve Lennon


Steve is a proven leader of enterprise-wide business transformation journeys, directly supporting the board and senior leadership of our clients. His unique leadership insights have been forged through senior investment banking, technology, management consulting, creative agency and executive leadership roles across Australia, the United States and Europe. As a banker, Steve has worked through complex insolvency scenarios with customers and led opportunistic M&A transactions in downturns and upturns. As a CEO, he has led successful turnarounds in the wake of the post-Y2K consulting recession and subsequent crash, and positioned the businesses for growth.


For all enquiries relating to the Leading Through Adversity please fill in the form and a member of our Admissions Department will be in touch.

Alternatively you can call us on 1300 138 037.