INTHEBLACK – 9 essentials of executive coaching

Dr Hilary Armstrong is an executive coach and coach supervisor with Sydney coaching practice WhyteCo. She wrote the curriculum for, and led the delivery of, IECL’s accredited coaching program for 10 years and has witnessed the industry’s escalation.

“In the late 1990s, when coaching was just starting, it tended to be used for remedial purposes,” she says. “Then around 2010, when uptake by organisations really increased, it was commonly used to increase performance and productivity. Today, there is more of a focus on developing potential.”

Business Ethics:- Navigating the line between good conduct and misconduct 

PricewaterhouseCoopers, Darling Park, Tower 2, Level 10, 201 Sussex Street, Sydney

Mon 16 February 2015 | 4.00pm Presentation 

Recent events, particularly in the financial advice industry, have brought the topics of ethical behaviour and conduct into sharp focus in Australia. Establishing and embedding a culture in which employees conduct themselves in the ‘right’ way, doing the ‘right’ thing at the ‘right’ time, regardless of circumstance, is critical to an organisation’s ability to conduct itself in a manner that is commensurate with its regulatory obligations, the expectations of its stakeholders, including its customers, and its corporate vision.

In this session we will hear from Hilary Armstrong from the St James Centre on individual ethics and how organisational cultures shape employees’ interpretation of the boundaries between good and bad conduct. This short presentation will be followed by a panel discussion in which panelists will share their views and practical experiences on the way in which a range of organisational processes and practices (such as, product design and approval processes, origination and sales processes, governance, and performance reward and consequence management) influence the behaviours and conduct of employees, shape the organisation’s culture and determine the exposure to the risk of misconduct.

Speakers: Dr. Hilary Armstrong MCC, Head of the Practice, St James Ethics Centre; 

Wellbeing Australia 2013  – Review of Book Chapter in Roffey S (ed) Positive Relationships: Evidence Based Practice across the World

“We all have relationships – with our partners, children, parents, friends, colleagues and many others. And, according to the authors of Positive Relationships: Evidence Based Practice across the World – several of whom are associated with Wellbeing Australia, the quality of these relationships is critically important for our overall wellbeing.  This may seem obvious but many people struggle in their relationships – perhaps at work or in families – or behave in ways that do not take account of other people – or make quick judgments based on stereotypes”.  

herBusiness program 

Welcome to the herBusiness program, where we interview inspiring businesswomen and entrepreneurs.

In this episode, we interview Dr Hilary Armstrong, Director of Education at The Institute of Executive Coaching

Listen to this herBusiness interview with Dr. Hilary Armstrong to learn:

  • Whether we have lost the ability to engage in meaninful (and therefore effective) conversations
  • How women and men differ in conversation styles
  • How we can create a culture of effective workplace conversations
  • The key applications for good conversations
  • What results leaders can expect from focusing on improving these skills
  • Tips for having more effective conversations



By HR Report on 13 December, 2012

Australians need to shift approaches to leadership and focus on “connected intelligence” (CI) to cope with social media and the “democratisation of knowledge”, an Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership (IECL) white paper said.

From Sydney Morning Herald Business Daily 2011

Article on the importance of Social Intelligence in Leadership

From hrdaily 2009

Leadership development has for too long been focused on individual leaders, ignoring the impact of context and networks 

On Collaborative Leadership:



Dr Hilary Armstrong describes her outlook and philosophy on executive coach training when Director of Education at the IECL..

Changeworks specialises in improving organisational culture and productivity.

We help you collaborate, transform and excel.

The end of learning is action rather than knowledge
(Peter Honey).
Who we are

Welcome to Changeworks, a small consultancy with a big impact. We work with individual leaders, teams and whole systems to create organisational cultures that are highly effective and highly ethical.

Organisations are fundamentally social and communal and, in an era of hyper-connectivity, their boundaries are more permeable, their practices more visible and their reputations more fragile. New approaches to culture and leadership are required. Traditional command/control leadership styles may achieve short term gains but they rarely address long-term reputation. Each task, each job, every project needs a conversation. Results happen through collaboration. Over time we grow an informal network of trusted relationships. We learn who is approachable, who we can talk to, who to go through and even who to go around, to get our work done. It is this flow of experience, knowledge sharing and trust across the informal network that determines our flourishing and the organisation's productivity. Yet informal networks are not always working for good. Establishing the fine line between collaboration and collusion is an important issue in our hyper-connected era.

01 |  Collaboration by Design

01 | Collaboration by Design

WHAT WE DO Service solutions that are bold, innovative and effective. 01 |  Collaboration by Design       WHAT IT IS  “Changing cultures one conversation at a time” Think of a day at work when you wanted to get something done and you didn’t … Read more >>

The Team

The Team

ABOUT US Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. Dr Hilary Armstrong Hilary is a Director of Changeworks and a thought leader in collaborative leadership, cultural change, coaching and applied ethics.  She is a Master Certified Coach (MCC) with the International Coach Federation and an … Read more >>

02 |  One to one Coaching

02 | One to one Coaching

WHAT WE DO Service solutions that are bold, innovative and effective. 02 |  One to one Coaching WHAT IT IS Organisational Coaching is a well-researched action learning process for bringing about constructive and lasting change for individuals and groups. It involves a series of one-to-one conversations designed to assist individuals and groups … Read more >>

03 |  Leadership Programs

03 | Leadership Programs

WHAT WE DO A collection of service solutions that are bold, innovative and edgy. 03 |  Collaborative Leadership Programs Having spent some time looking at the new context and defining a new form of leadership, it is time to state the obvious; the real issue today is not how leadership … Read more >>

04 | Strategy Facilitation

04 | Strategy Facilitation

WHAT WE DO A collection of service solutions that are bold, innovative and edgy. 04 |  Strategy Facilitation Strategic thinking is defined as the longer term, big picture view of the organisation and WHAT its purpose is. The purpose is outlined in the broad aim (or vision) and it accompanying objectives. … Read more >>

05 |  Wise Decision Making: building healthy risk cultures

05 | Wise Decision Making: building healthy risk cultures

WHAT WE DO A collection of service solutions that are bold, innovative and edgy. 05 | Wise Decision Making: building speak-up cultures with wise decision making   Key Concepts: Recent actions in the global markets arena has led to stricter controls, oversight and legal action by regulators, Regulators agree that organisational culture … Read more >>

06 |  Coaching Supervision & Mentor Coaching

06 | Coaching Supervision & Mentor Coaching

WHAT WE DO A collection of service solutions that are bold, innovative and edgy. 06 |  Mentor Coaching and Coaching Supervision What supervision is Supervision is a systematic process for the ongoing professional development of an organisational coach. In it, issues arising from coaching practice are explored. Supervision builds on … Read more >>

07 |  Mediating Conversations

07 | Mediating Conversations

WHAT WE DO A collection of service solutions that are bold, innovative and edgy. 07 |  Mediating Conversations "Every uttered word makes and impression and causes a reaction. Leaders who understand and respect the power of words produce far reaching benefit with minimal stress and time" Mike Connolly In part, … Read more >>

Recent Clients


Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.

Dr Hilary Armstrong

Hilary is a Director of Changeworks and a thought leader in collaborative leadership, cultural change, coaching and applied ethics.  She is a Master Certified Coach (MCC) with the International Coach Federation and an experienced facilitator, mediator, coach, applied ethics consultant and social researcher. Currently she is transforming businesses through digital insights in her unique Collaboration by Design program (n partnership with Optimice Pty Ltd.

Her most recent roles have included the Head of the Practice at the Ethics Centre, Director Education at the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership. As Head of the Practice at the Ethics Centre she contributed to and developed a program on Ethical Literacy that includes the current research from moral psychology, philosophy and behavioural ethics which is being rolled out widely across the Financial Advice sector.  As Director, Education at the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership she designed and ran the accredited coach training program as well as the research, design and facilitation of interventions to create values-based leadership in organisations and communities.

Clients include large corporates; Banks such as ANZ, CBA, Westpac, NAB, ING, Suncorp and AMP, manufacturing companies and various Commonwealth and State government departments (such as ATO, Human Services, DEET, Trainlink and Sydney Metro) and major universities such as Sydney Uni, UTS, UNSW and RMIT.


  • Designer of Collaboration by Design program to enable collaboration across an organisation.
  • Facilitation of programs that really engage people
  • Design of coaching and leadership conversations for diversity and innovation
  • Wise Decision making and applied ethics
  • Specialising in building high performing teams through team/group facilitation and coaching
  • Organisational/executive coaching, mindfulness, mediation, wise decision making, action learning and research
  • Adult and generative learning, and reflective practice


  • PhD, Crit. Psychology, WSU; MSc (Hons), Grad Dip.Soc.Ec.
  • Master Certified Coach (MCC), International Coach Federation
  • Executive Coach & Supervisor, Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership (IECL)
  • Dip Counselling, Coaching NZ
  • Cert. Narrative Therapy, Dulwich Centre Aust.
  • Accred. Coaching for Emotional Intelligence, Genos, NSW
  • Cert. Difficult Conversations, Public Conversations Project, USA
  • Cert. Worldwork Conflict & Mediation, Process Work Institute USA


Human Synergistics Life Styles Inventory (LSI) and Group Styles Inventory (GSI), Cognitive Edge Tools, The Leadership Circle (TLC), Leadership Maturity Framewoek (LMF), Genos Emotional Intelligence  Instruments, SNA,  Belbin Team Roles, Hogan Personality Profiles, Harrison Assessments

Sharyn Coughlan

Sharyn is an accomplished executive manager and coaching professional with more than 30 years’ experience driving strategic planning, operational change and delivering results. This includes extensive experience reporting to Boards of Management, Government Ministers, ministerial committees and local government Councils to support their decision-making processes and the highest standards of financial, administrative and public accountability. She has presented at conferences and to parliamentary inquiries, chaired community forums and inter-agency committees.

Her experience as a strategic business manager ranges from delivering regional multi-disciplinary health services to managing business units in state and local government with broader responsibilities for service system development. In local government Sharyn built strategic coalitions of influence with regional partners in policing, corrections, education, family and children, Aboriginal and multi-cultural arenas, businesses and community organisations, leveraging Council’s reputation and economic resources to address emerging opportunities for change and achieve results. For the last six years she has developed, managed and coached a team of operational managers with national responsibilities for education and marketing in the accessible telecommunications sector.

Sharyn has an impressive record of cultivating a workplace culture that genuinely supports high performing and engaged teams. Using strengths-based performance management and coaching conversations, her management teams create high levels of trust and learning, with a focus on strategic results, and help staff to build receptivity to the change agenda.  Having advised on job redesign and work reorganisation, Sharyn has restructured business units to improve productivity and realigned staffing capabilities with corporate directions and contractual agreements. She has also designed, developed and evaluated a variety of planning models and stakeholder engagement strategies.

With an engaging and collaborative planning style, Sharyn readily incorporates diverse perspectives and facilitates commitment to strategic action in group decision making, problem solving and business planning settings.

Sharyn’s extensive management, consulting and coaching experience is informed by decades of study and practise in the contemplative traditions and an emerging neuro-scientific evidence-base on the effectiveness of mindfulness and meditation.


  • GM Operations, NRS Outreach, Commonwealth Government contract, accessible telecommunications sector
  • NSW Government Departments and Local Authorities: Management roles include Industry Development, Planning & Data Services; Commonwealth/State Relations; Community Development; as well as Snr Policy Analyst, Principle Project Manager (Change Management)
  • Director, Worklife Wellness
  • Consultant to Small Business and the NFP sector


  • Management development coaching
  • Business coaching
  • Change management and facilitation
  • Collaborative planning and collective impact
  • Mentoring, facilitation
  • Leadership coaching


  • Master of Public Policy (Sydney University)
  • Grad Dip of Social Ecology (Western Sydney University)
  • Certificate IV in Workplace and Business Coaching
  • Master of Wellness (coursework), RMIT
  • Member International Coach Federation (ICF)
  • Member Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI)

Dr Peter Melser

Peter is Director of Changeworks Pty Ltd and an experienced social researcher. He is a trained executive coach, mediator and counsellor. Peter has worked in universities, public and private organisations and communities for over thirty-five years. In these roles he has conducted a range of organisation research, consulting, mediation, coaching, team facilitation, and university teaching, research and work on administrative committees. Peter’s work consists in the blending of organisational research and individual executive coaching. At an organisation level research is conducted to understand both internal and external clients and build opportunities for innovation and leadership. At an individual level, executive coaching is used to support change and ensure its sustainability.

He is experienced working with people who have difficulty building relationships at work and who exhibiy controlling and/or bullying behaviours. Peter spent an extended time in New York in the 1980s where he completed his PhD (Sociology and Environmental Psychology) and joined the Department of Housing of the United Nations. After completing his PhD he worked in community development in New York and held a position of Adjunct Asst. Professor at Columbia University as well as Associate Director of the Social Impact Assessment Centreand Editor of the SIA Newsletter.  On settling in Australia he set up Changeworks and for five years worked part time at WSU coordinating the Research Degree Program for 75 PhD and MSc students in transdisciplinary studies. He has published a number of reports and is a qualified couples therapist, mediator and supervisor.


  • Mediation and ethics advocacy
  • Social research and community development
  • Coaching and counselling
  • Supervision of coaches and counsellors
  • Ethics audits
  • Interviewing and analysis


  • PhD (Environmental Psychology and Sociology) NYU
  • MPhil
  • BA (Hons)
  • CAPA Member


Drew is a dynamic and pragmatic organisational development professional with a proven track record in business partnering, workforce development, values and cultural transformation, change management, performance development, strategic leadership development, executive coaching and transformational facilitation.


  • Strategic leadership development
  • Transformational executive & organisational coaching
  • Organisational and brand ethics
  • Organisational cultural alignment
  • Executive team effectiveness and impact
  • Sales force performance development
  • Talent and succession planning
  • Organisational design


Drew has a highly successful business background working in and consulting to large corporate enterprises including financial services, higher education, and infrastructure development – managing risk, senior sales teams, cultural change and business re-engineering, leadership and cultural development planning and program design.

With a career spanning over 20 years in people and organisational development, Drew quickly develops a deep and practical understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the client groups he works with. As a McKinsey trained, senior member of the ANZ’s Breakout and Cultural Transformation team (A Harvard Business case study), Drew has assisted over 3000 leaders in many countries to powerfully re-assess and re-create their approach to effective people and cultural leadership.


Drew believes that effective and successful interventions must be values-driven and both strategically and pragmatically designed and executed in order to support the delivery of the key business and cultural imperatives of the organisation.

Drew’s work is based on partnering closely with his clients to clearly identify both the current and desired state of the organisation in order to best design and then navigate the change journey.

Executive coaching clients quickly develop an appreciation of the impact of their current leadership (conscious and unconscious) approach. They are supported and challenged to make the behavioural changes that will materially develop the positive leadership impacts they will have on others.


  • B. Com (Accounting & Finance)
  • Grad Dip Org Coaching and Leadership (in progress)
  • Accredited Organisational Coach, Level Three, IECL
  • Diagnostics: CTT-Values, ESCI, ILS, DiSC, SUEIT, Systemic Interventions
  • NLP Practitioner


  • Executive coaching engagements include, Government, Higher Education, Banking and Finance, NFPs, and Infrastructure and Construction.
  • Educator, Researcher and Executive Coach, The Ethics Centre working with NAB (London, NZ, HK, NYC), BT, AMP, CBA and BoQ in the area or Ethical Literacy Development.
  • Organisational Development Leadership Project lead, RMIT University – Consult and design the University’s five- year leadership development / capability strategy.
  • Consultant and Organisational Coach, ANZ Global Markets Australia & Asia Pacific.
  • Practice Development – Organisational Coach. Westpac Commercial Banking Worked with GM and reports through individual coaching interventions agreements over a 24-months transitioning business through post GFC challenges.
  • Senior Cultural Program Lead. ANZ Group – Program lead, coach and facilitator of ANZ’s cultural transformation program (Breakout), a Harvard Business case study.



Esmé is recognised as an expert in cultural diversity, mindfulness and critical incident debriefing in the workplace. After 20 years working for NSW Health, guiding the development of culturally appropriate responses to health and addiction problems in Aboriginal communities she now applies her work more broadly, consulting into organisations wanting to embrace cultural diversity, She designs and facilitates diversity & cross cultural awareness programs to organizations across the public sector such as, health districts, NSW Schools, National Parks, Sydney Water, CatholicCare, Benevolent Society, Alzheimers Australia, as well as insurance and advertising companies.

Esmé is widely acknowledged for her ability to open a space for conversations based on a common value of respect of differences and similarities in complex and difficult environments. She partners with workplaces to provide cultural diversity training, mindfulness, workplace coaching for diversity and critical incident consulting and coaching.

With a formidable passion to find safe ways of connection where there exists misunderstanding or disconnection, Esmé bases her work on the cultivation of group, workplace and cultural values, believing when there is a common ground to work from, anything is possible.



  • Organizational cross cultural conversations
  • Mindfulness and wellness training
  • Critical Incident Consulting
  • Team/group facilitation and debriefing
  • One to one coaching
  • Programs in Diversity, Culture and Addiction and Resilience.
  • Consultant between Aboriginal and other communities as a way of increasing access to support, long term employment and understanding.



  • ConVerge International, Senior Consultant, Critical Incident debriefing
  • Consultant: cultural diversity training, cross cultural conversations and mindfulness training.
  • Established Aboriginal Healing Unit, Langton Centre, SEAHS, NSW
  • Coordinator, Outreach Clinic at La Perouse Aboriginal Health Clinic, SEAHS.
  • Consultant Psychotherapist private practice
  • Workplace cultural diversity coach
  • Co-founder, Board member, NFP focusing on bridging Aboriginal Health and Western Medicine, La Perouse, Sydney



  • MA Cultural Psychology (WSU)
  • Graduate Diploma Clinical Drug Dependence, (MacU)
  • B.A.Soc.Sc. (Psychology), (CSU)
  • Clinical Hypnotherapy Certificate,
  • Member, Australian Psychological Society
  • Member, Australian Counseling Association (ACA)
  • Member, Australian Society of Clinical Hypnotherapists