Bernie Kelly

The leaders I work with are accomplished.  They are also very aware.

We resonate with the quote –

The more I learn, the more I realise how much I don’t know.

~ Einstein

I love seeing the impact that leaders have for themselves, their teams, organisations, and the world when they evolve themselves to fulfil their purpose within the changing conditions.

With a career immersed in Business transformation leadership for over 30 years I know that further to business and technical capabilities there is work within self to shift the energy that flows through all our direct and indirect interactions.  The ability to integrate spirit, heart, head, and hands allows us to lead disruption with grace.

As more leaders become Business Transformation leaders in these volatile, inter-connected and increasingly complex environments I am finding meaning and drive in positively elevating leaders and Executive teams. Leaders of industry shifts are seeing accelerated outcomes and building better versions of themselves and others. Executive teams experience cross-functional effectiveness and build change-fitness to go again. This is the movement counter to suffering disruption and change-fatigue.

Beyond the work environment, I have learned a lot about the benefits of challenge and support in attaining greater levels of achievement and fulfilment.  My training to become a Black Belt in Karate, having the privilege to train in Japan with the Japanese national squad, and later compete at the Shotokan World Championships had a profound impact on my formative years. After a period where I made no time beyond a young family and my work commitments, my wife and I took up running.  As a kid who grew up swimming in a creek in the bush and no formal lessons I again benefitted from the mix of challenge and support becoming a multiple Ironman Triathlon Finisher (swim 3.8km, Ride 180km, Run 42.2km) at Ironman Australia in Port Macquarie.  We continue to participate in Marathons and Ultra-Marathons.

Through my extensive work as an Executive Mentor I have also found that leaders with big visions that do the inner work, will then have the next key challenge of ‘real’ clarity and alignment of their direct team.

I have had the privilege to work on and with great teams. Truly industry leading and shaping teams.

This has been contrasted with leading in business turnaround situations where people have not been the best version of themselves, caught suffering the impacts of disruption.  This range of experience has been illuminating to understand pre-conditions of high performing and adaptive teams.

The fascination with the power of teamwork has been life-long through school sports and undergraduate studies in Social Sciences (Honours).

My obsessive focus on the top team, the Governance/ Executive team comes from my career as an accountable Executive in whole of enterprise and cross-organisation shifts, and then 10 years Business Transformation Diagnostics, Training, and Mentoring across Australia and SE Asia. The recurring observation that whatever the systemic opportunity or challenge, whether it would be navigated with ease or missed all together is directly linked back to the Accountable table.

In 2020 I authored Traction: Building change-fit leadership teams.

Through the increasingly connected world the power to take on our local and global challenges and provide positive platforms for humanity is our networks.

I am inspired by and love to work with leaders working to positively impact our world.  I see integrated network transformations will be creating and riding the waves of this disruptive and exponential era.

Progressive leaders and proactive Executive teams I work with know their impact is amplified orchestrating the power of networks.

My life’s work has been integrating multi-disciplinary, cross-functional, cross-organisational “teams”. Through formal studies in Social Science, Logistics, and Business, and early career challenge and support I found my way in to accelerated development and re-imagination of industry value systems:

  • Natural source to consumer Networks (such as paper, food, beverages)

Eg: Contract distribution systems to WW and Coles before they had the capability internally.

► National Supply Chain and Manufacturing at Kimberly-Clark where we lifted our supplier network and created manufacturing capabilities that remain core to sustainability decades later.

► Golden Circle, a national icon, you cannot have a true Aussie Burger without GC products found itself disrupted in the early 2000s. We led a financial turnaround attracting external investment, engaged growers and suppliers to introduce Quality Based Payment System which changed the industry quality and financial performance, prepared the business for sale.

► Source to Consumer accountability at Diageo Australia and New Zealand, global leader in consumer brands.

  • Health Service Networks

Eg: Private systems include Cabrini Health, St Vincent’s Private, Epworth, SJOG, UCQ.

► Public systems across Australia, NZ, SE Asia. Most recently SA Health CALHN Recovery Program in 2018/19.

► Cross-sector networks, with particular depth in Integrated Cancer Care in Victoria and ACT, and the foundational work that became the Health Pillar of G21, the Geelong region alliance of government, business, and community.

  • Professional Services Niche Networks

Eg: HTW Growth from $30-120m

I love enabling impact through partnering to transform leaders, teams, and networks.