‘I founded Contexx with Noel Henderson in 2006 to be a boutique builder, staffed with the best personnel and teamwork in the industry. Susie Walker worked with the leadership team and then the entire culture at Contexx, from the end of our first year, right through to our metamorphosis in 2012 into the Probuild business. She was the reason our culture was so memorable and became known in the industry as industry leading.
Susie took a group of people from a variety of industry companies and turned them into a professional, aligned, and consistent team, willing to go the extra mile and work with a ‘one-team’ approach with each other, subcontractors, suppliers, and consultants across the industry.
She worked as the ‘Company Coach’ and her skills and guidance were valued at every level of the business, even with our union partners. Our teams were happy to work with Susie after hours when necessary, and she integrated her programs with our business systems and guidelines, so everything we did with our culture became a permanent part of our thinking and actions as we grew the business.
Her leadership program, provided to leaders at every level of our business, was a rich mixture of professional and personal development, and included both group and individual sessions; this ensured the impact necessary to drive and sustain the cultural initiatives we were seeking to achieve. Her leadership coaching process addresses individual limitations and provides ‘active’ solutions for implementation; this individual attention was to be the catalyst for everything to change. I personally appreciated her strategic cultural input, her wisdom and her work ethic; she was a proactive, professional and intelligent working partner.
Susie also created a custom-made, performance and development review process for Contexx leaders to use, to review, support and encourage the advancement of our staff toward their career aspirations. This process required individuals to attend, armed with a completed ‘self-rating’ and compare their view with that of their respective leaders. This was an empowering and character-building exercise that changed us from a management- style company to a ‘whole’ culture, focused on the ‘real’ development of every individual.
Susie is a driven and focused individual who has the capability to bring real and lasting change to an organisation. If you are serious about renovating your culture to create a working environment which truly reflects your vision, values, and people, then I highly recommend Susie Walker to you and your organisation.’
Simon Gray, Managing Director, Contexx Pty Ltd – Melbourne
‘I was privileged to experience Susie Walker’s approach at CONTEXX, a unique, Melbourne-based, tier-one construction company, where a focused team of highly experienced people came together and deliberately created something different and special in a very small time. With Susie’s guidance and support, we realised that to consciously and purposefully set down your group’s values and the key behaviours and conversations that support them, defines your culture, and gives you the framework to make it consistent across your business. Using a unique methodology that fitted with our ongoing workload, she inspired us to value ourselves, our work, and our business and to work with our subcontractors, suppliers and consultants in a way that made us all want to give our best.
Susie brings a realisation that you already have a team and corporate culture; whether you think about it or not; so, by announcing exactly how you want to work together positively (through good times and those more challenging) and learning what you need to make it happen, your culture grows up and just keeps getting better. I saw relationships flourish and prosper and a business become the best in its industry. Now several years later, and after a corporate merger, the culture embodied at CONTEXX is still spoken of fondly by former team members, subcontractors, consultant partners and suppliers alike. Those years were life changing.’
Alexei Simm, Project Director, Contexx Pty Ltd – Melbourne
‘Through facilitation and training from Susie Walker, I witnessed and was part of a huge cultural shift within a commercial construction business. In an industry that is very traditional and often has a ‘that’s what we’ve always done’ attitude, populated by many people very set in their ways; to see the transformation of individuals, site-teams, and the development of an amazing culture, truly was incredible. I had never seen anything like this training and haven’t since. It was the most enjoyable time in my career and redefined my vocabulary, approach, and interaction with others, both at home and at work, all for the better.’
Greig Kearney, Contract Administrator, Contexx Pty Ltd – Melbourne
‘I have known Susie Walker, since early 2000 and she has worked as an external training and development consultant for Mayne Pharma for almost 7 years, conducting a company-wide program series, combining a broad range of development processes. These included skills for team development, communication and meeting skills, conflict resolution, presentation, and leadership; in addition, the management group was involved in an ongoing leadership development program.
Our relationship since that time has grown from a variety of professional interactions, based on the breadth of her program and our training and management needs. I value her opinions and advice in all areas of people management. On several occasions we have asked Susie to facilitate large inter-departmental sessions. At the outset of the takeover of Faulding Pharmaceuticals by Mayne, she facilitated a session on change management and helped us discuss and workshop how we would drive the change process to support the business through the takeover.
Recently we asked her to facilitate a large meeting to foster communication and collaboration between the ANZ Team and HQ function of the business. I have also used Susie as a resource when dealing with difficult performance management issues and have always been able to identify communication issues and then mediate an agreement on how to move forward and solve development issues.
Susie is a vibrant and challenging trainer. Her experience is extensive, based on a range of company types and styles, yet the training and principles work in each situation. She has been able to successfully work with widely different groups at Mayne, from the post-doctoral development chemists and regulatory staff to the factory floor. Not only is she able to communicate effectively with all levels of the company – but she is able to teach and train at these different levels. She is flexible, but with an honesty, transparency, and integrity that you know proves her own training.’
Dr. Jennifer Svec, Regulatory & Medical Affairs Director, Mayne Pharma, Australia
‘As Development and Portfolio Director, R&D, I am currently responsible for product development in an international generic pharmaceutical company, and have worked with Susie Walker, on a long-term cultural change program across a group of up to 90 scientists. This program has been most effective in changing the culture from one with a low level of morale and motivation, defensiveness and blame, unresolved conflicts, poor communication, poor multi-functional team dynamics and sub-optimal performance. Susie provided a tailored program, designed to develop self-awareness, improve team dynamics, encourage open communication between staff and management, establish a customer service orientation, and achieve a sustainable cultural change.
We are currently running at maintenance levels to ensure the satisfactory introduction of new staff into the teams. This approach has proved particularly successful and has been quantified through a variety of tools developed for this purpose. These tools ranged from 6-monthly questionnaires and surveys to feedback workshops. They demonstrated a significant and sustained increase in morale, communication, collaboration, planning and job satisfaction, despite a protracted company takeover and difficult enterprise agreement negotiations. Susie’s programs are typically based on training sessions for staff and management that deliver theory and facts, but then integrate them into the workplace and day-to-day interactions through facilitated discussions and activities. Susie works with managers and staff as a high-performance coach and is very effective at resolving workplace conflicts and poor performance issues. She provides personal development for managers, such that they improve their skills in identifying issues in their teams and then effectively escalating them for resolution.
This accelerates the team development process and effectively works through the challenges rather than suppressing them, and thus develops high performance teams. Susie’s commitment to long-term sustainable results, achieves very effective outcomes, with the advantage of close cooperation with managers to address specific staff issues, particularly persistent ones. She is an experienced professional, able to quickly build rapport with staff at all levels, and to win their trust and confidence, such that they are able to achieve a much higher level of self-development than through typical short, fact-based courses. She is very effective in team development, leadership, conflict resolution and mediation for individuals and larger groups. Based on my experience of working with Susie over many years as a behavioural change specialist, I would highly recommend her to other managers and organisations where there is a serious commitment to achieving cultural change as a basis for improved performance and where there is a need for the development of high-quality interpersonal workplace relationships.’
Dr. Geraldine Elliott, Development & Portfolio Director, Faulding/Mayne Pharma, Australia
‘I have known Susie Walker since April 2001 when I joined Faulding Pharmaceuticals, as Head of Regulatory Affairs & Drug Safety. She is always very professional in her approach and has achieved tremendous success with our teams. Susie is great at both the team and individual levels and her accomplishments at Faulding have left a lasting and powerful impression.
After joining CSL Bioplasma in early 2003, I invited Susie to work with me again, and again I was extremely satisfied with her approach and the success she achieved in Regulatory Affairs. Her success is simply a result of how she conducts herself and how she applies her knowledge and experience; Susie commands a great deal of respect.’
Patricia Soon Shiong, Regulatory Affairs Director, CSL Bioplasma, Australia
‘I first met Susie Walker 30 years ago when she was delivering personal development trainings and I was the HR Manager at the Regent Hotel in Melbourne. I began a series of individual and group training sessions with her, and she powerfully influenced my development. I quickly noticed this made me a better leader and influencer in the workplace. Several years later, when I was searching for a leadership program, for the senior management team I was working with at the Twin Waters Resort in Maroochydore, Susie Walker came immediately to mind. She lived-in at the resort and conducted a three-month leadership program for our staff which included group training sessions and individual coaching.
Her training was very well received, unlike anything anyone had previously experienced. Leadership training starts with self-leadership and Susie trained our managers to become more mindful of their own behaviours; what worked, what didn’t, what to change, and then, and only then, how to influence the same change in others for improved performance.
Susie is insightful and her direct, yet calm approach, allowed the team to explore their own behaviours without fear. Relationships improved, and the management became a stronger team, more proactively engaged with each other and the business at large. Leaders left the program with improved influencing ability, the skills to better manage their teams and a range of coaching skills that enabled them to support continuous improvement within the workplace.
As with many businesses we require staff to have great leadership ability and communicational flexibility to deal with a wide range of interpersonal challenges. We put 80 people into the program with Susie and to our amazement, these attendees proactively shared and taught the skills they had learned, with the remaining staff who did not attend; I had not seen staff embrace and share skills from a program like this before.
Susie has a real talent for engaging deeply with staff from every level of a business and inspiring them to enjoy making change. She can help people to see the change they need to be, in order to influence the change they want around them. Susie approaches professional and personal development with a difference that is refreshing, engaging and effective.’
Robyn Lange Cork, HR Manager, Twin Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast.
‘When we implemented the program, the benefits were immediate and exceptionally positive! Staff members became better equipped to adapt to a rapidly changing environment, communicate more effectively with each other and our clients, to work more collaboratively and cooperatively as a team and to perform to their maximum capacity. Productivity has increased, and our credibility has grown two-fold as a result. Susie’s presentation style is powerful and unique; she has the special ability to induce constructive, permanent and positive change in all who participate.’
Dianne Baxter, Department Head, Box Hill TAFE, Victoria
‘Susie Walker has been involved with Solaris Power for the past 15 months, conducting trainings for effective meeting and communication skills. She custom designed the courses to meet the needs of the participants and the business. Her ability to align people across departmental barriers and train the skills deeply into every area of the business was remarkable to see. Susie is a trainer who is her word; she demonstrates every day what she talks about in her sessions; I have been incredibly impressed with what she has achieved here so far and look forward to her other works about to begin here.’
Pam O’Neill, Human Resources Manager, Solaris Power, Victoria