Gerard has been both a trusted advisor and confidant. But above this he has been a great listener. He has never sought to provide me with answers but rather to listen, draw parallels, ask further, drill deeper to help me truly understand the fundamental issues I am experiencing and then help me work through and develop my unique approach to improving that experience both for myself and those around me.”
Nino Ficca - Managing Director
We really advanced the performance of our team as a result of Gerard’s expert guidance
Andrew Clark - Managing Director
Boston Consulting Group
Gerard is a warm, engaging person of integrity who has had an amazing impact transforming the leadership skills in the ADF and whilst this work is still it its infancy, the impact of it is clear to see already.
I strongly commend Gerard for similar work in your organisation.
John Rogerson - CEO
Alcohol and Drug Foundation
Gerard Penna has outstanding skills in facilitating strategic conversations that results in real direction and outcomes for the client.
Mike Anderson - Chief Operations Officer
In the four years that myself (NBL) and Basketball Australia have been working together with Gerard, I have found his outcome driven style of teaching, mediating and guiding to be of enormous benefit. Gerard builds trust with his audience very quickly and has a fantastic ability to read the room as to what’s needed to get the outcome he is being asked to achieve.
A wealth of knowledge, experience and strategy is what I feel I get with Gerard and a feeling of learning and progress after every session is a consistent outcome.
Would highly recommend
Larry Kestelman - Executive Chairman
I have worked with Gerard over the last four years in different engagements and can attest to his ability to get the best out of a group or individual. His ability to let the thinking and conversation run while summarising and challenging has facilitated great outcomes.
Graham Tiver – Global Head of Group Reporting
It has been an absolute pleasure working with Gerard from both a personal and organisational level. Gerard’s approach is both considered and impactful. His work with our senior leadership team and our broader leadership group has been tremendously valuable. We have a common language and values set within our organisation now, and I look forward to our continued and ongoing work with Gerard in cultivating the Leadership our business needs to successfully grow and develop.
Learning & Development Manager
LITTLE Real Estate
I was referred to Gerard Penna by a leadership team at BP who has just undergone a successful Leadership offsite program with the help of Gerard. My business partner and I worked with Gerard together and separately over a nine month period and both feel our leadership has gone to the next level and our partnership is now stronger than ever after Gerard helped us understand better ways to work together and understand each other.
I would recommend Gerard to any business leader who is ready to step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves to improve their leadership.
Chris Dean – CEO,
Gerard is an experienced executive coach and leadership development professional. Over the years I have worked with him in different organisations. Most recently he is working with us at the Alcohol and Drug foundation to help us develop and strengthen our organisations leadership capability. Gerard is working with the Executive team to help build our leadership capability and strengthen our impact as well as working with a number of the executives in a 1:1 coaching environment.
Gerard is also working across our senior leadership group and has facilitated a number of offsites which have gained great feedback. He is a very experienced leadership coach and is able to weave theory, frameworks and his own expenses into the conversation without it feeling contrived. He has built great rapport and has a way of helping individuals and team identity and realise the core of an issue and how to “make progress”.
It is great to have Gerard working with us at the ADF. He is making a huge difference in helping us build our leadership capability and ultimately increase our impact as an organisation.
Head of People & Culture
Gerard has been a long-term partner in the delivery of our award-winning Senior Leader Development program over the past four years. While we initially engaged with him to contribute as a facilitator, his willingness and interest in contributing to the back-end design has assisted in the programs’ success and supported us in developing different kinds of adaptive leaders.
Gerard delivers above and beyond a technical capability. He brings a strong, confident polish coupled with an operating style that enables him to build credibility quickly. Whether it be in coaching, facilitating, or leadership development, I’ve found Gerard to be a safe pair of hands who is well received by many different audiences. The fact that Gerard makes himself available impromptu to share his perspective and views, has enabled value-adding tailoring of programs. These robust conversations, rather then just a service delivery, lead to a really positive experience that encourages left of field ideas that challenge the way you think and what you wish to convey.
For those investing in leadership development, I would highly recommend Gerard. He is not a one – off facilitator who will present and disappear, he is far more likely to invest in your company’s outcome and ensure long-term benefit.
He presents with impact and knowledge, and where others stick to a predetermined agenda, Gerard’s distinct value add is his tendency to challenge and test ideas on the fly to really get at the undercurrent of what is at play. Through challenging our thoughts and ideas, Gerard has a capacity to get people to think more deeply and broadly, reframe problems and solutions in a different light, and thus, bringing value to the business.
Organisational Development – People and Culture
We engaged Gerard at South East Water for a range of opportunities including leadership development of our Executive Team, strategy workshops, and coaching. In all areas he was able to guide us forward and create sustainable results.
Gerard allowed us to think outside the box and determine how we could do things differently. Initial leadership development did not have the impact we intended. Gerard took another path to really understood what was needed to change and progress things.
He was able to teach our entire team to listen and appreciate each others’ style better. We’ve seen great change as a result. Gerard really broke through the barriers with each individual and built trust. We have much more open discussions now and people are prepared to challenge each other. We are also open to receiving those challenges and contemplating them. As an organisation, we are more aligned in our direction and strategy as a result of this refinement.
I found the experience with Gerard had an immense effect on me personally. I have seen a change in myself, and I am approaching work challenges in a much more enjoyable way. Gerard’s involvement provided me with breathing space and another perspective in approaching specific tasks.
It is difficult to find a consultant who can install trust and at the same time, gel with the entire leadership team, but Gerard has an unconventional, free flowing way which brings out the best in his participants.
The unique thing about Gerard is he really pushes you. He wasn’t afraid to put things on the table that he was observing. He has this amazing way of simplifying and creating structure, breaking things down into bite sized pieces which are easier to tackle.
I would recommend Gerard to anyone who is experiencing an organisational challenge and has tried the true and tested models, yet is still not experiencing the desired outcomes. Gerard will not take you down the easy road, but it will be the one that creates sustainable results that not only changes your strategy, but also your cultural behaviours.
Sharon Robinson - General Manager of People and Safety
South East Water
I’ve had the pleasure of working directly with Gerard over the past three years in my role as Chairman of Basketball Australia.
Gerard has a unique combination of intelligence, compassion and insight that has lead to significant progress on key relationships and strategies. Without his ability to ‘align the stars’, we would still be navel-gazing!
If you are seeking to build focussed and aligned strategy supported by strong relationships, I’d suggest a discussion with Gerard would be a good use of time.
Ned Coten - Chairman
I have been working with Gerard over a number of years. Gerard's engagement has been for new team forming, existing teams check in/reflections and burning platform facilitation for required change. What sets Gerard apart has been his system thinking approach that has tapped into commercial and relational opportunities. As a quick learner, Gerard has been able to pull threads together to constantly adapt to identify team hotspots as well as areas of untapped potential.
Chris Carroll General Manager
As a Leadership Team we aligned on our mission of becoming a high performing team, and quickly landed in a space of believing Gerard was the right coach & facilitator to lead us through this team transformation. Gerard's experiences coupled with his ability to read both the individuals and the broader room create a safe and equally challenging & supportive learning environment. What has been most valuable in Gerard's approach has been his ability translate concepts into practical behaviours through story telling; creating valuable memory structures for team in the process. Exercising patience for the learning agility of the team, Gerard has played a key role in supporting us on our journey to high performance.
Shane Bonello, Managing Director - Australia & New Zealand
Hallmark Cards Australia
What really stood out to me was his authenticity. Gerard is an empathetic listener, non-judgmental and displays a very relaxed style. He is confident without arrogance, super smart with ability to make that practical and real for people.
I feel Gerard specialises in building high performing teams, executive coaching, strategic business planning, blue sky planning, or team development. Essentially any company or individual requiring significant impact or change would benefit!
Gerard is credible, articulate and intelligent and can tailor learning solutions that address specific needs and outcomes. He builds rapport easily and appropriately with all people from CEO to Exec Team to L&D so trust is there from the outset. He is authentic and down to earth, not an overpowering type, and had our team totally engrossed.
Head of HR Australia & NZ
Gerard is an experienced and effective coach and facilitator. I have worked with him a number of times over the past few years to enhance both team and personal performance. Gerard is skilled at diagnosing the root of the problems we face in reaching our goals and understand the inherent challenges faced within organisations and works with individuals and teams to break through barriers inhibiting our performance.
Gerard is also genuinely delightful, intelligent and thoughtful, and brings a good dose of humour to his work.
Katrina Blair - VP Reporting
Like all leaders in business, we’re often approached by individuals or companies who want to help us. Take our people to that next level, motivational sessions, change the status quo etc. We’ve all heard it before.
Well, when it was suggested I speak to Gerard, I thought similar. Here we go again!!
However, Gerard was different - genuinely different. No rah rah, no big promises. Instead he quietly suggested "you’ll be surprised with what you discover about your business, your colleagues and yourself”.
What a difference Gerard has made. As leaders we are now on the one page now, can respectfully have those tough conversations and even had the courage to have one-on-one reviews with our entire national leadership team. Ground breaking!!
Gerard now works with our executive team - our engine room, and our whole leadership group, working our way down from the top. And how this has helped our business and our people.
From 1st hand experience I absolutely commend Gerard Penna to your business. Take the challenge.
Fred Harrison - CEO
Gerard was recommended to me by a HR colleague; I was looking for someone to help me further develop my Leadership Team.
My team are high performing individuals who have achieved a lot in the past two years, but I was looking to further develop them into a team that could lead my Division and in turn the overall Organisation, through the next period of significant business change and disruption.
Gerard was able to quickly build rapport with my team and I. He was able to quickly sum up the situation including my objectives for the sessions and the team. He gave me some terrific insights into the individual members of the team and my own style, and then lead us through a process of creating awareness, making team commitments and extending the teams thinking to their respective teams.
Gerard has an easy casual style and he knows how to allow the room to work its way through issues. That worked really well for us. I intend to continue to use Gerard to help us develop as individuals and as a team.
Chief Information Officer
We engaged Gerard to help with improving trust and integration of the senior leadership team in an effort to build the foundation for a higher level of performance moving forward.
He possesses a passion and level of expertise in his field which really shows when working with him. He is also quite patient and "curious" in his approach which had a positive impact on me and the team.
What makes him unique is his knowledge and understanding of the business world combined with a sound background of learning from academia, research, and broader psychological and behavioural studies/research. He has the ability to walk a fine line between business and theory. We had to tweak a bit for our organisation and team as we are geared towards practical application and "doing to learn". It proved very successful and beneficial to do so.
Andrew Penca, Managing Director
Cummins South Pacific
The "Executive Whisperer" is how I describe Gerard Penna. He has an uncanny mix of intuition and intelligence that enables him to deeply understand the complexity faced by executives and teams and skillfully guide them on the right path to uncover the answers they need to make progress. His ability to build trust with executive teams and teach them how to hold multiple perspectives and find the truth makes him a unique human being.
Author / Speaker / Expert in Leadership, Teams and wellbeing
Working with Gerard is like being part of a long term partnership. He’s not the type of consultant who comes in, delivers the IP, and you never hear from again until you have another job. His deep expertise and genuine desire to help means you get great value from him. Additionally, if the program isn’t working, he is not afraid to sit and discuss what needs to happen to make it work; make the necessary changes all the while staying true to the IP and delivery intent. That is what makes Gerard unique; he takes an IP, works it and brings his own perspective. He is very good at understanding your context and helping you identify key problem areas.
I’ve trusted Gerard across a number of organisations that I have worked for over 5 years. He is an experienced thought leader with deep expertise in building capability frameworks, brings an innovative approach to leadership and is extremely effective in working with big leadership teams that require change.
I’ve found Gerard to have a real desire for things to be better and that, coupled with a strong executive presence, creates a real sense of value in what you receive from him professionally. He is quite clever in ensuring that when the contract is complete, he hasn’t created any dependence. He really sets everything up so you can take away from the teachings and continue to utilise them through any number of scenarios or situations. He has this Zen-like quality which has you always feeling like you are in safe hands.
I continually rely on Gerard due to his calm style and his ability to work well with pretty much anybody. Gerard adapts himself, collaborates well, and personalises whatever program he is facilitating. He is not afraid to push back and challenge your thinking in a way that genuinely helps. He will tell you the truth to help you succeed.
Since using Gerard, the quality of discussion from leaders has really improved. Behaviours have been quickly adopted and really resonated. In coaching workshops, he has really helped shift the team and move them forward. He has agitated, given constructive feedback, and adapted his teachings so all involved felt confident that we were really learning something valuable to take away.
From a personal point of view, Gerard has been a coach and sounding board on how to manage different types of stakeholders and agendas helping me focus on big things within the organisation. I would not hesitate to recommend him for executive coaching, especially for people transitioning into director or board roles. By reorganising your mind, Gerard helps you work on the pitch and the balcony, allowing you to focus on the right strategy as well as implementation required.
Director- People Experience
Dennis Atacador - General Manager, Parcels
Gerard is a very skilled facilitator who is a fantastic role model in how to approach discussions with staff
Wes Gibson - General Manager Human Resources,
It was the most valuable coaching I have experienced –
Anthony Schinck - CEO
City of Ballarat
I thought Gerard was excellent
Vanessa Potts General Manager Merchandise
My brother Xavier and I own and run a business that engages close to 400 staff and subcontractors. We are and always have been, a family business where employing and retaining staff is paramount to our success.
Xavier and I identified that some of these people, although excellent procedural managers were ineffective communicators and lacked some real leadership attributes that are critical in any business. It became more important as our business grew and it became obvious that we needed help outside our normal training avenues. Through a business associate, I was referred to Gerard for advice on what we needed in terms of our shortfalls and also advice on the provision of some training to assist us going forward. This was a pivotal juncture in the development of our management team.
Initially, Gerard conducted a two-day Leadership Training workshop that was a major awakening for most of our leadership team. I say ‘most’ because therein lies Gerard’s strengths. It wasn’t a ’one size fits all approach’. He tailored the training to be accessible to each manager whilst maintaining a group dynamic. It was an amazing two days and an equally amazing outcome. At our subsequent monthly management meeting we ‘debriefed’ and the effect was startling. Each person had a different outcome but as a group we achieved common benefits. To a person, we had learnt about dealing with people (staff or clients) according to their personality, learnt to have empathy for, and an understanding of people’s differing strengths and weaknesses. For most of us, this was a cathartic experience.
Since then, Gerard has continued to provide executive coaching to the Directors and helped us to find other ways to continue our management development.
James Egan, Owner and Director
Freedom Facilities Management