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I help bold & unusual leaders shape positive change. 

Strategy | Narrative Design | Leadership | Delivery | Neurodiversity

Reality is messy and building things is hard. People in fast-moving, high pressure environments are usually fighting chaos every step of the way. This is how change happens and meaningful things get done - but it's not easy!

As a leader, whether you're pushing a new business uphill, hitting the next phase of growth, or dealing with a complex initiative, you'll sometimes get lost in the tangle: the place where things just aren't coming together.

So for instance: 
...we've got a team of five, six months' runway (if we're frugal), and a great product... but as CEO I'm the only one that can sell it. And my charm's not going to get us to real product/market fit by itself. 

... we're a public policy team working on a huge social initiative that has the chance to help millions of people. But we've lost sight of our deliverables and can't find our way through. 

... the leap from 20 to 50 people is killing us. Feels like juggling chainsaws. 

...hundreds of customers through our partner networks. But now we want to go direct, because our investors need higher margin. And that's revealing all sorts of issues... we're losing sales because there's a dozen opinions about what we actually offer. 

These are the kind of problems I help solve. 

When you're in danger of getting lost on your mission, I specialise in the tools and mindsets for finding your way again. 

I'm an experienced leader & strategic advisor across startups, disaster zones, national crises, and growth companies. These include the hypergrowth fintech Xero, e-learning scaleup Totara, leading citizen experience agency Somar Digital, NZ housing crisis, Canterbury earthquake rebuild, Abuse in Care Inquiry, and (most beloved) the Wellington Chocolate Factory. I love forming small, tight-knit teams who move fast and make good things happen amidst chaos. 

I have deep knowledge of how to shape pathways that take teams from ‘why’ to ‘how’ and ‘next’. My life's journey is a relentless pursuit of stories in all forms, including political campaigning, professional narrative design work in the tv, film, and game industries, and the emerging philosophy of Irrational Leadership. 

I'm especially good at building trusted relationships with unusual leaders. I have an extensive working history with highly intelligent, often neurodiverse people who break the status quo. This has included Head of Strategy, Board Chair, and mentoring roles. 

Connections often start with a chat. I'm completely upfront about what I think you need and whether I'm the best person to help. Fractional work is my preferred style of engagement: this is where I'll work with you and your team on a regular basis, such as one day per week, giving you access to experienced support but also the ability to control costs.  

Take a look at some things I've helped with, or a bit more about me, or just say hi. Thanks!

There is no textbook for making something new.


Colin understands this.

Rochelle Alagar | co-founder of Wellington Chocolate Factory and Mushroom House

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