Joanna Maxwell

Joanna Maxwell helps people flourish at work, using creative thinking for individual career development or to train teams to use their whole brains - so everyone can work in colour, not in black + white, everyday.

After recovering from her first career as a lawyer, Joanna decided to use the rigour and analytical skills learned as a lawyer in a more creative and unstructured environment. She discovered her 'thing', working with people who wanted to flourish at work, and after training as a coach, counsellor and somatic therapist.

Her popular Juicy Thinking sessions and workshops create big, fat juicy ideas for teams and businesses, including the Australian Broadcasting Commission, VECCI (Victorian Chamber of Commerce), Roche Pty Limited, Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, Industry and Investment NSW and Cover-More Australia.

She particularly enjoys showing individuals how to find their Escape Hatch when they feel like a round peg stuck in a square hole at work, or, if they are in the right field, how to develop a strategic career plan.

Joanna's lively and inspiring keynote presentation style has been a refreshing change for audiences at conferences, seminars and workshops throughout Australia. She has sparked curiosity, thoughtful discussion and laughter at events including the Australian Compliance Institute Annual Conference, Flying Solo LIVE!, Business and Professional Women (BPW), She Business Australia and the Executive Assistants Network conference.

As a freelance journalist for more than 20 years, Joanna now shares her insights on business innovation and creative thinking as a contributing writer for AFR Boss magazine, as well as personal musings on how to work in colour on her blog. She has previously written for publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, Canberra Times and The Bulletin.

Keynote Topics:

Creative thinking for success: Creative thinking is essential for 21st century business success. Businesses that take advantage of creative thinking will not only adapt and survive changing times, but also flourish. In a constantly shifting business environment, it's those who develop these creative thinking tools that will emerge stronger than ever. Those who don't develop these tools may not emerge at all.

Why failure is a good thing: We are often raised and educated to see failure as something to be avoided - as a 'bad' thing. But you can't create something new, master a field of learning or have a successful career or business without some failure. It's time to rethink our attitude to making mistakes, facing fear, taking risks and even surviving outright fiascos. It's time to learn how to turn these inevitable bumps along the road into a freeway of productive creativity.

The creative workplace: How do you turn your office into a hive of creative thinking, without descending into chaos? get the buzz, without the sting? There's more to a creative workplace than a group of people who know how to brainstorm or mindmap. It's vital to work with the corporate culture and learn to deal with attitudes to risk, change, failure and fuzzy timelines. Only then will you be able to apply creative thinking tools to achieve measurable business outcomes.

Take charge of your career: Do you have a strategic plan for your working life? Or even for this year? Whether you run your own business or work for someone else, you need to make sure you are sitting in the driver's seat of your career. No-one's going to do it for you, though they may be full of advice like, 'tap into your strengths', 'leverage your skills' and 'make a five-year plan'. All very well, but how do you do this? Where do you start? Learn to identify your strengths, skills and where you want to be in five years, and develop a comprehensive dashboard of tools and strategies to get you there.

Give your career the creative edge: The demands of career management are changing and now, more than ever, you need to take charge of your career. Those who use creative thinking to adapt and survive changing times will emerge stronger than ever. Learn how to use creative thinking and watch your career flourish.

Work with your strengths: If you can identify your strengths and abilities and find ways to use them at work, your satisfaction and success will soar. It used to be thought that your strengths were best left alone, and it was your weaknesses you had to shore up. But in the last five years, there has been a shift towards placing the emphasis on your strengths instead. There are now plenty of scientific studies suggesting that business success may have more to do with playing to your strengths, than compensating for your weaknesses.




We had a fantastic time with Joanna during our creative thinking workshop. She is a great facilitator and got the whole team thinking differently. We really enjoyed the scenarios she threw at us and we all used the tools and skills Joanna taught us immediately with great results. The sessions were a lot of fun with some very practical and very interesting ideas.
- Head Corporate Marketing, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Joanna is a great facilitator, engaging and warm person to work with. Her workshops include an excellent combination of theory and activities. Joanna's responsiveness and creative approach encouraged our participants to reflect their usual way of thinking and applying the tools she taught with enthusiasm.
- Victorian Department of Sustainability Services, VECCI

Thank you for the creative thinking workshop for our advanced rural leadership program, TRAILblazers. I have to tell you that your session was one of the 'must keep' sessions for the group-they used a lot of the techniques in their mastermind session on the last day of the program-and it worked beautifully. I have heard that many of them have even incorporated some of the techniques with their colleagues upon their return to work. I am definitely booking you in again for the next program! Thanks again.
- Manager Network and Short Courses, Australian Rural Leadership Foundation

The joy of Joanna's creative thinking keynote is that it does exactly what it says on the tin—it gets everyone in attendance thinking creatively! Joanna's enthusiastic, knowledgeable delivery couples with fun interactive elements to really get her audience buzzing with ideas. The practical advice for breaking through mental blocks and approaching work, and life, from a different angle meant that I came away from the afternoon with a step-by-step guide for thinking outside of the box. A thoroughly enjoyable session from a great presenter.
- Editor, Australian Fitness Network

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your presentation. I've been in a bit of a rut for the past few months and your presentation has given me the boost I needed to think more creatively about how I can get more out of what I'm doing. So thank you!
- Alison Evans Consulting (Flying Solo LIVE attendee)

Joanna is an engaging and absolutely professional presenter. Joanna’s passion for working with colour and creative thinking enabled a wonderful innovative workshop complete with interactive activities that had the audience enthralled and requesting more of her events! I would wholeheartedly recommend Joanna as someone who will inspire the audience.
- Industry & Investment NSW

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