Nicki is a leadership consultant, speaker and coach, obsessed by the desire to create leaders who can create the conditions for people to do their best work – no matter what’s happening in the world. The focus of her work is teaching and inspiring leaders to provide the limitless psychological safety which allows teams to thrive, even as we all face a volatile and uncertain future. This provides the platform for an enviable, adaptable and resilient culture, and a workforce capable of exceptional performance.
Nicki’s leadership career has spanned over 21 years across industries as diverse as mining, finance, sport and manufacturing. It has seen her transition from lawyer to senior executive to professional director and has taken her from the onion fields of New Zealand to the deserts of Burkina Faso – more often than not as the first and/or only woman in the room. Her work is grounded in delivering not just insights and inspiration (though you’ll get those too!) but practical tools that leaders can implement for immediate impact.
In addition to her corporate career, Nicki has been active for many years in the philanthropic sector. Nicki was a founding director of Football South Coast Limited, is a director of Dress for Success Sydney Inc. and is the founder and Chair of its Illawarra Branch. Nicki has been recognised locally and at State level for her not-for-profit activities, including as the 2019 Australia Day Ambassador for Wollongong.
Safety & Consent
What if silence means no?
In organisational (and societal) culture today, so often we assume if no-one says “No” or “Stop” then what they really mean is “Yes, keep going”. Silence is typically characterized as implied consent or assent to whatever behaviours are taking place - but Nicki shows us how this flies in the face of what we know about psychological safety in an organisational context. She addresses why this assumption is not just dangerously wrong, but damaging to the individual, the team and therefore the performance of the entire organisation. Nicki shares with us some key actions leaders can take to ensure there is valid and explicit consent to the behaviours they exhibit and permit.
In this keynote you will learn:
• Why psychological safety is the lynchpin of team performance and culture
• The critical link between power, fear and consent
• How to create a culture of trust and fearlessness to promote the certainty of consent
Safer leadership for a limitless future
Safety(n): the state of being “safe”, the condition of being protected from harm or other non-desirable outcomes.
Limitless(adj): without end, limit or boundary.
By definition, these words seem a universe apart, but in truth – if we are seeking out what is limitless – we must first anchor in what feels safe. As the saying goes “A tree without roots is just a piece of wood”.
In this presentation, Nicki provides insights and practical tools on how to lead innovation, manage rapid change and enhance adaptability through her “Lead with Safe®” framework. Her methodology has a focus on the human skills that will be essential for organisations navigating rapid change in the next economy.
Audiences will learn:
- How and why to more deeply connect to purpose,
- The role of boundaries and standards in achieving a limitless potential
- How to develop tools to enhance awareness
- The necessity and art of making “safer” decisions in uncertain times
Most importantly they will unlock the activation of psychological safety as one of the most essential skills in the future of work.
Safe to change
The most important skills for the future of work
While everyone is talking about emerging technologies, automation, robotics or artificial intelligence – technology is only one part of the equation of the future of work. The most prosperous futures will belong to the organisations that can support their people in feeling safe during times of rapid change – because only when humans feel safe can they truly thrive.
In this presentation, Nicki discusses the intersection between technology and the human being through the lens of what it is to feel psychologically safe when the world around you is changing at an unprecedented pace. Change can inherently feel unsafe, but there are ways that we can shift our perspective and create a culture that allows us to navigate the disruption and to feel safe despite uncertain times. It’s about creating the level of safety that brings people together to work alongside new technologies rather than fear them, and to accept change not as a feared interloper, but as a valued constant companion.
The audience will learn:
- Why the role of the human, and human creativity, are even more important as technology advances
- The Safety pathways that enhance innovation, adaptability. collaboration and connectivity
- Why purpose is the critical anchor when change is the only constant
They will leave with a clear understanding of how to position their teams and their organisations to embrace change as a tool for success.
Safe is the new strong
How leaders can rewire themselves for safety
One of the greatest challenges in leadership is how we lead ourselves. What it takes to be successful in leadership has changed – and so must we. Today, we are more accountable to our people, to shareholders and the stakeholders of a business than ever before. There is less room for error, less stability and more eyes watching every move. So how do we unlock what it means to feel safe in leadership when all the rules have changed?
In this presentation, Nicki unpacks the personal relationship of leaders to psychological safety. She supports leaders to better understand the neuroscience of safety, or what some call the “Lizard Brain”. This assists leaders to better comprehend the feeling of fear and its impacts – and transform those feelings into safety. As a leader we are captain of the ship, and we can’t anchor our teams to step into higher potential unless we first make ourselves safe.
Audiences will leave this presentation with a heightened self-awareness, having learned:
- The forces at work to destabilise their own psychological safety, and why that impacts leadership effectiveness
- Why in the next economy “Safe is the new Strong”
- The role of purpose, integrity and certainty in times of rapid change
They will walk away with a level of certainty and direction about their role as a leader in preparing their people for this economy