Why us – What our clients say

Our clients work with us because we enable them to tackle a variety of difficult challenges and support them to tap their full potential, liberating the capabilities that exist within individuals and the organisation. This in turn flows on to their customers and clients.  We do this by engaging at a deeper personal level accessing practical wisdom and emotional intelligence through proven methodologies.

Organisational Development and Culture Change
Strategy Planning and Implementation
Leadership Development Programs
Senior Leadership Team Initiatives
Talent Development
Executive Coaching
Consulting and Advisory Services
Transformative Journeys

Organisational Development and Culture Change

My most recent piece of project work with Emma involved the gathering of 50 of our most senior lawyers within the organisation, who attended from their offices across Australia, and from Auckland & Hong Kong.  Our priority in getting such a broad range of people together was to provide the opportunity to work together as a team, and to create new relationships, strengthen existing alliances, and to develop a sense of shared purpose in a continually changing environment.

Emma’s approach in this context was welcoming and inclusive, and her personable style ensured that participants were immediately relaxed, and engaged.  Her manner is such that individuals were comfortable to become actively involved in the various activities from the outset – notwithstanding the size of the group or the range of views and personalities within the team. Emma comes across with a strong sense of authenticity and both a passion for the subject matter as well as a genuine interest in the input of those within the workshop.  Emma uses her intellect to challenge and provoke where necessary, but is also able to guide a sense of common purpose and industrious activity in order to ensure significant momentum throughout.

Emma’s facilitation of this initiative was delivered with clarity and she was able to clearly articulate the purpose and direction throughout.  The Appreciative Inquiry approach itself reaped valuable outcomes by way of initiatives that the team identified a wish to pursue. The positive momentum created by the philosophy behind Appreciative Inquiry was constructive and motivating for the team.  It has proven to be a critical piece in our endeavours to establish depth within the team, and a shared sense of purpose.

To give an indication of the change experienced within the legal team, one measure of that journey and ongoing momentum and impact of the work is through the change in our Speak Up Step Up results, which have been as follows;

Prior to the leadership initiative – 2010:

Engagement – 69

Enablement – 70

Post the leadership initiative – 2012: 

Engagement  – 80

Enablement – 81

Head of Practice Development & Strategy, Group Governance & Legal, Banking and Finance

Emmanate has worked with our organisation over the last year implementing a culture change initiative that commenced with sponsorship work with the executive team followed by a culture change initiative involving the entire organisation over a number of days. This initiative exceeded my expectations in all respects and the engagement and commitment from across the business implementing the outcomes has been impressive and continues to unfold.

Chief Executive Officer, Financial Services

Strategy Planning and Implementation

I would like to express how pleased we are with the work Emma Laing has done with our team. Our interactions with Emma have been characterised by insight, empathy, outstanding facilitation and encouragement. Emma has been absolutely first rate and a significant contributor to the development of our team.

Our first encounter with Emma was when she facilitated sessions of our Legal Strategy Offsite. It was a great success. The feedback from team members regarding Emma’s facilitation included:

“Emma was engaging, interesting”.  “Emma was excellent, inspiring, educational and great at keeping us focused”. “Emma was very encouraging and supportive.” 

A major action item that came out of the Strategy Offsite was soft skills training and we thought it would be fitting for Emma to develop and present a Leadership Development and Soft Skills Training Program for our team. Emma produced a module-based workshop series.

During 2009 we rolled out the program which included sessions on: Managing, Leading and Developing others, and Building Resilience; Effective Communication Skills, Managing Difficult Conversations and Influencing Skills; Problem Solving and Decision making, and Managing and Implementing Change; and finally Presentation Skills. All these sessions were facilitated by Emma. Emma’s professionalism and excellence in execution again resulted in real and significant development of the team. In my opinion the strategy session and program developed by Emma was an outstanding success.

General Counsel, Banking and Finance

Senior Leadership Team Initiatives

Emma Laing has worked with us over the last four years in the capacity as expert Consultant in her field. Recently this involved designing a customised Leadership Development approach that links Business Strategy, Executive Team work and Constructive Leadership Behaviours that deliver results. Emma’s knowledge and experience in the field of Executive Leadership Development is highly respected in our organisation and we continue to work with Emma in this challenging business domain.

The executive team initiative was specifically customised to deliver on our Constructive Behaviour set and Emma’s expertise was highly valued in the design and facilitation of the workshop content.

Prior to this, Emma designed and presented foundation level and advanced coaching workshops which were presented to our Executive team and their first and second level reports. The consistent feedback from the sessions was Emma’s unique ability to take the theory and make it a practical reality for those being developed. They all left the sessions with a toolbox they could apply in varying situations.

Human Resources Director, Manufacturing and Consumer Goods

Over the last two years, we have embarked on the most significant business transformation in our history, from systems to people and leadership. Emma Laing and the Emmanate consultants were engaged to assist the new Executive Leadership Team form and set the course for the organisation and its people. It was essential for the Executive Leadership Team to get to know each other build trust and establish and role model the leadership qualities required to support the business transformation agenda. Through this partnership, Emma has established a very close working relationship with the CEO and Executive team. Her judgment and feedback is valued and respected by all. Emma continues to play a key role in supporting and coaching the development of the Executive Leadership team.

General Manager People, Superannuation Industry

Leadership Development Programs

Our organisation has retained the services of Emma Laing to assist its senior executives in leadership development and coaching. The initiative has undoubtedly been one of the most successful initiatives that the organisation has instituted thanks to the contribution of Emma. The initiative proved so successful that it was then cascaded to the next level of management to help ensure that the benefits were quickly felt throughout the organisation.

At all times the Emma engaged with participants in a highly motivating way and impressed all with her ability to relate the training to real life experiences.  This ability to relate to practical everyday situations was invaluable and gave significant credibility to the subject matter so that the participants did not treat it as theory but could see the practical benefits to them.

I have no hesitation in recommending Emma to any organisation as a provider of senior executive consulting, facilitation and coaching of the highest quality.

Chief Financial Officer, Construction Industry

Emmanate was brought in for a leadership development program that I was involved in, with the senior management team. I have done a number of leadership development programs over the course of my career, and I can say without any hesitation or exaggeration, that this program was by far the most interesting, challenging and effective. Emma has a level of skill and professionalism in this area that is rarely seen.  It is not uncommon to have facilitators who cannot themselves demonstrate the level of leadership that they are “asking” the group to reach.  This is certainly not the case when dealing with Emma.  Her level of leadership is genuine and even inspiring, in that they she is able to guide and challenge people to greater things. I am pleased to say that this has definitely been the case for me.  I can sincerely say that much of what was passed on to us, I am using on a very regular basis in my dealings with colleagues, my staff and even my children. 

Executive Manager, Operations Group

As an executive in a complex environment the need for leadership, coaching and a sound debriefing program to help build and retain high performance teams is paramount.  I personally and the company I represent have found the leadership development, executive coaching and one on one LSI debriefing sessions conducted by Emma Laing of the highest standard and highly beneficial in assisting the company shape its future success. 

Chief Marketing Officer, Construction Industry

Talent Development

We have engaged Emma Laing to lead a variety of different leadership and development initiatives over the past few years. Emma has played a significant role in our leadership and talent management programs including facilitation, leadership capability development, executive coaching and LSI debriefs.

I have been very impressed with Emma’s broad range of skills, experience and knowledge. Based on Emma’s diverse background she has been able to introduce new concepts to our programs, which helped us to evolve and improve our offerings. I have found that Emma not only delivers against our objectives but is also able to put forward innovative ideas and best practice methodologies. For example, she introduced a personal resilience theme into our programs and provided us with strategies to help participants embed their key insights and learnings from the programs back into the workplace.

I would strongly recommend Emma to anyone who is looking to build leadership capability within their business. We have used Emma for many different initiatives and I have never been disappointed.

People & Culture Business Partner, Banking and Finance

Executive Coaching

“ Hermione Stewart has been my coach for two years although coach to me does not adequately reflect the transformation she has delivered to both my working and personal life.  My changed outlook and understanding of myself, my career and life objectives has enabled me to embark on a personal journey and career path that has been exciting and confronting. This undoubtedly has facilitated my achievement of far superior work and personal life outcomes. In summary Hermione has helped me be a better leader, a better manager, a better husband and better father – I cannot praise her highly enough.”

 Senior Manager, Banking and Finance

The ongoing coaching I am currently engaged in with Emma Laing is of an exceptional standard and vital in assisting me to navigate through the challenges faced in a company restructure and the progressive demands in building a high performance team. The sessions give me the pragmatic skills and confidence to manage change and ensure the surrounding team is informed, empowered and part of the transitions we are experiencing.

Chief Marketing Officer, Construction Industry

I found Hermione to be an outstanding executive coach. She has a wealth of business and life experience, and great common sense. I always looked forward to my sessions with Hermione, and would highly recommend her to others seeking new ideas to improve performance to the next level.

General Manager, Portfolio Management & Origination, Banking and Finance

I engaged Emma Laing to work with our Melbourne partnership. Her professional insights and capabilities, combined with her ability to blend compassion with challenge, made her an ideal Executive Coach.  For all those partners who did work with Emma, the experience was always positive – for many, it was profoundly transformational.

Learning and Development Manager, Top Tier Law Firm

My coaching experience with Hermione has provided a range of tools/techniques to improve my decision making and management of staff and superiors, improved my self-assurance; given me a clearer perspective of my professional performance.

Executive Officer, Institute of Medical Research

The coach was fantastic – a real support through a difficult time and I have come out with a strong sense of purpose, direction and confidence. The sessions were invaluable.

Senior Leader, Medical and Pharmaceutical Industry

Emma Laing has been coaching me for approximately 6-8 months. Reflecting on this time I can quite clearly see how Emma’s coaching has been and continues to be extremely beneficial to me. Emma’s coaching has improved the way I work in all dimensions.

Senior Partner, Professional Service Firm

I have had the privilege to be coached by Hermione while I was a Senior Executive in New York. What I value in a coach is someone who has the ability to listen beyond the words, cut through the mental clutter, and get to the heart of the matter – whether it’s strategy or dealing with a people-issue. Hermione has that ability in spades.

Senior Executive, Global Educational  Non For Profit Organisation

Hermione has an amazing ability to assist me to reflect and learn and grow professionally and to further develop my leadership skills. My self awareness, skills and confidence as a leader have grown considerably as a result of the coaching I have received. I strongly recommend Hermione’s coaching to others.

Manager, Rehabilitation Services

Consulting and Advisory Services

First and foremost, Emma has displayed unshakeable integrity and rigour in everything she has done. No question was too hard, no issue was a ‘no go’ zone.  Emma showed particular courage and integrity in raising a very delicate matter with me, which had thus far remained unsurfaced in the organisation, which I’m happy to say, once surfaced, has been addressed, and the world is a better place…

Whilst it’s still early days, I’m very much looking forward to continuing our work together. I am seeing a much improved level of openness, engagement and trust between my executive team members. I’ve also had feedback that some of their learnings from Emma’s work are having benefit beyond the work environment.

Chief Executive Officer, Financial Services

Emma Laing has worked with our organisation over the last number of years building and developing the leadership capability of our Partners nationally, and working with Board and leadership of the Firm. Emma quickly gained the respect of the partners and built a strong foundation of trust amongst the partner group. The insights gained from the work we have done, and the introduction of innovative work approaches and practices has had a positive impact on the way many of us are working, engage with staff and clients.

Chairman, Professional Service Firm 

Transformative Journeys

The decision to travel to Nepal with a group of Senior Women led by Emma Laing has been pivitol in my growth as a leader and a person.  Confronting – yes, challenging – absolutely – and so rewarding and rich an experience!  To leave your comfort zone – quite figuratively – and to immerse yourself in the world of another, takes you to a place of self awareness that would be difficult to achieve in any other way. To subvert your own reality, problems and desires, and to simply help other so much less fortunate is a unique opportunity and experience I still relish.   Meeting at risk girls in Nepal villages and schools, sitting with them in the local library and reading to them the books my own children had sent from Australia.  Also the support, camaraderie and shared time with others of like mind and the opportunity to reflect on their experiences and your own, opens up space to deal with many aspects of your self and life.  Life altering moments of clarity have the chance to land away from the busyness and clutter of our other lives.  I recall a father of one of the girls taking both my hand and saying to me. “Thank you, thank you for educating my daughter” and me replying    - “No thank you for your daughter and her education of me.”

 Head of Strategic Consulting, Banking and Finance