We help individuals and systems recognise the complexity of their context so they can make progress and thrive.
We view the work of leadership as fundamentally relational. It is about how we relate to and frame challenges, stakeholders, factions, worldviews and values. Core to our approach is making the work of leadership digestible and tangible to a range of people and contexts. Leadership is a practice that moves people to care, connect and get active in making a difference. We help you relate to your leadership challenges and opportunities with heart and smarts.
Leadership development services
Adaptive Leadership Development
Polykala’s Adaptive Leadership Development challenges the notion of leadership, generates insights and offers tools to catalyse change. Fundamental to the training is the view that a person’s leadership effectiveness is tied directly to their reflective skill.
Technical Expert to People Manager
Skilled technicians are commonly promoted without the skills to manage people and foster relationships within their teams. This program combines conceptual understandings of organisational change with interpersonal communication skills to give participants the frameworks and know-how required to manage teams effectively.
Facilitation is the art of enabling groups of people to share perspectives, make decisions and arrive at insights that make a difference to their lives, in their contexts. Facilitation isn’t merely ‘standing at the front of the room’, working through an agenda of chairing a meeting. Facilitation draws out the wisdom ‘in the room’ to help people be heard and make progress where it counts. Skilled facilitators are sensitive to the dynamics of each group; working with what shows up and where people are at to support them make progress on what matters.
We help you sharpen your skills as a facilitator to: create and maintain a holding environment that maximises people’s participation, protects dissenting voices and exposes the relevant fault lines and convergences. We reckon deft facilitation skills are essential to people practising leadership, managing people and making progress on non-technical and relational aspects of organisational life.
Our custom facilitation services range from meetings, workshops, planning days, town halls with rate-payers or academic collaborations between researchers. Our creative, inclusive processes enable our clients to hold complex and sometimes contentious conversations and make progress on critical decisions.
Communicating with clarity and credibility is critical for anyone committed to making a difference. It’s much more than what you say, it’s about how you show up for others, how you listen, how you disagree and how you make progress by engaging others. Communication with head, heart and guts is the primary tool for managing people and leading change. Polykala’s communication skills training is for a broad range of people who want to refine their ability to persuade, inform and inspire.
Communication Skills Services
Effective presenters can weave what seems like magic; they articulate complex information, connect with people and inspire them at the same time. But it’s not magic; it’s a craft that can be learnt. We use a combination of improvisational theatre and storytelling structures to help people craft a narrative that speaks to a leadership purpose, connects stakeholders and enables action.
The ability to give feedback and engage in difficult conversations forms the basis of healthy team cultures and ensures that organisations continuously grow. This training equips participants with the mindset and skills to have effective, authentic conversations in tough circumstances. Our sessions create a common language within the organisation for people to raise and explore issues with respect, care and candour.
Conflict is an inevitable part of any workplace. Building on the work of ‘Getting to Yes’, we believe the best negotiators are able to speak to core interests, values, identity and culture. They are alert to their counterpart’s emotional needs as well as the outcomes they want. The ability to negotiate across factional and organisational lines is a core leadership skill.
Coaching draws on two primary skills: the ability to listen and ask questions. Participants will leave this session with a new skill to empower their colleagues and staff through the power of listening and curiosity. Deep listening and powerful questions result in disrupting existing thinking patterns in order to generate new insights that lead to different outcomes.
If employers want respectful workplaces where attitude and actions continue to evolve, then the feeling of mutual respect needs to be the bedrock of any approach to culture change and growth. We believe that actions change when attitudes shift but that can only happen when real conversations take place that make room for diverse views, different perspectives and distinct learning styles. Our training promotes workplace cultures of decentralised leadership, where staff (irrespective of position) are supported to stand up for a dynamic and inclusive professional environment.
Workplace Culture Services
Diversity & Inclusion training
Conversations about Diversity & Inclusion are often tinged with fear, shame, judgement and trauma. This stymies the capacity to have conversations about often sensitive issues and prevents actual progress. We unstick diversity and inclusion conversations and help them flow to better outcomes. We do this by creating the conditions for courageous conversations.
Culture and Conduct training
Building healthy cultures takes time, conversation and interpersonal skills. Norms and behaviours rarely change as a result of people being told how to think or how to behave. Our culture and conduct program encourages participants to see themselves as active participants in the creation of workplace culture, whereby making a positive difference is everyone’s business.
Active Bystander training
Too often social leadership in the form of starting difficult conversations or holding people to account is left to people affected by the discrimination itself. Our Active Bystander training enables participants to take safe and constructive action against discriminatory and harmful behaviour in the workplace, whereby all staff (irrespective of position) are encouraged to stand up for a fair and inclusive workplace.
All teams encounter predictable difficulties, pressure points and even breaking points. Adaptation is the process of holding onto what’s working, letting go of what’s not, and growing new skills and capabilities for a changing context. Adaptive Teams are able to both withstand the pressures of organisational life and adapt according to rapid change.