Why we exist

Everyone has out story – here’s ours 

We exist to support organisations and individuals to grow leadership that is effective, authentic and well positioned to make a difference.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Many ideas people hold about leadership are broken. Whenever we are waiting for a superhero to fly in and rescue us from our problems, relying on a linear set of ideas for navigating change or outsourcing the responsibility for leadership to those in executive roles, we will be disappointed.

Meanwhile opportunity passes us by and our organisations get stuck in the same old struggles. In many ways, it is unhelpful leadership thinking that is drawing energy away from the valuable agendas of our organisations, whether they are businesses, welfare agencies, schools, not-for-profits, or social enterprises.

The team at New River is a blend of individuals who have personally experienced both sides of this impossible equation: The need to take positive action to make a difference in our world and the limitations of classic approaches to leadership.

We have committed to setting up camp right in the middle of this tension and working generously with others to begin Rethinking Leadership.

On the front side of the equation our collective history canvasses a diverse range of working experience. From urban development work, youth work, psychotherapy, social research, wilderness travel, small business, information technology, education and environmental advocacy.

In terms of the latter, our founder Peter Kaldor directed the largest Australian research study into leadership to date, publishing resource materials and books to share the findings. For over a decade our team has been working with individuals and organisations to build leadership capacity, discovering along the way the value of generative learning experiences and positive organisational cultures.

The team at New River are passionate about helping individuals and organisations engage fresh thinking around leadership. Some of the key ideas we work with are:

  • We are not about creating superheroes, lone rangers who ‘do all the leadership’ for us
  • Seeing leadership beyond hierarchy, role or position creates limitless possibility
  • Leadership is a contribution, an action not a position
  • Focus on strengths
  • Leadership is nearly always collaborative
  • No one person brings all needed strengths
  • Empowering others empowers us all
  • We must understand dynamics of change
  • Leadership is not about us
  • Leadership is connected to meaning and purpose
  • Leadership involves an inner journey
  • Hope is a central ingredient of change