Who We Are

We are a network of consultants based around the world working with a range of organisations across all sectors.

All consultants have worked in organisations, many are from our client organisations. We all have experience in applying and shaping these models so that they work in practice not just theory. Many have worked at very senior levels and have a deep understanding of how organisations function and can function well.

We also work collaboratively with others including partnerships with the Bioss consultancy organisation.

  • Ian Macdonald

    Ian Macdonald

    Ian established Macdonald Associates Consultancy in 1983.

    He was a staff member at Brunel University in London and continues to be associated there as an Honorary Fellow. His consultancy work has included many different countries, cultures and types of organisation from indigenous communities to financial services from mining to the Church and he continues to work across all sectors.

    He is the co-author of Systems Leadership; Creating Positive Organisations which forms the basis of Macdonald Associates’ work.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Organisational Design and Effectiveness
    • Leadership and Team Development
    • Organisational Health Analysis and Review
    • System Design and Implementation
    • Strategic advice especially CEOs
    • Training in all of the above


    • BSc Psychology Hons 1972
    • Chartered Psychologist 1985
    • PhD Psychology 1991
    • Honorary Fellow Brunel 2011
    • Associations
    • British Psychological Society

  • Hilton Barnett

    Hilton Barnett

    Hilton Barnett is based in White River, South Africa.

    He began his career helping children who had developmental and behavioural difficulties. He worked in this field in a variety of institutional settings in Australia, the UK and South Africa.

    Hilton's focus shifted to improving the systems and structures by which services were being delivered to these children. This led into a move to the Anglo American Corporation, where his work included HR management, training, assessment and consulting.

    Since 1994 Hilton has consulted to the management of organisations as both leader and a member of teams in 7 countries. Much of this work has been in the mining industry, but he has also worked with a large bank, two government departments and a range of small organisations, including non-profit work.

    Hilton's focus is effective working relationships, driven by a positive culture, effective leadership behaviour and work clarity.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Consulting on the application of Systems Leadership principles
    • Leadership training
    • Working in different cultural contexts
    • Development of positive and productive cultures, including safe work
    • Organisational structure and systems analysis and re-design
    • Capability assessment and management


    • Bachelor of Social Science in Psychology and Sociology, University of Cape Town
    • M.A. Psychology, Sydney University


    • Macdonald Associates Consultancy
    • Salient Consulting
    • Response Consulting Australia
    • Shareholder of Hilton Barnett & Associates
    • Member of IODA (International Organisation Development Association)

  • Rod Barnett

    Rod Barnett

    Rod enjoys providing support and coaching to line leaders as they go about creating the right environment for people to engage and give of their best. He has experience in the fields of organisational change, education, organization development and training.

    He has worked across a range of businesses and non-profit organisations in Australasia, South Africa, Ghana, Indonesia, U.S.A. and Brazil.

    He is based in Sydney, Australia.

    Areas of Expertise

    • The Systems Leadership approach
    • Consulting to executives
    • Coaching of line leaders
    • Facilitation of workshops
    • Working on systems and structure of organisations
    • An integrative approach to organisational change


    Rod holds degrees and post-graduate qualifications in the Arts, Education and Theology.
    He also holds an honours degree in Organisational Psychology.


    • Principal of Salient Consulting
    • Vice President of International Organisation Development Association (IODA)

  • Phillip Bartlett

    Phillip Bartlett

    Phillip has over 25 years of experience as an Organisational Development consultant/advisor (after experience in the mining industry in HR, training and labour relations roles) and operated his own business for 15 of those years. During that time, he has worked with many mining and processing organisations, including in the Gold Industry, in all aspects of their operations and corporate offices. He has worked in Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Europe and been in the application of the Systems Leadership modeling since 1994.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Organizational Analysis and Advice
    • Leadership & Team Development
    • Cultural Review & Development
    • Systems Review & Redesign


    • BA (Psych)
    • Associations
    • Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors
    • Charted Member, Institute of Management Consultants

  • Rob Chaston

    Rob Chaston

    Based in Sydney, Australia, Rob has been consulting since 2002 in a number of industries including coal mining, coal logistics, aluminium smelting, law, information technology, shipping logistics, retirement villages and not for profit. His clients have principally been located in Australia and Oman.

    Prior to establishing his consultancy, he accumulated over 37 years corporate experience in senior roles in the Banking and Finance sector.

    Rob has developed a strong interest in the nurturing of people as individuals and in teams. He believes in a total management approach and regards himself as someone who works on the business rather than in it.

    An accredited Master Coach, Rob also believes that the only way to achieve change in an organization is to drive the behaviours designed to improve and lift the performance of leaders and the teams they lead.

    Areas of Expertise

    • One on one executive coaching
    • Organisational analysis; Systems and Symbols audits
    • Teamwork training; Working Together program
    • Leadership skills training; Social Process skills for leaders


    • Institute of Affiliate Accountants

  • Rachel Combret

    Rachel Combret

    Rachel is based out of Santiago in Chile.

    She began her career in Information Systems, then spent several years in Marketing, before moving into the area of Human Resources, where she worked first as a generalist, and later specialised in Organisational & People Development. Over the past 30 years she has worked in leadership roles in a variety of industry sectors, including retail, distribution, manufacturing and mining, and has lived in the UK, France, Spain, Morocco, Mexico and Chile. In addition, her work has taken her regularly to Brazil, Peru, Canada and South Africa.

    Now working as a consultant, her focus is on supporting other leaders to understand Systems Leadership theory and to apply it in their own organisations, enabling them to create the optimum conditions for people to work together effectively and deliver productive business outcomes.

    Areas of Expertise:

    • Organisational design
    • Organisational behaviour, culture and change
    • Leadership development and coaching
    • Design of people systems
    • Advising business leaders on the Systems Leadership approach


    • BA English Literature with Social Ethics
    • Post Graduate Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development
    • MA Human Resource Management


    • Chartered Fellow of the CIPD
    • Systems Leadership Development Association


  • Steve Cox

    Steve Cox

    Steve has worked across an unusually wide range of disciplines within education having been a youth worker, teacher, trainer and strategic manager leading on governance and management support across 307 schools.

    After 25 years in education Steve moved to head up Community Services as a Strategic Leader within Gloucestershire County Council. The role encompassed Libraries, Archives, Youth Justice, Trading Standards, Coroners, Registration and Equalities,

    In 2008 he became an associate of Macdonald Associate Consultancy. He has worked with mining and pharmaceutical companies, has facilitated Head Teacher’s conferences and worked with voluntary organisations.

    In 2012 Steve was appointed Principal at a three phase school and has more recently been working as a change management consultant within education settings.

    Aread of Expertise

    • Application of Systems Leadership principles and practices in organisations
    • Leadership development and coaching
    • Cultural review and transformation
    • Teamwork training
    • Workshop design and facilitation


    • M.A. Youth and Community Work – Brunel University
    • PGCE – Brunel University


    • Macdonald Associates Consultancy
    • Systems Leadership Development Association


  • David Dadswell

    David Dadswell

    David Dadswell has been consulting with commercial, public and voluntary organisations for over fifteen years. After a career in church and higher education work, he joined Macdonald Associates Consultancy in 1996 as General Manager and then Chief Operating Officer, Director and Principal.

    He has worked as a consultant with commercial concerns such as resources, utilities, pharmaceuticals, and financial institutions, public bodies such as universities, schools and local authorities and voluntary organisations such as local and national churches, mental health charities and housing associations. He has worked in organisations in USA, Canada, Germany, Australia, Russia, Thailand, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

    From 2009, he has been Director of Systems Leadership Consulting Ltd, based in Windsor, Berkshire. He is a tutor on the MA in Consultancy for Mission and Ministry at the York Institute for Community Theology at York St John University and Principal Consultant of the Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology at Ripon College, Cuddesdon.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Training in leadership & teamwork
    • Organisational structure and cultural change
    • Systems and policy design
    • Organisational analyses and evaluations
    • Cross cultural work
    • Church consultancy


    • MA (French & Italian), Oxford University
    • MPhil (Youth and Community), Brunel University


    • Member, British and Irish Association of Practical Theology

  • Clive Dixon

    Clive Dixon

    Clive has extensive experience in school education as a teacher, principal, principal supervisor and regional director. He works with schools and other organisations, delivering training and coaching school leaders and executives to improve their capability to create positive, productive cultures.

    His special interests include organisational change, leadership development, pedagogy and the education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
    He is based in Cairns in far north Queensland, Australia.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Using Systems Leadership in organisations
    • Leadership and team development
    • Facilitating training and workshops
    • Organisational change


    Clive studied at the North Brisbane College of Advanced Education and the University of Queensland. He holds a Diploma of Teaching, Bachelor of Educational Studies and Master of Educational Studies.

  • Roy Feltham

    Roy Feltham

    Roy is a chartered gas engineer with 30 years experience of operational management and strategy development in the UK gas industry. He was the founding chairman of the organisation appointed by government to develop occupational standards and address the skills needed by the gas industry. The remit was extended to include energy, utility and waste management sectors. Roy designed a competence management scheme to meet government permitting requirements and is advising on its implementation.

    Roy is a partner and technical director of Rune Associates who provide gas engineering services in Great Britain and in other countries.

    Roy led significant programmes of organisational and cultural change as part of the transformation from a large integrated state monopoly to a commercially focussed and regulated public gas transportation company. He has since successfully applied the Systems Leadership praxis to advise and support clients in developing coherent organisations that deliver effective business performance.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Gas transportation engineering
    • Safety management
    • Organisational and leadership development
    • Systems design and implementation
    • Competence management


    • BSc Mechanical Engineering


    • Member of the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers
    • Member of the Energy and Utilities Sector Skills Council
    • Member of the Institute of Directors

  • Joe Grimmond

    Joe Grimmond

    Joe Grimmond has over 30 years experience working in a range of HR roles both as a Consultant and Senior Executive. He has held General Manager roles within CRA (now Riotinto) and with Kaiser Aluminum in the USA. He has consulted widely within Australia, North and South America and in Asia. His industry expertise covers Construction, Mining and Smelting, Finance, Transportation (including Aviation) and Manufacturing. He resides in Brisbane, Australia.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Business Strategy (People and Culture focus)
    • Organisation Structure Reviews utilizing external consultants or trained internal teams.
    • Workplace Reviews and Audits
    • Organisation System Design
    • People aspects of Mergers and Acquisitions
    • Business Improvement Projects (People and Culture focus)


    • Queensland University of Technology- GDIR
    • Queensland University- BA Anthropology (current field of study)


    • Australian Human Resources Institute- Chartered Member

  • Chloe Hall

    Chloe Hall

    Chloe works with people who want to make a difference. She is drawn to values-driven organisations and has worked in a variety of sectors including government, corporate, arts and not-for-profit. Special interests include leadership development, communication, culture and diversity.

    Chloe has consulted in Organisational Development and Communications for clients including The Salvation Army, I CAN Network, Ranters Theatre, Viva Energy Australia and The County Court of Victoria.

    Chloe has also written songs for film and television (including 3 gold albums), released 6 albums of original songs and toured extensively in Australia, Canada, Europe and the UK.

    Chloe is on the board of directors for the I CAN network (a mentoring network for young people with autism) and Kids' Own Publishing (a community publishing organisation working with artists and children from marginalised communities).

    Areas of Expertise

    • Cultural review and transformation
    • Organisation and systems design
    • Communications
    • Workshop design and facilitation
    • Executive coaching
    • Building capability in arts and community organisations


    • Master of Business Administration (MBA), Swinburne University


    • Australian Institute of Marketing (AIM)
    • McGill and Associates Consulting
    • Babel Fish Group
    • I CAN Network
    • Kids' Own Publishing
    • Organisational Development Australia (ODA)
    • Victorian Facilitators' Network (VFN)

  • David Hodgson

    David Hodgson

    David has over twenty years in the mining, manufacturing and project sectors in Australia and internationally in a unique combination of senior positions. His experience spans both site and corporate settings with Rio Tinto, MIM and Xstrata and includes operations, maintenance, HR and OD management roles.

    As a consultant, David has a successful track record in Australia, Indonesia, Canada and the Middle East providing specialist support to executive leaders in developing and implementing strategic organisational and leadership improvements.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Organisational review, restructuring and problem solving
    • Organisational improvement planning and implementation
    • Human resources management systems review and design
    • Process consulting and facilitating
    • Leadership development and coaching


    • MBA Program, Graduate Certificate in Business Administration, UQ
    • Associate Diploma in Mech. Eng. (selected units), DDIAE
    • Mechanical Trade Apprenticeship, TAFE

  • Hilary Ison

    Hilary Ison

    Hilary is an experienced facilitator and has been consulting with the public and voluntary sectors and church organisations in the UK since 2002. She is currently based in London. She has worked in church, hospice and educational contexts and has extensive experience of vocational assessment and selection processes.She has taught on the Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust MA in Organisational Consultancy (Liverpool Centre) as well as teaching group dynamics and formational studies to people training for church ministry.

    Hilary’s particular interest is in Systems Leadership, facilitating individuals, groups and organisations to think about how work is organised and how people work together in the system. She has facilitated the development of a Regional Training Partnership with multiple stakeholders and the reorganisation of voluntary organisations, as well as teaching on a Systems Leadership Course for leaders and managers in commercial business.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Organisational change and development
    • Strategic planning and application
    • Working with leaders and teams that are 'stuck' or in conflict
    • Training in Systems Leadership and Team Working
    • Individual work consultancy
    • Church consultancy


    • MA Theology, Culture & Society, Manchester University
    • MA Organisational Consultancy: Psychoanalytic Approaches, Tavistock Clinic (University of East London)

  • Geoff McGill

    Geoff McGill (B Ec Hons Monash University)

    Geoff has held senior executive roles in the APS, the resources sector and banking and finance. The focus of these roles has been primarily on workplace and cultural change and the policies and systems to implement and sustain major improvements in performance and behaviour at the national, enterprise and workplace level.

    In the APS the focus was on national policies to support industrial relations and workplace reform and in the private sector as a thought leader and advisor on the development of enterprise bargaining, employee engagement and labour market reform.

    Geoff has worked at the ILO, Geneva, in New Zealand, UK, North and South America and the Middle East.

    Since establishing his own consultancy in 2005, he has been engaged in the mining and resources sector, heavy industry, infrastructure, government and not for profit organisations. This work has included advice on employee relations strategy, organisation structure, systems design, leadership development and cultural change.

    His consulting practice has been informed by his close association with the Workplace Research Centre, Sydney University, as Visiting Industry Scholar and most recently as Adjunct Associate Professor (Practice), Department of Management, Monash University.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Organization and System Design
    • Understanding and shaping culture
    • Employee Relations Strategy and Employee Engagement
    • Workplace Culture Surveys
    • Role Clarity and Role Design
    • Labour Market Reform
    • The Future of Work
    • The Administration of Justice


    • B Ec (Hons) Monash University
    • Advanced Management Program; Melbourne University Graduate School

    Directorships and Associations (current)

    • Managing Director, McGill and Associates Consulting, Australia
    • Associate, Macdonald Associates Consulting (UK and Australia)
    • Adjunct Associate Professor (Practice)
    • Monash Business Schoo (current)

    Previous academic position

    • Visiting Industry Scholar
    • Workplace Research Centre, Sydney University

  • Brian Midgley


    Brian Midgley is an electrical engineer who started work as a technical trainee with the Central Electricity Generating Board of the U.K.

    He worked for a number of years on the construction, operation and maintenance of coal fired and nuclear power stations in the U.K. before emigrating to Australia.

    In Australia he worked for the aluminium industry and held various engineering, supervisory and management roles with Comalco Smelting culminating in becoming General Manager of Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter in New Zealand.

    He led Organisational Development studies at the Martin Marietta aluminium rolling mill and recycling facility in Kentucky, U.S.A. and at Argyle Diamonds, Western Australia.

    As Chief Project Engineer for Comalco Smelting he carried out a number of pre-feasibility studies into the potential expansions and/or upgrades of their Australasian aluminium smelters. 

    In Chile, South America, commissioned by a consortium of international companies, he headed up a series of studies into harnessing the potential water resources of southern Chile through the development and construction of combined hydro-electric power stations and aluminium smelters.

    As Managing Director of Anglesey Aluminium, Rio Tinto’s aluminium smelter in North Wales, he restructured the operation making significant gains in industrial relations through structure and system changes and the introduction of Systems Leadership management and leadership training.

    Major project work undertaken was for a potential aluminium smelter in the UAE and a power option study investigating coal, lignite oil/gas and wind energy sources to provide electricity to the NZAS Tiwai Point aluminium smelter.

    Since 1995 he has worked as a consultant, based in Invercargill, New Zealand. He has regularly provided leadership/team member training and has carried out Organisational Development studies and systems design, review and audit for the aluminium and coal industries.


    • Macdonald Associates Consultancy
    • M.I.E.T. – Member Institution of Engineers & Technologists
    • SLDA – Systems Leadership & Development Association

    Area of Expertise:

    • Power Station Design, Construction and Operation
    • Aluminium Smelter Design, Construction and Operation
    • Project Feasibility Studies and Proposals
    • Organisational Development
    • Management, Leadership, Teamwork Training and Development
    • System Design, Review and Audit

  • Graeme Mitchell

    Graeme Mitchell

    Graeme is a senior consultant in organisational psychology who advises senior management in large to medium sized businesses on organisational performance and leadership issues. Graeme became an associate of MAC in late 2006 and worked on a range of projects for them that focused on organisational audits and team leadership workshops at Rio Tinto mining sites in Australia. Prior to that he worked for a major Australian agribusiness company and continues to consult to them today on leadership development.

    More recently, he has been involved in assessing and coaching leaders in a BHP coal (underground) joint venture in the Queensland Bowen Basin which has included building individual leader skills in team member engagement. His earlier work was for Rio Tinto in executive training which involved facilitating "Working Together" workshops as well as designing & delivering cross cultural management development programmes.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Team leadership and membership training
    • Coaching leaders
    • Organisational analyses
    • Interpersonal (social process) skills training
    • Workforce surveys (including safety)
    • Human resource systems design

  • Sarah Pearse

    Sarah Pearse

    Working in Organisational Development, Sarah has experience across numerous industries including mining, agribusiness, meat processing, health, education, heavy haulage and tourism.

    Sarah's expertise lie in helping leaders create positive organisations through the delivery of large scale change initiatives, cultural assessments, systems design and strategic interventions.

    Sarah has worked with not-for-profit, private and public sectors in several countries including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, Mexico and Brazil.

    ​Areas of Expertise

    • ​Cultural Review and Development
    • Systems Review and (re)Design
    • Leadership and Team Development
    • Workshop design and facilitation
    • Working in different cultural contexts (proficient in English, Spanish and Portuguese)


    • Master of Organisational Psychology
    • BA(Psych)


    • ​Response Consulting Australia
    • Member of Australian Psychological Society
    • Macdonald Associates Consultancy
    • Principal of Organisational Development Insights

  • Mark Potter

    Mark Potter

    Mark's consulting work has seen him working across a range of industries including Mining, Oil Refining, Rail Transport, Air Transport, Local Government, Universities, Scientific Research and the Banking & Finance Sector, working in Australia and North America. He is committed to working with leadership at all levels in organisations to help them create an environment where people can willingly give their best each day at work.

    Mark established M Consulting management consultancy based in Sydney, Australia in 2002. His prior experience includes executive management roles in the banking and finance industry, coaching and mentoring roles, lecturing at post-graduate level and property transactions.

    Clients have included: BHP Billiton/BMA, Caltex, City Council of Canada Bay, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Ensham Resources, Interail Australia, Northparkes Mine, OneSteel, Port Kembla Coal Terminal, Port Waratah Coal Service, Rio Tinto Coal Australia, Sydney University, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Virgin Australia Group and Vale Inco.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Culture and Change Management Processes
    • Leadership and Team Development
    • Coaching and Mentoring
    • Organisational Review
    • Systems Review and Redesign
    • Training and facilitation

  • Andrei Stepanov

    Andrei Stepanov

    Andrei joined Macdonald Associates Consultancy in 2019 with 25 years' experience in corporate and advisory roles in HR, marketing and operations in Eastern and Western Europe, including nine years with a global executive search firm.

    From his London base Andrei serves organisations of varying sizes, in multiple geographies and across diverse sectors, including agriculture, banking, construction materials, mining, retail and software development.

    His special interest is in bringing Systems Leadership to organisations which aspire to be Agile and/or Teal.

    Areas of Expertise

    Organisation Design

    • Diagnostic of existing structure to eliminate inefficiencies
    • Structural due diligence of M&A targets
    • Design of to-be structure based on strategic goals

    Talent Assessment

    • Internal: CALM (Capability Assessment by Line Managers) facilitation and training
    • Independent: technology-based assessment of leadership potential with focus on mental processing ability

    Leadership Development

    • Development of succession planning/career development processes
    • Design of leadership competency models
    • Training in managerial leadership practices


    • MA Modern Languages 1993
    • MBA (INSEAD) 2000
    • Certified Knowledge Manager 2005
    • Hogan Assessments (HPI, HDS, MVPI) 2013
    • Cognadev Assessments (CPP, VO) 2016
    • MENTOR Assessment 2018


    • Systems Leadership Development Association
    • Requisite Agility network

  • Sam Symes

    Sam Symes

    He began his career in Finance as a Business Analyst & Corporate Training Coordinator. Sam then moved to Sports Management, developing, and coaching elite athletes while designing sports leadership programs for domestic and international schools, before moving into Educational Leadership for over a decade working as a Principal/Headmaster through several culturally diverse settings.

    A leader in systems leadership, education as an economy and business development, Sam has presented at both and National and International level in both educational research, development, and strategical organisational design. He has built successful and sustainable systems leadership in several organisational contexts as lead and as a consultant, sharing and refining high yield leadership systems and strategies.

    Sam can translate experience in systems development as a practitioner in the corporate, sporting and educational fields, with an eye to system improvement using cross-sectoral experiences and evidence- based research and practice.

    As a consultant, Sam’s work crosses business and organisational industry line, working with corporate, educational, and industrial leaders alike. His focus is on the leader and supporting them to understand Systems Leadership theory and strategies to support their organisational leadership intention into a reality.

    Sam’s ability to identify middle management human capability and talent and to support their leadership development to achieve at and above their level of work, has been critical in building future workforce strategies.

    Areas of Expertise:

    • Educational Systems Leadership Theory coaching, mentoring, facilitation and design.
    • Organisational strategic planning and analysis.
    • Middle and executive leadership coaching and mentoring using the systems leadership approach.
    • Training and leadership development planning and pedagogy.
    • Organisational behaviour, culture, systems, and redesign.
    • Leadership and team development & the design of people systems.
    • Work design and workshop facilitation.
    • Business coaching on Systems Leadership approach & theory, turning research into practice.


    • Bachelor of Education: Human Science & Statistics (Australian Catholic University)
    • Executive Master’s in Business Administration (EMBA) (Quantic School of Business and Technology)
    • Currently Studying a Bachelor of Psychology – Organisational (James Cook University)


    • Systems Leadership Development Association (SLDA) - Committee
    • Systems Leadership Association Queensland (SLA)
    • Australian Council of Educational Leadership (ACEL) – Queensland
    • Queensland Association of State School Principals (QASSP)
    • Principal Director – Infinite Solutions Consulting

  • Tony Tiplady

    Tony Tiplady

    Tony has 14 years of experience as an Organisational Effectiveness & Development coach/consultant/advisor, after experience in education, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth and training and in mining HSEC and operational management roles. During that time, he has worked in many schools in some Queensland regions, consulting, coaching, advising and training regional leaders, principals and their staff and has been in the application of the Systems Leadership modelling since 1988.

    He is the co-author of Improving Schools Using Systems Leadership; Turning Intention into Reality, which describes the successful application of the material in Far North Queensland Region.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Organisational Design and Effectiveness
    • Leadership and Team Development
    • Organisational Health Analysis and Review
    • System Design and Implementation
    • Training in all of the above
    • Working in different cultural contexts


    • Graduate Diploma in Aboriginal Education


    • Systems Leadership Development Association
    • Systems Leadership Association (Education)