Leadership and Innovation Series Part One with Dr. Sean O'Connor



On Wednesday 19 November 2019, we hosted an event featuring Dr. Sean O’Connor who spoke on the topic of effective approaches to organisational change. This was the 6th event under our ‘Leadership and Innovation’ series. We host these events because growth and learning is embedded in The Helmsman Project. Our programs teach young people essential life skills, and likewise we strive to support our professional community in continuing to grow and develop important life skills.

Dr. Sean O’Connor presented an incredible seminar on how to effectively coach people and organisations through change, with a focus on his breakthrough PhD research ‘The Coaching Ripple Effect’. O’Connor introduced the audience to the importance of change agents in organisations and the efficient impact change agents can make with the help of professional coaching. Likewise, by providing young people with professional coaching and equipping them with essential life skills such as resilience and community mindedness, participants in The Helmsman Project programs are able to become leaders and positive influences in their surrounding groups and environments.

In his talk, O’Connor emphasised the importance of quality interactions in saying that “The quality of our conversations determines the quality of our relationships, which determines the quality of our work”. He referenced the phenomenon of emotional contagion, how one person’s emotions and behaviour can directly trigger and stimulate emotions and behaviours in others. He noted that culture emerges from patterns in the community, and so by leaders increasing the quality of interactions they have between people, it shifts and changes the local culture towards quality interactions between all people. 

Through professional coaching, The Helmsman Project also empowers young people to have positive, quality interactions with those around them. The flow on effect we have observed over the years is a positive impact on the culture and environment of groups, families, and school communities.  

These are just a few of the many thought provoking topics and theories Dr. Sean O’Connor presented. His seminar was enlightening on the complexities of change, cultures and organisations. Thank you Sean for the incredible seminar.

We now look forward to part two of this series which will feature Michelle Etheve, co-founder of The Change Lab, who specialises in enabling people to create purposeful, strengths-based change using Appreciative Inquiry. If you enjoyed Dr. Sean O’Connor’s seminar, or you were unable to attend, book your tickets for part two now before it’s too late!

Thank you to Herbert Smith Freehills for hosting and co-ordinating the event, and Dr Sean O’Connor for presenting his seminar on a pro bono basis, allowing 100% of the proceeds to go towards impacting more young lives through The Helmsman Project programs.  



The Helmsman Project


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