We have an extensive list of client testimonials, here are a few. If you would like to speak to people who have collaborated with us on a course or project, then we can put you in touch.
Ian Narev, CEO, SEEK
"I have sought Sandy’s assistance with three different organisations: an ASX-listed multinational and two not-for-profits. Each had different challenges. Each time her insight, experience and critical thinking added exceptional value. In an industry full of supposed experts, Sandy stands out as wise, fearless, pragmatic and fun. She gets to the heart of a problem, thinks creatively about it, and puts her heart and soul into solving it. Don’t work with her if you are afraid of direct and often confronting feedback. But if you have the appetite for honesty and change, and need the counsel of a genuine expert, put her at the top of the list."
Anna Curzon, Chief Product Officer, Xero
"Too often traditional leadership programmes skim the surface and don't seek to go any deeper than addressing the symptoms of issues that operate in the team environment. While this may provide some temporary gains, in my experience teams often regress back to previous behaviours because they have haven't worked to better understand themselves and their contribution to the systems in play. Play CoLab is at the vanguard of contemporary approaches to leadership development. Using methodologies and exercises based on science, philosophy and evidence-based research, the work clears the fog and provides us with one of the greatest gifts - a deeper understanding of our ego, and the masks and shadows we occupy (based on the work of Carl Jung). It encourages us to lean into the discomfort and pain; not shy away from it. It might not be easy but it can be fundamentally transformational and I have personally witnessed the groundbreaking impact this has on leaders. As the great poet Rumi once said, "the only way out is through."
Mary Devine, Independent Director
“I have known Sandy for over ten years. Originally when Sandy was Marketing Director at Max Fashions, through to her role as Director of Leadership Development at Global Woman, to the establishment of Play CoLab. In all three contexts she has been an outstanding leader, with an ability to be at the forefront of the respective sectors. She has embraced collaboration with a recognition that a dynamic environment that enhances individual expertise and diversity of thought creates a real point of difference. Her energy levels, inspirational leadership and unique ability to understand nuances or trends – whether societal or market-orientated provides informed insights, and a perspective that is meaningful. I also believe Sandy’s executive background and academic pursuits in recent years provide a depth of understanding on how to optimise team and individual performance. In summary, Sandy’s passion to make a difference underpins a value set that gives her courage and determination to challenge and support recognised leaders to embrace change.”
Mike O’Sullivan, Executive Creative Director, Marketing
"Play CoLab opened up my mind to directions and thinking I’d never have contemplated. I thought I was in a ‘good space’ before I started. Little did I know how much I would learn and develop. Not just in business, but personally as well. The mixture of people on the course was amazing, their backgrounds and skills were so diverse. And these people will probably be friends for life. If you think you’re good at what you do or are not sure what you’re going to do -this is the course to take. There’s no way, you’ll complete it without getting something."
“I did the Leadership@Play programme in 2020. It was a true gift to finally understand how my ego had been in the driver’s seat throughout my career. Once I figured that out, I could let my fears and inhibitions take a back seat, shed the need for external validation, and allow the essence of me to take charge. I only wish I’d done this years ago.”
Anna Guenther, Pledge Me
“I was pushed semi kicking and screaming into doing the Play Course in 2019. I was so busy with my business, and so conscious of costs, that I didn’t want to take the time or the money to do Play. I’m glad my Chair and Sandy got me into it. It’s provided me with tools and mental frameworks, but also friends to keep me accountable on this journey of being a better leader and human. I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to get better at being at the front of leading change. And how important is that skill right now, in this ever-changing COVID world.”
Ray O’Reagan, Chief Executive, Connect 8
“The programme had a major impact on me, it’s a whole life-changing development programme which truly does encourage you to look at yourself in a whole new way. I never thought it would have such a positive effect on so much.”
Rachel, GM IT & Technology
"The Second Act is the most authentic, effective and transformational Leadership course I have attended. Drawing on a wide range of teachings and practical exercises – it gets to the heart of the matter, the nucleus for change and asks simply – who do you want to be?”
Ian, GM, Banking Sector
“I can personally say I have found this programme so beneficial in helping me more aware of blind spots & recognise what leadership strengths I have. It is without doubt one of the best programmes I have been on. Content of modules is extremely high and the collaborators Sandy works with are first class. What makes it so powerful is the fact the learning is cemented by coaching sessions in between each play session & targets behavioural change. The group numbers are extremely small and encourage you to work closely & learn from one another. Each element of the course really challenges you personally to look at the impact you can have on other people as a leader. The fact Sandy helps you understand “who you are” as an individual and why you behave the way you do, really helps you look closely at your leadership traits. A couple of standouts for me: Stages of adult development including recognising & understanding your Ego (what triggers you & why); Diversity & inclusion, this session was so amazing, confronting and really made me think about how well I really understand its importance; Leadership Circle – this is, without doubt, one of the greatest parts of what the programme helps you understand how you can be a stronger leader. As you can probably tell I am pretty passionate about the work Sandy does, it certainly challenges the way we teach/coach leadership at the moment.”
Tony, GM, Construction Industry
“Sandy’s reputation preceded her and even before we spoke I was convinced that I was on board! I was lucky enough (extremely lucky looking back) at being part of the group Play pilot program (a mixture of small-group sessions with one on one coaching and a Leadership Circle evaluation). The group work proved more powerful than all involved could have imagined … Figure out how to make it happen, and make it happen, you’ll never be the same.”
Joe McCollum, Senior People and Culture Lead
“Spark initially invited Play Colab in to undertake a review following the departure of several senior women to understand better why these women had left – and whether any systemic issues existed that impacted negatively on our gender diversity aspirations. Sandy and her team undertook a thorough review which in the end, went much wider than this and revealed quite remarkable, ground-breaking insights. Their unique perspectives have really driven us to think very differently as an organisation about diversity and inclusion. Play CoLab have not only been very professional in their approach, but have also brought fresh thinking which has challenged our traditional mindsets around culture as a product of leadership and particularly in terms of the role of leadership in shaping our D&I agenda. Although Sandy and her team have a methodology, they have put in considerable time and effort to “get behind” the culture. The impact on our organisation of the work has been quite phenomenal. And now a year later, we have seen a complete step-change in the conversation around diversity and inclusion and an organic shift, led by our own people, to a significantly more inclusive working environment. It has been a privilege to collaborate with Play Colab and has made a real tangible impact on our organisation.”
Amanda, CEO, non-profit
“I had the privilege of attending Play’s Established Leaders Programme. It was an experience like no other. No textbook leadership doctrines here – instead, a perfectly curated group, content that challenged me to look inside first, and an appreciation of the power of consciousness within leadership. I use the things I learned at Play every day –both in my professional leadership, but also in the way I manage myself. I have learned to play the ‘inner-game’ and I understand that mastering that will be a lifetime’s work.”
Aneta, CEO, Te Whanau Rangimarie Trust
“I have attended a few trainings, conferences etc. to develop my skills, but can honestly say that I have never had an experience like this. I have been searching for ways to develop myself further and I have definitely found that in Play CoLab. Learning so much more about myself reminding me of a Māori whakatauki ‘Titiro whakamuri, kokiri whakamaua”, (looking back and reflecting, so we can move forward). Thank you for opening my mind to the journey I am on to returning to myself in order to be the best leader I can be, in whatever space I find myself in.”
Craig W., Product Director
"Leadership@Play has been a personal revelation. It has helped me take time to observe and understand my own behaviours, and how these behaviours can affect those I work with and lead. Sandy and Jenny are brilliant facilitators and trainers. The course content is deep and thought-provoking. The impact it has had on my personal and professional life has been significant and ongoing. I cannot recommend the course highly enough."
Linda Biddle, COO, Wellbeing Sector
“This programme is resulting, without a doubt, in the most powerful personal change and development I have undertaken in my life to date and, at my age, I’ve seen quite a lot and so don’t make that statement lightly. While the work I do is unchanged, the way I see the work and myself as part of it, and the system it sits within, is remarkably different –meaning that I see the way I can have real impact on some deep systemic challenges has shifted. This is a powerful personal programme that you cannot be unchanged by and I highly recommend it to those looking for more from themselves.”
Holly, Marketing Manager
“Words can’t describe how overwhelmingly significant this course was for me as a leader and as a person.”
Karen, Managing Director, Creative Sector
“Play’s leadership programme was an astounding, insightful, energising and inspiring experience for me. It’s had a huge impact on the way I go about my leadership day-to-day and I recommend it to anyone with curiosity and enthusiasm around being the very best leader they can be.”
Jane, MD, Marketing Industry
“I made the mistake thinking doing this course would just help me get my next promotion. I underestimated it totally. This experience isn’t a management course in that way. It unpacks you at your very core and rebuilds you into a more conscious and egoless leader in business and more importantly in life. You discover what is real about YOU and identifies the masks you have built along the way. The impact is profound on you and the people around you. Every leader at a senior level should do this despite how confronting it can be at times.”
Storm Day, Marketing Director, Lewis Road Creamery
“I knew I could recognise great leadership but I never realised that great leadership is not something that can be ‘taught.’ What PLAY did teach me is about myself. I learnt how to recognise who I am, the masks I wear, the persona I strive to portray (and why), and how people react to that. I learnt how to step outside of my comfort zone and play in areas that I normally wouldn’t. I quickly realised how much my team members wanted this from me, and before I knew it I was having courageous conversations that soon opened doors and opportunities. I have noticed a dramatic shift in myself, at a pivotal point in my career, and I couldn’t be happier.”