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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.

Jo Walker, Head of Transformation, Auckland Airport

"Leadership@Play is 'the' programme that will push your leadership limits, courageously challenging you to step outside of your comfort zone and dive into understanding that genuine and authentic self, both personally and professionally. Sandy & Jenny provide an environment that enables you to get raw and real if you choose to do so. What you put in is what you'll come out with. If you are ready to 'play' then this is the programme for you."

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."

Ruby Kolesky, Co-CEO

"I entered Leadership@Play Spring 2020 a few months into my first senior leadership role, and before the course even ended I was appointed Co-CEO. I credit the course for catapulting my mindset and personal development as a leader by (at least) an order of magnitude within 14 intensive days.

Play CoLab is at the vanguard of contemporary approaches to leadership development Using interactive methodologies and exercises based on science, philosophy and evidence-based research. The course was intense and demanding. It's almost the most worthwhile professional experience I've had." 

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.”

Mary Devine, CEO, Foodstuffs South Island

“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."

Helen Wild

“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.”

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.”

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.”

Janice, CEO, Health Sector

"Alumni@Play has taken things to another level for me.. connections with like-minded inquisitive individuals who are ready to jump on and play has been amazing.  Depth and breadth of conversation/connections and challenges… also allowed us to practice some conversations in a safe space and support and mentoring that’s just so valuable and empowering."

Michael, Dad and Independent Property Investment Consultant

"The alumni programme was curated with an amazing bunch of humans that became instant friends. My biggest takeaway as we navigated adult development and organisatiomal development stages, is how much society has become tribal and polarised….we need to realise how similar we all are as a human race rather than be defined by our differences. To take this away leaves me with more work still but I feel richer for it, Love Sandy and Jenny and their work." 

Alison, Senior Leader,  Health Sector

"Loved the experience of playing with this mixed Alumni Group. We hit the ground running and went deep into the mahi, much helped by our already common language, experience and understanding from our first leadership course with Play Co-Lab and trust in Sandy and Jenny. You get what you put into this work and it was a pleasure to work with fellow leaders who actively supported each other to take the next step. Just do it!"

Russell, Director, Investment Services

“Through the guidance and generosity of the alumni group, understanding of self and the ability to be open to changing perspectives has significantly reduced frustration ,anxiety and disappointment living in this changing and complex world. I was not able to get there by myself. The group is king! do it!"

Vinny, Company Director, Marketing Communications

"If the first course was transformational, the Alumni course worked to drive deeper into a new way of thinking and tapping into myself, my intuition and the how I connect with the world around me.
It challenged me, shook me up and gave me new tools at just the right time , to use in my personal life and career.
I’m forever thankful for finding this work that Sandy and Jenny have created, I’m sure I would still be leading aimlessly without it.

And I’ve met another amazing group of people through the Alumni course."

Jane Stanley, CEO, Hearts & Science

“I came into this thinking I had done a significant amount of work in becoming a conscious leader, so now was my time to start impacting bigger change at a greater level. How wrong could I have been! I realised that I had so much more work to do on the inner game before I would be able to impact greater change. I realised that the lack of connection with my mind to my physical being was holding my leadership capabilities back as the whole 'me' wasn't coming into the role. I realised that every single moment my ego took hold even if for a second, I was missing that moment to create a positive ripple effect. All of those revelations came during participating in Play Alumni and it has taken me to a much deeper level again. Thank you Jenny and Sandy you've had such a profound impact on my leadership journey."

Aaron Ward, CEO
Ask Nicely

"I chose the Leadership@Play (Autumn 2021) led by Sandy based on the insistent recommendation of others (always a good sign). Leadership@Play was confronting and challenging both to the core of my own personal identity and beliefs and then to the elements of character that need 'upgrading' to become a next level leader. this process risks being quite damaging without expert facilitation and Sandy and her team were artful in the way they gently and lovingly nurtured each person towards their real potential."

Jo, Head of People & Culture (Business Partnering)

"I have attended many leadership courses over the years where I have come away with tools and techniques and some insight into what others think of me through 360's etc.  I have only attended one that got me to look deeply inward, to understand myself and what got me here (good and bad), to shift how I show up, how I speak to myself and work to understand more about others around me.  I will be always grateful for the opportunity afforded me to be involved with Play CoLab."

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."

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.”

Anna Guenther, Founder, 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.”

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.”

Steve, CTO, Retail

"What a privilege to re-engage with what we know is powerful content.  Also a chance to be challenged on ... your shit! Those things you've started believing about yourself again.  It was like taking that next big step forward".

Dana, Leader, Entertainment sector

"I felt like I needed, and was ready for, a Jenny and Sandy tune up. The experience of Alumni@Play  was surprisingly brilliant for different reasons. As a collection of individuals who had already done Leadership@Play,  meant we each knew what we were up for and everyone in the room had their hearts and minds open to the work from minute 1/day 1. Not a moment was wasted…..our Alumni group are still in touch 7 months on. I'm still using the tools from Leadership@Play and Alumni@Play. I highly recommend the Alumni experience!"

Angela Buglass, Director

"I have worked with Play CoLab several times over the past few years and when it comes to leadership development, I wouldn’t go anywhere else.  I have learnt that it’s imperative that you keep returning to the work if you are truly going to develop on your leadership journey.  By continuing to advance my learning through Play CoLab as an organisation, they also get to know me better and can therefore deliver honest, relevant and valuable guidance to me along the way.  It also helps if you really like the coaches themselves.

Play CoLab offer both bespoke programs for Executive and Management teams within your organisation and mixed programs for senior individuals.  Several years ago, I knew my team & organisation were about to experience a major change in ownership and I wanted to ensure we all we were well prepared and feeling resilient.  The program of work we entered into with PLAY was so valuable for both team and personal strength.

I have personally funded myself through two courses with Play CoLab, one as an Executive and another as an Alumni – both were powerful and the building blocks of this work, in particular the Shadow work and The Leadership Circle are now tools for life."

Garth, HoD,  Public Sector

“I thought my mind was blown when I attended the original Leadership@Play course which became a pivotal moment in my leadership journey but the Alumni@Play course was next level! It built on the key learnings I picked up on the original course and pushed me even deeper. I thoroughly recommend taking up the opportunity to revisit your learnings from the first course, learn a whole lot more and with a new group of highly engaged, passionate leaders. Months later I’m still reflecting on what I learnt on the alumni course and it continues to shape the type of leader I am”. 

Luke, COO, Comms Industry Australia

"Thankyou ..... I have found the course highly stimulating, thought provoking, and challenging at times. Given the timing of the course and coinciding with significant shift in role and the structure of the leadership team, it has been immense help and support – particularly the one-on-one sessions. No doubt this career is a lifelong journey, and I leave the course feeling inspired to lean in on that journey."


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If you need to stage an intervention in a business trajectory, operate outside a comfort zone, reset the agenda, recalibrate executives and teams, or are simply called to play a different perhaps bigger game, then get in touch.

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