Pete Lawry

Peter is deeply committed to helping people awaken to their innate wisdom – seeing through the habits of conceptual framing and self-limiting stories. He is known internationally for his capacity to help leaders and leadership teams shift from egoistic perspectives so they might guide their organisations with clarity and a sense of purpose.

Peter’s journey into leadership mentoring started in the in the early 1980s when he began training as a clinical pastoral supervisor. Those early years spent gently guiding and equipping chaplains and counsellors to work gracefully in stressful environments, laid the foundations for his 35 year mentoring practice. 

Pete is passionate about leadership ‘fit for purpose’ for today’s complex and chaotic world, often drawing on the metaphor of the ‘host’ as a pointer to a new model of leadership. The emerging ‘leader as host’ is open, transparent and comfortable being uncomfortable, able to work with uncertainty.

Working in complex ambiguous environments, leaders as hosts hold the space, creating openings for the unimagined. They invite contribution from others, trusting in their people’s creativity and commitment to get the job done. 

This movement from command and control to self-organising collaboration has been a key theme across Peter’s work as a leadership mentor, facilitator and designer of strategic interventions, ranging from working with elite Swedish researchers, self-organising around ‘big ideas’ for the networked society to helping the Ministry of Sport in New Zealand open up to new ways of engaging local communities in order to increase community health and well-being.

In 20+ countries over many decades, Peter’s interventions have contributed to changing the way business is done. Acknowledged as one of the “inventors” of Agile, Peter began developing a collaborative approach to designing software in the early 1990’s.  Originally called Evolutionary Design this iterative team-based approach spread rapidly across the world.  Agile is now the default globally for organising people to work together to develop software 

Peter is internationally renowned for his extraordinary experiential metaphors, and for the lasting impact his work has. He has designed, trained and led facilitation teams for some of the largest cultural change interventions undertaken in the world.

His person-centred approach delivers extraordinary business results, while simultaneously increasing both employee and customer satisfaction. His clients have won many best practice and benchmarking awards: Baldridge Award (Melbourne1995) International Benchmark for Leadership and Authority (Montreal 2001), and highest empowerment index and employee satisfaction in global climate surveys (Shanghai 1998, Stockholm 2009).

As well as his work as an organisational developer and mentoring leaders, Peter has been an adjunct faculty member of the University of NSW and at the Australian Catholic University. His highly original work on Complex Adaptive Systems providing a key contribution to several of their flagship leadership programmes.