Testimonials

Find out what people have said about Irena’s services:

Government

Attending Dr Irena Yashin-Shaw’s workshop “Leading for Innovation in the Public Sector” offered me the opportunity to learn from one of the best in this space. Dr Yashin-Shaw succinctly captures innovation and makes it “real” to public sector leaders. From small “improvement” ideas to big ticket items, Dr Yashin-Shaw takes participants through a range of tools, methodologies and concepts which are readily transferrable into the workplace.
The style of the workshop allows for cross-pollination of ideas and experiences which are shared in a constructive and honest manner. I highly recommend this course to those looking to refresh their thinking and update their professional toolkit while making invaluable connections.

Kristine Tully. Director I Business Development & Innovation. Smartservice QLD


The Leading for Innovation in the Public Sector Workshop delivered by Dr. Irena Yashin-Shaw highlighted to the many managers present that innovation can happen at all levels of government and not only at the “whole of organisation” level. Innovation can be for the benefit of a department, section or work group.
The workshop highlighted to me that it is not exclusively the manager’s responsibility to be the innovator. Rather the manager or Department head can provide the environment for innovation to happen by removing the barriers and clearing the pathways so that team members have the opportunity to innovate and are ABLE to innovate.
I am less likely to be the innovator in my workplace because I am slowly becoming one of the “dinosaurs” because of my length of service, but I recognise there are young, talented and dynamic staff working for me who better understand new technology and have some great ideas about how to improve our service delivery. So I now assist and guide them to get their ideas and innovations implemented. The Leading for Innovation Workshop highlighted, for me, the importance of managers being the catalysts for innovation.

Chief Superintendent Colin May. Director - Regional Operations Central Region. Queensland Fire & Emergency Services


I am really glad I attended the Leading For Innovation Workshop. The content was exactly what I needed. In our department, Innovation, has been a hot topic since early 2012 and I found this workshop has really helped me to move some of my thinking about innovation into action, it has demystified innovation and given good ideas about how to create an innovative work place and build an innovative culture in my organisation. I will be recommending this to my colleagues. This was one of the most engaging workshops I have attended. The presentation style was varied and stimulating, to match the content. Excellent!

Terry O'Connor. Regional Director. Disability and Community Services. Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services North Queensland Region


Many thanks to Dr Irena Yashin-Shaw for a fabulous session on Leading for Innovation. Her presentation is style is engaging and thought provoking, and I really enjoyed her ability to articulate the science behind what can be a somewhat ambiguous topic – how to innovate successfully to achieve tangible results.

I learnt that innovation is vital for any business/organisation to ensure it remains relevant to its customers’ needs in an ever changing environment; and was then given the tools to innovate within my role and organisation to deliver outcomes. The diversity of the tools and information provided was very useful to ensure that avenues of innovation don’t become stagnant. It’s not a one size fits all approach, and there is adaptability of models and frameworks to keep innovation fluid and sustainable within an organisation.

My key learning was the need to embed a culture of innovation in the workplace which is not intrinsically driven by specific leaders but rather is practiced every day by all. I also learnt about the importance of encouraging a level of cognizance around each individual’s motivations to innovate so that it becomes part of their personal identity. Passion drives innovation, and even the most lethargic and jaded individuals have the ability to add value and innovate if they are given the correct tools and behaviours around them.

Thank you Dr. Irena for your fascinating and articulate delivery, it’s certainly been a long time since my creative brain has enjoyed a training day as much as the one you delivered – especially one that is so useful and easily assimilated into my daily work routine.

Sonya Cristy. Manager (Contracts). TransLink Division. Department of Transport and Main Roads


Thank you Dr. Irena for such a motivating, engaging, insightful and practical session on Leading for Innovation.

Some of the key things I was grateful to learn more about included how to:

  • translate ideas into workable initiatives, and solve complex problems creatively, taking in to account the culture of an organisation – and applying practical and simple tools that are easily accessible by all
  • create a culture of innovation and enabling environment incrementally, and enable change that is owned and driven by others
  • identify gaps in and grow my own skill set to effectively work with others towards a new way forward
  • energise/support different types of innovators (even cynics with low skill/motivation) - and draw out each of their strengths to gain a collective sense of purpose and way forward
  • formalise and incentivise innovation-based performance – through reward and recognition-related ideas – and change expectations so that innovative behaviour/adaptability is a norm (not to be feared)
What I really liked was how practical the material was – I’ve been trying to read about translating ideas into action in busy public service settings and often find material academic and not outcomes-focused enough for me. I’m looking forward to sharing the information with colleagues.

Your presentation style and use of different mediums for learning (including stories, PPT, whiteboard, discussion, movies, photos, quotes, case studies) made the content utterly memorable.

Alexandra Gasteen. A/Manager. Office of the Director-General. Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs


Dr. Irena’s Leading for Innovation in the Public Sector workshop is very informative, cutting edge and relevant to contemporary workplaces everywhere, regardless of specific industry or sector. I would highly recommend this workshop to any managers or employers seeking to lead innovation in their workplaces. Irena is highly knowledgeable and expert in training and innovation. I gained immensely from the workshop. It was very useful and worthwhile to make the time to attend.

Dr Anne Butcher. Manager Service Centre Disability Services. Mackay NQ Region.


From understanding our own innovation mindset to encouraging communication, fearlessness and creativity in others, Irena took us on a journey in how to understand, promote and implement a culture of innovation in our organizations. Peppered with anecdotes about Mexican waves, practical examples and interactive group activities, the “Leading For Innovation” course is a thought-provoking and insightful lesson which I have no doubt will be applied practically by all of the attendees.

Jane Dennis, Principal Advisor, Translink


As a senior member of the QLD Public Service I found Irena's workshop to be one of the best development opportunities I have attended for quite some time. The concept of innovation was brought to life for me and I found myself challenging my own self-imposed boundaries to innovation in my daily working life. I left the workshop with extra tools, knowledge and heaps of enthusiasm to go back to my team and get really "innovative". Thanks Irena.

Lucinda Reck, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services


Thank you for the opportunity to explore what innovation in the public sector could look like and for sharing your research and tools to assist the transferral of that knowledge into my work space. Your interactive presentation and wonderful stories have inspired me. Leading FOR Innovation will certainly be my mantra from this day forward.

Trish Collins. Acting Director Regional Services. Central Queensland Region. DETE


Thank you Irena for your wonderful Leading for Innovation in the Public Sector workshop. I found the interactive nature and structure of the workshop a good way to keep everyone engaged during the day which also provided an excellent opportunity to network as well. Personally, the highlight for me was the amount of knowledge that you so generously shared! I feel that I now understand the science and knowledge behind making innovation happen. This will provide a framework to bring rigor to the practices that I have 'picked up' through experience. Your unique creative thinking model which promotes solution based thinking is going to be a 'go-to' whenever I get stuck on an idea and cannot see past it to think of other options.

Chantelle Hoare. Corporate Strategy Unit. Office of Fair & Safe Work QLD. Department of Justice and Attorney-General


"I really enjoyed Dr. Irena's  workshop and her facilitation method. The information provided in the 'Leading for Innovation workshop'  was very relevant and I particularly enjoyed the opportunities we were given to discuss ideas with our peers in small groups.

Anna Kinnane, Principal Project Officer, Queensland College of Teachers


Dr. Irena's Leading for Innovation workshop is very topical in terms of government expectations. It provides valuable insight into how to make innovation a part of the organizational culture. It would be valuable for all levels of management and staff

Brian Bauer, Executive Director, Office of Fair Trading Department of Justice


Very good presentation. A great reminder that everyone can contribute to innovation no matter what position held in the organisation.

Brian Hughes, Principal Hearings Coordinator, Qld. Mental Health Review Tribunal.


I am the Area Pacific Central, Area Manager for Centrelink. The Area ranges from Coffs Harbour in the South, to Bourke in the West and to the Gold Coast in the North/East. I have up to 800 staff that I am accountable for, including an Area Executive Team of 8 members, an Area Leadership Team of 30 and Operational Leaders (i.e. Team Leaders) of another 30 staff. I recently asked Irena to facilitate sessions around ‘Change Management’ and ‘Innovation’ for both the Operational Leadership and the Area Leadership Groups. We found Irena to be an extremely dynamic presenter and she was able to customise her style to meet the different needs of both groups. The presentations were very effective and relevant and achieved my objectives.

Brian Small, Area Manager, Centrelink


Very thought provoking and inspiring. I am looking forward to encouraging managers and team leaders to help staff develop a mindset of innovation and create a climate where we will see true innovation at work. Thanks Irena.

Greg Johannesen, Manager, Family Court of Australia


From understanding our own innovation mindset to encouraging communication, fearlessness and creativity in others, Irena took us on a journey in how to understand, promote and implement a culture of innovation in our organizations. Peppered with anecdotes about Mexican waves, practical examples and interactive group activities, the “Leading For Innovation in the Public Sector” course  has been a thought-provoking and insightful experience which I have no doubt will be applied practically by all of the attendees. 

Jane Dennis, Principal Advisor, Translink


Effective creative problem-solving is so important today for any business or work area whether they see themselves as being "creative" or not. Being able to think outside the square and to bring innovative perspectives to challenges can make the difference between average performance and admired success. During our "Thinking Beyond Boundaries" workshop, Irena was able to share many useful tips and techniques in an engaging, thought-provoking and fun way. She created a safe environment where attendees felt supported and their ideas valued. She was also able to relate to a variety of learning styles and kept her audience engaged throughout. Irena succeeded in conveying quite complex theory in an accessible and understandable way, providing attendees with a considerable array of creative-thinking tools. The proof in the pudding was to actually use the creative problem-solving theory in practice with real "too hard basket" examples from our work-place. The idea generation which occurred was quite powerful and energising. There were members of my staff who would not normally have seen themselves as being creative or having opportunities to contribute creative thinking to the workplace who now feel more empowered and able to do so. Thank you Irena!

Jennifer Slattery Redland City Library Service


Outstanding keynote! Inspirational presentation and thought provoking content.

Karen Mills National Library of Australia


Dr. Irena gave us lots to think about in the Leading for Innovation workshop. Some great strategies on how to lead and manage change and enable staff to innovate for themselves.

Katrina Makings, Head of Department Social Science/Business, Bray Park SHS


Attending Dr Irena Yashin-Shaw’s workshop ”Leading for Innovation in the public Sector” offered me the opportunity to learn from one of the best in this space. Dr Yashin-Shaw succinctly captures innovation and makes it “real” to public sector leaders. From small “improvement” ideas to big ticket items, Dr Yashin-Shaw takes participants through a range of tools, methodologies and concepts which are readily transferrable into the workplace. The style of the workshop allows for cross-pollination of ideas and experiences which are shared in a constructive and honest manner. I highly recommend this course to those looking to refresh their thinking and update their professional toolkit while making invaluable connections.

Kristine Tully I Director I Business Development & Innovation Smart Service Queensland


Being innovative is a trait I have always admired in others but did not recognise in myself. Irena’s workshop on Innovation Skills in the Public Sector helped me identify not only the areas where I had been innovative already but provided me with the tools to continue developing this skill. I thoroughly enjoyed the session and will be recommending it to a number of my colleagues.

Kylie Crane, Business Manager, Centrelink.


Irena created a fun, engaging environment right from the start and kept everyone’s attention for a full day like no one I‘ve ever seen before. Great work!

Paul Hodgson, State Director, Enterprise Connect, Dept of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.


Dr Irena Yashin-Shaw’s innovation workshop enabled our team to reflect on our current leadership practices and gave us key strategies to change our mindset to lead for innovation. Practical tools and models were provided to plan for changing the culture within our school to allow for and inspire creative thought. Strategies to motivate staff to build energy/momentum for an innovation mindset 
were also useful.

Having my school leadership team go through the program saved us weeks of time and effort in getting the team aligned and pointed in the direction we wanted. 

We took away plans to use the 

o The Innovation Mindset Model to better understand my team and;
o The Thought Actions for creative problem solving checklist to focus meetings and our 

Sharing thoughts as a team on our innovative practice helped to reinvigorate what we do and how we think about innovation. This was particularly applicable as we start to increase and build on our profile in the community thinking when working with teams

Peter Hoehn, Acting Principal, Bray Park State High School


Thank you so much Irena for your presentation at the 2010 Business Improvement in Government Network Conference. Your keynote “Thinking Strategically in a World of Change” was extremely well received by our audience with people returning comments of “stimulating and informative” and “awe inspiring” and “vibrant and lovely” in the post event feedback. Similarly, your workshop on “Thinking Leadership” hit the mark with comments like “I learned many new and valuable skills” and “very interactive and fast paced”. It was a pleasure to deal with you from beginning to end of the very lengthy process that it has taken to get an event like this off the ground.

Rebecca Hannan, Manager, Business Improvement in Government network, Qld Government.


Could I pass on my congratulations to you Irena regarding our recent Collaboration Retreat. The feedback was very positive from our attendees. Not only did we get a positive result through understanding other people’s contexts and approaches we also gained an understanding of the importance of active knowledge sharing through relationship building and networking.

Shane Campbell, State Director, AusIndustry, Dept of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.


Irena adapted her presentations effectively to meet the different requirements of the events for which we engaged her. She has a lively presentation style that blends conceptual information with audience participation and humour. She consulted with us to establish the objectives for each event and tailored her content accordingly. From the Tribunal’s perspective, Irena met our aims of engaging our organisation in more innovative thinking.

Shelly Fisher, Executive Officer, Mental Health Review Tribunal.


I am really glad I attended Dr. Irena's Leading for Innovation in the Public Sector Workshop in Townsville. The content was exactly what I needed. In our department, Innovation has been a hot topic since early 2012 and I found this workshop has really helped me to move some of my thinking about innovation into action. It has demystified innovation and given good ideas about how to create an innovative work place and build an innovative culture in my organisation. I will be recommending it to my colleagues. This was one of the most engaging workshops I have attended. The presentation style was varied and stimulating, to match the content.

Terry O'Connor, Regional Director, Disability and Community Services, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services North Queensland Region


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