About Dr Dimity Podger
Director, Barasa Consulting Group

Purpose and values-driven business consulting

For 15 years, I have worked as a purpose and values-based leadership and organisational consultant, sustainability educator, learning experience designer, facilitator and social researcher. I founded Barasa to work with clients from business, government, and civil society, in Australia and Internationally to articulate their higher purpose, core values, bring about greater organisational alignment, and contribute to a just society and a sustainable planet.

I have worked with a range of clients across industries including insurance, aged care, banking, finance, energy, social enterprise, food, governance, health, government, and not for profits.

Prior to forming Barasa, I worked with an international team to create a values-measurement framework and tools, with contributions from 141 organisations across 60 countries. I ama Certified WeValue Facilitator, hosting workshops for organisations seeking to design their own values-measurement framework.

My approach to purpose and values-driven organisational transformation is informed by my doctoral research into spirituality and Education for Sustainability, which highlighted how organisational transformation involves a twin and intertwined process of personal and organisational development. For individuals to develop the behaviours and habits of mind and heart associated with a higher purpose and be motivated to achieving it, they need to be immersed in values-rich, spiritually authentic environments where they are engaged actively as key protagonists. It rests on genuine participation and respect, values-based leadership, reciprocity and trust.

The approach also draws on action research and action learning. I trained in action research at the Masters level, and with a leading Action Learning practitioner post PhD, and gained consulting experience with clients trying to introduce sustainability into their organisations.

I am proud to be the first global distributor for People Ink, an organisational culture and leadership consulting firm in the US.  People Ink is a specialist values-based organisational culture consultancy.  CEO, Ann Rhoades was one of five who created the culture of JetBlue and was previously the Head of People and Culture of South West Airlines. Barasa now adds their proven methodology for creating high performance cultures through values-based recruitment to its suite of services.

“Dimity has been a valuable part of Digital Storytellers’ journey. She helped us crystalise and articulate our values, which we now have to underpin more deliberate cultural practices, decision-making and even product and service design as we grow. Dimity’s process and facilitation has helped us as Storytellers to reflect on our own story, uncovering and surfacing our hidden treasure, and the wisdom within our team. It has also helped us dialogue and clarify our team’s differences in our understanding of our core values, opening a generative space for us to explore and expand what aligns us with our higher purpose. We now have a values-set and statement that we’re proud and inspired to embrace as a foundation to build our team culture, business operations and offerings upon. Deep gratitude from the team at Digital Storytellers!” Zara Choy, Business Steward, Digital Storytellers,

Purpose, Vision and Values – Discovery and Activation Workshops

 My workshops and leadership coaching sessions are highly effective in helping individuals and teams to define their vision, purpose and values. There are different reasons why my clients seek out my support.

  • Your team or organisation may need to define your purpose and values for the first time, You may need to review and activate the purpose and values you have
  • You may need a much stronger alignment between your vision, purpose and values
  • You may need to refresh them because of a new direction or
  • Your team and organisation has undergone a fundamental shift, having grown through a crisis, and you need to define who you are and where you are headed

Dimity created an excellent session for us on how to bring the public sector core values to life in our everyday work. She made us think about the values and what they mean for us internally and externally. We linked the values with behaviours and actions, and started to put down the ways we can measure success. Dimity’s facilitation skills are gentle and diplomatic while delivering solid and heavy topics. She adapts to her audience, listens and is outcome-focused. Dimity absorbed the brief extremely well, delivered and followed through. I would love to work with her again in the future.” Business Change Manager, NSW Government, Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing

Workshops I have delivered for teams, organisations, projects and individuals:

  • Team and Leadership Purpose Discovery;
  • Defining your Team, Project and Organisational Values;
  • Definition and Activation of your Moral Compass;
  • Masterclass: How to define and activate your team, organisational or project values;
  • Leadership Purpose and Values;
  • Leadership Values;
  • Define your Project Purpose, Values and Culture; and
  • Alignment: Getting your ethical foundations right

It is exactly what you hope a Masterclass would be – deep, rich, insightful and connected. My favourite content was learning about core, aspirational vs permission-to-play values – it felt like a lightbulb went off. I also loved the time you took to set up the connections in the room and set the scene. It paid dividends. It felt like such a gift to spend the day with Dimity deep diving on values, and I think every single organisation or project needs to know this information before embarking on a values exercise.” Carmen Hawker, Communicator, Carmen GetIt!, a Masterclass participant

Workshops help leaders, teams and organisations build a collective and compelling framework of who they are to who they serve, who they are, and how they are going to be?

 These elements of the framework are critical to guide behaviour, actions, and decisions. Leaders and employees gain confidence in the way forward, and relevant tools that will enable them to activate their framework in their day-to-day work.

“The Masterclass exceeded my expectations and provided me with the tools to effectively apply to projects. I found the content very inspiring and valuable and applicable to any project. It is important that project values are clearly defined and agreed at the beginning of each project to provide alignment and form the pillars of success.” Haris Moraitis, Associate Director, HKA.

Leadership program design and delivery

For the last five years, I have supported The Ethics Centre to develop 1-3 day ethical leadership programs, delivering programs to leaders and teams, across the financial, banking, government, health, medical services, technology sectors. In 2019, I also collaborated with AGSM UNSW Business School, to co-design and deliver “Leading with purpose: harnessing the power of ethics to fuel sustainable business performance.”

When designing programs, I work collaboratively with specialists and clients, and draw on transformative learning principles. Trained in the Kaospilot Methodology, I use it to design experiential, learning for change experiences. I also draw on action learning and appreciative inquiry as approaches that develop self-leadership capabilities, and at the same time shift the organisational context.

We are currently collaborating with Ramon Marmolejos, Alkimia Learning, to develop the Noble Leadership, Noble Workplace program.

If you’re seeking to create an internal leadership program to support your leadership and organisational goals, please get in touch.

Facilitation and stakeholder engagement

I have been designing and facilitating a variety of collaborative and conversational engagement processes for many years, that include a Pro-action Café for the Global Reporting Initiative, a global retreat for StartSomeGood (in a cave!), and multiple co-design processes.

Dimity was an important part of “StartSomeGood’s first-ever global retreat. Being a virtual team spread out around the world it was essential that we make the most of our chance to be together, and Dimity’s calm facilitation helped us progress productively through our agenda while still holding space for diverse voices and human interaction. Dimity helped make it both fun and effective and we can’t wait to work with her again in the future!”  Tom Dawkins, CEO, Start Some Good, Australia

“I have known Dimity for over a decade and have found her to be ethically astute and dedicated to her work. Dimity has an incredible understanding of facilitation and stakeholder engagement. In 2012, Barasa provided facilitation to GRI Australia’s conference. In this time, I found Dimity to be incredibly insightful and detailed in her approach.  She worked with us to design a major session for GRI Australia’s 2012 Conference. She created and facilitated a Pro-Action Cafe for 200 delegates.  The Cafe took participants through a process of inquiry and decision making so they could have a voice in Sustainability Reporting.  It was the highlight of the Conference. I wouldn’t hesitate working with her again!” Victoria Whitaker, Head of Australia, Global Reporting Initiative

Keynote and panel speaker

 I am invited to speak at conferences, deliver workshops and moderate and speak on panels.

Topics include:

  • Getting your ethical foundations right;
  • Leadership and Purpose;
  • The Value of Values;
  • How to bake purpose into the DNA of your business;
  • How to lead a conscious business;
  • Unravelling ethical dilemmas;
  • Exploring spiritual principles in the design of social change initiatives;
  • From sustainability to regeneration;
  • Leading with nobility in the workplace;
  • Building an ethical practice.

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