Michael James is an independent advisory board chair. He provides specialist advice to boards in relation to cultivating strategy, transitioning culture, leadership and optimising supply chains.  This is particularly relevant for small to medium businesses and privately owned businesses looking for further growth.

He has a track record of growing organisations’ revenue, profit and market share in Transport, Property Services, Construction, Hospitality, Manufacturing and Mining Services industries.

As a CEO and senior executive, Michael James has reported to boards of some of the largest organisations in Australia including Orica, BHP, Qld Rail and Cardno.  He has broad experience with various business models including international listed and unlisted corporations, private SME companies and trusts.

Michael James keeps up to date with legal compliance issues that affect board directors and management through his ongoing education with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and the Advisory Board Centre.

Michael James brings:


Broad experience

Across various business models including internationally listed and unlisted corporations, private SME companies and trusts. He understands the nuisance of what makes SMEs v’s Corporations successful.


High Level Competencies

In strategic planning, business development, supply chain optimisation, business acumen, culture change, and leadership development. A professional facilitator, accredited executive coach and chair.


Industry Experience

Across many industrial sectors, mining, mining services, manufacturing, transport, engineering, construction, and professional services.

A board review can identify board performance improvement opportunities as they relate to composition, diversity, culture, and dynamics of the Board. We provide an objective, independent perspective of how to further strengthen a board’s effectiveness in relation to strategy, culture, roles and process improvement, to achieve future business goals through a tailored board review process.

This may include developing specific strategies around improving levels of trust amongst board members, board culture and dynamics or better decision making, improving the effectiveness of meetings, and gaining greater clarity of current and desired composition of board skills and experience.


Assessments are conducted using both interview-based and survey-based methodology. Directors are given the opportunity to provide a self-assessment as well as a peer appraisal, which are typically conducted anonymously.  This will assess how well directors perceive themselves and each other to be contributing positively to the work of the board and the ways in which their contributions could be improved. 

The results of a board review are typically discussed with the board to gain a common shared understanding of the outcomes.  There may also be follow up discussions around recommendations, defining an agreed action plan for the board and specific developmental actions for directors.


Board reviews typically provide the following benefits:

  • Independent, objective perspective around improving board effectiveness.
  • Insights and advice around how to further strengthen the board.
  • Reduce the risk of complacency of not acting to make the changes needed to better align to business strategy.
  • An agreed action plan to pursue and monitor for future board meetings.

Our professionally facilitated, strategic planning workshops provide boards and executive teams greater clarity and alignment of both the culture and strategy requirements for business success. Workshops should be run at least annually. 

We define an appropriate approach to strategy, and reaffirm or update vision, mission, goals, priorities, and KRAs.  We also define and reaffirm shared leadership values and strategies to enhance team dynamics, decision making and cultural performance.

Tailored coaching and mentoring programs for board members who are looking to build greater self-awareness and effectiveness with their boards. 

This may include  how to better contribute to board dynamics, culture and organisational strategy.

Individual programs are uniquely tailored, specialised, and highly effective at achieving behavioural change and superior performance.

Coaching sessions are conducted in person and online, and provide board members the opportunity to:

  • Reflect on their strengths, and professional challenges in a safe, trusted environment.
  • Better understand how their operating style impacts on other board members.
  • Learn how to improve board dynamics, decision making and culture.
  • Gain assistance in developing strategies to further improve organisational culture.

This is one-on-one coaching in a highly trusted, safe environment for participants to accelerate their leadership capability and learn to deliver on the current and emerging expectations of their role. It enables participants to build greater self-awareness of their thinking and behavioural styles, strengths, and areas for further development. Individual coaching programs are uniquely tailored, specialised, and highly effective at achieving behavioural change and superior business performance.

Coaching sessions are conducted in person and online and provide participants the opportunity to:

  • Reflect on their strengths and professional challenges.
  • Create and validate vision, purpose, and values.
  • Access assistance in developing longer-term strategies for individual and organisational success.

Participants learn how to:

  • Become more effective leaders.
  • Build high performing teams and organisational culture.
  • Create and role model vision, purpose, and values.
  • Better utilise their unique strengths.
  • Lead change effectively through various cycles of business strategy.
  • Gain higher levels of perspective to deal with ambiguity and uncertainty more effectively.
  • Further build their personal executive ‘brand.’

This is coaching within a group workshop environment where participants learn from each other and critical peer conversations are conducted. It is often complimented with individual coaching to accelerate how participants can further improve the way they work with their peers.

Team based coaching focuses on building higher levels of trust amongst team members, mastering dissent and having difficult conversations, and committing to a joint vision and strategy, clear accountability and shared ownership, and attention to joint results.

Group workshops are highly engaging, designed to build on the experience of participants and what’s required in an organisational strategy.

A thorough diagnostic assessment can often uncover what is enabling and what is hindering performance of both individual leaders and leadership teams.

Various tools are used to assess the current and desired behaviours of individuals and leadership teams as well as the context in which these leaders are performing. Our experienced consultants use the following to provide unique insights to assess leadership and cultural gaps in addition to interviews and observations of regular team meetings:

  • Leadership Circle ProfileTM
  • Collective Leadership AssessmentTM
  • Clifton Strengths Finder
  • DISC profiling
  • Lifestyles inventory
  • Leadership Impact
  • Organisational Culture Inventory
  • Organisational Effectiveness Inventory

Our leadership and cultural assessments enable us to provide a highly effective, tailored leadership development programs for individual leaders and leadership teams.

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