Recent gigs.

SilverStripe – Deeper relationships with customers

August 2017.

SilverStripe Head of Product, Nicole Williams wanted to build relationships and shared understanding with government sector clients.

I planned and facilitated a workshop with those customer and senior SilverStripe staff. Using a maturity model and strategy-mapping template, participants documented their digital service strategies.

Nicole Williams said “the workshop was successful and provided strong insights”.

CentrePort – Better working relationships in the ICT team

August 2017.

CentrePort ICT Manager Andrew Pervan wanted his team to take a step towards their vision where customers love ICT, and the team love working there.

Through meeting with the team members, I assessed the current culture in the team and the next step in developing their working relationships. I designed and facilitated a workshop where participants took a series of small steps in building new trust and mutual appreciation.

Participants agreed that the workshop was both enjoyable and productive. Andrew Pervan said “the process gave me new insight into the culture of the team”.

NIWA – Scientists motivated and able to catalogue their data

July 2017.

NIWA Regional Manager Dr Julie Hall wanted to encourage Science Challenge scientists to describe the data they create in an open catalogue.

Using a participant-centred design process, I created a guide that scientists can use to understand the purpose of cataloging their data, and carry out the practical steps involved.

Feedback from scientists confirmed that the stories in the guide helped them to understand the how others might use the metadata they were creating. This motivated and helped them to catalogue their data in a way that would be useful to another scientist.

GovHack – Everyone in a team with a problem to solve

July 2017.

Around 120 people arrived at GovHack Wellington to work on a project for the weekend. They needed to form a team around a clear problem to solve.

I facilitated a fun and inclusive team-forming process that participants used to select team-mates, and together clarify what they would work on. At the end of the process everyone was in a team, team name on the door, and starting work.

GOVIS – Making government more responsive

July 2017.

GOVIS Events Manager, Paddy Power wanted people who attended the 2017 GOVIS conference to maintain their commitment to making government more responsive.

In a lunch-time workshop, I used jump-start storytelling to bring out stories that exemplified responsive government. Participants selected the stories that most inspired them, and the story-tellers refined and then shared those stories with the whole group.

Paddy Power said “Dan did a great job of facilitating the workshop and people found it was a helpful follow up to the conference. I got lots of positive feedback from those who attended.”

StatsNZ – Sharing stories to encourage open data use

July 2017.

Rochelle Stewart-Allen of the Open data and information programme at StatsNZ wanted to stimulate the release and use of open data to create benefits in NZ.

Working with Amelia Loye of Engage2, I designed and facilitated workshops to collect open data case studies. At the workshops people from government, NGOs and the private sector worked together to document case studies in a lively process, using structured templates.

Participants said they had a great time at the workshop and learned a lot about the uses and benefits of open data. StatsNZ gained a rich set of case studies to use to raise awareness around open data.

GOVIS conference – Inspiring responsive government with case studies

June 2017.

At the 2017 GOVIS conference Michelle Edgerley and I gave a presentation comparing six responsive government projects. For each project, we looked at new benefits to NZers, and the innovative inputs that made the difference. Here are the slides.

NZTA – One step in an organisational transformation

April to May 2017.

The NZ Transport Agency wanted its staff to take a step in its transformation process. They wanted staff to see themselves in the new organisation, and see the connections between the new strategy, culture and operating model.

Working with the People and Culture team, I designed a workshop for all staff. The workshop gave participants an opportunity to explore their own journey towards the new organisation, in a safe way. It also included a simulation of working in the new organisation. I facilitated about half the workshops and the internal team facilitated the rest.

Feedback showed that almost all participants in the workshop took a strong step towards embracing the new organisation.

StatsNZ – Hackathon team-forming and empathy-building

March 2017.


InternetNZ – Strategy you can implement with confidence

July 2016 to March 2017.

InternetNZ’s Deputy Chief Executive Andrew Cushen wanted to create a 2017/18 action plan that clearly articulated exactly what they planned to do and why.

I provided Andrew a framework for clarifying their strategy. Andrew and his team used this framework to coherently link each of their planned actions to an overall strategy. They created three-year rolling plans that they will be able to iterate as they get evidence of what works and what has changed.

The Council approved the Activity Plan stating that it was the clearest one they had received. Andrew and his team implemented the plan, confident that it was well-validated and aligned. Andrew said “Dan helped us to get our strategy much more clear and logical than we had before.”

MBIE – Design for a govtech accelerator team-forming event

Dec 2016.

With Mike Riversdale of Hack Miramar.

SNOMED – Health data standards hackathon-wrangling

Dec 2016.

With Mike Riversdale of Hack Miramar.

LINZ – Generating open data policy awareness and input

Sept 2016.

Wipster – Aligning team member and company goals

August 2016.

Wipster CE Rollo Wenlock wished to regenerate vitality within the team and to reach clarity about the direction of the company and its product.

In a highly participative workshop, the team explored their motivations for being part of the company and their alignment with strategic options.

The Wipster folks said “it’s critical that businesses take the time to strategise and reconnect across departments, and a seasoned facilitator such as Dan can help guide you towards a strong culture and clear strategy”.

InternetNZ – Fostering collaboration culture

January to July 2016.

InternetNZ’s Chief Executive Jordan Carter wanted to provide opportunities for his team to develop their working relationships.

Over a series of iterations, I worked with the team to identify the current state of their culture and the next steps they were ready to take in developing it. Some of my interventions involved simply reflecting what I had observed. Others involved workshops.

Over this time, the team members developed new trust and agreements, in the executive, management and issues teams, and in the business unit as a whole.

Jordan said “you bring a logical, systematic approach that is fully engaged with people’s emotions.”

GovHack – Hackathon team-forming

July 2016.

For the second year in a row, I facilitated the team-forming event at the start of GovHack Wellington.

This year, I coordinated the whole opening and closing processed for the event, and was also a mentor. I also collaborated with Cam Findlay on a Definition Lab where participants documented their idea using Lean Canvas.

All voluntary, of course, this was a wonderful experience. I learned a great deal, got to work with some great people, and was moved by the unmistakable empathy in the pitches that the teams created.

VicLink – Business development mentoring

June to August 2016.

Over three months, I coached a small team to create a business development plan using Lean Canvas and pitch it to the MD of VicLink.

NZCAA – ICT team development

May 2015.

NIWA – ICT team development

April 2016.

Andrew Watkins, General Manager Information and Technology, NIWA wanted his team members to develop relationships with each other and generate new ideas for implementing NIWA’s ICT strategy together.

I created a two-day team workshop where participants explored NIWA in its context, ICT within NIWA and the dynamics within the ICT team. They used a mini innovation incubator process to generate ideas to tackle key problems.

Andrew said “The workshop was really excellent. Everything I hoped for. There was more collaboration. Let’s see if we can get you in to do more.”

Air New Zealand – Guild-forming

November 2015.

As part of its digital transformation, Air New Zealand established guilds in its digital group. Guilds (communities of practice) created opportunities for digital professionals to share knowledge and expertise with others with similar specialist skills.

Air New Zealand engaged me to design and facilitate workshops to launch the guilds.

GovHack – Hackathon team-forming

July 2015. – online collaboration platform

2004 to 2015.

NZICA – Integrated online learning platform for a post-graduate business school

2004 to 2015.

Horizons Regional Council – Data management guide


Managing biodiversity and biosecurity data is difficult. There are a lot of things to think about. It is hard to know where to start, what to prioritise and how to measure progress.

Working with subject matter specialists, I designed a biodata management guide you can use to assess and plan improvements to your biodata management.

Dataversity – Community of practice for biodiversity data managers

2007 to 2014.

Founder and facilitator of community of practice for biodiversity data managers in New Zealand.

During the period 2007 to 2010, I founded Dataversity for the Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity Information Systems (TFBIS) programme. Since 2010, Dataversity has been unfunded and has continued to function under its own momentum and with the support of a steering team.

Most years we hold a workshop to share knowledge, build relationships and plan collaborative initiatives.


Environment Canterbury – Knowledge management strategy


Julian Carver and I researched and developed a knowledge management strategy for Environment Canterbury.

Landcare Research – Knowledge management strategy


Julian Carver and I researched and developed a knowledge management strategy for Landcare Research.