Organisations and Intact Teams

From complicated to complex.

There is a subtle nuance between complicated and complex and that requires a different style of leadership. Where a situation is complicated the type of leadership we know well and have all become rather good at – the highly cognitive, hierarchical style has worked extremely well. Complicated systems are full of detailed but are predictable.


The science of leadership required for a complicated system is one where:

  • Roles are defined by the job and task descriptions.
  • Making decisions is about weighing the possibilities and making the best fit choice.
  • A specific hierarchy exists and information flow tends to go from top to bottom but not in reverse.
  • Many people in the system are limited to simple tasks via their job description.
  • It is important to know what to do, and to be seen to know what to do and tell others what to do.
  • Keep on keeping on – staying aligned and focused.


The art of leadership required for a complex system however requires a different set of skills including :

  • Roles are defined by what is required by the system and take into consideration who is holding the role, their background, values and purpose. There is more “self” in the role.
  • Decision making comes from sense making and there is a contribution from the collective – information flow up, down and sideways.
  • Rather than a strict hierarchy there is a collaboration between parts of the whole in shifting patterns as required to suit the present challenges.
  • Learn and adapt, learn and adapt.
  • Operate on the emerging edge and have the ability to adapt quickly to a changing environment.


Complicated and complex will co exist in most systems but our expertise with complicated whilst systems and contexts are becoming increasingly complex can leave people floundering if they have not been given the opportunity to develop “complex skills”.

The world in which horses have survived and adapted to for millennia is a complex one. Despite many years of domestication they still retain the skills for operating in such a system and in working with them we are given the opportunity to develop those skills as well. Horses to do not recognize a strict hierarchy, they do not have a assigned roles from which they do not have permission to deviate and they must use their prodigious faculties to read and sense into a situation when making a decision about their safety and thus survival.


As befits serving complex organisations we do not have a one size fits all approach and are able to  blend with existing internal programs or collaborate with our partner organisations to deliver a system wide program which combines a variety of coaching approaches. Our core offering however will always be the encounter with our four legged embodied leaders.



Because there is nothing we know that is so effective in:

  • Increasing Self Belief
  • Building self awareness
  • Exposing blind spots
  • Making the unknown known
  • Increasing confidence as a leader
  • Building emotional agility
  • Increasing communication skills
  • Embracing shared leadership

And having fun whilst doing so, which is a large ingredient in the retention of learning.

“Working in the fast paced corporate world, I often felt like my body was trying to catch up to the speed of my mind. And being acutely aware of the potential costs of this I was attracted to what I might learn with the Horsanity herd. At the beginning of the workshop my mind had a life of its own. Through well designed “experiments” and gentle guidance I could bring a certain kind of open, moment-to-moment, non-judgemental awareness to what I was doing. I noticed how much my perception of time changed. I seemed to have more! I began to develop a more penetrative awareness that could see beyond the surface of what is going on. I no longer needed to ‘save the world’ – rather be open to what wants to emerge through me and into the world.
Bringing this growing capacity back into my life has been most effective in dealing with the stress of the modern workplace. I can say I’m navigating in the world with eyes and heart that are more open.”

Former Executive General Manager of an Australian Business School

I wanted a team-building experience that was both memorable and meaningful.  I personally had experienced the power of working with the horses as guides, facilitators and coaches, and thought that they would provide useful insights as well as helping us form strong bonds as a working team. They excelled, as I knew and hoped they would. The novelty of working with the horses was appreciated, as were the various leadership exercises. As one team member said “I thought the leadership exercises – both the individual and group activities – were a very novel, clever and inspiring way to explain the concepts of leading from the front, behind, and working together as a team. I learnt a great deal about my teammates through watching them work with the horses, as well as learning about myself.” Through very considered and collaborative planning plus expert facilitation on the day, the workshop certainly allowed us to know and appreciate each other’s vulnerabilities and strengths intimately, and we gained trust in each other. As another one of our team said, “it was fabulous. One of the best, most insightful, skillfully designed team-building, creative thinking, and brainstorming sessions I’ve ever experienced.”

Jane Jordan, High-Stakes coach and Managing Director, Gaia Coaching Group

“Whilst I have a deep appreciation and experience with horses, I have not had this type of experience before. It was rich in depth, meaning and relevance. It brought things into my awareness about myself and my leadership that were insightful and timely for me to be exploring. It was a respectful and valuable experience.”

Sarah Cornally, Strategic Leadership Advisor, Cornally Enterprises Pty Ltd

“I found the workshop offered a great space for reflection on my leadership and communication style. I think that by increasing my awareness of my own default modes I can now be more active in choosing how I act or respond in any given situation. The horses are wonderful creatures to spend a day with and they (combined with the well thought out facilitation) offer a very unique mirror for introspection. The horses leave you with a lasting impression which will hopefully help me carry some of the lessons from the workshop back to my daily life.”

Sophie Zdenkowski, Industry Partnerships and Development Manager, UNSW Co-op Program

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