People who are resilient work smarter, and can negotiate the inevitable changes that are the one certainty of life.  People who know what teamwork really means can turn good teams into great ones.

Psychology, psychometrics and neuroscience have been combined to develop The Challenge of Change designed to bring about positive influence in individuals, teams and culture. 

  • "...our workforce is better prepared for and able to cope with change."
    Christine Sewell  
  • "We've found the Challenge of Change empowers people to adapt positively to change..."
    Kerry Cornelious  
  • "It's the only training course in the area of stress management I would recommend."
    Rochelle Spillane  
  • "...some staff have referred to it as 'life changing'..."
    Karen Mather  
  • "...the course dispelled many myths about stress, backed up with simple coping mechanisms..."
    Blair Stevenson  
  • "...really beneficial - particularly relevant in the challenging retail environment where the only real constant is change..."
    Richard Binns  
  • Meet the Team


    Derek Roger (BA Hons., MA, PhD, CPsychol.) Director 

    Founder and Director, Derek Roger leads The Work Skills Centre, the training consultancy behind the Challenge of Change. While he has been solely responsible to date for accrediting all of the Accredited Associates who deliver the training, three Master Trainers have now been created to facilitate the process: Cynthia Johnson, Nick Petrie and Jo Clarke.  

    Derek's unique background means that he can successfully bridge the gap between academia and the business world and immediately bring the benefits of research findings to bear.  Read more about Derek here.

    Gwen Roger Director

    Co-founder and Director of The Work Skills Centre, Gwen's business acumen, design flair and background in practical philosophy enable her to contribute to overall business strategy, direction and brand development.  As well as playing an active role in the business Gwen runs a Christchurch based philosophy group.
    Cynthia Johnson (BA, MA Psych.) NZ Master Trainer

    Cynthia enjoys and understands how organisations work, having had a 30 year career working in New Zealand, UAE and China. She began her career as a Psychologist for the New Zealand Air Force, and her last corporate role was head of Organisational Development for Fonterra, a New Zealand company employing 16000 people around the globe.  In that role she was responsible for all of the company's leadership and management programmes, and introduced and led the global employee engagement programme.

    Cynthia has a long history in leadership development and demonstrating return on investment.  She received the 2006 HRINZ Initiative of the Year award for her work in both these aspects and has published in both fields.  Her mantra is "to simplify the lives of busy managers."  She views the Challenge of Change Resilience programme as the foundation for this, and she brings to the programme real organisational experience and examples of best practice.

    Dr Peter Blyde (BBS, Dip.Bus. Admin., PhD) Accredited Associate

    Peter has consulted to a wide range of public and private organisations in Australia and New Zealand since 1992.  With an emphasis on what it takes to lead well in large organisations, Peter specialises in leadership development, vision and strategy, executive team effectiveness, and emotional intelligence.  As the demands facing leaders at all levels increase, Peter recognised the need to equip people with the resilient mindset that the Challenge of Change brings.  
    His background includes executive development for the University of Auckland Business School and Global Women; five years as the Senior Executive Programme Director at the New Zealand Leadership Institute (leading the Hillary Leadership Programme - the flagship 18 month, senior executive, cross sectoral leadership development programme); two years with the Hay Group in Sydney and twelve years with the Centre for Vision and Leadership.  Peter's PhD explored Executive Perceptions of Leadership in New Zealand and Australia.  


    Jo Clarke  (BSc, MSc, PhD, C. Psychol) UK Master Trainer

    Jo Clarke, PhD. is a Registered Forensic Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.  After extensive experience in a diverse public sector organisation, combined with working as a consultant and researcher for both private and charitable companies, Jo has acquired a range of organisational and clinical expertise.  She is an adept team leader and innovator, with proven communication and motivational skills. 

    Jo currently works for the University of York, where she is Director of the MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology.  She is also an Associate Trainer with the Work Skills Centre and has delivered training to a wide range of audiences since 2003.  She is committed to rigorous empirical and ethical standards, with an emphasis on broadening evidence-based practice.  A recent evaluation of CoC Resilience Training which she delivered to 45 managers from a UK charity demonstrated a major impact on sickness absence, with a reduction in sickness-absence of up to 43% across the trained groups.  These findings echo previous research showing a similar significant reduction in sickness-absence amongst UK police officers following the training.

    Nick Petrie (B.Comm, B.PhEd, M.Ed) USA Master Trainer

    Nick is a Senior Faculty member at the Center for Creative Leadership at Colorado Springs in the USA, attached to the Leadership Development Program and the Legal sector. Nick, has recently completed his MA at Harvard and joins the Challenge of Change team as a Training Associate. He has a wealth of training experience and the Challenge Change is gaining considerable interest amongst US corporates.  

    Nick trained and worked initially in New Zealand but has had significant international experience, having spent ten years living and working in Japan, Spain, Scotland, Ireland, Norway and Dubai.  He was a professional rugby player and coach for seven years, and before joining C.C.L. he ran his own consulting company.  Nick has spent the last several years developing and implementing customized leadership programs for senior leaders around the world, and has recently completed a research project on 'the future of leadership development' at C.C.L. You can read more about Nick on his website here.

    Lehan Stemmet (BSc, SAC.D, DipPsych, MSc, PhD) Research Associate

    Lehan qualified originally in biochemistry and molecular biology, and his interest in applied psychology and behavioural neuroscience led him towards research on stress and resilience as well as leadership and organisational development.  He also has qualifications in organisational psychology and psychotherapy. 

    Lehan is currently on the faculty of the Manukau Institute of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand.  Prior to his current appointment he has held senior management positions in industries ranging from biotechnology to manufacturing and marketing, and has worked in South Africa, Ireland and New Zealand.  Lehan has collaborated with research teams in the UK and Spain, and has published papers in both the scientific press and in mainstream specialist industry media. 

    You can read the latest update on the Research project here
    Philippa Mooney (CertTchg, PGCertCoach, PGCertCLM, TDLB) Accredited Associate 
    Philippa has a background in personal and organisational development, and was formerly a lecturer in Business Studies at York College, England. She has a wide range of experience in developing and coaching both individuals and teams, and she became interested in the Challenge of Change Resilience training after hearing Derek speak at the BBC. She became a fully accredited Training Associate with the Work Skills Centre in 1999. 

    Philippa has facilitated the training in a wide range of public and private sector organisations, including the BBC, City and County Councils and NHS Trusts, and she worked with Derek to deliver a large training contract for The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs in 2010 and 2011. 
    Carrie Beckwith (BA Hons., DipM) Marketing Associate

    Carrie has over 20 years' experience in Marketing for businesses in the UK and New Zealand. Working at an advisory level on marketing strategy as well as hands on marketing management, Carrie has been working with the Challenge of Change since 2007, introducing innovative and astute strategies to fulfil business goals. She runs copywriting and marketing consultancy Custom Content Ltd.

    If like a growing number of leading NZ, UK and US organisations you would like to benefit from The Challenge of Change, then why wait, please get in touch today.

    The Work Skills Centre Ltd 
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