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 Workskills 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, whose details appear below.

    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 and Derek together provide regular meetings in their Enlightened Living philosophy.

    Cynthia Johnson (BA, MA Psych.) Master Trainer NZ
    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.

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

    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. 

    Nick is currently facilitating the scheme to accredit C.C.L. trainers in the CoC Resilience programme, which was initated in 2015.

    You can read more about Nick on his website here.



    Jo Clarke  (BSc, MSc, PhD, C. Psychol) Master Trainer UK 
    Jo Clarke, PhD. is a Registered Forensic Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and currently directs the MSc in Forensic Psychology at the University of York.  She has wide experience of working in both public and private organisations, and is an adept team and is an adept team leader and innovator, with proven communication and motivational skills. Jo has delivered the Challenge of Change Resilience programme to a wide range of audiences since 2003.  A recent evaluation of the training she delivered to managers from a UK charity showed a reduction in sickness-absence of up to 43% across the trained participants, a finding which echoes previous research amongst UK police officers following the training.

    Jo also directs PETROS, a social enterprise service aimed at developing resilience in behaviourally challenged children. PETROS trainers have also been accredited to deliver the Challenge of Change Resilience Programme, and PETROS is dedicated to enhancing resilience for life and works with the parents of behaviourally challenged children by taking them through the Challenge of Change Programme.  


    Paul Summers
    (MSc) Accredited Associate UK

    Paul has an academic background in Philosophy, Applied Ethics and Forensic Psychology.  In addition to deliver the Challenge of Change Resilience programme he works as a Teaching Fellow at the University of York, administrating and delivering the MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology programme in the Department of Psychology.   Before moving to York in 2007, Paul was employed by HM Prison Service and involved in the assessment and treatment of offenders.  He has also worked as an Outreach Worker for Addaction, one of the UK's largest specialist alcohol and drug treatment charities.

    Paul is a Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and is working towards becoming a chartered psychologist.  

    Shonagh Methven BA (Hons) Accredited Associate UK

    Shonagh is a Chartered member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). She is a Change Management specialist with extensive experience in Strategic Human Resources, Organisational Design, and Knowledge Management. She has extensive experience leading strategic change initiatives, building strong relationships, and challenging leaders to higher performance in order to bring about culture change.

    An experienced and motivating trainer, Shonagh's background in occupational safety brings a unique perspective in recognising how strengthening the resilience of an individual can reduce the personal and corporate costs of stress at work.



    Di Gammage (B.Ed Hons., MA) Accredited Associate UK

    Di is an adult and child psychotherapist who qualified in both English & Drama and Buddhist Psychotherapy.  Di's clinical work has been with children who have experienced trauma.  She has a particular interest in raising awareness in the value and importance of play in supporting children's resilience and their capacity to heal and is writing a book, 'Playful Awakening – Releasing the Gift of Play in Your Life.' 

    Di has delivered the Challenge of Change to a diverse range of businesses and groups. She is interested in how the training might support social workers and others in the caring professions and also how children might specifically benefit from it.



    Tracy Brookes (MSc., C.Psychol)    Accredited Associate UK

    Tracy is chartered by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and registered by the Health Professions Council (HPC). With a background in Forensic Psychology and 15 years' working both within the criminal justice system and in the wider community, Tracy has delivered national training to a wide range of professional audiences. She has been involved in both the assessment and treatment of offenders and in supporting other trainee psychologists seeking qualification with the BPS and HPC.

    More recently, Tracy has worked as a Lecturer on the Forensic Psychology programme at the University of York. She continues to work directly with offenders and staff in the Prison Service, working as the Clinical Lead to create a psychologically informed prison environment.


    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

    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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