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Human Synergistics: Developing high-performing leaders and workplace cultures

24 January 2024

Human Synergistics is a consultancy that helps develop effective leaders, innovative teams, and positive workplace cultures.


Since 1971, it has supported the development of thousands of organisations and millions of individuals around the world. The Victorian Chamber recently partnered with Human Synergistics to develop new training, Leadership Mindset for Today’s Dynamic World, adapting and changing people’s mindsets to become new-age leaders in today’s dynamic world (more details below).

Welcome to another edition of Fast Five – our series where we ask some of the most influential and exceptional business leaders five questions to get a behind-the-scenes look at some of Australia’s most dynamic businesses.

In this edition we spoke with David Byrum, General Manager – Human Synergistics Australia & NZ.

David has 25 years of industry experience, enhancing the capability and sustainable performance of individuals, teams and organisations through the development of constructive behaviours and outcome-focused processes.

1. In short, how does Human Synergistics help businesses and organisations foster positive workplace cultures?

Human Synergistics helps to build business success through a focus on Culture & Leadership. We understand that these are two sides of the same coin. Together, when they are both working at their most constructive, they underpin sound business performance.

We have decades of experience helping individuals reach their potential, developing effective leaders, turning groups into innovative teams, and creating positive workplace cultures. We do this through proven change strategies and robust diagnostics that give organisations the right data about where to focus their efforts for greatest impact.

Our aim is to help create constructive workplaces where people can be at their best, because ultimately that’s how the organisation gets the best for their customers, shareholders, and their community.

2. What before-and-after transformations do you often observe with clients who approach Human Synergistics for assistance?

The goal is to create more constructive leaders, teams, and organisations. Once this is achieved, we see individuals with higher motivation and satisfaction who are more effective, have better interpersonal relationships, and are better able to cope with the challenges of their role. Teams are making more effective decisions, innovating more, and following through. Organisations see better alignment and commitment to their vision, improved communication between departments, enhanced customer service and greater innovation, leading to better business results in metrics like NPS, churn and turnover, profitability and growth.

I also want to emphasise that the best results come when the transformation is CEO and executive team led. If the lead team is not on board, then quite frankly there is no way others in the organisation will be either.

Finally, it is important to recognise that your ideal culture is not a destination – it is a forever journey where we are looking to be better by growing in all aspects of a business. The most committed organisations will keep checking in with their people and make changes where needed.

3. Organisations may not tend to fix what isn’t broken when things are going well, but how important is to avoid complacency and maintain strong workforce engagement and culture?

The recent pandemic taught us that change doesn’t need our permission to happen! The world is constantly moving at a rapid pace. Those companies that had robust, constructive cultures prior to Covid meant they were able to weather the storm – those that weren’t fell by the wayside. The fallout from the 2020 pivot meant people understood that culture didn’t merely exist in a bricks and mortar building, it resided in the everyday interactions between its most important commodity … its people!

Culture is not simply a project or a box-ticking exercise, it is something you need to constantly focus on. Becoming complacent means you are not ‘culture-proofing’ for the future and gaining an important competitive advantage for both today and tomorrow.

4. What are small steps a leader or manager can take to foster and empower high-performing teams?

Build a culture of trust within your organisation. Leaders need to implicitly trust their staff, and employees need to feel empowered and trusted that what they do makes a difference to how the organisation operates. Fostering an environment where people feel safe to offer resolutions, to make mistakes and be supported is key. When your people feel safe in every aspect of their role, you’ll be surprised at how far they go to exceed your expectations.

5. What societal changes are you observing, such as managing remote workforces or the rise of AI, that are presenting new challenges and opportunities for organisations?

As previously mentioned, Covid showed us that it was possible to be effective working remotely or in person and most companies have now settled on a hybrid way of working. Therefore, the ideology is not so much ‘workplace’ but rather ‘workspace’. However, in all cases, the fundamentals of what shapes culture remains the same. Culture is a behavioural and relational phenomenon – you can’t see or touch it, but you can feel it, whether in person or via screen.

On the second point, AI might seem a scary and overwhelming concept. But look at the Industrial Revolution – how many opportunities and jobs did it create as a result? We can’t stand idly by and deny that AI isn’t going to be a game changer, we need to embrace the fact that it is here to stay whether we like it or not! Organisations that have invested in a constructive culture will have a higher level of external adaptability – the ability to adapt and flex in the face of disruption.

The Victorian Chamber and Human Synergistics’ Leadership Mindset for Today’s Dynamic World training uses the Human Synergistics (HS) Life Styles Inventory™ (LSI 1) diagnostic to provide feedback and insights into your own thinking and behavioural styles. An accredited Human Synergistics practitioner will conduct a one-on-one debrief session with you, providing insights into your strengths and areas for development. Session times, pricing and registration is available on the training page.

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