Organisational Development

Organisational Development

Information, tools and resources about Organisational Development.

As stated in our Mission, Outdoors Queensland’s primary purpose is ‘to raise the profile, capacity and opportunity for outdoor recreation in Queensland and encourages all people to recreate outdoors’. To proactively address the responsibility inherent in our Mission, we are committed to providing information, tools and resources to the sector on a variety of topics, such as Risk Management, Staff Development, Industrial Relations, WH&S, Governance, Media Management and Organisational Development.

Organisational Development
Outdoors Queensland encourages our Green Circle Members and other businesses operating in the outdoor sector to review the way they manage their businesses, and provides appropriate easy access resources. We have developed this set of resources because we believe there is a need for small to medium business in the outdoor sector to improve the way they operate, manage staff, market and present themselves to their potential clients.

We have engaged Andrew Murray, from Applied Adventure, to deliver a series of 4 Articles (see below) on the topic of Organisational Development and to facilitate a Workshop to explore the issues, the options and the way forward.

The Articles

Article 4: Leadership and Safety

Leadership and Safety

In my capacity as “Work Safely at Heights Supervisor” I was engaged by the British television company ITV to run the height safety for both their film crews and the celebrities in a “live” episode of the British version of “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here” at a site with rocky cliffs and deep gorges in SE Qld

I engaged three of my similarly skilled and qualified associates and spent 3 days on this job.  Day 1 was a recce day to sort what they wanted to do, Day 2 was a setup day where we got rigs ready or at least decided how to rig what and Day 3 was filming.

On the day we had 5 of 3-man camera/sound crews on rock along with 4 celebrities, their WHS adviser and sundry others. Everyone had to be safe.  Oh yeah and their cameras were worth $170k each so they were pretty keen to look after them too.

Interestingly, the easiest person to keep safe was the cameraman who we hung 10 metres down the  30 m abseil cliff.  Once he was harnessed up and provided with a bosun’s chair, we lowered him and his camera into place and tied him off – he was going nowhere and behaved impeccably (he had no choice).


Article 3: Thinking About Leadership

Thinking About Leadership

Leadership is an interesting term that gets bandied about, used and abused in the Organisational Development literature.  It took me about 25 years in the field to crystallise my thinking about just what leadership is and is not.  Maybe having a look at leadership will reveal some of the common themes in the successful operation of organisations, because – when I look at it, effective leadership appears to do the same across all organisations.

I have arrived at the following definition of leadership:

“Leadership builds and maintains sustainable and productive communities.”


Article 2: Vision, Mission & Values

Vision, Mission & Values

When I first saw these terms pop up, and read what organisations were saying about themselves, I thought that this was corporate claptrap.  And these can quickly become just that.

Essentially these should form the “spine” of an organisation, telling the world , and the owners, what the business stands for and forming a sort of compass to assist in navigating the business’ world …


Article 1: Where do I start?

Where do I start?

It is with some trepidation that I commence writing this.

Inevitably there will be people who disagree or who know better than me – either actually or in their own opinion … the issue of organisation development is highly relevant to me right now, both professionally and personally as I launch  new businesses which will work with businesses on business issues!

Starting out – where do I start? Probably with the aspiring entrepreneur.

Some questions to ask: How comfortable am I with risk?


About the Author: Andrew Murray

My name is Andrew Murray.

I have been active in business in the Outdoor Education, Adventure Based Training and Ropes Course Construction/Inspection/Operation arenas for the past 25 years.

As well, I have been fortunate in that many corporate clients have seen the potential of good facilitation for consultancy/indoor work and offered me opportunities to work in the consulting field.

My experience and activity in working “indoors” and “out”  have lead to some phenomenally interesting and rewarding work both in Australia and overseas.

I have worked for some “biggies”, like Boeing Australia; John Deere; Talisman Energy; BHP Billiton; Anglo Coal, Intergen, Coca Cola as well as literally hundreds of small to medium Australian businesses.

In 1988, I did an Associate Diploma in Outdoor Education at BCAE; this was funded by the proceeds of a small business my wife and I owned and operated in NQ for the preceding two years.  She too undertook studies that year.

A happy accident that year was an internship with Project Adventure USA in Hamilton Mass. I spent a month and a half at their facility “The Iron Rail” living in  a hut in the middle of their ropes course and working with such luminaries as Karl Rohnke and Paul Radcliffe.

I went over mainly to learn how to build climbing walls, but fell into a load of education and learning about both ropes course construction and adventure based counselling.

I came back to Australia and started my own business “Applied Adventure” in around 1991.  Shortly afterwards I went into partnership and half owned and operated “Synergy Applied Adventure” until this year, when I decided it was time for a solo run to the finish line.  Applied Adventure, Hitch Consulting and Rope Monkeys Australia are the mechanisms for that run.

During my time in business, I have been fortunate to have some phenomenal mentors and colleagues from whom I have learned heaps, among these are Bob Dick – Organisational Psychologist extraordinaire; Karl Rohnke – all round unbelievable outdoor guru and a host of others.  I have been fortunate in developing a broad repertoire of skills and knowledge in all things business leadership.  While I recognise the critical importance of good management to business success, it is the area of leadership that fascinates me and continues to be the focus of my corporate work.  Broadly speaking, I believe that the primary function of leadership is the development of sustainable and productive community and culture.

Currently I am working part time for a local government in the Northern Rivers as a “Corporate Trainer” and spending my other time on startup of the new businesses and having adventures.

My “formal” qualifications include a Diploma of Primary Teaching; Graduate Diploma Education (Outdoor Ed); Wilderness First Responder First Aid; Work Safe at Heights Supervisor; Confined Space Work; Intermediate Chainsaw Operations….

I am currently working towards a Sea Kayaking Instructors qualification.

I am married with a 23 y/o son and live in the Numinbah Valley.  My interests include everything outdoors, reading, leatherwork and relearning how to ride a motorbike after 40 years out of the saddle.

I am convinced that in this business relationships are everything.  Your network is gold, suppliers and colleagues are as important as clients – and personal connections which are mutually beneficial are what makes work sustainable and satisfying.

My other strong belief is that it’s easy but ultimately unsatisfying to follow the pack.  Creating a “value monopoly” is a smart thing to do whereby what you offer is something that distinguishes you from the pack for some clients who come to you for something that they want and simply can’t get anywhere else!

Andrew Murray
Applied Adventure
0427 740 642

Organisational Development Workshop Part A

Dates: November 17
Time: 09:00 – 16:30
QORF, Sports House, 150 Caxton Street, Milton
(see on Google Maps)

Catering will be provided

Please email Mark at
if you have any questions


Discussion Points Part A

  • Introductions and Preliminary Conversations
  • Developing or Assessing Your Organisational Vision
  • Planning towards your vision:
  • Strategic Planning
  • Tactical Planning
  • Operational Planning
  • What’s this “Values” thing about?
  • Identifying/Evaluating Your Corporate Values.

Note: Dates for Part B (2019) will be announced in due course

Discussion Points Part B

  • Keeping it Real – making sure we “Walk the Talk”
  • Performance Management: Translating Values to Behaviours
  • Accountability
  • Creating a “Value Monopoly”
  • What sort of an organisation do you want to be?
  • The “turnkey” organisation vs alternatives
  • Action Planning and Networking

Please email Mark at if you have any questions

What is Organisational Development?

A common definition often quoted is

Organization Development is an effort planned, organization-wide, and managed from the top, to increase organization effectiveness and health through planned interventions in the organization’s ‘processes,’ using behavioral-science knowledge.”
(Richard Beckhard, “Organization development: Strategies and Models”, 1969).

Put more simply, it is the practice of ‘changing people and organisations for positive growth’. (Australian HR Institute)


Organisational Development can include

The process of reviewing Organisational Development can include:

  • Leadership development
  • Followship
  • Team Building
  • Mission, Vision & Values
  • Staff and career development
  • Training
  • Coaching
  • and …

The benefits of going through the process of Organisational Development might include:
(rewrite this list)

  • empowering leaders and individual employees
  • creating a culture of continuous improvement and alignment around shared goals
  • making change easier and faster
  • putting the minds of all employees to work
  • enhancing the quality and speed of decisions
  • making conflict constructive instead of destructive
  • giving leaders more control over results, by giving employees more control over how they do their jobs.

Source: Australian HR Institute

Potential Outcomes

The potential outcomes of an Organisational Development review may include:

(rewrite this list)

  • profits (cost reduction, for non-profits)
  • innovation
  • customer satisfaction
  • product and service quality
  • cost effectiveness
  • organisational flexibility
  • personal feelings of effectiveness
  • job, work, and life satisfaction

Source: Australian HR Institute

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