As a speaker Simon works to make complicated research-based ideas actionable and easy to understand. He has delivered presentations to over 100,000 people across the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, England, Qatar, Finland, India, Hong Kong, Spain, the Czech Republic and Israel.

Simon’s clients include the NSW and Victorian Departments of Education, the International Baccalaureate, Apple, Microsoft, The English Schools’ Foundation of Hong Kong, The Alberta Teachers’ Association, Ontario Principal Council, Corwin Press, Learning Forward, EduTech, Future Schools and many more.

He aims to provoke fresh thinking and be a catalyst for meaningful progress. He weaves together research, story and experiences from the field to enable leaders to understand the why, what and how of realising positive change in their unique contexts. Having done this for over a decade, Simon has a deep understanding of how to craft the right message for an audience of thousands or a more intimate dialogue for a retreat. 

The first step is to reach out to the team and explore what might be possible. The key areas of expertise are listed below for keynote sessions, half day or full day workshops. This is more of a starting point for a conversation about how we can tailor a message that is specific to your needs and the aims of your event.

Speaking topics

Post-Crisis Renewal

Collectively shaping the educational future.

COVID-19 has caused us to rethink learning, teaching and leadership. We’ve had a collective opportunity to re-examine many things that were on auto-pilot in our schools. Yet, in our exhaustion there is a natural tendency to revert towards our defaults and re-install what we used to call ‘normal.’ We must make the most of this rare opportunity to intentionally seek renewal for our teams and organisational cultures. Collectively, we need to carve out space and time to make sense of what we have been through, synthesise the lessons learned, and move forward together.

In this insightful session participants will be provided with concepts, space and time to:

  • Explore the opportunities for post-crisis growth and renewal
  • Identify how the pressures of COVID-19 may have helped us to rethink old assumptions
  • Consider the power of defaults and the natural tendency to snap-back to old habits
  • Set up a simple process of organisational learning, reflection and sense-making
  • Engage in longer-term thinking about where we want to go as a learning community
  • Take practical steps to fortify collaborative cultures and develop organisational agility


Team Health

How forward-thinking groups can create collective impact together.

Sustained and meaningful educational improvement is a team endeavor. A school, or indeed an education system, can be best understood as a team of teams. Lifting the engagement and sustainable performance of our teams requires a longer-term approach which intentionally enhances team health and sustainably improves team dynamics.

This practical session explores:

  • What great teamwork looks and feels like
  • Why team culture is everybody’s responsibility
  • Crafting a shared direction and the importance of team mental models
  • Making better use of evidence and improving the quality of decision making
  • How to execute together despite busyness
  • Developing team psychological safety as a platform for learning, innovation and growth
  • Practical approaches for monitoring and enhancing team health over time
Agile Leadership

New ways of working to enable continuous school improvement.

Changing times call for educators who can solve problems and create progress despite the complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty that they face. Yet, traditional approaches to leading school improvement are too rigid and linear to support leaders to engage in this human and complex work of change. Agile Leadership provides a dynamic approach for leading continuous school improvement that enables leaders at all levels to sharpen their focus, build momentum and lead a collective and sustainable learning journey.

This compelling and practical presentation will explore how to:

  • Understand the complexity of sustainable improvement
  • Embrace agile mindsets to thrive in times of change
  • Focus on the right work in the right sequence
  • Gain cut-through in implementation despite setbacks
  • Harness lean monitoring to course-correct through change
Rethinking Resistance

The psychology of helping adults change what they do

How can we activate other people for change? Do you find that improvement efforts often get stalled by cynics and skeptics? Do you find it hard to ‘move the middle’ and get more people on the path to professional practice change? In this practical masterclass we will explore what psychological research suggests is the best way to respond to the resistance that emerges during an improvement journey. Anchored in implementation and behavioural science research, Rethinking Resistance provides a clear framework to enable leaders to support deep and sustained changes in the professional practices that matter most to their improvement work. You will learn what to do when you are seeking to lead improvement when change is hard and motivation is low.

In this session we will:

  • Examine the challenge of adult behavioural change
  • Build confidence in harnessing behavioural science approaches to help shift practice
  • Unpack four simple and effective strategies for getting unstuck and building momentum
  • Apply practical tools to unlock meaningful progress tomorrow
Teaching Sprints

How overloaded educators can keep getting better.

Do you want to accelerate the shift towards evidence-informed teaching in every classroom? Are you looking for ways to support teachers to continually improve their pedagogical practices?

All educators are looking for better ways of developing evidence-informed teaching strategies that can support effective student learning. Yet, the busyness and overload of school life can often stand in the way of deliberately enhancing expertise. The Teaching Sprints approach is used by hundreds of schools and thousands of educators to make the most of their collaborative professional learning time. It is a simple and effective way of engaging with research-based strategies and creating incremental and sustainable changes to classroom practice.

During this evidence-informed and highly practical session, participants will have an opportunity to:

  • Reflect on the complexity of teaching and the need for enhancing adaptive expertise
  • Unpack the 3 key ideas about enhancing practice in a sustainable way
  • Examine the practical challenge of shifting ingrained habits of practice
  • Examine the need to develop pedagogical ‘know-how’ not just ‘know-what’
  • Explore the explosion of robust and relevant research evidence that can inform our practice improvement efforts
  • Walk through the 3-phases of the Teaching Sprints process that educator teams can use
  • Engage with practical ideas about how to implement this approach within the collaboration time that you already have available.

Subscribe to our newsletter