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Paul Lawrence PhD

EthicalCoach Aug 15, 2018

Paul is a consultant, executive coach, facilitator, educator, writer and researcher. His primary interest lies in helping organisations effect change, building holistic solutions, and integrating change efforts through interventions such as coaching and leadership development.  

Paul had a long corporate career including 14 years working for British Petroleum (BP), a global multinational company that was the fifth biggest company in the world at the time. While with them, he learned through experience how change really happens and how it can be influenced. Paul held roles in marketing, operations, finance and strategy, and led teams in Australia, Spain, Portugal and Japan culminating in the role of GM for a Tokyo-based retail business. During this phase of his career, BP more than doubled in size, progressing through an ongoing series of mergers, acquisitions and investments.

In 2002, he switched from line roles into a global role in organisational development, working at the head office in London. In this role, he led the design and implementation of a global leadership development program, working with business leaders all over the world to co-facilitate a program for more than 12,000 people.

In 2004, Paul migrated to Australia with his wife and four children. He is now an executive coach, change facilitator and researcher. He coaches individuals, teams, and groups, typically within a broader strategic agenda. The value proposition of his company, the Centre for Coaching in Organisations, is based on thought leadership and evidence-based practice, including the publication of white papers on coaching, leadership development and change, making them freely available to anyone.

Paul has been conducting and publishing research in the coaching, leadership and change space since 2008. He also lectures part-time at the Sydney Business School (University of Wollongong).

Paul’s first book, Leading Change – How Successful Leaders Approach Change Management – was published in 2014 by Kogan Page. The book was the outcome of two years of research, spent interviewing leaders all over the world, seeking to understand how these leaders really manage change.

The results supported contemporary theories of change, particularly the scary idea that change can only be influenced and not directed. The leaders Paul spoke to were all relatively comfortable with working in uncertain and ambiguous environments, where outcomes were unpredictable and emergent. The main theme emerging from the work was that dialogue is the principal medium through which change takes place, and that role of the leader is to become better at engaging in dialogue, and adept at understanding patterns of dialogue across their organisations.

Building on this theme, Paul’s second book is being published by Routledge in August 2018. Called Coaching in Three Dimensions: Meeting the Challenges of a Complex World, the book articulates a practical approach to coaching successfully amidst uncertainty. The book challenges traditional approaches to coaching, advocating once more for an understanding of dialogue.

His third book, The Tao of Dialogue, due to be published in early 2019, explains the essentials of dialogue and how to leverage an understanding of dialogue in coaching teams.

Paul is delighted to have been picked to participate in the EthicalCoach program. He looks forward to leveraging some of his nascent understandings of coaching and complexity and sharing some of those insights with others. More than anything, however, he looks forward to learning and becoming a more effective coach through his interactions with exceptional leaders.