Tocker Associates - People Development


Case Studies of Work We’ve Undertaken

It’s always a privilege when we have the opportunity to use our expertise to make practical, positive contributions to individuals and organisations across New Zealand and in Australia. We love coaching, training and mentoring leaders and leadership groups to become highly effective executives and strong leaders, who inspire others to achieve great things. We take a great deal of pride in the practical work we do with organisations in both the public and private sectors to lift the performance of their workplace teams, and improve the productivity of their businesses. Here’s a selection of case studies that showcase our work.

Client: New Zealand Ministry of Justice

Project: District Courts and Special Jurisdictions – Leadership Programme


We worked with the general manager of courts and his team on a leadership programme to support the strategic realignment of the Courts and Special Jurisdictions division. We ran a pilot in late 2013, completed phase two in 2014, and advised members of the leadership group while the first two phases were rolled out to the wider organisation.

The nine-month residential leadership programme covered:

  • development of leadership skills for individuals, teams and an integrated ministry;
  • dealing with challenging situations, leading change, and delegation;
  • supporting staff through planned opportunities, coaching and mentoring.

The programme was highly experiential. The groups were involved in physical activities and problem solving. The courts’ leaders participated in the activities, acted as observers at the courses, and provided feedback to leaders and teams. Formal two-day residential sessions were supported by action learning groups.


This programme’s success was partly due to including the experts from the business in all aspects of the programme, which created a sense of ownership and commitment to follow-up activities. Evaluation and 360 feedback data showed significant improvement in the ministry’s three effectiveness measures – engagement with the vision, leadership and communication. Staff retention also stabilised in managerial roles and reporting lines.

Client: Ministry of Education, Special Education Group

Project: The “Leader Within” programme


This ongoing flagship programme and its resources were designed and developed by the ministry from 2011. Tocker Associates has provided specialist training development and support for the Leader Within programme by:

  • establishing Lominger competencies;
  • selecting candidates;
  • contracting other providers;
  • facilitation and leadership of workshops;
  • leading initial Action Learning Groups and communities of practice;
  • assisting in evaluating the programme.


A formal evaluation of the programme was completed by Tregaskis Brown in 2012. The key findings of the assessment were:

  • The programme design has been successful in achieving the desired goals.
  • Participants were more confident and competent managers and leaders as a result of their participation in the programme.
  • Participants were promoted and/or took on greater leadership challenges.
  • The programme created an enduring learning cohort and participants embraced ongoing learning.

The 2012 formal evaluation, informal feedback from 2013 participants, and feedback from the mentor group confirms that the Leader Within programme is meeting the objective of growing and developing leadership capability.

Client: Statistics NZ

Project: Leadership Development Programme – Front-Line Leaders and Emerging Leaders
(Thought Leaders and People Leaders)


We designed and implemented this leadership programme which was tailored to support the foundations of the successful leadership careers of thought leaders and people leaders within Statistics NZ. The programme’s goals were:

  • To “kick-start” the development of those entering into their first leadership role, and lift the capability of experienced or existing leaders by providing a formal development opportunity for leader and emerging leader cohorts.
  • Develop successful leaders with the right capabilities, a common language, and the tools to lead themselves, teams, projects, and the organisation.
  • Align the programme with the strategic needs of Statistics NZ – including strategic direction and vision, relevant people and business processes, existing leadership frameworks and the State Service Commission’s Leadership Success Profile (LSP).
  • Lift staff engagement and performance and improve overall staff retention across Statistics NZ through effective leadership.


We ran a pilot in early February 2016, and by the end of June 2016, 132 thought and people leader participants had completed the programme.

The programme we implemented included face-to-face workshops, trio coaching groups (more practical for those based in regions), BAU actions, and pre and post workshop tasks and discussion.

Excellent feedback has been received from within Statistics NZ about the programme. Workshops are ongoing and as required.

Client: Wellington City Council

Project: Team Building, Leadership Training, Workshop Facilitation


WCC developed a new process for creating and capturing performance objectives. As part of the development of their new system, a leadership programme was required for all managers across council.

We developed a one-day workshop programme to support new and experienced leaders to participate in effective performance conversations and planning processes. They included pre work that we designed and supplied, and a workbook resource for each of the manager and staff cohorts.


These workshops were successfully delivered during 2015 and 2016. The workshop content expanded into a leadership essentials programme that we repeated in 2016 for new staff. This programme aligned with other skills development initiatives council had under way.