David Youell

In a nutshell…

this is what i do

I work behind the scenes keeping the show on the road and supporting our ongoing client work. My main focus these days is finding ways to make living systems ideas mainstream.

 What I bring

Many lenses

Professionally, I’ve journeyed through an eclectic range of industries and organisational cultures. Oil and automotive. Broadcast radio and TV. Film production and sound recording.

Our client work has taken us into many worlds. Aviation and electricity, pharmaceuticals and telecoms, charities, not-for-profits and faith-based communities.

Along the way, I’ve played many roles. Field rep and area manager. Writer and producer. Consultant and facilitator. Employee and employer. So I can put myself in different shoes.

An appreciation of deep change

I know what it feels like to commit completely to a vibrant and successful corporate employer. And what it’s like to suddenly find yourself attached to an entity that has lost its soul.

I know the price of trading the trappings of corporate life for the freedom and insecurity of the road less travelled. And what it takes to hang on in there through the highs and lows.

I’ve weathered significant personal and professional life changes. So I understand the challenges – and the opportunities – of deep change.

An ethical dimension

I bring an ethical dimension to my work. I’m not afraid of the big questions.

I’ve always felt part of the rich tapestry of the natural world, conscious of its delicate interconnectedness. This systems awareness – and knowing just how out of sync we are with nature’s rhythms – is part of my personal compass.

I walk through life with the constant inquiry: Why don’t we do the right thing?

I’m interested in our inner compass. The  subtle world of human purpose. Direction. Vision. And of course, values.

The Inner Compass

Power of shared values

Music is an experiential well I draw from frequently and frames much of my perspective on life and work.  It taught me about rhythm and harmony, relationship and improvisation, and the power of shared vision and values. Playing music with others I discovered time and again that when people commit their energy and creativity to the common good, the result can be truly powerful. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Learn more about our professional journey

Making it personal

Meeting Richard Barrett and his then brand new cultural transformation methodology some twenty years ago, I knew I’d found a critical piece of the jigsaw: the link between personal values and organisational behaviour. I studied with him in the USA, earned my ‘CTT driver’s licence’ and continue to support this part of our work – helping people map and interpret personal values and corporate culture.

Learn more about culture mapping

Values and Leadership

Abraham Maslow once wrote that when the philosophy of man changes, everything changes. I firmly believe that the inner world of those who lead us at this time will determine our level of success at navigating the cultural transition that lies ahead. We urgently need to work on changing the mindset, consciousness and values at work, everywhere. Especially at leadership level. To help people find the courage to make the difficult shift – from being part of the problem to being part of the solution and part of the transformation that’s needed in the world we are leaving to future generations.

Learn about the new work of leadership

Cultural Crossroads

It’s not too big a statement to say that we are living in unprecedented times. The decisions we are making right now – as individuals, as organisations, as a species – will determine the course of human evolution and the shape of life on Earth.

That’s where we are.

If we’re honest about this reality and willing to do what it takes to play our part in hastening the cultural transformation that’s unfolding, we’ll discover it’s also a time of great opportunity.

Learn more about ‘The Deeper Why’

Time for courage

As awareness of our mounting global dilemmas rises, people everywhere are demanding better from the institutions that serve them. And that represents a colossal opportunity for those prepared to stand for something more than just being the biggest or the cheapest act in town, and lead courageously.

Learn about the new work of leadership

Time for a new vision

I passionately believe that our organisations and institutions have everything they need to make this transition. Business is perhaps the best placed institution on the planet to make a difference. It has some of the best brains. It has the resources. It has the networks and contacts. And it’s used to winning. What is needs now, is the vision. And the will.

Learn about the living systems revolution


What People Say

Making a difference

“We have gained in confidence in the possibility of making a difference. We have come to understand that, within the context of systems thinking, any effort for change and transformation at the micro level contributes to change at the macro level.  We have experienced this in action…”

Creating Space

“One significant aspect of the work was creating the space where exchange and conversation could happen.  What creates such an atmosphere is a key question for us. If there’s a freeing atmosphere then the conversation can flow…It is never, or seldom ever, the content of a conversation that impedes honest exchange…”

Makes Perfect Sense!

“I loved the image of the gardener and its symbolism – of preparing the ground, nurturing the conditions, respecting nature’s principles and allowing things to evolve naturally. It makes perfect sense!…”

Deep Listening

“This way of working models a deep way of listening to a challenge and really making sure it is understood from many angles, which is a very good learning point for us…”

Do you have a project in mind? Let’s talk.


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