Bernie Shakeshaft is Founder and CEO of BackTrack, an organisation that gets young people ‘back on track’ by developing strong, happy & healthy foundations that result in positive life pathways and full participation in their communities.
In the early days of it’s existence BackTrack was navigating its leadership, people and culture by feel. As Bernie explains they “had money coming in, their governance was in order, but they were stretched, and they knew they couldn’t go on like that.”
As Bernie explains they “had money coming in, their governance was in order, but they were stretched, and they knew they couldn’t go on like that.”
Bernie’s instinct told him they needed someone who understood leadership and the realities of a fast-growing youth organisation and an evolving entrepreneurial social enterprise. It was during a function that a mutual colleague introduced Bernie to Elise Sernik, founder of Leadership Space.
Our journey together
As Bernie says, the combination of personality profiling and leadership team workshops that kicked off the work together were “a turning point for their organisation.” The team was challenged to look with fresh eyes at who they had in their leadership tent and their strengths, gaps and blind spots. These sessions quickly established a high trust, high transparency norm that the team now values as critical.
Successive projects contribute to the People and Culture that BackTrack needs:
- Executive Coaching and Team Development to enable individuals and teams to achieve the ambitious goals they have for themselves and the organisation, navigating both challenge and opportunity.
- Organisational values and behaviours that are fresh and unique to BackTrack.
- Facilitating Strategic & Operational planning that cuts through the jargon and helps with meaningful prioritisation.
- Restructure plans that allow the team to keep pace with evolving needs.
- Lumina Select profiling to effectively screen for personality and culture alignment in recruitment, and Lumina Spark for leadership development.
Throughout it all, the focus on efficiency and utility of the work has been central. As Marcus Watson commented after one session - "we just did in 1 day, what would have take us 6 months."
“We just did in 1 day, what would have taken us 6 months.”
– Marcus Watson, BackTrack
Three years after we began working together, BackTrack and its social enterprise collectively has reached around $6 million, a three-fold increase in turnover. Bernie has been awarded Local Hero, they have launched a successful documentary BackTrack Boys, and there is a book. They have great talent and funding knocking on their door, a thriving social enterprise and a national change agenda.
Three years after we began working together, BackTrack and its social enterprise collectively has reached around $6 million, a three-fold increase in turnover.
What stands out for us about BackTrack is their ability to deeply live the principles of partnership. They believe the kind of change they want to bring about can’t be done alone and this ethic fuels both their personal and organisational growth and effectiveness.