HiveRank (630)

Bard Papegaaij

Associate Member


Re-Humanising Work

In a nutshell

I am a philosopher, writer, practitioner and teacher with a deep compassion for the human condition and a burning desire to help people live better lives, do better work and create a more sustainable and socially connected society in the process.


Partly Available Immediately


Putten, GLD, Netherlands






leadership development

culture change facilitator

Nominated by

user image David Clark

HM Expert since

Tuesday August 14, 2018


I was born in The Netherlands, but decided to become an Australian about 20 years ago. I live on a mountain just outside Brisbane, in a rainforest overlooking the ocean. This paradise is made complete by my (Dutch) wife Paulina, who joined me here 5 years ago.

I am a philosopher, writer, practitioner and teacher with a deep compassion for the human condition and a burning desire to help people live better lives, do better work and create a more sustainable and socially connected society in the process.

Those may be lofty goals and sound somewhat unobtainable, but I have a uniquely pragmatic approach to these challenges. I break complex concepts down into simple, compelling and powerful stories, frameworks and models. My keynotes and workshops give people practical tools and ways to take control of their own development. And my very personal style, sprinkled with humour, anecdotes and pearls of wisdom, engage and motivate audiences to see beyond the obvious and the limited, into a future in which anything is possible.

I have spent my whole life trying to understand what makes us humans tick. Even though I worked most of my professional career in the IT industry, I have always approached everything from the human angle: how does it make us feel, why do we behave in this way, how do we decide, how do we change – or don’t? Introduced by my late wife Michal Levit to the field of Emotional Intelligence, I have explored the idea of the emotionally mature workplace and how to achieve that. Throughout 30+ years of working with organisations all over the planet I have helped individuals and organisations with maturing their awareness and mastery of their individual and collective emotional abilities; creating more inspiring and sustainable approaches to leadership and team development; and taking responsibility for the future evolution of their organisational cultures.

I don’t just talk about these things, I can coach, mentor and facilitate workshops and off-sites for individuals, teams and even whole organisations. I always tailors my keynotes, workshops and off-sites to the needs of my clients, combining material from my extensive library of topics and modules with fresh material in new and effective ways.

My professional career spans 30+ years, from research in AI and Natural Language Translation to Enterprise Architecture and IT Management. I have worked for and with large and small organisations all over the world. The last 9 years I was Executive Partner and Research Vice President for Gartner, in which role I focused on helping clients with the human side of IT and organisational culture and change – especially in the context of the Digital Revolution everybody is going through.

Current role details

In my current role as Chief Change Facilitator I offer coaching/mentoring/facilitation and public speaking around the topics of leadership development, team dynamics, and organisational culture and change.

Bard's STAR Stories

Turning a group of high-performing executives into a high-performance, market-leading... (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

The client was an internal asset-management unit for a large multinational insurance firm. They had been told they would soon be cut loose from the mother company and were expected to turn themselves into a competitor on the open market, in the process losing their status as mandatory (or even preferred) service provider for the mother company. This put the leadership under enormous pressures and even though the leadership team consisted of very successful and highly capable individuals, it was clear they would need to really come together as a team to successfully pull this transformation off.


In our prior work with the client we had identified a number of organisational, cultural and personal factors that were blocking their success as a team, such as a ‘hero’ culture – celebrating individual success over team-success; a ‘gentlemen’s culture’ – avoiding direct conflict, leaving a lot of underlying tension and problems unaddressed; and a lack of trust in each other’s full commitment to making this transformation work. Our task was to take the executive team through a 4-day off-site to help them work through those obstacles, lay the groundworks for a high-performing team culture, and create a plan to take their entire organisation on the journey with them.


We designed and facilitate a 4-day, intensive off-site with the 6 members of the executive team, basing the design on our previous work with them, an analysis of a survey and individual interviews, as well as their business plan and the instructions they had been given by the mother company about time-lines and expectations.

The off-site was structured around the team creating a ‘battle-plan’ that they could start executing on as soon as the next week. The work on the plan was the ‘scaffolding’ around which we built modules with theory and exercises on the organisational and cultural issues they wanted to address, which they could then directly put into practice in the work we did with them on the actual plan. This created a cadence of theory, exercise and practice that anchored new insights and new behaviours immediately. The momentum and motivation of the team was maintained throughout the 4 days by the (self-imposed) deadline of having to produce a draft ‘battle-plan’ by the end of the off-site.

Our facilitation was a mix of presentation, observation, discussion and feedback (both personal and group), and time-management to make sure the deliverables were all realised by the end of the off-site.


The team produced a practical (and radical) ‘battle-plan’ in the time available and in the process worked through the items that were blocking their functioning as a high-performing leadership unit. This work laid the basis for not just a successful transformation of their business into an independently operating commercial entity, but it helped the team reshape their organisational culture and re-energise their workforce. On this foundation, the client became not just independent, but used its momentum to grow into one of Europe’s largest asset-management companies.

In the words of the CEO: “I have tried to re-think on what exactly made the program so successful and different from other experiences. I believe it is your ability to bring all the components necessary to drive a business together. …

Add to this the ability to bring in very practical methods to achieve this in a period of time I had previously considered to be impossible … I think that the combination of business foundation issues … combined with managerial issues … and the way you have brought these together is quite unique and very powerful.”

Roles & Results

Aegon Asset Management - Change Facilitator (Show / Hide Details)

Requirements / Actions
Help the executive team formulate a new strategy and become a high-performing team in the process.
Delivery and Achievements
The client moved on to become the largest asset management firm in Europe, citing the workshops and coaching I provided as one of the turning points in their trajectory.

Services Bard Delivers

Service Icon Enterprise Design for Innovation and Transformation Impact (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

A systemic and holistic Design approach to develop strategic options and execute changes at scale