Jill Birch

Jill Birch

Leadership and Organizational Change Expert

Jill Birch helps audiences master 21st century leadership skills, going beyond today’s jargon and stereotypes to show what’s really needed to innovate and compete in today’s marketplace. Birch has been a CEO and member of several C-Suites and has facilitated leadership breakthroughs for Fortune 500 organizations around the world. Drawing on this experience, her captivating and customized presentations help inspire change, build leadership capacity, and drive competitive advantage.

As a consultant, Birch has worked with tech, energy, finance, telecommunications, professional services, education, health, and not-for-profit sectors. She uses relational leadership techniques — a new way to spark real and meaningful change in workplaces — to help leaders become more self-aware and fuse teamwork with organizational goals.

Birch developed the framework, “The Five SteppingStones in Relational Leadership” to provide organizations with a practical, grounded experience in leadership development. Leaping across the five “steppingstones”, leaders put current behaviours under the microscope to identify what may be holding them back, and then develop practical strategies to navigate change, connect the dots, and grow competitive advantage.

In her engaging keynotes, Birch begins by deeply researching her client’s organization and sector. She then combines case studies with her framework to support leaders in unlocking “turning point” moments to ignite new behaviour. This greater self-awareness forges stronger connective and collective intelligence throughout an organization.

Birch holds a PhD from Griffith University in Australia, and an MA from the University of Toronto where she researched how CEOs learn to lead, and how they learn to learn. She is also a Certified Association Executive.

Leadership Vision: Find Your How

Never before have so many of us had moments where we’ve said, “I didn’t see that coming” or “How could I have missed such a crucial piece of information?” As leaders respond to the impact of COVID-19, many lament, “leading is becoming increasingly impossible”.

But what if you could find “the possible” during these challenging times? The secret is taking a pause to better understand how you lead. When we understand how leadership happens, relationships improve, costly missteps are avoided, goals are more quickly achieved, and decisions made are evidence-based.

In this virtual presentation, you’ll explore a collaborative framework — the seven stepping stones of relational leadership. Audiences will learn:

  • How to enrich your leadership to unlock new behaviour.
  • How to collaborate to create greater alignment and nurture culture.
  • How to navigate change to awaken strategy.
  • How to foster higher purpose leadership to ignite commitment, trust, and accountability.
  • How to harness multiple perspectives to drive more evidence-based decisions.

By making the leap, you’ll lead relationally and as a result build community and grow collective team intelligence. Renewing our leadership is the most important contribution we can make during these moments. Help shape the kind of future organization you want to work in and the kind of world we all want to live in.

Changing the Change: Leading Complex Team Projects with Passion

Sometimes a deep question is worth more than a straight answer. Every year, around the world, over 70% of change management projects fail. The reason they fail isn’t because of a lack of sophisticated technology. It’s not because systems and processes aren’t in place. It’s because of flawed leadership and management.

At a time when we know more than ever about change and leadership, how can it be that these recurring challenges are costing organizations on almost every key performance indicator? The answer is simple: Leaders need to build more connective and collective intelligence into their behaviours.

The good news is that there is a positive way forward to bake this new awareness into complex teamwork. In this keynote, audiences will learn how to:

  • Recognize eight different kinds of workplace change, reframing their current challenges
  • Pose the five “how” questions to analyze and explore current behaviours and practices that are hindering performance
  • Master eight practices, optimizing these different forms of change to achieve results

When leaders harness change to work for them, they smash through silos, tackling dysfunctional dynamics, wicked problems and generating stronger performance outcomes.

Bullet Proof Your Leadership: Enter the Circle of Leadership Possibility

2019 was a record-breaking year for leaders leaving their organizations. The reasons for these departures are varied. From retirements and burn-out to poor execution and misconduct, many leaders lament, “it’s becoming impossible”. Getting to the heart of these challenges begins by entering the “Circle of Leadership Possibility” a new system of practical behaviours that will help you proactively meet today’s complex leadership demands.

This interactive keynote will bring new life to your leadership, building alignment and strengthening accountability:

  • Learn five key leadership disruptors, ways to spot, and overcome them
  • Enter the “Circle of Leadership Possibility” a series of practical exercises that tackle “the big 5” challenges in leadership today
  • Redefine your leadership story to bring new places of possibility to life

When you dive deeper into how your leadership has evolved, vision becomes clearer, more proactive and purposeful; teamwork is more aligned and innovative. By strengthening your commitment, leadership happens seamlessly, naturally and collaboratively.

Emergence: Reclaiming Your Leadership During and After COVID-19

As leaders pivot between “what was”, “what is”, and “what will be”, visions, missions, and values are suddenly being recast. Leaders are assessing where the biggest gaps exist, technically, functionally, and structurally. This means different kinds of behaviour and fresh ways of leading will be needed during all phases of the pandemic.

In this virtual presentation, leaders will explore the five stages of crisis evolution and the competencies required to confidently navigate them. Participants will assess their readiness to coach and lead in four critical capabilities including communications, cultural, leadership, and managerial competencies.

Stories from the trenches will be complemented by key learnings and insights of what organizations have done well and where they may find themselves stumbling. As leaders complete their personalized COVID-19 blueprint, they will mix and match key initiatives and strategies with the leadership competencies and behaviours required to succeed.

Keeping it Real: Building a Culture of Trust

The old adage that culture eats strategy for breakfast has morphed — culture now devours everything in its path. The best people, bullet-proof plans, and finely engineered processes have all fallen prey to its silent power.

How you respond to the responsibility of nurturing culture is one of the most important legacies of your leadership. From navigating moral mazes to making sound ethical decisions, your words and deeds are the promise of cultural cause-equity.

Forget about clichés of authenticity like “walking the talk” or “having an open door”, these will not engender future generations to your cause — today’s emerging leaders need to not only experience changed culture, they need to see themselves directly contributing to it. They want to be exemplars of higher purpose leadership.

This virtual presentation will explore a framework of five emancipators to help you earn, empower, and engender a culture of trust. Beginning with a deep dive into “authentic” behaviour, leaders will learn the seven stepping stones that prepare you to lead a healthier culture through enabling collective and connective intelligence.

Wabi Sabi: How Leadership Happens

Workshop Highlights

  • Explore a new way to develop your leadership through the Japanese concept of wabi sabi, which celebrates the beauty of imperfection, appreciation of impermanence and acceptance of the messiness of life, and learn how it will change the ways you practice leadership.
  • Gain a foundational knowledge of the “P3 Framework of Relational Leadership.”
  • Learn how the concept of collective team intelligence can deepen team awareness and appreciation of the behaviours that inspire your ever-evolving culture.
  • Explore six practical ways that leaders live the how to solve their biggest leadership challenges.


“Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything, That’s how the light gets in.”

When Leonard Cohen wrote these he likely wasn’t thinking about the current state of leadership. But his lines reveal a sense of appreciation of a different way to think about how we define leadership and how we develop leaders. The workshop begins by exploring the principles of wabi-sabi, the Japanese aesthetic that embraces the wisdom that comes from seeing beauty in impermance and incompleteness. Participants will examine how the concept translates into creating collective team intelligence or CTI. CTI deepens awareness and appreciation of behaviours that inspire our ever-evolving, messy and imperfect cultures. Through exploring relational practices, leaders will live the how of now learning six ways to address their biggest leadership challenges.

Five Key Principles of Relational Leadership

Workshop Highlights

  • Step into the evolution of leadership beginning with HOW leadership actually happens and the “P3 Kalideiscope of Change.”
  • Learn the five practices that free leaders to create and collaborate to solve organizational challenges.
  • Recognize the right different types of change impacting your workplace now and how you can overcome them.
  • Develop an understanding of how you now lead and harness the “P3 Framework of Relational Leadership” to gain self-awareness and become a 21st Century Leader.
  • Gain deep insight into leadership’s most under-used muscle — reflecting critically — and learn to how to exercise new perspectives to achieve your objectives faster.

Program Description
Working with the five key principles of relational leadership, you’ll be immersed in processes immediately applicable to your unique work environment. For groups of any size, this laboratory of leadership change is laced with the latest research, practical examples, and, most impactfully, your stories and experiences and those of your peers. Engaging with the framework will help you in the three key areas that keeps busy leaders up at night — problem solving, achieving strategic goals, and leadership development.

*Learning can be tailored to any industry or sector and can also be developed to complement your company’s strategic objectives.

Unlock Your Greatest Leadership Challenge: From Shatterpoint to On Point

Workshop Highlights

  • Ask the most pressing question — how leadership happens to unpack your greatest leadership challenge.
  • Learn how the concept of a shatterpoint can help solve your most pressing leadership issue.
  • Gain new insights into five practices to help you develop greater self-awareness, uphold ethics, make sense of our complex world, facilitate collective team intelligence, and guide positive outcomes.
  • Explore the six shatterpoint questions that facilitate deep questioning about our leadership beliefs and challenges.

It’s a well-known fact that when we know how leadership happens, we can change ourselves. Yet we spend so much time focusing on who is leading, what they are leading, and why they are leading that we often don’t have time to ask the most important question in leadership today: How does leadership happen? This workshop will help participants to appreciate a new way of leading and addressing leadership challenges, by leading relationally. Participants will be asked to bring their toughest leadership challenge and will work on it throughout the program as they learn how to apply the five key “hows”. Collaborative team work will support participants to develop innovative solutions to their challenge in practical ways that build culture and new understanding.

Relational Team Leadership @ Work: Smashing Silos to Build Collaboration

Light a fire under your team by learning how to successfully navigate the intersection of team dynamics, strategy, organizational goals, and sectoral forces to achieve performance results.

We’ll examine five key questions relational leaders ask, work with shatterpoints (no turning back moments of change), and harness them to improve team dynamics and create greater productivity.

Rounding out this program, leaders will go beyond traditional old school “storytelling” and “story selling” and move towards story making.

Participants will examine the essential properties of story making, co-creation techniques, and methods to identify and harness pivot points that lead positive change. The four key processes of story making will be explored including: penetrating context; appreciating power and politics; guiding, coaching and monitoring conversations; and developing holistic team meeting strategies. Drawing from their own, and shared experiences, leaders will collaborate to create seven different types of organizational stories.

This session will provide team leaders with hands-on skills to facilitate collaboration within and across teams while achieving results, developing deeper community and building culture.

VIRTUAL WORKSHOP: Leading During Crisis: The Stepping Stones Leadership Journey

This virtual workshop is an intensive three-part immersive online experience designed to help leaders make the transition from their lives before COVID-19 to the new world they now find themselves.

The program is designed to create leadership breakthroughs, inspire innovation, and support leaders working through this disruptive change. Participants will explore the seven stepping stones to transition their current leadership responsibilities to a place where they co-create a renewed future state.

Content can be tailored to fit a client’s needs as part of a comprehensive three-part package or individual, one-hour sessions.

Part 1 – Step Across: Leading in Crisis
This one-hour virtual workshop begins by exploring how much leadership has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Participants will be introduced to the five stages of crisis and will assess their readiness to navigate these stages through four critical competencies — communications, cultural, leadership, and managerial.

We’ll move through the 10 most critical moments individuals and organizations are facing at this time and the most important elements to be paying attention to. Next, leaders will be asked to identify and discuss their biggest leadership challenges. This work will form the foundations for part two of this workshop series.

Participants will learn:

  • How to manage the impact of the pandemic crisis on leadership and management.
  • Current leadership practices and key areas to enhance performance.
  • The 10 most critical moments of leadership to determine where focus is required.
  • The four crisis competencies necessary to ride the waves of change during crisis.

Part 2 – Step Up: The Power of the Pause
This one-hour virtual workshop begins where part one left off. Leaders will further build out challenges identified in part one. Through feedback and encouragement from colleagues, they will create a folio of innovative practices.

Participants will then explore relational leadership and how to make informed decisions through the power of the pause. Mastering the moments between making a decision and taking action can mean all the difference in today’s leadership environment.

Participants will learn:

  • How to harness the relational framework to build self-awareness and new behaviours.
  • Insights into new ways to appreciate and engage teams.
  • How to facilitate collective and connective intelligence among peers, colleagues, and team members.

Part 3 – Step Out: Master Class to Harness Change
This one-hour virtual workshop will bring together the key insights of part one and two by exploring new practices and processes to help leaders find new ways to learn and process complex information. With these insights, leaders are better able to harness strategy, collaborate with others, and achieve performance results.

Participants will work with a personalized system to map out current opportunities, challenges, and organizational priorities through visualization exercises.

Participants will learn:

  • Relational approaches to coaching teams in order to build stronger alignment and accountability.
  • Change leadership practices through the identification of fast-moving global trends.
  • The eight different types of change and processes to respond.
  • How to revitalize ways to learn by seeing through the eyes, hearts, and minds of others.