Our Story

Learn how the Agile Change Leadership Institute (ACLI) was created and discover the milestones that have shaped our game-changing organisation.

Our Story Bg Text
2017 Book Launch

An Unexpected Connection

Back in 2017, Lena Ross and Jen Frahm, who had both worked at NAB, reconnected over a cup of coffee. When they realised that they were both releasing books for similar audiences at virtually the same time, they decided to combine forces rather than compete. The result? One of Melbourne’s most memorable joint book launch events to date, now archived on YouTube. This collaboration was just the beginning of a long journey for Lena and Jen where they would combine their expertise in change and agility, harnessing their capabilities to enrich the industry.

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Forming Lasting Partnerships

The book launch collaboration quickly evolved into a successful partnership. After making a mark with her book, Lena was approached by the Chief of Staff of VMware’s HR function to support in educating and infusing agility and change capability into their HR Leadership teams. This became the design and facilitation of a three-day internal conference. With such a large group, Lena invited Jen to co-facilitate the large group of HR leaders across the globe. The conference was a roaring success validating Jen and Lena’s plans to do something bigger.

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ACLI Is Born

The following year, Jen, Lena and their new team launched the Agile Change Leadership Institute with its first certificate program – The Agile Change Leadership Certificate. This was quickly followed by a workshop for change managers at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) by the end of the year. The team were perfectly poised for an exciting year of in-person workshops, but fate had other plans.

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Pivoting In A Pandemic

The outbreak of COVID-19 shifted the focus of the newly-created organisation dramatically. More critically, it also unearthed new challenges for businesses. In the face of the pandemic, the need for leaders to understand and embrace change was more crucial than ever. Leadership Disrupted was launched, and introduced to BayWa R.E, an innovative renewable energy company.

With in-person workshops stalled, the content that the team had prepared for change managers was transformed into a book titled “The Agile Change Playbook”. Launched in August of 2020, the book immediately filled a market gap and was a remarkable success. Jen and Lena wrote, produced, published and distributed this throughout the long lockdowns in Melbourne, never once meeting in person.

Also in 2020, the team at ACLI expanded. The company brought on Customer Service Consultant Dan Paulet, who played a pivotal role in establishing the organisation’s Mighty Network communities. Mighty Network serves as an online platform for communities where alumni can share insights and ask questions.

That same year, Melissa Dark joined the team as a faculty member, accredited assessor and delivery partner for the public sector, allowing ACLI to expand its capacity and roll out a cohort of the Agile Change Leadership Certificate with the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

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Evolution, Expansion & Accolades

By 2021, ACLI had transitioned to Teachable, streamlining access to their courses. The company also launched the online “Agile Change Manager Certificate” program, a significant achievement given the ongoing logistical challenges that the pandemic caused.

2021 also saw the organisation breaking international barriers. ACLI delivered tailored training courses to the APS bank in Malta. Their offering, based on the agile mindset, was a huge success and laid the foundation for ACLI to develop a micro-credential course on this topic that would be available to a much wider audience.

The year ended on a high with the news that the Agile Change Playbook was a finalist in the Australian Business Book Awards: Best Management and HR Book – the judges said it stood out as one of the best!

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Go Big or Go Home

In 2022 Jen and Lena were joined by Julieanne Dimitrios in order to deliver a large-scale real-time version of “Change is Everybody’s Business” for 600 managers from the NBN. This program was a resounding success with subsequent waitlists for each month’s new offering.

Later that year they launched the Agile Mindset Micro-credential, in order to support enterprises with a foundation training offering to help support agile transformation.

2022 was also the year they launched the Agile Mindset Scorecard, which has now been completed by over 2000 people all around the world. This was quickly followed by the Agile Change Manager Scorecard.

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A New Era For ACLI

In 2023, the recognition for ACLI has continued. The organisation was appointed to global tech company Culture Amp’s partner ecosystem. Two more scorecards were also launched. This enabled businesses to assess the cumulative cost of poorly implemented change, and benchmark Agile Change Leadership capability.

Today, ACLI is committed to helping leaders embrace and navigate highly disruptive change. We want to equip change managers for agile workplaces. As organisations continue to grapple with evolving challenges, the ACLI consistently renews its content and offerings, aligning them with the ever-changing needs and aspirations of the industry.

ACLI is determined to maintain its foothold as one of the world’s leading organisations when it comes to contemporary change management, modern change leadership and business agility, embracing new forms of collaboration, innovation, and resilience.

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Frequently Asked Question

How does ACLI stay updated with the latest change management thinking?

Our dedicated instructors are industry professionals and lifelong learners. This allows them to keep an ear to the ground and pass the latest knowledge on to our students. Our team also participates in industry events, workshops, and collaborations to make sure we’re always ahead of the game.

ACLI was established in 2019. Over the last few years, we’ve been dedicated to equipping leaders, future leaders and change managers with the tools they need for success.

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