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Collaboration in Top Teams: A ‘PROPHETable’ Conversation with Katherine Tulpa

Decorative image - multicultural team
Katherine Tulpa, featured speaker at the Leadership Coaching Conference “Crossing Boundaries”,  has a fascination with different cultures, and finds both personal and professional joy in working with executive teams that operate on a global scale.

QUT is welcoming Katherine Tulpa as a featured speaker for the Leadership Coaching Conference on 22-23 November. I recently sat down with Katherine near her home in Kings Cross in London.  We talked about why she decided to travel down under from London to talk at the Conference. The theme of ‘Crossing Boundaries’ appealed – given her global roles and the challenges of doing business in the thick of Brexit and trade wars.

Katherine Tulpa, Global CEO of the Association for Coaching

Katherine is a pioneer and maverick in coaching. She is the Global CEO of the Association for Coaching, a leading professional coaching body, and Executive Director of Wisdom8. Katherine role-models, ‘collaborative-based’ leadership, and specializes in cross-cultural and global/top team coaching, Katherine’s awards include Coach/Mentor of the Year, by Coaching at Work. She spans the gap between research and practice – writing, speaking and teaching, and contributing on the Editorial Board for Coaching, an International Journal of Theory, Research, and Practice.

Katherine has a fascination with different cultures, and she finds both personal and professional joy in working with executive teams that operate on a global scale. Katherine’s contribution at the Conference will be to share her experiences, including with using the PROPHET team profiling instrument. This advanced tool looks at personal motivation and decision-making styles, and links these to roles across a typical business cycle. The impact of using Prophet can be profound. Katherine recounted a story of one executive team in the financial services sector in London that has retired to an English pub after their session. The CEO spotted the previously resistant Financial Reporting Executive chatting on a sofa with the Actuary (traditional rivals who rarely spoke) They were laughing and sharing their reports over a pint. Crossing this interpersonal and professional boundary at the individual level opened up new possibilities for collaboration between their respective departments across the organisation.

In our conversation, we discussed how many leadership development approaches and instruments tend to group people in the middle – by design or default. Katherine delights in outliers – of working with the exceptions. PROPHET is designed to embrace outliers. This is something we noticed in using the instrument in the Graduate School of Business coaching team. Our little team included too many ‘Evangelists’, and our work with PROPHET highlighted the value of our Coordinator. After discussions with Katherine and PROPHET founder Ben Stone, instead of feeling like an outsider, she felt understood and valued in her role. We realised even more clearly the value of difference.

PROPHET explores three insights = Individual, Team and Business.
PROPHET explores three insights = Individual, Team and Business.

Originally from Boston, Katherine has an entrepreneurial spirit and loves business. PROPHET explores three insights = Individual, Team and Business. This helps her to go deeper with individuals, to generate power in teams, and to hit hard at the commercial bottom line. PROPHET aligns with her natural inclination to work across the business cycle of Create, Design, Operate and Improve.

Katherine mixes energy, innovation and pragmatism, underpinned by a strong values framework. She has overseen the growth of the Association for Coaching from a small UK based body to a global coaching industry influencer. Recently, she led a taskforce to establish Leader-as-Coach accreditation pathways for managers who are using advanced coaching skills in their leadership practice – a focus in our upcoming Conference. I look forward to introducing you to Katherine at our Conference.

For more information about the Leadership Coaching Conference “Crossing Boundaries” go to:

Crossing Boundaries Leadership Coaching Conferenci


Geoff is a highly experienced coach, educator and author who has coached and facilitated leadership development across many industries and countries. Until 2019, Geoff was Director of Leadership Coaching at the QUT Graduate School of Business. He now divides his contributions between different projects and organisations. Geoff’s research and coaching includes exploring how paradoxical thinking assists people to engage with complex organisational challenges, particularly in culturally diverse contexts. In leadership development, Geoff’s focus is on introducing coaching as a mindset and methodology including the eFIRE coaching approach. Geoff is the Australia-New Zealand Field Mentor for Ford Motor Company’s global Consumer Experience Movement. This work gives special attention to shaping customer centric cultures. Geoff holds a PhD from the Australian National University and is Adjunct Professor with the QUT Graduate School of Business in Brisbane. He is accredited in a wide range of leadership development instruments. Geoff is part of the Association for Coaching Global Advisory Panel.

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