Haydn Thomas – Intelligent Disobedience – the difference between good and GREAT leaders

Intelligent Disobedience is the ability to successfully counter the directions of management. To challenge, pushback and make suggestions that defend the integrity of your projects against the expectations of your stakeholder.

Like the seeing-eye dog training environment that embraces “Intelligent disobedience” to train their dogs to “protect and ensure the safety of their masters, managers need to know how to “disobey their masters” as a means of “saving the business”.

Intelligent disobedience requires courage, solid presentation skills and political awareness in addition to insight on the project. It also requires a sense of balance brought forth with a sense of humor – after all you are comparing yourself to a dog as a means to be successful! This session is fun, informative and will provide you with an alternative way of looking at the challenges you face as a leader.

Learning objectives:

  • Examine methods for proposing potentially unpopular directions or opinions
  • Discuss approaches for successfully dealing with senior managers and stakeholders
  • Learn how to craft compelling arguments to garner business support
  • Propose a decision making process for when you should “bend the rules” or alter processes – leveraging common sense over common processes on an exception basis
  • Find out how you can use intelligent disobedience to save the organisation from itself! (And help your perception in the process!)
  • Give yourself a chance to laugh at the expense of our profession!



Haydn Thomas – Director/Practice lead of Mindavation

Haydn has over 20 years of real world experience in front line management, portfolio, program and project management, business analysis and business consulting. He has worked extensively with large international and domestic banks, government organisations, solution providers and small start-up companies across Australia, New Zealand and North America to define and implement structure, business solutions, leadership, change management and efficiencies.

Haydn’s excellent creative direction, passion for quality, delivery of promises and professional approach, together with outstanding communication skills and the ability to influence decisions, provide the basis for delivering successful outcomes.

In recent years, Haydn has been following his passion of sharing his experiences through course facilitation, consulting and international speaking engagements.