The board

Nicholas S Barnett BEc, CA, FAICD
Nicholas S Barnett BEc, CA, FAICD
Managing Director and CEO

Nicholas Barnett has been a director, business leader and consultant for over 30 years. He is chief executive officer of Insync, a former partner of KPMG, non-executive chairman of Ansvar Insurance and a non-executive director of Mission Australia. He co-founded Board Benchmarking and Gender WorxHe is also a Fellow of the  Australian Institute of Company Directors  (FAICD) and a member of the Australian Human Resource Institute's (AHRI) Research Advisory Panel.

Nicholas is sought after as an expert media commentator in relation to board and director effectiveness, organisation culture, risk and gender diversity. He is passionate about assisting boards and senior executives to become more effective, helping them make their organisations better places to work, more productive and profitable. He recently released his second book titled, "7 Business Habits That Drive High Performance". He released his first book, "GPS for your Organisation: how to energise your employees and build sustainable high performance" in late 2011.

He has carried out in excess of 100 evaluations of the effectiveness of boards, committees, CEOs, leadership teams and risk culture reviews for several banks, insurance companies, service companies, super funds, water authorities, schools, hospitals, airport and treasury corporations, other government agencies and many not-for-profit organisations. He regularly facilitates strategy days, retreats, vision, purpose and values workshops and difficult conversations, particularly around leadership and diversity.

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Des McGowan
Des McGowan
Executive Director and Founder

Des plays a leading role in ensuring Insync's continued growth. Des brings a unique mix of understanding organisational effectiveness, strategic leadership, multi-industry networks and strong interpersonal relationships.

Des is passionate about ensuring that
Insync's culture is understood and adopted and about ensuring that relationships with clients are long-term and mutually rewarding. He has held proprietary and senior advisory roles in strategic human resources within government and industry for more than 30 years.

Des has undertaken substantial international and Australian organisational research focusing on organisation alignment. In 2003 he developed the world's first web based alignment diagnostic tool -
Insync Surveys' Organisation Alignment Survey, now the Alignment and Engagement Survey. Des' expertise covers logistics, government, professional services, education, health and aviation across Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, China, Canada and UK.

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James Garriock
James Garriock
Executive Director

James is deeply committed to helping organisations become more effective, working with executives of a range of client organisations on improving staff, board and customer engagement.

James' undergraduate qualifications are in politics and psychology, and he holds a Masters degree in Environmental Management. He combines these with considerable consulting and leadership experience to provide value and insight to his clients. James' particular passions are water, NRM, utilities, governance, leadership and employee engagement. 

From 2005 to 2012 James was responsible for the company's performance, firstly as COO and since 2007 as CEO. Prior to his involvement with Insync Surveys James worked at KPMG Consulting. He also spent more than a year working as an Australian Volunteer Abroad in Solomon Islands, and three years riding a motorcycle around the world. 

James' community involvement includes the facilitation of the Ignite program; a leadership intensive for high potential leaders from Leadership Victoria. He has also participated in the CEO Sleepout, a homelessness awareness raising event for St Vinnies. James is involved with the Melbourne Forum, CEDA and the Australian Water Association.

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