themaygr_ Natalie McDonagh, PhD | The May Group
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Natalie McDonagh, PhD

Natalie’s deepest wish is to see more of us working to make our minds more open, agile, independent, expansive and, most of all, more curious, creative and compassionate.

Having enjoyed a high calibre Art + Design education (Kingston University, UK) that cultivated and celebrated diversity of mind Natalie knows the creative arts have much to offer in making this wish a reality.

In 1999 Natalie established McDonagh Design, an experimental practice dedicated to cultivating capacities of mind, particularly in organisations where she had experienced first-hand the detrimental impact of unconscious bias, and saw its pervasive, stifling effects on individual and organisational potential.

Natalie’s approach embodies a potent blend of knowledge drawn from visual and performing arts; design; neuroscience; psychology; philosophy and meditation. The resulting learning methods and tools for the mind are able to engage whole brain and body intelligence, enabling people to examine their ways of seeing, thinking and acting in fresh and useful ways – novel ways that lead to insight and inventive action.

Natalie services and supports independent and in-house organisational learning and development practitioners. Amongst her clients are: CSIRO; NAB; Clayton Utz; The Global Leadership Practice; Insium Consulting; Conversant Asia Pacific; Transpire Organisational Development; Seed Consulting; Melbourne Business School; Stockland; QBE.

The McDonagh-May Method

In early 2012 Natalie was delighted to accept Deborah May’s invitation to pair their respective expertise and develop a method to effectively address unconscious bias in organisations and create inclusive culture.

Natalie’s doctoral research shows that conventional learning methods inadvertently use the wrong tools for the job, producing less than optimal outcomes and poor return on investment in cultural change – emphasising the need for a fresh approach.

The original method resulting from Natalie and Deborah’s collaboration is custom designed for the complex and tricky job of recognising bias (in our selves and others), developing the necessary personal presence and leadership skills to create inclusive culture.

Inclusion is a felt, embodied, nonverbal experience – something we know but cannot easily say. The McDonagh-May Method broadly identifies five intelligences necessary for learning to recognise biases (in ourselves and others); identify and implement useful action; be accountable; successfully create more inclusive workplace culture. Pivotal in amongst these is MQ Mindfulness which is fully integrated into our method.

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