Zena Bernacca


I began my career within the health service with an interest in creating new ways of working as the complexity of modern life began to make its impact forcefully on public services.

Since then, I have worked across sectors.  Throughout, developing people has been a passion and delight to me, coupled with a curiosity in how we ‘manifest our future’ – never more fascinating nor more urgent than our current circumstances of how we attend to the planetary challenges that face us whilst ensuring we pay attention to our own safety and resourcefulness (emotional, cultural, spiritual, intellectual).

People who inspired me early on were Charles Handy and Tom Peters followed by my mentors including John Heron, Mario van Boeschoten, Will Schutz, and Bryce Taylor; my colleagues at Oasis as well as clients, participants and other peers I have worked with over the last 20 years.

From 2011-2014 I worked at Chief Executive Director (CED) of the Hospice Africa Uganda (HAU) complex comprising 3 hospices; an Institute of higher learning; International programmes and oral liquid morphine manufacture for the whole of Uganda.  This contract was to ensure infrastructure is fit for purpose and prepare the organisation for local leadership as well as scale up the oral morphine production from serving patients of HAU alone, to the whole country and to international specifications.

This was a joyous and challenging contract which demanded the use of all my past learning as well as the opportunity of a steep learning curve; working in a multi-cultural environment with major change processes underway and embedding a facilitative leadership style that was ultimately able; with an additional OD and mentoring contract beyond my CED role, to launch a 3-person ‘Chief Executive Team ‘ approach.


The inspiration that working with people gives me continues unabated; working with the questions that clients bring, I continue to deepen my understanding and appreciation of Whole Person Learning; the approach that underpins my work.

My work range includes; organisational development, design and delivery of development programmes to Master’s level; initiating Co-operative Inquiries, as well as Executive Development.

 Executive Development

Working with individuals effectively has to start with the building of trust.

Unless we can create a genuine feeling of understanding and being understood; challenges, hopes and fears or concerns do not get aired.

Once trust is built, the building of resilience and resourcefulness is a usual outcome to any creative mentoring or coaching, in addition to specific goals brought by the individual.