Case Study

North Queensland Bulk Ports

NQBP manages Ports in the Great Barrier Reef. MCC built a world class port strategy & scorecard with NQBP leaders whilst they had 4 different CEOs in a 6 month period.


NQBP’s role is to increase commerce and trade and improve efficiency for its large coal and general ports in North Queensland. The challenge for NQBP was to build a strategy that would engage its competing stakeholders of coal producers, freight operators, environmental activists, and government and regulatory bodies to support commercially successful and sustainable ports in multiple pristine marine environments. A particular operational challenge in this period was the re-introduction of dredging of the Great Barrier Reef to improve port access. In addition, NQBP had been formed from a merger of 2 separate organisations and these were still operating as separate silos. All of these challenges were exacerbated by the major upheaval in the leadership of NQBP with four CEOs over a six-month period.


Mel Cowan Consulting worked with NQBP in Strategy Development, Scorecard Development and building an effective Leadership and Culture to deliver the NQBP Strategy.
After working with the Executive Team to develop the NQBP Strategy, Mel worked with the Senior Leaders to develop meaningful Scorecards, aligned with the Strategy, to ensure that NQBP made the same commitment to executing the strategy as they did to developing it. This resulted in increased engagement, with each staff member able to demonstrate how their KPIs link to their leader’s KPIs and how they personally contribute to delivering the strategy. Mel also focussed on building internal capability to ensure the processes set up to deliver the Strategy were sustainable. He provided intensive coaching to internal change agents to enable them to lead the development and execution phases of the Strategy. Mel also coached each of the Executive Team and Senior Leaders to ensure their leadership style supported the Strategy.


Mel Cowan’s involvement with NQBP led to a major improvement in constructive co-operation in the Executive Team which delivered real performance benefits for the business. The dramatic improvement in leadership behaviour was recognised by every Executive Team member and Senior Leader at a recent review of the Strategy implementation. The Strategy work that Mel facilitated with NQBP led to the development of a world leading strategy for Ports that is being replicated nationally and globally. The feedback from Stakeholders, Customers and Staff has been universally supportive.


“Mel worked with NQBP in a very challenging context whilst we were attempting to build alignment between competing stakeholders to build successful and sustainable port facilities in the Great Barrier Reef marine environment. This was all occurring during a time of significant leadership change where we had four separate CEOs in a six-month period. Mel’s work with the leadership teams at the time was the glue that kept the alignment and focus on the strategic agenda and allowed us to deliver a world class port strategy. I would recommend Mel to any CEO who really wants to take on the challenge of realising the potential of their organisation as well as themselves as leaders.”

Dr. Rochelle McDonald
CEO of North Queensland Bulk Ports