April 19, 2015+61 2 9968 7822supporting performance
We lift performance
Individuals. Teams. Entire organisations.
Individual performance effectiveness
Profound development experiences for business leaders, sales professionals and thought leaders.
High performance teamwork
Stop wasting time. Provide the conditions for teams to perform to their potential.
Dramatic Organisational Development
Harness every opportunity to lift the performance of the entire organization.

Less drama. More Performance.


Performance is a common term in business.  People and Performance has become the name for what used to be Human Resources.  Markets assess the value of a corporation based on it’s performance.  Leaders are assessed on their achievement of performance indicators. Performance management systems and conversations are intended to get the best out of employees.

The investment in improving performance across the corporate world is massive.  Funds are expended on communication, training, coaching, conferences, off-sites, motivational speakers, incentive schemes, systems, processes and software with the expectation that something good is going to happen; that there will be a reasonable return on this investment.

There are many examples of this investment achieving a poor return; dull presentations, inert leadership, training that fails to stick, conferences where all people care about is when the bar opens…  Our conclusion?  There are lot of people making decisions who don’t really understand what drives performance.

There are examples where the investment delivers.  You see a lift in the performance of the business, measured by the things that matter; profit, brand perception, sustainability, safety, social and environmental benefit.

Defining what works, why it works and then making it happen… this is our obsession and our expertise.

Our method?  We apply the insights, disciplines and skills of over 3000 years of dramatic art and practice in combination with evidence-based research and the latest discoveries in neuroscience.  And then we create a simple, accessible and impactful human experience; training, media or a conference experience.

Does that work?  Read on.

Intrapersonal drama

This is the stuff that is going on in your head; the conversations you have with yourself, the self talk, the inner monologue. Sometimes you are aware of it, as you may be as you read these words. Sometimes it’s an unconscious thought process laden with bias and entrenched thinking styles. Either way,  it drives your behaviour; the quality of your intrapersonal drama impacts on the next level.

Interpersonal drama

This is the stuff that goes on between people; the conversations, the presentations, the negotiations. It is the most visible level as we can see and hear this happening in the moment. In a constructive interpersonal drama there is trust, authenticity, goodwill and accountability. When these qualities are lacking, performance suffers. This impacts on the next level.

Organisational drama

This is about the narrative of the organisation or the group; the performance of the business as it is reported to the market, the characteristics of the brand, the overall customer experience, the reputation in the community. Shaped as it is by the sum of the dramas beneath, we want this to be a never-ending story of success and fulfilment.

Drama reflects human interaction.

Looking at business through a dramatic lens reveals how individual thoughts, beliefs and behaviours create the collective performance.

It show clearly what works and what doesn’t.

Corporate Dramatist and coup Managing Director

We see the world through a dramatic lens


We began as theatre and television professionals. Since 2001, we have successfully translated the insights, skills and disciplines of dramatic art to offer practical development pathways for people, teams and organisations.  Our experience spans banking, mining, pharmaceuticals, professional services, emergency services, utilities, education, agribusiness and the education sector.

We believe in evidence-based development methodologies and are known for injecting intelligence, creative energy and life into any engagement we undertake.  Read Bios.

  • David McCubbin
    David McCubbinManaging Director and Corporate Dramatist

    World leading Corporate Dramatist, David is a consultant, facilitator, trainer and performance coach.  Since graduating from NIDA in 1988, David worked with distinction as an actor, writer, director and producer. He won a TV Logie award in 1990 for the mini-series Jackaroo and has been instrumental in several ground-breaking theatrical endeavours.  David has pioneered innovative frameworks for understanding business relationships and communication. He has directed thousands of business presentations and supported dozens of organisational development programs.  He is an inspirational and engaging change agent who uses solid business logic, creative, technical and organisational skills while exuding a passion for excellent communication.

  • Annie McCubbin
    Annie McCubbinDirector, Master Trainer and Coach

    Annie has successfully blended a career as a professional actress, corporate trainer and coach. She has 25 years experience training and facilitating in personal and professional development area, after extensive experience in television and theatre as an actor and director; notably A Country Practice, Love is a Four Letter Word and Mum’s the Word. Annie is a particularly intuitive and skilful coach.  She helps people get to the heart of what drives their performance at work. She is particularly interested in helping others communicate with clarity and authenticity and has an unerring instinct for giving people what they need to unlock their potential.

    • Oliver Wenn
      Oliver WennAssociate Dramatist

      Oliver is a brilliant actor.  Beyond this he has expanded his skills and experience as a producer and entrepreneur.  He produced the sci-fi pop fusion musical Risky Lunar Love  and founded The Hub Studio, a vocational training centre for professional actors on Sydney’s Broadway.  This real world business experience makes Oliver’s performances in professional role-plays and corporate drama utterly convincing.  His work with coup includes many engagements as characters in banks, law firms, government and utilities.

      Our Process

      01 / DISCOVERY

      We engage leaders and authorities in the business to establish the current commercial and cultural context, and most importantly the primary business needs that must be met.  We then look to the future and agree on goals and aspirations, and the reasons for achieving these things.  We confirm the resources, the available time and the level of involvement that our clients and business partners want to invest.

      02 / DESIGN

      Using internationally recognised methodologies, our professional and organisational development programs are designed with the target audience at the centre of the design process and a clear vision of the desired future state. We integrate what we discover about the mindset and capability of the people involved, with the cultural realities of the business and the need for the process to work and be sustained within business-as-usual operations.

      03 / DEVELOPMENT

      This is where we build the tools that create the experience; tailored coaching, training and mentoring programs; instructional videos and presentations; conference schedules and activities. We welcome clients to join us in the development process as much, or as little, as they can manage. Maximum collaboration yields better results, but we also know you have other work too.

      04 / DELIVERY

      An appetite for impact is in our DNA. We approach the moment of delivery with an absolute commitment to making the experience as engaging, instructional and memorable as possible. Every conference is an opening night. Every screening of a video is a world premiere. Every conversation is a creative improvisation. Every training session is an opportunity for a major break-through. 
      Train people to perform
      Active development experiences with immediate practical applications.
      Produce media that delivers
      Bottle the experience. Deliver it anywhere.
      Stage conferences to remember
      Keep people engaged by design and execution. Entertain them. Challenge them. Empower them.
      Optimise your investment in Human Synergistics
      Behaviour. Leadership. Culture. How it looks in your business. We bring the styles to life so people get it.

      We create customised experiences that engage and move people; that provide knowledge, capability and the resources to perform.


      Our engagements are successful because they are designed and developed for purpose. Yet there are some common solutions that may provide an immediate match for what your people or your organisation needs.  Review this list and let’s start a conversation.


      It is all about the narrative.  To engage and move an audience emotionally, as well as rationally, tell a story. Whether it is a documentary with people sharing their perspectives, thoughts and feelings, or a drama with character, plot, and action, you will have a far greater impact if you harness the power of storytelling.   With experience gained from hundreds of corporate media production projects, the coup team will shape a narrative that will speak to your audience and stay with them, continuing to deliver your message long after the show is over.  More…

      What media can do for you:-

      •  Describe and project your desired culture
      •  Demonstrate desired skills and behaviours
      •  Bring a conference theme to life
      •  Humanise e-learning
      •  Create clear context for strategic conversations
      •  Provide clarity for new employees at induction
      •  Capture internal thought leadership.

      See what we’re talking about.  

      Download the coup media production brief from here.


      We design and deliver leadership development programs based on a firm understanding of the context in which the leader is operating and the outcomes that they, through the people they lead, are to achieve. This context keeps everyone honest and focused.

      Focus areas include:-

      • Presentation coaching and direction
      • Team leadership strategies
      • Performance coaching strategies
      • Media training
      • Speechwriting
      • Making sense of Human Synergistics LSI 1 & 2.


      Role-play can be an extremely effective tool for teaching, developing and assessing professional communication skills such as sales, consulting and negotiation skills. In all forms of drama there is a marked difference between good acting and bad. Chef factors that affect this are the calibre of the performer, the integrity of the script and the environment in which the performance takes place. The same can be said of professional role-play. We only provide excellent actors with a firm understanding of business concepts and language, and we work with you to ensure they are equipped with the preparation to present a credible and compelling character.  More…


      How can you capture a performance plan that covers all the complexity and dynamism of modern business?  How can you define not just the capabilities and mindset required for a role, but also place them into the context in which these things combine to produce results?  The answer is a coup High Performance Playbook ®.

      No professional sporting team takes the field without a game plan.  No company of actors takes the stage without a script.  No longer accept the absence of this kind of clarity in professional roles.

      A High Performance Playbook ®, designed and developed in collaboration with your business owners and internal discipline owners, will provide practical benchmarks for performance and achievement.

      The benefits of investing in a High Performance Playbook:-

      • People in professional roles take greater responsibility for their development
      • The business harnesses the power of people wanting to achieve mastery
      • Confidence grows.  Momentum builds
      • Performance management conversations are grounded and thus more effective
      • Inductees get up and running faster.


      Consider the benefits of approaching the design of your next conference/offiste with the skills and disciplines of an experienced playwright who also happens to understand the corporate world. The conference experience itself is after all much like a theatrical event.   Why not make it memorable and impactful through the deft application of theatrical principles and practices that have been shaped over centuries?

      If the event requires a facilitator or master of ceremonies to provide energy, structure and purpose, we can provide that also.

      Some things to consider:-

      • Would a video sent prior to the event get people in the right headspace?
      • Is there a coherent arc of ideas and experiences?
      • Have you built in time for attendees to digest, share or respond to the content?
      • What are the priority take-away idea or actions?
      • What follow-up will maximise ROI?
      • How will you evaluate ROI?

      The experiences we create help answer the question; “what works?”

      What works to increase sales, customer satisfaction or contract renewals?

      What works to ensure employee safety and deliver community dividends?

      What works to enhance the brand, build the share price and create a sustainable, desirable future?


      +61 2 9975 7822


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