The Essence of Poppy

By Dr. Hannah Macdougall & Dr. Cecily Macdougall

It is not what happens in life but how you manage it!

Buy on Amazon
Buy on Under The Sun


Poppy encounters challenges that many of us may confront in life, both professionally and personally. She suffers loss, stress and anxiety, anger, guilt, silence and withdrawal and begins to sink into burnout and depression.

Chaucer, her mentor, provides Poppy with the pathways to counter negative forces in her life. With the understanding provided by Chaucer, Poppy learns how to build mental strength and core resiliency, and goes on to overcome negative forces on multiple fronts.

Continually using the pathways to build her capabilities, Poppy grows into a very positive, strong and resilient leader.

About Dr. Cecily Macdougall

Dr Cecily Macdougall has been a practitioner, thought leader, author and researcher in strategic change for more than 20 years.  She specialised in transformation;  driving strategy to execution and building team, organisation and individual resiliency.  Her doctorate from the University of Liverpool UK was in Change Leadership, from a social psychology perspective as well as an IT perspective.   She has a diverse background in health, education, IT and business.  She has created and commercialised several products, services and businesses and has held many senior roles and Board positions.

I started and finished your book in 24 hours.  I laughed, I cried and I went on a journey with you!  The model is fantastic!  Excellent tool to use in so many situations.

Carla Loveless

What an insightful book on examples of the poor mindsets and stupidity of some in corporate Australia, although this could apply anywhere.  We should do better as a human race.  Change for the better should be embraced and driven through, not derailed by those who don’t know and don’t know they don’t know, or who wilfully white-ant for their own selfish ends. An important book to stimulate thought and discussion.

Chas Shinkfield, FIEAust, MBA, B.Eng (Civil)

It was very interesting and can see so many intersections.  I think I would call it organizational resiliency.  Poppy had a vast range of difficulties to surmount in her personal and work life.  Colin came along and fulfilled Poppy’s life.

Can’t put the book down.  I love the way you have interwoven change management and leadership lessons.  It’s a text book in story format. Congratulations, I loved it.  Brilliant!!  I have shared it with my daughter who loved it too!

Kerry Kirk

It was very interesting and can see so many intersections.  I think I would call it organizational resiliency.  Poppy had a vast range of difficulties to surmount in her personal and work life.  Colin came along and fulfilled Poppy’s life.

Father David Head

Just amazing!

Johanna Barker

Awesome work!  Poppy is some woman!


Couldn’t put it down. Gave me shivers re organisational change. I recall the change in hospitals in the 1990’s and it was brutal. It took years to recover morale.


A great story of courage, resilience and mentorship. A very enjoyable read.


The Essence of Poppy” by Dr Cecily Macdougall and Dr. Hannah Macdougall is a captivating story that encapsulates a realistic sense of management, self-realisation and is a pivoting narrative with lessons that can be learnt both inside and outside the workplace.!” (for full review on LinkedIn click here)

Jason Sekula

Ask a question about the Model
Send us feedback