Our People


Trailblazer Associates are professionals and experts in their fields of Organisation Development, Organisation Change, Large and Small Group Facilitation, and Graphic Recording.

Our Principal:

Noel E K Tan, Certified Professional Facilitator

Chair (2016-2017) of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) Global Board
MEd (Research Methods)
MEd (Educational Management)
MSc (Strategic Studies)

As a group process consultant/designer/facilitator & mediator since 2000, Noel’s best work is in melding Organisational Systems with the Human Spirit; enabling leaders, their organisations, and communities to thrive in times of Disruptive Change. He believes that key to this transformation is in changing the very way organisations and leaders dialogue about and do change. Thus, Noel partners clients to build collaborative capacity by renewing their common purpose and shared vision, and developing co-creative paths and adaptive strategies that come with clarity of hindsight, insight, and foresight.

Operating across the domains of Strategy, Leadership, and Organisation Development,  Noel’s facilitation promotes mindset shifts about context, capability, and capacity; creating stronger focus on trust, coherence, and cohesion.  His clients range from investment & retail banking (JP Morgan, Standard Chartered Bank), oil and gas (BP), healthcare (Tan Tock Seng Hospital), technology (Fujitsu, ST Microelectronics, SITA), non-profit organisations, different ministries and statutory boards in the Singapore Civil Service (eg. Ministry of Education, Maritime and Port Authority, Singapore Prison Service, Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, Land Transport Authority, Civil Aviation Authority Singapore).

Noel is known for his person-centred facilitation approach within a systems context.  He enables groups to develop a dialogue culture in order to confront challenging issues together, and for leaders’  transition to ever-wider perspectives to make vital decisions that work for the organisation and its stakeholders. Amongst other profound change technologies that Noel uses for transformation work eg Action Inquiry, Appreciative Inquiry, Theory U, and Open Space Technology, he is a certified facilitator of Barry Oshry Power and Systems’  acclaimed “Organisation Workshop” and “When Cultures Meet” workshop and a certified user of Bill Torbert’s Global Leadership Profile.

From 2012, Noel also brought his facilitation into the social innovation domain by promoting effective dialogue between policy-makers and citizens and inter-group dialogue in society, through his social enterprise, Synergise Singapore (www.synergise.sg).  Noel was a lead facilitator in the ‘Our Singapore Conversation’ process from Oct 2012 to July 2013.

Noel is the current Chair (2016-17) of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) Global Board . He is also the past founding president of the IAF Singapore Chapter.  Noel has been an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator since 2009, and also holds the Certificate in Public Participation from the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2).

Noel is married to Brenda, and father to Ethan, Edna and Ezra, and is an evangelist for cycling and its benefits to individuals, families and society.

Brenda Tan, Visual Practitioner

Brenda is a Co-Founder and in-house Graphic Recorder with Trailblazer Associates International. Since 2008, her work supports meeting delegates’ meaning-making of their complex and ever-changing contexts, helping them gain clarity about their preferred futures and paths.  Brenda integrates individual voices in an organisation or community into Visual Stories, with complex ideas being shared effectively and efficiently.  Her graphics stimulate delegates’ creativity, enhance group problem-solving and facilitate emergence of adaptive strategies.

Brenda has been engaged to record Conference Keynote Addresses, Innovation Discussions, Strategic Planning and Senior Leadership meetings and retreats both in Singapore and internationally.  Brenda’s Graphic Recording is a vital pillar in TAI’s large-group interventions using Appreciative Inquiry, Future Search, Open Space Technology and the World Cafe, with participants in the group range from 50 to 420 delegates.  Brenda also recorded for Singapore’s National Conversation in 2012.

Brenda’s clients include Oxfam International, the Supreme Court, Microsoft Dynamics APAC, Power+System Global Gathering (London), Singapore Institute of Technology, Accenture, Bank of Singapore, Ministry of Transport Singapore, Workforce Development Agency Singapore, Accenture, Intralinks, Ministry of Communications and Information, Standard Chartered Bank, Fujitsu, Unilever Singapore, Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd, Maritime Port Authority, Singapore Kindness Movement, Boys’ Brigade Singapore, Social Service Partners Conference, Parent-Support Group Conference, Business Model Foundry, World Entrepreneurship Forum 2013, Center for Creative Leadership APAC, National University of Singapore’s Board of Trustees, Urban Renewal Authority, Swiss Re, South East CDC, Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, Rockefeller Foundation, Agency for Integrated Care, the Asian Organisation Development Network Conference, Ministry of Education: OD Department, Special Education Branch, St Andrew’s Village, Singapore Prison Service amongst other organisations.

Brenda was also a former Board member of the International Forum of Visual Practitioner