About Us

The traditional approach is not for us; we like to be curious and challenge the status quo, whilst keeping respect, ethics and integrity at the heart of our business. You’re unique, we get that. We know you’re busy running your business so our main aim is to make sure the solutions we suggest are simple and effective. We’re all about empowering you, to ensure you and your teams can drive change yourselves - because honestly, we only succeed if you do.

Meet our Directors

Combined, Mary and Marie have spent more than 40 years working in leadership, HR, business improvement and culture development and have refined their approach to provide flexible solutions for your individual complex challenges.

Oh yeah, and they're dog people. 

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Marie and Mary with silent partners Pearl and Miley

Mary Buckley
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Mary has a background in operations, HR and senior management and has worked for many years as part of senior executive teams in global organisations. She specialises in organisational psychology, in particular employer-employee psychology and how this relates to organisational culture. Mary’s particular strengths include working with boards and executive teams to identify strategic core ideology with an envisioned future, then realising that future through the alignment of culture excellence and leadership capability.

Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Masters of Science in Industrial Organisational Psychology, both from the University of Canterbury.

Talk to Mary today

Email Mary

Connect with Mary on LinkedIn

Marie Johnston
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Marie comes to Culture by Design from a background largely in HR and organisational development, with a stint in sales in her early days. Marie represents the structured half of the team. This combined with her creativity means that her strengths are in the design side of the business. Also an accomplished facilitator, Marie is accredited in a range of team and individual development tools and methodologies, but is most happy when designing and/or applying tools and solutions herself which are simple, effective and customised to the particular needs of the individual team or organisation. 

Marie completed her Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Canterbury, her Bachelor of Business Studies (Honours) at Massey University, and holds the following accreditations/certifications:

  • • Certified Professional Agile Scrum Master (1)
  • • Accredited facilitator - Jung Type Indicator (JTI) profile, Team Management Services range of profiles
  • • Accredited Emotional Intelligence Coach


Talk to Marie today

Email Marie

Connect with Marie on LinkedIn


Mary and Marie are both active mentors in the areas of personal effectiveness, organisational, culture and strategy development.