June 20, 2016 | 0 comments

By Hamish Williams

Many organisations and industries pay lip service to developing constructive workplace cultures but the public service is frequently the first to set the benchmark when new leadership paradigms are developed.

With the recent release of the Study of Australian Leadership (SAL) by the Centre for Workplace Leadership, many organisations will be interested to benchmark themselves against the results but few will have as rapid a mandate to adopt the report’s findings as those managers and leaders within the public service.

June 20, 2016 | 0 comments

By AIM Senior Research Fellow Dr Samantha Johnson

“Listening is a positive act: you have to put yourself out to do it.” David Hockney

What do you think about when you’re engaged in conversation with others? 

Odd question?

Right now you’re thinking that it depends on what the conversation is about, surely?

Sometimes it does.  But, is this always the case?

Think about how you think about when you are listening to someone else. 

June 19, 2016 | 0 comments

By AIM Business School Faculty, Ian Siebert

A recent headline in the Australian Financial Review grabbed my attention: “Leaders failing in key areas of management”.

It looked the wrong way around to me while also being overly negative! Surely it should have read something like “Australian managers and leaders will benefit by increasing their capabilities in leadership”?

June 19, 2016 | 0 comments

By AIM Business School Faculty, Dr Richard Carter

When Facebook buys a virtual reality headset company (Oculus) for $2 Billion and their famous COO Sheryl Sandberg (author of Lean In) has to hose down speculation about how rapidly virtual reality will become a major income stream for them, you know virtual reality has arrived.

June 08, 2016 | 0 comments

By Hamish Williams.

For anyone that’s halfway serious about their career, it will come as no surprise that your ability to learn and acquire new knowledge is vitally important to your career success.

What may come as a shock is your ability to dump old knowledge and processes in favour of new ways of doing things is now also becoming highly sought after.

June 02, 2016 | 0 comments

By Nina Sochon

Have you ever been in a meeting when one of your colleagues began to drift off course?

Tangents in meetings can be amusing or annoying at best. They can also be incredibly serious.

The usual advice for eliminating tangents goes like this: “articulate a goal, clarify the agenda and stay focused.” Certainly without doing these things no meeting would run effectively.

May 23, 2016 | 0 comments

By Tudor Marsden-Huggins, Managing Director of Employment Office

With the unemployment rate hovering around the 6% mark, it’s clear there are candidates out there, actively looking for work. 

But speak to any hiring manager and they’ll tell a different story – that good people are hard to find, and the skills shortage we’ve been hearing about for years is a reality reaching crisis point for organisations across the country.

May 22, 2016 | 0 comments

By Hamish Williams

For public servants, understanding the role they play as individuals as well as the role of their team can sometimes be difficult when viewed in the context of the wider context government.

May 22, 2016 | 0 comments

By Scott Martin, Sales Director AIM Corporate

Do you want your leadership programs to really deliver embedded learning and behavioural change?

Here at AIM, we’ve spent the past 75 years delivering thousands of leadership and management development programs right around Australia, in every industry and every sector.

Whether it’s an accredited or non-accredited program for ten people or 10,000, there are some common ingredients to the all-around success of these programs.

This list is by no means exhaustive as the factors that make a successful leadership program could fill a volume of books.

Many factors will also sound like common sense but we’ve decided to point them out here as you’d be surprised how many organisations don’t tick these crucial boxes when designing their leadership programs.

  • Better strategic planning - Start with the end in mind and take a project management mindset into developing your leadership programs. From the outset, be really clear on what the issues are in the organisation as well as the outcomes required and how we might measure success. This will greatly assist in establishing the right content, delivery methods and program elements, enabling you to further focus on the factors below.
  • Align the program to organisational values, mission and vision – If these key directions are firm and in place, it’s crazy not to include them in your leadership program. Keep coming back to what we believe and where we want to be. Often it’s great to start with a session on mission, culture and values so you can relate back to them during the program. This will effectively tie everything together.
  • Select the right people and be selective – Often people are selected for leadership and management programs almost against their will and this just doesn’t work.  Make the program something that people aspire to within the organisation. Link it to advancement within your performance management processes. A great idea is to seek applications from delegates and also their managers which address some simple but appropriate criteria. Make the program a centre piece in the organisation.
  • Develop cross company alignment and foster collaboration – When selecting a cohort as well as the program elements, think top to bottom and side to side. Much of the success of leadership programs comes from the benefits of the cohort model, not to mention the collaboration and sharing that eventuates across departments as well as the collaboration that comes from working with those above and below. There are a range of methods to ensure this collaboration is really maximised.
  • Get senior managers, including the CEO actively involved – There’s nothing quite as effective as having the CEO take the time to welcome delegates, outline the importance of the program and where it fits into the vision of the company moving forward. It’s also valuable to get line managers involved and set expectations of them as well as the delegates.
  • Foster disruptive thinking and behaviour change – Disruption is everywhere, especially in a digital context and for most organisations, if they keep doing things the same way they’ll quickly become irrelevant. Some of the greatest ideas we’ve seen have come out of continuous improvement projects built into leadership programs. It’s the ideal atmosphere to foster new thinking.

After 75 years and thousands of leadership development programs, AIM Corporate General Manager Scott Martin shares some of the keys to designing a successful leadership development program.

  • Get the content and context right – If you want people to learn and to truly change behaviour, you have to provide context. Take the time to ensure the content matches the skills development needs of your organisation make sure the learning relates to both the current and future environment.
  • Select the right facilitators – Face to face workshops are still at the heart of any effective leadership program and with good reason. At AIM, we work hard to get the right DNA match between a facilitator’s experience, the program content and the group mix. Also, getting the right balance between the lead facilitator and any other SME’s that might be introduced throughout the program is key.
  • Mix it up – At AIM, we incorporate the 70:20:10 concept into all of our programs. This model suggests that we learn best by spending 10% of our development time in formal courses, 20% working with others who can role model, guide and offer feedback and 70% of our time operating at work while gaining guidance, direction, information, feedback and encouragement. Our programs put as much emphasis on the 70 and 20 as the 10 which requires a real partnership with clients.
  • Include a Workplace Project or Task (group or individual) –The best programs tend to be tightly aligned to business outcomes and nothing achieves this as effectively as a group project. Encouraging people to work together in groups builds successful outcomes at many levels and ensure greater ROI from the program.
  • Include a Coaching and Mentoring Support Framework – As we mentioned above, the incorporation of the 70:20:10 model means looking further than just the 10% of formal learning. Coaching and mentoring provides the individual perspective as well as the on the job relevancy to ensure leaders are developed to their full potential.
  • Celebrate Success – Work Hard, Play Hard…well not quite but success should be celebrated by getting as many stakeholders involved as possible. Plan a morning tea, lunch or dinner to highlight the achievements of program participants. Include partners and family where possible as they’ve often been put out where extra work is involved. Include alumni, facilitators, coaches and mentors so that the good vibes can permeate to all levels of the organisation.
  • Measure success and report back – Measuring ROI is important for current and future funding but measurement can be complex. Overthinking ROI can needlessly complicate the real measures of success. That said, you need to go deeper than the happy sheets at the end of workshops. Capture new ideas, process and product improvements, delegate participation levels and utilise workplace projects and presentations to stakeholders to capture and spread the excitement.
  • Review – Always look for ways to improve the program, ensure it remains aligned to organisational directions and that content is as current as can be. Again, involve as many stakeholders as possible especially recent participants.
May 20, 2016 | 0 comments

By AIM Senior Research Fellow Dr Samantha Johnson

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves - Carl Jung