a model of - West Coast Institute

Comments

Transcription

a model of - West Coast Institute
A MODEL OF
SUSTAINABLE
INNOVATION:
WEST COAST INSTITUTE OF TRAINING
Dr John Mitchell
with research assistance from Kim Hawkins
February 2012
FOREWORD
“It is increasingly clear that the current downturn is fundamentally
different from recessions of recent decades. We are experiencing not
merely another turn of the business cycle but a restructuring of the
economic order,” writes Ian Davis, worldwide Managing Director of
McKinsey and Company. He says that organisations “are peering through
the fog of uncertainty, thinking about how to position themselves once the
crisis has passed and things return to normal”. Instead, he says, we
should recognise that we are indeed living in ‘the New Normal’. 1
State Training Providers, like West Coast Institute of Training, do not only have to respond
in the New Normal, but must support our students, Governments, industry, local
enterprise and small business too. It is clear that we must look forward to develop new
ways of doing the business of training, rather than relying on traditional methods.
At West Coast Institute, staff have embraced innovation almost across the board. Some of
our early work was documented two years ago in Reinvention through Innovation. We have
come a long way since then, receiving recognition from state, national and international
clients, students and stakeholders for our Resourceful, Agile and Partnered approach.
i
That said, it is clear that we have more work to do, not only to ensure the systematisation
of our edge centric approach to innovation (see Reinvention through Innovation) so that
initiatives are not dependent on individuals, but also to recognise and celebrate the
innovative work we do.
This is important for many reasons. In part, we need to continue to develop
and share a common language around innovation to assist us in learning
from each other and continuing to extend ourselves in our quest for
excellence. But equally important in these volatile times, we need to
ensure that our commitment to our customers and our work towards
reform is recognised by decision makers.
Many things in the New Normal are unclear, but I believe that a customer
centric approach to innovative training delivery will be more important to
the Institute than almost any other single initiative.
I thank all staff at WCIT. It is always a privilege to work alongside you. I
would particularly like to acknowledge those mentioned in these pages –
and hope that others will be inspired to tell their innovation stories in the
next document!
Sue A Slavin
Managing Director
1. Davis, Ian (March 2009), The new normal, Strategy Practice, www.mckinseyquarterly.com/ The _new _normal _2326
ii
...”we should recognise that
we are indeed living in ‘the
New Normal’”...
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FOREWORD i
PROJECT GOALS, METHODOLOGY AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 1
KEY FINDINGS 4
Section A. Case studies
9
1. IMPACTS OF WCIT INNOVATION 10
1.1 Case study: A mutually beneficial, win-win relationship 11
1.2 Case study: Breakthrough strategy in occupational safety and health 16
1.3 Case study: Figuring out exactly what small business needs 20
1.4 Case study: Listening to the needs 25
1.5 Case study: Coaching managers 30
1.6 Case study: The customer experience keeps improving 34
iii
1.7 Case study: A vertically integrated relationship within a hospital 40
Section B. Snapshots written by participants in innovations
46
2. TYPES OF INNOVATION AT WCIT 47
2.1 Innovation snapshot: Sports officiating 48
2.2 Innovation snapshot: Animation and digital media studio 50
2.3 Innovation snapshot: JLP mentoring program 52
3. SKILLS FOR INNOVATION AT WCIT 54
3.1 Innovation snapshot: Environmental sustainability 56
3.2 Innovation snapshot: Recognition services for 457 visa applicants 58
3.3 Innovation snapshot: New skills cater for coffee lovers and foodie aficionados 60
3.4 Innovation snapshot: Recognising skills of workers in the field of domestic family violence 62
Conclusion: Measures for and a model of WCIT innovation
66
PROJECT GOALS, METHODOLOGY AND
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
The 2009 report entitled Reinvention through Innovation documented some
prominent innovations at West Coast Institute of Training (WCIT) at that point in
time. Much more innovation occurred within the Institute following that
publication, hence in early 2011 the Institute re-engaged John Mitchell to assist
it in documenting the next phase of the organisation’s journey of innovation.
Project aims and
outcomes
The aim of the 2011 project was to map the
transformation of the whole organisation and to
extend the organisation’s thinking about, and
future practice in, innovation.
The intended outcomes of the 2011 project are to
create improved awareness of the transformation
of WCIT following on from ‘Reinvention through
Innovation’, and to support further innovation
within the Institute. This would be achieved
particularly by:
• engaging staff in an organisational level project
as active participants. To engage staff, WCIT’s
Kim Hawkins, Director of Health, Education and
Social Sciences (HESS), performed the role of
project manager and assisted John particularly
by compiling a lengthy list of innovations across
the Institute. This new publication is designed to
lead to further staff engagement.
• developing a model that captures the journey of
WCIT and can have application in a broad range
of contexts. The model agreed to during the
2011 consultations is discussed in the
Conclusion of this document and is an
adaptation of the model featured in the 2009
publication.
Project methodology
To achieve the project objectives and desired
outcomes, John Mitchell liaised with Sue Slavin,
Managing Director, and worked collaboratively with
Kim Hawkins. Specific activities from MarchAugust 2011 were as follows.
1. Communication strategy. The communication
strategy was developed in two stages: at the
commencement of the project, to identify and
promote key messages about the benefits for
staff of being involved in the project; and near
the end of the project, to promote key messages
about the benefits to staff and stakeholders of
using the model and the publication.
2. Engagement strategy. This involved Kim
Hawkins using a range of methods to generate
staff engagement with the project, particularly
meeting with small groups throughout the
Institute. Kim and John also conducted two
workshops to engage staff in the journey and
met with representatives of the seven case
studies profiled in the publication.
3. Initial data collection strategy. John Mitchell
provided a data collection instrument for Kim
Hawkins to use to collect raw data about
examples of innovation at WCIT, suitable as
vignettes (that is, snapshots or short
descriptions) or case studies. The instrument
helped identify the type of innovation, the skills
used to achieve the innovation, the origin of the
ideas behind the innovation, a description of the
innovation process, the management of the
innovation, the implementation of the new
product or service, and the identifiable
outcomes.
1
Project goals, methodology and theoretical framework continued...
4. Development of the model. Kim Hawkins and
John Mitchell liaised with Sue Slavin on the
development of an adaptable model, and
workshopped with representative staff the
concept of adapting the 2009 model.
5. Selection of vignettes/snapshots and case
studies. Kim Hawkins collected and provided to
John Mitchell brief descriptors of possible
vignettes/snapshots and possible case studies
and the names of WCIT and industry
interviewees.
6. Targeted data collection and analysis strategy.
Following an examination of the survey returns,
John Mitchell prepared and conducted face to
face and telephone interviews with both staff
representatives and clients to prepare the seven
case studies. The innovations were analysed
using the theoretical frameworks summarised
below.
Definition and theories
of innovation
2
The broad definition of innovation that guided the
2009 and this 2011 work is the one provided by
Williams (1999). For him, innovation is as follows:
the implementation of new and improved
knowledge, ideas, methods, processes, tools,
equipment and machinery, which leads to new
and better products, services, and processes
(p.17; italics added).
He notes that innovation is about the
implementation of not just new ideas and
knowledge, but also of improved ideas and
knowledge.
Both the 2009 and this 2011 publication were
influenced by the views of Marceau, Cook and
Dalton (2002) and others who generally argue as
follows:
• While an innovation is normally not one ‘thing’,
some of the broad types of innovation are
product, process or organisational innovation.
Product innovation includes innovation in
services.
• Innovation may be radical or incremental.
Incremental innovations are most common in
Australian organisations and in most industries
and are to be valued.
• Organisations seldom innovate alone. To innovate, they often
collaborate with others, including clients, suppliers and even
competitors.
• Innovation by organisations is influenced by external factors
such as competitors, customers, regulators, technology and
research and development.
• New forms of innovation, linked to new business models are
emerging, such as Open Innovation (Chesbrough 2006): ‘open
innovation’ includes searching for and adapting whole new
sources of innovation, most often from outside the company.
The theoretical framework for the 2011 publication was also
influenced by the ideas of:
• Bessant (2008) who summarises the features of organisations
that achieve high impact and sustainable innovation (please
see section one)
• Brown and Anthony (2011) who describe types of innovation
categorised in terms of their benefits (section one)
• Abele (2011) who emphasises the importance of establishing
collaboration in order to drive innovation (section one)
• Williams (1999) who argues that innovations can improve
services that are sometimes even copied or duplicated or
learnt from others (section two)
• Bettencourt and Bettencourt (2011) who argue that there is
high value in organisations developing “commercially viable
offerings that they already have under their noses” (section
two)
• Martin (2011) who shows how innovation can be generated
from the ranks of staff if those people are empowered (section
three)
• Tushman, Smith and Binns (2011) who define the key role of
leaders in navigating between existing and innovative
products (section three)
• Brown and Anthony (2011) who show that management skills
can be applied to innovation (section three)
• Green, James and Miles (2007) who identify four stages of the
innovation process that require different skills (section three)
• Giugini (2001) who provides indicators to use to measure the
innovative organisation (Conclusion)
• Ibarra and Hansen (2011) who emphasise the importance of
leadership in innovative organisations (Conclusion)
• Adler, Heckscher and Prusak (2011), who describe how
leading-edge innovative enterprises marry a sense of purpose
to a robust operating structure (Conclusion)
• Benkler (2011) who finds that cooperative systems can and
are built in innovative organisations, tapping into a human
disposition to cooperate (Conclusion)
• Grant (2011) who shows how customers can inspire innovation
among staff (Conclusion).
The fact that so many different and recent research frameworks
were needed to explain and describe innovation at WCIT is an
indication of the breadth of innovation occurring in the Institute
and the progressive, contemporary nature of its approach to
innovation. It is also an indication that the Institute has so
embedded innovation in the organisation, sustainable innovation
will be an ongoing feature of the organisation.
References
Abele, J. 2011, ’Bringing Minds Together’, Harvard Business
Review. July-August, pp.86-93.
Adler, P., Heckscher, C. & Prusak, L. 2011, ’Building a
Collaborative Enterprise’, Harvard Business Review. July-August,
pp.94101.
Benkler, Y. 2011, ’The Unselfish Gene’, Harvard Business Review.
July-August, pp.76-85.
Bessant J. 2008, ’Opening up Strategic Space Through
Discontinuous Innovation’, in Galavan, R., Murray, J. & Markides,
C., Strategy, Innovation and Change, Oxford University Press,
Oxford, pp.195-196.
Bettencourt, L.A. & Bettencourt, S. L. 2011, ’A practical guide to
creating new products without starting from scratch’, Harvard
Business Review. June, pp.88-94.
Brown, B. & Anthony, S.D. 2011, ’How P&G Tripled Its Innovation
Success Rate’, Harvard Business Review, June, pp.64-72.
Chesbrough, H. 2006, Open Innovation, Harvard Business School
Press, Boston Massachusetts.
Giugini, S. 2001, ’Nurturing imagination: Introducing creativity to
organisational environments’, Barker, C., (ed.), Innovation and
Imagination at Work, pp.57-58.
Grant, A. M. 2011, ’How Customers Can Rally Your Troops’,
Harvard Business Review, June, pp.96-103.
‘Green, L., Jones, B., and Miles, I. 2007, ’Mini Study 02 – Skills for
Innovation’, Global Review of Innovation Intelligence and Policy
Studies, Pro Inno Europe.
Ibarra, H. J. & Hansen, M.T. 2011, ’Are you a Collaborative
Leader?’ Harvard Business Review, July-August, pp.68-74.
Marceau, J., Cook, N. and Dalton, B. 2002, Selling Solutions:
emerging patterns of product-service linkage in the Australian
economy, Australian Business Foundation, Sydney.
Martin, R. L. 2011, ’The Innovation Catalysts’, Harvard Business
Review, June, pp.82-87.
Tushman, M. L., Smith, W.K. & Binns, A. 2011, ’The Ambidextrous
CEO’, Harvard Business Review, June, pp.74-80.
3
KEY FINDINGS
This report documents multiple examples of best practice in innovation across West Coast
Institute of Training. It also identifies the elements of a sustainable model of innovation; a
model that is based on the demonstrated attributes and capabilities of the Institute.
Impacts of innovation
(section one)
Section one contains seven case studies which
highlight the positive impacts of WCIT innovation
for its industries, clients and individual students,
and how these benefits achieve government policy
aims.
4
Perhaps the next stage for WCIT is to go beyond
categorising innovations in terms of their types,
such as product or process innovation, and rank
them in terms of the types of benefits for
customers. For instance, Proctor & Gamble
promote four types of innovation that focus on
benefits:
• Sustaining: these innovations bring incremental
improvements to existing products
• Commercial: these innovations use creative
marketing, packaging and promotional
approaches to grow existing offerings
• Transformational-sustaining: these innovations
bring order-of-magnitude improvements and
often lead to breakthroughs in market share,
profit levels and consumer acceptance
• Disruptive: a company enters entirely new
businesses with radically new offerings (Brown
& Anthony 2011, pp.68-69).
It is noteworthy that most of the Proctor & Gamble
innovations involve improved products that lead to
increased sales, while the benefits for customers
are inferred not spelt out. As a contemporary
business in the services domain, WCIT could
consider describing each of its innovations in terms
of the type of benefit for its customers or clients. To
begin the process, the seven powerful innovations
set out in this section could be reframed in terms
of the type of customer benefit.
A theme throughout this report is that WCIT staff
are seeking and implementing innovations that will
be sustainable. Their innovations are likely to be
sustainable because WCIT can be mapped to the
following model for how to achieve high impact and
sustainable innovation, based on Bessant (2008, pp.
195-196), as follows:
• Build a culture which supports curiosity-driven
behaviour
• Develop relationships with potential suppliers
or partners for innovation
• Scan and search the environment to pick up
ideas about potential innovation
• Select those ideas which have the best chance
of success
• Develop the product or process using flexible
project development approaches
• Identify a strategy for implementing the
innovation.
Many of these six actions are evident in the case
studies set out in this section and this suggests
that the innovations will be sustainable, not
temporary, developments.
Types of innovation
(section two)
Section two of this report contains snapshot
descriptions of three innovations at WCIT that are
primarily an example of one of the following types
of innovation: product, process or organisational
innovation.
A wide range of other product, process or
organisational innovations are evident at WCIT and
eight of them are listed in a table in this section. A
feature of many of the innovations in this table is
that they involved improvements to existing
programs or services and these improvements
represented only a small adaptation to appeal to a
specific market segment. Such minor
improvements often provide high returns and fit
with the view of Bettencourt and Bettencourt (2011,
p.94) who argue that there is much value in
organisations developing innovations that, because
of previous activities within the organisation, are
within easy reach, involve low risks and are quick
to implement.
Innovation need not be irregular and fluky. Rather
than wait for rare flashes of totally original insights
and creativity, in many cases WCIT staff have
cleverly adapted or modified existing ideas,
resulting in numerous, sustainable innovations.
Skills for innovation
(section three)
Section three of the report contains four snapshots
of innovation that illustrate the skills developed
and used by WCIT staff to bring about innovation,
including skills used by leaders, managers, teams
and practitioners. Fundamentally, staff skills
underpin sustainable innovation in the Institute.
Tushman, Smith and Binns (2011) point to the role
of leaders in navigating between existing and
innovative products. The Institute leaders need to
know which existing products or programs deserve
ongoing support and where and how innovations fit
around these existing or mainstream programs.
Contemporary theorists on innovation recommend
that leaders need to own innovation, not push it too
far down the organisation. To avoid turf wars,
theorists suggest that the key debates about
innovation need to occur at the upper levels of the
organisation. Such leadership skills, knowledge
and approaches within WCIT are either implicitly or
explicitly demonstrated in the snapshots in section
three.
Brown and Anthony (2011) show that leadership
and management skills are needed if “newgrowth” units or sections are created inside the
existing organisation. While individual creativity
can be “unpredictable and uncontrollable,
collective creativity can be managed” (p.72). For
instance, Martin (2011) shows how innovation can
be generated from the ranks of staff if people are
empowered: “the best creative thinking happens on
the company’s front lines. You just need to
encourage it” (p.82). The snapshots in this section
provide examples of WCIT managers encouraging
and managing creative thinking.
Different stages of innovations require different
skills. Green, James and Miles (2007) identify four
stages of the innovation process that require
different skills and many of these skills are evident
in the snapshots in this section.
Measures of WCIT
innovation
This publication demonstrates that WCIT has
expanded the number and range of innovations
since the 2009 study, Re-invention through
Innovation. Hence, the Institute is ready to become
even more innovative and can raise its level as an
innovative organisation, by taking some further
actions, as discussed in the Conclusion. Three
recommendations arise from this study:
• The first recommendation is that, as a more
experienced innovative organisation than in say
2009, the Institute can regularly measure its
further development against demanding
indicators of innovation in contemporary
organisations.
• The second recommendation is that, as
innovation benefits from leadership, the
Institute staff be engaged in an ongoing
professional conversation about the value of
collaborative leadership in fostering and
supporting innovation.
• The third recommendation is that the Institute
could seek to gain further support for
innovation from the staff and clients through
embracing a model for innovation described in
this document and which is based on their
shared values and goals. That model could then
be used to connect with and share an ongoing
dialogue with customers and clients.
5
Key findings continued...
Giugini (2001, pp.57-58) provides the following
indicators to use to measure the innovative
organisation, all of which are currently evident at
WCIT:
1. The organisation clearly states that creativity is
valued
2. There is continued investment in the
product/service and staff
3. Mentoring and/or coaching continue to support
the innovation
4. Mechanisms exist to enable staff to mingle and
relax informally, allowing the exchange of ideas
5. Strong links and alliances exist within the
organisation to assist interaction
6. Programs exist to enable staff to rotate, to aid
the fertilisation of ideas
7. Ideas are allowed time to germinate
8. Staff are encouraged to accept responsibility for
their decisions
9. Successes are celebrated
6
10.The knowledge, skills and abilities involved in
developing the innovation are available to others
in the organisation.
All ten of these indicators are evident across the
set of snapshots and case studies within this
document. This not only demonstrates that WCIT is
an innovative organisation but also that the
Institute could stretch itself by regularly reviewing
its development as such an innovative organisation
against each of Guigini’s indicators.
Collaborative leaders,
cooperative staff
The importance of leadership skills for innovation
is raised throughout this report. Ibarra and Hansen
(2011) highlight the value of collaborative
leadership instead of either command-and-control
or consensus leadership. They define collaborative
leadership as the “capacity to engage people and
groups outside one’s formal control and inspire
them to work toward common goals” (p.73). The
snapshots and case studies in this report indicate
that WCIT’s leaders are making such connections;
and that they are modeling collaborative
leadership.
As well as connecting with people, leaders of collaborative
organisations like WCIT need to create a collaborative community
based on a culture of trust and teamwork, find Adler, Heckscher and
Prusak (2011). They describe how leaders of leading-edge innovative
enterprises marry a sense of purpose to a robust operating structure
and that the key to that innovative capability “is neither company
loyalty nor free-agent autonomy, but, rather, a strong collaborative
community” (p.101). This report contains numerous instances of
collaborative communities within WCIT and suggests there is one
large collaborative community.
The collaborative community within WCIT is implicitly based on
cooperation and selflessness. Benkler (2011) finds that cooperative
systems can and are built into innovative organisations, tapping into
the human disposition to cooperate. This report abounds with
examples of the selflessness and cooperation of Institute staff.
Collaborative leaders and cooperative staff are not the only sources
of inspiration within innovative organisations. Grant (2011) shows
how customers can inspire innovation among staff: “End users can
energise your workforce far better than your managers can” (p.97).
There are many instances in this report of WCIT clients expressing
gratitude for the work of the Institute staff. The Institute’s leaders
would be well advised to continue to draw attention to and respect
this external validation and appreciation of the efforts of the staff.
WCIT’s model of sustainable
innovation
WCIT can build on its growing strengths as an innovative organisation
and seek to gain further support for innovation from the staff through
their collective embracing of a model for innovation, based on shared
values and goals. That model could then be used to connect with and
share an ongoing dialogue with customers and clients.
The elements of that model can be drawn from this publication. The
elements can be mapped to the diagrammatic model for innovation
proposed in the 2009 report Reinvention through Innovation. The
model is set out in the Conclusion section and suggests the Institute
is vibrant, dynamic and moving from the centre outwards; it is not an
inert set of buildings, rather it exists in order to be innovative and
connect with other people and help them achieve their goals. The
model shows that the Institute is continually regenerating itself in
order to reach out and connect with communities and industries. The
model is based not on a hierarchy but on interconnections; and these
connections will enable it to adapt and be resilient and sustainable.
Ultimately this is a sustainable model for innovation, underpinned by
strong elements such as collegiality and collaboration, connections
and capabilities.
The title of this report, A model for sustainable innovation: West
Coast Institute of Training, deliberately is meant to be taken two
ways:
• WCIT is a model for other organisations seeking to achieve
sustainable innovation
• WCIT has its own model for sustainable innovation.
Figure 1. WCIT model of sustainable innovation
7
Table 1. A selection from a wide range of other innovations at WCIT
FIELD
PREDOMINANT TYPE OF
INNOVATION
DESCRIPTOR
WCIT PARTNERS
1. Administration Team
Process
PAPER-FREE CAMPUS. WCIT’s new campus called Trades
North is working towards having all documentation in an
e-environment; that is, a paperless campus. All student
records and communications are held and conducted
electronically. This demonstrates a commitment to
sustainability in line with teaching practices.
Internal collaboration
2. Auto
Process
V8 UTES. Automotive students and lecturers attend V8
Supercar racing and ‘set up’ with different V8 teams.
Students as pit crew learn in the heat of the action, while
managed by lecturers at the race track.
V8 circuit
3. Event Management
Process
MANAGING AN EVENT. In partnership with a registered
charity, students present an idea to a particular industry
group, and provide an event that will be a fundraiser for
them. This process provides constant industry validation
and enhances employment outcomes for graduates.
Joondalup Resort
4. Finance and Accounting
Product
CERTIFICATE IV IN BOOKKEEPING. WCIT is the only
registered training organisation offering this program
which is in response to a legislative change at the
Australian Taxation Office.
Accounting industry
collaboration
5. Fitness
Product
PERSONAL TRAINING PROGRAM. Students engage in a
variety of programs to practise fitness training skills in a
live work environment in particular, the AQWA program
for people with disabilities which is run off-site to support
industry.
Arena Joondalup &
Osborne GP Network
6. Child Care
Product
ECO-PLAYGROUP. This is a community playgroup
operated by students and lecturers. Families come on
campus and students are able to demonstrate
sustainability practices and how it relates to children and
the community.
Community Vision and a
variety of FDC schemes
7. Child Care
Product
MULTICULTURAL TRAINING PROGRAMS. In partnership
with Mirrabooka Migrant Centre and Ishar, a multicultural
support centre, a number of migrant programs exist to
train workers in community services. Many enter at
Certificate II level and articulate into Certificate III.
English language is embedded in the program, and
students are helped to prepare for sitting a mandatory
test to become Family Day Care Educators.
Ishar, Mirrabooka Migrant
Centre, Department for
Communities
8. Marketing
Organisational
ACADEMIES. As part of the transformation of the
organisation, Academies of Specialisation were created
and branded as structures within the Institute. This has
enabled more targeted marketing and a house of brands
approach associated with a shift from the TAFE brand.
Internal collaboration
8
SECTION A. CASE STUDIES
9
1. IMPACTS OF WCIT INNOVATION
This section contains seven case studies which highlight the positive impacts of WCIT
innovation for its industries, clients and individual students, and how these benefits
achieve government policy aims.
Five of the case studies feature at least one interview with a relevant industry or
community representative, as well as an interview with the relevant Institute staff
member. The other two case studies focus on internal innovations and feature interviews
with a number of Institute staff.
Innovations focused on
types of benefits
Perhaps the next stage for WCIT is to go beyond
categorising innovations in terms of their types,
such as product or process innovation, and rank
them in terms of the types of benefits for
customers. For instance, Proctor & Gamble
promote four types of innovation that focus on
benefits:
10
• Sustaining: these innovations bring incremental
improvements to existing products
• Commercial: these innovations use creative
marketing, packaging and promotional
approaches to grow existing offerings
• Transformational-sustaining: these innovations
bring order-of-magnitude improvements and
often lead to breakthroughs in market share,
profit levels and consumer acceptance
• Disruptive: a company enters entirely new
businesses with radically new offerings (Brown
& Anthony 2011, pp.68-69).
It is noteworthy that most of the Proctor & Gamble
innovations involve improved products that lead to
increased sales, while the benefits for customers
are inferred, not spelled out. As a not-for-profit but
contemporary business in the services domain,
WCIT could consider describing each of its
innovations in terms of the type of benefit for its
customers or clients. To begin the process, the
seven powerful innovations set out in this section
could be reframed in terms of the type of customer
benefit.
How to achieve high
impact and sustainable
innovation
A theme throughout this report is that WCIT staff
are seeking and implementing innovations that will
be sustainable. Their innovations are likely to be
sustainable because WCIT can be mapped to the
following model for how to achieve high impact and
sustainable innovation, based on Bessant (2008, pp.
195-196), as follows:
• Build a culture which supports curiosity-driven
behaviour
• Develop relationships with potential suppliers
or partners for innovation
• Scan and search the environment to pick up
ideas about potential innovation
• Select those ideas which have the best chance
of success
• Develop the product or process using flexible
project development approaches
• Identify a strategy for implementing the
innovation.
Many of these six actions are evident in the case
studies set out in this section and this provides
hope that the innovations will be sustainable, not
temporary, developments.
WCIT external client: Datacom Systems WA
1.1
CASE STUDY: A mutually beneficial,
win-win relationship
INNOVATION HIGHLIGHTS
>
Innovation origin: a need for more management
expertise
>
Innovation exemplar 2: project-based group
assessment tasks
>
Innovation goal 1: a management program based on
real work challenges
>
Innovation exemplar 3: flexible delivery on-site
>
Innovation skills of WCIT staff: gained deep
understanding of client expectations
>
Innovation management approach by WCIT: extensive
client consultation
>
Innovation goal 2: the program started with
recognising the prior learning of participants
>
Innovation types: process and product
>
Innovation category: incremental
>
>
Innovation exemplar 1: assessment-focused learning
program
Innovation critical success factor: learning was linked
to current needs of the business
>
Innovation outcomes for client: improved
management skills, potential business growth
11
Datacom is an IT services provider and builds and runs applications and platforms to support
both existing processes and new ways of doing business. With over 3,300 staff operating across
13 locations in Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and Malaysia, Datacom believes in the value
of individual skill and initiative, backed up by company know-how and infrastructure.
Description of innovation
WCIT staff adapted the Diploma of Management to satisfy the
training and development requirements of Datacom Systems WA
and delivered it in a workplace setting, at the organisation’s
premises.
At the start of the relationship, WCIT staff determined the
outcomes that Datacom wanted and then set about developing
and adjusting the delivery and assessments to suit Datacom. For
example, they developed a workplace-based assessment project
where the participants worked on a real-life project for the
organisation and gained real work experience using the different
competencies contained in the Training Package units. After
undertaking the project, participants were encouraged to
produce a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate their competency.
This assessment-focused approach was supported by one-day
workshops in order to provide the theoretical constructs and
management principles necessary to ensure successful
completion of the project.
Murray Buzza, Team Leader and Lecturer in Commerce and
Technology, described how WCIT staff worked with individual
participants at Datacom:
We go in and sit down with each of them, one-on-one, at their
office desk and go through everything with them concerning
how we can offer recognition of prior learning (RPL) not just
training. If we blend it together then we’re not sending people
away to do unnecessary assignments, there’s a much better
completion rate and a much better outcome.
So once we have the skill gaps analysed we can say ‘Well we
think you need to do this, or we need more evidence over
there, or can you undertake this part of the project,’ or
whatever it is that we need to do.
This is a model that I think could work for most businesses
out there.
While putting first the collection of evidence of existing
competencies was challenging for the students, Murray Buzza
believed this was the most efficient and effective way to proceed,
for the benefit of both Datacom and the participants:
We realised that if we did it with the normal model where you
go in and deliver and then gave them assessments it wasn’t
ever going to work because most of them would just probably
not get the assessments done due to busy work schedules. So
we decided to seek a portfolio of evidence first: we sat down
with them and went through the evidence of what they did
every day and identified any gaps that needed further training.
Case study 1.1 : A mutually beneficial, win-win relationship continued...
Client goals
WCIT staff skills underpinning the innovation
Murray Buzza noted that the
participants in the program are fully
qualified IT professionals but they
lack experience in management, a
common scenario across Australian
companies:
WCIT used a group of facilitators to deliver the Diploma of Management
to Datacom. They are all experienced in training and delivery and have
extensive industry experience in their field, as illustrated below:
They’re IT professionals and
they’ve all got their IT
qualifications but they’ve got no
exposure to management theory
or at least no training in it. Most
Australian managers have no
formalised training and they just
do it the way it’s always been done
and there’s no lateral thinking
about how better to do it.
12
Datacom Operations Manager
Barbara Deans said that her company
was seeking from the management
development program “a higher level
of thinking to assist in the growth of
Datacom”. So she particularly
appreciated the way Murray Buzza
and the other WCIT staff familiarised
themselves with Datacom‘s business
and goals, before designing the
management program:
Murray was fantastic: he
organised a meeting at our office
and got to know our business to
enable the Institute lecturers to
design the course around
Datacom. Following on from that,
a few of the lecturers also called
in prior to delivery of a module to
familiarise themselves with how
we do things at Datacom.
We discussed the course outline
and how Datacom’s processes,
procedures, vision and mission
could be incorporated into the
course to make it real for the
participants.
• Murray Buzza – Senior Lecturer with many years of industry
experience occupying positions from middle management to CEO. He
also has 18 years lecturing experience in the field of management,
HRM, marketing and training and delivery and has delivered to many
corporate clients in WA.
• Stephen Goodfellow – Senior Lecturer who has a long history of
providing training for numerous other corporate clients in the field
of management
• Sandra Mashinini – HRM specialist with extensive industry
background and current experience in corporate management
training
• Eric Findlay – Principal Lecturer in the accounting field with
extensive corporate knowledge and many years of training
experience
• Maureen Hague – Principal Lecturer in charge of WCIT’s WELL
(Workplace English Language and Literacy) program with a wealth of
experience in coordinating and delivering management programs
and specialising in leadership training in a corporate setting.
Origin of the ideas behind the innovation
Murray Buzza remembered an initial conversation with Datacom’s
Barbara Dean about the issues that her company was facing regarding
the need to develop more staff as managers.
She sought my ideas on the issue and I suggested that workplace
based training could be a solution. She then contacted a number of
providers for quotes and proposed programs and eventually decided
with her Directors to go with the solutions offered by WCIT.
Innovative doesn’t mean that the approach has never been used before:
it is innovative to adapt an approach tried and proven elsewhere. Murray
acknowledged that the innovative program WCIT offered to Datacom is
based on the program previously run by WCIT’s Steve Goodfellow at
Curtin University for their administration staff in the Certificate IV in
Front Line Management. WCIT adopted the principles of that program
and created the Datacom program after Datacom selected the training
areas and units that they decided they needed for the future.
Murray Buzza described how the WCIT staff decided to position at the
centre of the program an actual work challenge at Datacom, the setting
up of a new branch in Karratha.
When we met with them about a few of the training package units I
said to them ‘Do you have any projects that you would like to get
done?’ They said they had a project: they wanted to open a branch in
the north-west of WA, in Karratha. So the whole training package
unit has revolved around Sandra Mashinini stepping them through
the project management process of getting this Karratha branch
planned and up and running.
Innovation processes
Murray Buzza and his team deliberately tailored the
management program to fit with the organisation’s requirements
rather than just offering a one-size-fits-all program.
We use their documents, projects, policies and processes
when delivering while also utilising other examples in order
to demonstrate other ways in which a problem or process can
be approached. We also adapted the RPL process so that the
participant gathers evidence in the workplace through a
series of questions and activities so that we are not simply
giving the content and asking the participant to do an
assignment. This way the participant can relate the learning
material directly to their role and future roles within the
organisation.
We also sit with them on a one-on-one basis to explain issues
and help them identify possible evidence through a series of
questions that encourages them to embark on a guided self
discovery process.
Through the period when the program was delivered, WCIT staff
continued to ask Datacom to identify actual projects that they
would like undertaken as part of the program. WCIT staff then
used these projects in relation to the delivery of units such as
Manage Projects, Manage Operational Plan and Manage Risk.
This enabled the participants to learn while they also gained real
world experience.
Murray described how this approach was used with a unit on
budgets and financial plans:
With the unit on Manage Budgets and Financial Plans, they
used their own material. Whatever we’ve done with them it
was about using their own documents, their own material and
relating it back to their organisation rather than just do
generic off-the-plan activities. We tailor it that way. We’ve
tailored the assessments, we’ve tailored the delivery and
we’ve been flexible with when we deliver.
Management skills and approaches that
assisted the innovation
Murray Buzza believed that WCIT staff delivering the
Diploma of Management modeled good practice in
management:
It is all about management skills and approaches. We
have also been very flexible in our approach and have
adjusted training times and dates on a few occasions
to fit in with Datacom’s operational requirements.
Barbara Deans concurred with the view that WCIT staff
modeled good practice in management:
Constant communication enabled the course to
progress even when there was difficulty. The critical
achievement was working around the fact that not all
participants could attend all classes – WCIT worked
with the group and agreed upon a solution that suited
all parties.
The management in facilitating the course was of
high standard. Once again it came down to constant
communication. The teaching skills of most have
been commended and in the case of any gaps the
willingness of the lecturers to progress from
feedback encouraged the group.
WCIT staff exceeded normal expectations in terms of
meeting clients’ ongoing needs, said Barbara Deans:
I have to mention Murray again as he was determined
to keep the relationship between WCIT and Datacom
strong. More often than not, once the agreement is
signed communications cease. However it has not
been that way with the Institute and Murray has gone
the extra mile to ensure any detail we were unhappy
with was looked into and fixed.
“Murray was
fantastic: he
organised a
meeting at our
office and got
to know our
business...”
Stephen Goodfellow, WCIT
13
Case study 1.1: A mutually beneficial, win-win relationship continued...
Adapting an innovation from elsewhere
and implementing it
While Murray Buzza viewed the WCIT program
delivered for Datacom as an adaptation of previous
models, the adaptation included taking into account
the unique experience and knowledge of the
Datacom participants.
We have taken what has worked well in other
programs and tailored it to this organisation’s
requirements. We have to understand that while
we may be experts in our field we can’t possibly
have the industry knowledge or organisational
knowledge that the participants do, so we need
to be sure that we listen to them and utilise
their knowledge wherever possible. This means
adapting delivery to provide a context in which
to place the theory.
Client outcomes
14
Datacom and all the participants will benefit, as the
qualification is completely portable and recognised
Australia-wide, said Murray Buzza. “In addition to
the ‘higher level thinking’ encouraged by the
program, the program’s outcomes should be great
value to Datacom in its future growth.”
Sandra Mashinini, the HR specialist in the WCIT
teaching team delivering the program to Datacom,
believed that the program was a win-win for WCIT
and Datacom:
It’s been a win-win for the business and for us.
It’s much easier for us to make the program
directly suit their needs and be talking about
something that they’re all keen and interested
in. And it’s a win for Datacom because the
participants will present the feasibility study for
the new branch to their management at the end
of the program. The assessment project within
the program involves the implementation of part
of their strategic plan.
Murray Buzza appreciated another opportunity to work inside a
business: “It’s good for us to be out there; it keeps us current”.
Sandra Mashinini added: “We learn whilst we’re there too, so it
enriches what we do at the next place. You learn how they do it,
how they approach things; you see different examples”.
The model used at Datacom is high value for businesses and
exciting for the teaching staff, said Murray Buzza:
It’s a model that I think works for industry: I think it’s the
future. And it’s certainly an area where we can grow and
expand. Quite frankly I prefer the corporate training rather
than the usual face-to-face teaching, because you’re dealing
with a lot more motivated people. And it keeps you on your
toes too: you need to know your onions or otherwise they’re
going to call you on it.
Interview with WCIT client:
Basil Lenzo, Managing Director, Datacom Systems WA
What was the business reason for collaborating with
WCIT on a customised management development
program?
It was twofold. The primary reason was that we as a
business identified that we had a gap in the level of
our management experience. There was a
commercial risk because I relied heavily upon my
executive team and they really didn’t have anyone
coming up the ranks with some formal management
qualifications. The program enables individuals who
want to get into management to have some really
basic fundamental understanding of management and
what’s required. Secondly, the economic climate
definitely highlighted the need to offer talented staff
the opportunity to progress within our organisation.
Was increased management capability the main
benefit you were seeking?
The main benefit for me was to enable a greater
percentage of the business to understand the
management process. That was number one. Number
two benefit was to get our management terminology
all on the same page so that when we were
presenting or we were talking to business units or we
were having individual conversations, people
understood the management reasons behind that
conversation and they understood the fundamentals
of what we were talking about.
And as I said, it was an investment in our culture, an
investment in our people. And it was also an
opportunity for the broader business to realise that
it’s a part of our values, it’s a part of our culture of
progression and achievement to recognise people
who have been here for three years and who really
put their hand up to want to better themselves.
What did the WCIT staff do to get to know your
business needs?
They spent a lot of time with Barbara Dean the
Operations Manager and a lot of time with the
relevant managers, just understanding the business.
Prior to running the program the WCIT staff held a
session around who we, Datacom, are, what we do,
what are our values and culture, and so forth.
To implement the program, what other collaboration
occurred between WCIT and yourself?
It was something I’d been thinking about for a while as I
looked through the crystal ball into my business. I asked
Barbara Dean to go out and find three training organisations
that we could get in to talk to us, and I think the real
competitive advantage for us with this organisation, WCIT,
was that it was commercially realistic: there was a sense they
understood what we go through commercially, day-to-day.
They achieve that fine balance between providing education
from a book and using participants’ day-to-day experiences.
What were some of the key steps that led to the program
being put in place well?
There was a thorough understanding of our business by them.
Both parties set the right expectation and both parties
identified what the key outcomes would be. They were open to
suggestions and open to possibilities of ensuring that the
actual syllabus aligned to what we were after. The key is that
both parties set the right expectation and were both on the
same page in terms of the outcomes. That’s where it normally
goes wrong, when one organisation expects one thing and
something else gets delivered.
What are some of the outcomes now for Datacom?
We’ve been able to identify some core activities in our
business that we want the participants to get involved with.
We also asked them to act as team leads at certain functions
and events that we hold, so it has enabled us to really
understand which of those we identified are capable of
becoming good managers and which others we may need to
consider putting through slightly different programs.
We’re looking at building a Pilbara business unit, so as a
group they’re coming up with a business plan around that
venture.
Is there anything else you’d like to say about the West Coast
Institute of Training?
They were highly professional and very open and objective
when discussing our requirements. They set the right
expectations, they understood our desired outcomes.
Overall it’s been a very, very fruitful business relationship and
I think the key to it is they have seen it as a relationship that is
mutually beneficial.
“OVERALL IT’S BEEN A VERY, VERY
FRUITFUL BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP...”
15
WCIT external customers: individuals seeking qualifications in
occupational safety and health (OSH)
1.2
CASE STUDY: Breakthrough strategy in
occupational safety and health
INNOVATION HIGHLIGHTS
>
Innovation origin: breakthrough strategy required to
meet OSH needs in the workforce
>
Innovation exemplar 2: use of online medium to suit
remote and working students
>
Innovation goal 1: students save time and costs and
can participate from anywhere
>
Innovation exemplar 3: WCIT staff prioritise
individual assessment rather than classroom delivery
>
Innovation goal 2: WCIT achieves high completion
rates and satisfied customers
>
Innovation skills of WCIT staff: coaching and
individual facilitation
>
Innovation types: process and product
>
>
Innovation category: incremental
Innovation management approach by WCIT: lecturers
freed from classroom delivery
>
Innovation exemplar 1: incorporation of external
assessment product into WCIT program
>
Innovation critical success factor: high level of
convenience for students
>
Innovation outcomes for client: mandatory OSH
qualifications obtained; careers enhanced
16
By using a highly flexible approach focused on assessment as an alternative to classroom delivery, WCIT
staff in the field of occupational safety and health services clients from around Australian and overseas
who work in mining and resource companies, as well as in maritime and manufacturing businesses.
Description of innovation
The occupational safety and health (OSH) unit in the Directorate
of Commerce and Technology at WCIT focuses on providing
assessment services for students seeking to gain national
qualifications in OSH. “Our point of difference is our focus on
assessment and gap analysis rather than training delivery,” said
Nancy Skene, Lecturer in OSH.
This approach has enabled the unit to expand its client base
throughout Western Australia, Australia and South East Asia, as
explained by Kellie Easter, a fellow Lecturer in OSH:
They actually don’t enrol with us until they’ve completed a lot
of background knowledge and understanding and applied the
theory with practical examples from their workplace. We
specialise in tutoring requirements and also in assessment
and gap analysis.
To facilitate excellence in its assessment service, the unit has
implemented a process where students complete their evidence
requirements online via an external partner. Alternatively,
students can access online the unit’s RPL Portfolio Student
Information Pack and then collate documentary and third party
requirements. Students purchase their own online workbooks via
an external source and enrol in the course units with the Institute
once they have completed the requirements of either the online
workbooks or RPL Portfolio. This approach has multiple benefits
for the student such as saving time and costs as well as benefits
for the business unit such as achieving optimal completion rates.
Kellie Easter explained:
We’ve really analysed our business and have optimised our
service strengths in tutoring and assessment. Rather than
developing resources and assessment tools, we’ve used a
good commercial one. We focus on fast turnaround evaluation
of those assessments, so we’re really offering recognition of
prior learning.
Client goals
The study field of occupational safety
and health is focused on the
application of competencies in the
workplace. The WCIT approach
supports those who are already
working and are seeking study and
assessment methods that are more
flexible than being tied to a
designated classroom or study
location. In particular, this approach
suits individuals who work in isolated
locations, including in the resources
sector, and who can draw on real
work examples in their assessments.
Clients who are “self motivated, have
industry experience and value time
management” have benefited from
this innovative assessment service,
said Nancy Skene.
WCIT staff skills
underpinning the innovation
The OSH lecturers possess a wide
range of skills that have enabled
them to perform these assessment
tasks in an effective and clientfocused manner. These include the
skills of coaching and individual
facilitation so that clients become
more aware of the range and type of
evidence they can feature in their
assessments. This helps establish a
trusting and comfortable relationship
between individual clients and the
OSH lecturer.
Kellie Easter added that staff need an
understanding both of assessment
and of the field of occupational safety
and health.
We value amongst our staff an
intimate knowledge of the online
assessment material and process.
All lecturing staff have technical
competence in the field of
occupational safety and health
with excellent communication and
mentoring skills for client support
and success.
These combined skills have brought
about a major shift from the previous
WCIT approach, said Kellie Easter:
We used to use a mode of delivery
– face to face, in front of the class
for six hours a day. Now our skills
have been refined to focus on gap
analysis, assessment and
resulting.
Origin of the ideas behind the
innovation
Nancy Skene said that the team had
experienced the limitation of class based
delivery, poor completion rates and lack of
flexibility for those students seeking OSH
qualifications from various remote and
distant locations. Their new approach is
aimed at meeting the needs of workforce
development in industry, one of the key
elements in the State Training Plan and in
the Commonwealth report ‘Building
Australia’s Future Workforce’. This WCIT
strategy reflects the government’s ongoing
attention to human capital and the
importance of developing a skills policy and
a skilled professional workforce that can
adapt to the global economy.
“We don’t have up front enrolment.
And so we don’t have any NYCs (Not
Yet Complete),” said Kellie Easter,
“because basically they’ve completed
gathering their evidence before they
come to us”.
Clients are not enrolled until
they’ve actually done the work.
They purchase their own
workbooks online, complete the
online workbook assessments,
then enrol and pay for
assessment. If there are any gaps,
we then tutor them through,
based on their needs.
The WCIT approach also provides clients
with a low cost commercial platform for
assessment validation and this has
resulted in significantly improved
completion rates and business unit contact
hour achievements.
The WCIT approach
supports those who are
already working and
are seeking study...
17
Case study 1.2: Breakthrough strategy in occupational safety
and health continued...
Interview with WCIT client:
Andrew Dillon, Safety Superintendent,
Fortescue Metals Group
Innovative procedure for the RPL
submissions
The following summary of the steps taken by the
student and WCIT with regard to the recognition of
prior learning (RPL) process illustrates the
efficiency of the approach.
Student:
Contacts OSH lecturer to discuss
student’s suitability for the RPL
process
Lecturer:
emails student information pack
including process for RPL to student
Student:
Completes portfolio of evidence, third
party validation form signed off by a
peer and sends either a hard copy or
CD to lecturer for assessment
Lecturer:
On receipt of portfolio, lecturer will
contact student for payment
Lecturer:
Will assess portfolio of evidence and
contact student with result. Student
may also be asked at this time for
further evidence should it be necessary
Lecturer:
Will enter final result on ASRI and
apply for qualification award on behalf
of the student.
18
Management skills underpinning the
innovation
Management skills are essential for this
innovation, said Kellie Easter, who noted that
“management skills in online communication and
creation of processes to receive, assess, provide
feedback, result and maintain records are required
by all lecturers in our business unit”. The unit is
basically self-managing, bonded by a shared
commitment to servicing the OSH industry and
meeting client needs by being flexible.
Andrew met the staff at WCIT when he worked next door at the Joondalup Police
Academy. So when he decided on a complete career change to become a safety
officer in the resources industry, and took up a position at a mine site in West
Papua Indonesia, he asked the WCIT staff for their advice. With their guidance,
and studying by distance education, over a two year period he gained both the
Certificate IV and the Diploma in OSH and now holds a supervisory role in the
north-west of WA where he looks after a team of seven safety advisors and two
administration support staff.
How did you come to do this course?
I was a police officer before joining and the Police Academy had a close relationship
with West Coast Institute of Training and its staff. When I left the police I took a job
overseas working in Indonesia on a mine site and subsequently studied with the
Institute by correspondence.
Where were you located when you did the program?
I was based at a mine site in West Papua in Indonesia and through the relationship
with Nancy Skene I was able to do it by correspondence and do it in my own time over
there.
What were the benefits for you of being able to do it like that?
Obviously the flexibility of when I could the assignments: I worked a month on, month
off. There was really no pressure to get them done and I could take my time and learn
how to do it properly. I was also in the mining industry and learning at the same time.
Did the staff at WCIT get to know what you particularly needed?
Yes, absolutely. Obviously I had to do all the core units but in sitting down with Nancy I
was able to map out what I needed to do and what I didn’t. With one aspect about
incident investigation I managed to gain RPL (recognition of prior learning) for that
part. Nancy gave me a hand with the RPL process.
West Coast Institute staff understood that I had many other qualifications and
industry experience including seven years in construction but I just needed the right
qualifications to get into the safety area. And that was very helpful.
What other skills did people like Nancy Skene use to help you?
Well certainly flexibility. She was very flexible in relation to ‘you should do this
course first, this might help you, this one certainly will’. With her experience and
what she knows about safety and what people want in the industry, that advice was
very helpful. I was running ideas past her and asking ‘Should I go for this course? Or
should I do this?’ She was very helpful.
WCIT and client outcomes
What were the outcomes for you personally?
Both WCIT and clients benefit from this innovative
approach to OSH. The client benefits are cited
above and articulated in the attached two
interviews. The benefits for WCIT are substantial
and include economies of scale. The ‘lecturer to
profile’ ratio is well under the recommended level
and the 2010 profile of 120,000 hours was delivered
by 4.5 equivalent full time lecturers. 120,000 hours
of delivery would normally require 5.45 lecturers.
‘Resulted’ hours have increased dramatically from
30,000 student contact hours in 2007 to 120,000
hours in 2010.
It’s certainly given me the ability to get to the position that I am in today. I spent two
years working in Indonesia and four years in the WA mining industry. It’s also given
me the drive to go on to university. I’ve just finished a university degree at Edith
Cowan and I’m stepping over to do my Masters in Risk Management at a University in
Melbourne very shortly.
Is there anything else that you want to say about WCIT?
The best advertising you can get is when people recommend your Institute to other
people and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past six years since leaving the police.
Anybody who comes to me and asks how do I get into the mining game or how do I get
into a safety role, I say go and see these people at WCIT and they’ll be able to help
you. All the staff at WCIT need to do is to just keep doing what they’re doing.
Interview with WCIT client: Damien Connolly,
Safety Advisor, Conneq at BHP Newman
Damien undertook through the Institute the
Certificate IV and the Diploma Occupational Health
and Safety through a recognition of prior learning
(RPL) process. To meet the requirements he used a
combination of face to face meetings with WCIT staff
and distance education.
Why did you undertake the program?
It’s a minimum requirement standard now, industrywide.
What benefits were you seeking from doing the course?
The benefits were to basically gain recognition for my
skills and then, in moving on to the Diploma, the more
education, the more knowledge I get, then the better my
career will be.
How did the WCIT staff get to know your particular
needs?
I’d been an operations manager for 11 years, and I found
out what the requirements were to get into safety. I then
decided to, one way or the other, get the minimum
requirement which is a Certificate IV. And through the
knowledge and understanding of the Institute staff we
agreed that I had the background to do the Certificate IV
basically through RPL (recognition of prior learning).
I’ve met with them quite a few times. For example the
last meeting I had, I went in and saw Nancy Skene. [To
start] I rang them up, they were fantastic, they said
come in. Basically I just wanted confirmation of exactly
what was required, and there were a couple of points
that I wanted confirmation on: exactly what was
required and would this be enough?
How did the RPL process proceed?
The initial WCIT lecturer was John Binks, and he was excellent. I basically
initiated a face-to-face meeting to gain a total understanding of what was
required as far as an RPL was concerned. I wanted to see the format the
evidence was required in and it gave me a great understanding so that I could go
back and put my studies together. It was great to just have that one-on-one,
initial contact with John Binks, because it really did confirm exactly what was
required, first hand.
I was an operations manager looking after the OH&S side for about seven years,
in its entirety. Being a records and information manager I was able to put
together [for WCIT] the old documentation like copies of Minutes.
What skills were used by WCIT staff like John Binks and Nancy Skene to help
you?
They’re both very knowledgeable about OH&S and the course requirements.
They’re both very helpful, they helped me just to confirm and clarify exactly what
I was required to do. I didn’t want to be going and coming and asking different
questions. They were very clear about what was required in the course. After I
met with both of them a couple of times it enabled me to go back and say to
myself, I can do it and I want to do it and I’ll get everything together.
Have there been benefits for your organisation as well as for you?
There can be no negatives about me doing further safety courses because you
can never gain enough knowledge about safety.
Is there anything else you’d want to say about WCIT in terms of assisting you to
meet your goals?
If I’m going to do any more further education, which I’ve already had a brief
discussion about with Nancy, that’s where I’ll be going, because I think they’re
very good mentors and very helpful. I’ve referred at least four or five people to
West Coast Institute of Training and I’m now doing more myself. I’m doing my
senior first aid two-day course now as we speak. If people ask me how do we get
into safety I tell them you can do it from Newman, you can do it online, speak to
Nancy Skene, speak to John Binks, and they’ll point you in the right direction. I’ll
continue to do that.
...”YOU CAN NEVER GAIN ENOUGH
KNOWLEDGE ABOUT SAFETY...”
19
1.3
Business Growth Centre external clients: small business owners
CASE STUDY: Figuring out exactly what
small business needs
INNOVATION HIGHLIGHTS
>
Innovation origin: WA Government support for
flexible training for small business
>
Innovation exemplar 2: BGC advisors go to their
clients’ workplaces
>
Innovation goal 1: provide WA small business owners
with access to training and expertise
>
Innovation exemplar 3: Business owners immediately
offered recognition of prior learning
>
Innovation goal 2: grow WA small businesses
>
>
Innovation type: service
Innovation skills of BGC staff: services are highly
flexible to suit the business client
>
Innovation category: radical
>
>
Innovation exemplar 1: BGC sales consultants meet
small business owners face-to-face
Innovation management approach by BGC:
partnerships provide a strong platform
>
Innovation critical success factor: connecting with the
business owner one-to-one
>
Innovation outcomes for client: qualifications and
confidence gained and business plans developed
20
The Business Growth Centre (BGC) is an independently branded subsidiary of West Coast
Institute of Training (WCIT) and assists small business owners to obtain the skills and
knowledge to remain competitive in a changing economy.
BGC provides a range of services for small businesses around
Western Australia including the Small Business Solutions®
program that includes affordable one-to-one mentoring for small
business owners in their workplace The support begins with a
Business Health Check which identifies any skills gaps and at the
same time offers the chance of recognition of prior learning
(RPL) for six units of competency – a mix of Certificate level III
and IV units. The advisor is then able to offer specific advice to
the business owners; with the intent of assisting the business
owners solve a particular problem or strategies around new
business opportunities. The business owner can then continue to
work with the advisor if they wish by purchasing further blocks of
three hour sessions - including an examination of five units of
competency via RPL per three hour session – and can work
through the full Certificate IV in Small Business Management or
through to the Diploma.
Another innovative program entitled Aboriginal Business
Mentoring involves BGC offering culturally appropriate and
personalised mentoring and coaching services within small
businesses across metropolitan and regional WA.
Description
BGC offers one-to-one mentoring in the workplace at a time and
place that suits the business owner. Additionally, the BGC advisor
is able to conduct a business health check and to offer, if
appropriate, accredited training via recognition of prior learning
(RPL).
BGC Director Tania Fotheringhame is enthusiastic about the
efficiency of her team’s approach to assisting small businesses
and the distinctive elements of the assistance package:
Following the health check and taking them through the RPL
of those six units in the first session with the business owner,
our advisor has a pretty good idea of the small business
owner’s skills gaps and the needs of their business.
The sessions are three hours and they’re usually split into two
one and a half hour sessions. The second session involves the
specific mentoring and advice and that again is a point of
difference from other small business programs that are out
there. Our program is accredited, it takes place in their
workplace and we are able to give specific advice, so there are
three key points of difference.
Client benefits
The definition of a small business from the point of view of BGC is
less than 20 staff. By offering one-to-one mentoring specific to
the needs of a business, their innovative approach benefits small
business owners who operate either in the metropolitan or
regional areas of WA, and in any industry. “It is envisaged that the
benefits gained by business owners flow through to their staff
and of course their clientele,” added Tania.
Beneficiaries include Indigenous business owners who go
through the Aboriginal Business Mentoring Program, as
illustrated by the attached interview with Aboriginal client and
small business owner Greg Nannup.
Skills used by BGC staff
The staff skills that underpin the innovative approaches include
the following, said Tania: “exceptional communication,
networking and presentation skills to convey the benefits of BGC
programs to small business owners”.
BGC recruits staff with a successful small business background
and each individual brings a wealth of knowledge and experience
that can be used for the promotion of the programs as well as for
managing the mentors and clients and ensuring that the
programs are a perfect fit with the needs of each business.
Extensive industry relationships throughout all industry sectors
ensure that BGC staff are up to date with what is happening in a
particular industry and that this knowledge is communicated to
clients and stakeholders.
Origin of the ideas behind the innovation
In the context of the global financial crisis and continuing volatile
economic conditions, the WA State Government recognised the
need to support small business owners who were already
established. As a result, the BGC initiative was implemented to
help these small businesses remain competitive in the changing
economy and adapt and/or diversify accordingly.
With small business being at the core and foundation of economic
development in Australia in both metropolitan and regional
areas, existing business support programs were not meeting the
needs of small business operators. BGC is able to provide
business support at the client’s convenience and at a convenient
time, it has made the programs much more accessible and it has
opened up opportunities for small business owners to take
training and mentoring more seriously and consider it as an
option on a regular basis.
Innovation process
The key process used by BGC is to connect face to face with each
business owner, said Tania Fotheringhame. But for the process
to work, BGC needs to have the right business consultants and
the right advisors:
Small business owners are so busy working on their
business; they’re a very hard group to connect with
and you’ll only do it one-on-one. You can send all the
emails out, you can do all of the marketing and
promoting that you like, but you’ve really got to get in
there and connect with them one-on-one and let
them know what’s available and what we can help
them achieve. So that’s where our sales team with
their business consultants is essential, going out and
explaining it and signing up business owners. And
also we’ve worked really hard recruiting the
advisors, to get the right people.
The process begins with a consultation with the
business owner in their business premises to discuss
and determine what issues are affecting their business
and what type of information or knowledge would best
help them to operate their business better. A business
advisor is then selected based on the needs of the
business and the skills and background of the advisor.
The first step in the process, for both the Small
Business Solutions and the specifically targeted
Aboriginal Business Mentoring, is for the small
business owner and advisor to complete a Business
Health Check. This includes six units of competency and
involves an assessment of the skills of the business
owner for the purposes of recognition of prior learning
(RPL). The RPL service also identifies any gaps or
opportunities within the business. The advisor then
spends the remaining allocated time helping the
business owner with their specific challenges. These
issues vary greatly from business to business and
across industries.
The follow-up process is to encourage the business
owner to continue with the mentoring in order to
achieve measureable business outcome(s), and along
the way, achieve a Certificate IV in Small Business
Management, Diploma of Marketing or Diploma of
Management.
Management skills assisting the innovation
Being auspiced through the WCIT has enabled the BGC
to access information and expertise to develop new
programs and build new relationships to establish an
identity in the regions and raise the profile within the
metropolitan area. BGC staff have adapted their existing
programs and implementation strategies to meet the
needs of small business owners and have developed
additional ones to meet demand. For example, its
program Green Business Skills was developed to meet
the new requirements of many organisations to
implement a green environmental policy, especially for
obtaining further work from tendering.
THE KEY PROCESS USED BY BGC
IS TO CONNECT FACE TO FACE WITH
EACH BUSINESS OWNER...
21
Case study 1.3: Figuring out exactly what small business needs continued...
Tania Fotheringhame has also ensured the messages
marketed to the small business community are positive
and uplifting:
Prior to me coming on board the marketing had a bit of
a negative connotation: Are you drowning in your cash
flow? Is your business going under? We’ve changed it
now: Do you want to take your business to the next
level? Do you want to be the best in your field? Do you
want to tap into the resources boom? Do you want help
to apply for those tenders and contracts and get out
there? We’re finding this positive approach works well.
Small Business Solutions Aboriginal mentoring. The Small
Business Solutions Aboriginal mentoring offered by BGC is
carefully managed to accommodate the two groups of
business owners BGC finds in the one regional location,
said Tania:
22
In the regional areas, people can have one of two
different mindsets. Some may want a local advisor to
work with them. Say if you were in Geraldton you might
want a Geraldton advisor because that person
understands Geraldton’s challenges and issues and the
Geraldton culture. Others may not want somebody local
because they’re disclosing all of their confidential
business information and they may prefer someone who
comes down from Perth and helps them; it’s all done
confidentially, no one’s ever going to know their
business. So we offer both options and I think that’s
again an example of our flexibility. It is a real draw card
for the clients that they can choose.
Additionally, BGC has an indigenous advisor but the
business owner can choose whether he or she wants to
work with an indigenous advisor. The BGC advisors that do
work with indigenous business owners have completed
cultural awareness training and have substantial
experience in working with Aboriginal businesses.
The units of competency are also tailored to suit the owners,
added Tania Fotheringhame. “We might not offer ‘Using Business
Technology’ units because if they run an art business, they may
not have a computer.”
How the innovation is being implemented
The implementation of BGC strategies starts with the
recruitment of qualified and skilled consultants, mentors and
advisors across WA who possess a suite of expertise that can be
matched to business owners’ specific needs. BGC consultants
then engage one-to-one with small business owners to
communicate the programs on offer by BGC and the benefits to
their business.
BGC has found that the best ways to engage with the small
business owners are through networking, partnering with
Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CCI) both in the
metropolitan and regional areas, advertising on the ‘On the
pulse’ website containing free information for small business
owners, making presentations at business functions, exhibiting
at expos and conferences, cold calling in person but not by
phone, and via client testimonials and referrals.
One of the major strategies used by BGC to implement its
strategies is to form partnerships. It has developed many
partnerships in the regions with the local Chambers of
Commerce as well as with the overall Chamber of Commerce and
Industry WA. Partnerships are also in place with some of the
former TAFE institutes, including VTEC in Kalgoorlie and Durack
Institute of Technology in Geraldton.
BGC also operates as a referral service, advising its small
business owners to pursue further training with registered
training providers, added Tania.
Interview with BGC client:
Greg Nannup, Director of Indigenous
Tours WA at Kings Park
Part of what we do is we promote other people’s
training. On our website we have a list of what
training courses are available on a month-bymonth basis so any small business centre,
training organisation, or anybody who is running
courses can email us their details and we’ll
have them in the calendar. Businesses are able
to look up and see what kind of training is going
on and then they can contact that provider
directly. We do the same thing with any
networking events or business events that are
on: we are used as a portal for that too.
Client outcomes
In the last two years, BGC has assisted over 450
small business owners, like Greg Nannup, in its
core mentoring programs. It continues to receive
positive client testimonials, ongoing up-take of
training, and positive responses to client surveys.
BGC staff find that once the small business owner
gains confidence, then more growth follows, both
for the business and the owner.
Results from client surveys conducted six months
after completion of the Small Business Solutions
program in 2011 showed that:
• 80% of clients found BGC services had
addressed their business issues
• 75% had implemented business changes since
their mentoring sessions
• 85% strongly recommend BGC services to other
small business owners
• 30% said that BGC services had led to an
increased profit for their business.
Some concrete achievements by BGC from the
April-June 2011 quarter included:
• 1,982 one-on-one contacts were made with BGC
clients between April-June 2011
• three networking events were held, attended by
165 small business owners/operators
• 3,212 website hits were received, with visitors
spending an average 3.4 minutes on the site
• 232 other business now advertise through the
BGC website small business directory
• regional offices are now open and staffed in
Albany, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie
• the CBD office is now open and staffed in Perth
CBD, co-located on the CCIWA site.
Additionally, 400 training courses from other RTOs
are advertised on the BGC website. 80% of these
are private RTOs.
Indigenous entrepreneur Greg Nannup has a vision for
increasing indigenous employment and strengthening
indigenous culture through the tourism industry in
Western Australia. Greg’s business, Indigenous Tours WA,
is based largely in the magnificent Kings Park near the
CBD. Greg conducts regular walking tours, sharing
dreamtime stories, offering experiences with traditional
tools and weapons and providing education about bush
medicine and tucker.
The West Coast Institute of Training’s Business Growth
Centre Business Advisor Leonie Mirmikidis supported Greg
to refresh his business plan and develop a marketing plan
to take Indigenous Tours to the next level. Leonie also
assisted with the paperwork required for Tourism Council
accreditation. The Business Growth Centre recognised that
Greg already had the skills to run his business
successfully, which helped fast-track his achievement of
qualifications. Greg gained a Certificate IV in Business
(Small Business Management) partly through recognition
of prior learning (RPL).
What were some of the things you were helped with by the
Business Growth Centre?
A lady called Leonie came in and sat down with me and helped
me draw up a business plan: she helped me go through all the
paperwork and understand how it’s all meant to work. That
help was probably the best thing because it gave me a clear
direction about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do.
That was a huge help. She also helped me draw up the
paperwork to gain accreditation for the Tourism Council, so it
was really a great help to me.
What sort of approaches used by BGC helped you achieve
what you wanted to?
We had to get together a lot of documents for a contract up in
Kings Park. We needed to get everything in order so we could
apply for our workers’ compensation insurance and all our
public liability insurance. It’s not an easy task setting up a
business; and having somebody look over your shoulder to
help you and provide experience really does make a
difference.
What were some of the skills that you feel you gained from
working with BGC?
It’s brushed up my ability to write documents. You learn how
to do these things in high school but there is a bit of a gap
between when you leave school and set something up. It was
a good, quick refresher to have somebody looking over my
shoulder while I prepared the documents.
23
Case study 1.3: Figuring out exactly what small business needs continued...
Following the work with BGC, has your Kings Park business
flourished?
I guess you could say it has. I mean we’ve been up there for
quite some time now, since 2008. We got our official license
agreement in 2010 and there are still quite a few little
hurdles around but we’ve overcome most of them.
Understanding how all of these things work has given us a
clear direction about how the management system in the
park works.
Do you feel confident about continued business growth?
Yes. I’m going to launch my Fremantle Aboriginal Heritage
tour for the general public in the next month, so that’s
something new. That product has always been there, but we
needed to make a bit more money in the industry, so we’re
going to set up a public version of the product.
So you’re re-launching the Fremantle Aboriginal Heritage
Tour?
24
Well we’ve always run it for AAT Kings Tours for their
season from August. They book a year in advance and they
give us all the dates so we lock them in. So the product has
been ticking along nicely but every now and then we’ll get a
group from the general public that wants to book it but
because we’ve been focusing on the Kings Park tour so
heavily we haven’t found more resources to put into it. It’s
the longest running indigenous product in Perth, so it’s a
good product.
What else would you like BGC to do for indigenous
businesses?
I would like to see them get involved with other indigenous
businesses around the state and help them set up because
indigenous tourism is an industry that’s moving forward
quite heavily now. It’s one of the pulling points for tourism in
Western Australia, which is good. How do the indigenous
operators work together and get all those processes
happening to be able to really stand out and shine in the
industry? I think the Business Growth Centre would be able
to help them.
Is there anything else you’d want to say about the Business
Growth Centre and the assistance they gave you?
A very professional group, very easy to work with and
extremely helpful. They have the ability to be able to assess
and figure out exactly what you need. I’ve recommended a
few other people that are getting into business to talk to
them.
...”A VERY
PROFESSIONAL
GROUP, VERY
EASY TO WORK
WITH AND
EXTREMELY
HELPFUL...”
WCIT external customer: Catalyst, a school for Aboriginal people
from ages 12-19 years
WCIT section: Aboriginal Academy of Sport, Health and
Education (AASHE)
1.4
CASE STUDY: Listening to the needs
INNOVATION HIGHLIGHTS
>
Innovation origin: WCIT’s Aboriginal Education,
Employment and Training Committee proposed the
initiative
>
Innovation goal 1: to provide holistic support for
Aboriginal people in an encompassing delivery
environment
>
Innovation goal 2: to enable Aboriginal people to
develop confidence in their capacity to be innovative
>
Innovation goal 3: to maximise students’ development
of self-esteem, assertiveness, positive business
attitudes and work ethics
>
Innovation types: organisational and process
>
Innovation category: incremental
>
Innovation exemplar 1: partnerships with local
agencies to meet industry workforce needs
>
Innovation exemplar 2: construction of Yellagonga
meeting place at WCIT provides dedicated space for
participants
>
Innovation skills of WCIT staff: community-building,
communication and management
>
Innovation management approach by WCIT:
consultative, collaborative, reflective
>
Innovation critical success factor: humility in seeking
input from Aboriginal people
>
Innovation outcomes for client: growth in
participation, resilience, qualifications
25
Description of innovation
The Aboriginal Academy of Sport, Health and Education (AASHE)
is dedicated to delivering customised training and education to
the Aboriginal community. Since its official launch in 2010 the
AASHE program has received acclaim and subsequently the
program has expanded. As it evolves, the AASHE program will
focus not only on Community Services and Sports and Fitness,
and more recently Health, but also will provide programs in Child
Care and Education Support specifically to meet the needs of
indigenous young people in the north metropolitan area of Perth
and beyond.
Through partnerships with agencies and services that specifically
cater for the needs of Aboriginal groups such as HALO (Hope
Aspiration Leadership Opportunity) and the Catalyst School in
Clarkson as well as the Department of Child Protection, AASHE is
well positioned to meet the diverse needs of this client base.
Innovation is at the core of the Academy. A key component is that
it was conceived and endorsed by the WCIT Aboriginal Education
Employment and Training Committee. There is high level
collaboration with other agencies working with young Aboriginal
people, including schools. The innovative approach followed by
Gareth McGrath, Coordinator Access and Foundation Studies and
his team also includes students participating in ‘choosing’ their
programs and key program content. In addition, students
simultaneously develop leadership skills. Mentoring of students
in the program is a key component and critical to its success.
In 2011 AASHE gained support from the Department of Health to
deliver a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance. This
qualification is being implemented to address the future
workforce needs of the health sector, and will provide students
with an opportunity to articulate into further training in areas
such as nursing and allied health. This program builds on the
successes of the Certificate II in Community Services which
provides students with an entry point and exposure to the
broader industry.
As part of the community services training, students also were
offered the opportunity to complete 40 hours of work experience
in a field of employment they had identified. This allowed the
students to develop relevant workplace skills within the
community and to directly meet the needs of industry.
Case study 1.4: Listening to the needs continued...
Client benefits
The AASHE program endeavors to
achieve the following outcomes for
all of its students:
• to provide holistic support for
Aboriginal people in an
encompassing delivery
environment
• to facilitate appropriate referrals
if necessary
• to engage students in project
learning that enables Aboriginal
people to develop confidence in
their capacity to be innovative
• to continue to maximise students’
development of self-esteem,
assertiveness, positive business
attitudes and work ethics.
26
The AASHE program identified that
by fostering a culture of identity and
belonging among the students it is
able to promote capacity building and
resilience. To achieve capacity
building and resilience, the program
has two categories of programs:
• four streams that develop the
employability skills of its
participants
• higher level programs that lead to
employment.
The four streams that develop
employability skills are as follows:
• Certificate I Work opportunities
Community Services: a VET in
Schools program that articulates
into the Certificate II
• Certificate III in Health Services
Assistance, to meet a workforce
need
• GATE (Certificate 1 in Gaining
Access to Training and Education)
disengaged program: for at risk
indigenous young people involved
in the Catalyst program
• GATE high achievers program: for
students who have received
scholarships to Perth private
schools.
The high retention rate in these programs is the result of many factors
including the initiative of WCIT in constructing the Yellagonga Meeting Place.
This allows the Aboriginal young people who are engaged in the on-campus
delivery of the program an opportunity to use an area that specifically belongs
to them.
A number of higher level programs are available exclusively for Aboriginal or
Torres Strait Islander people and are specifically designed to be culturally
sensitive and recognise the needs of these students. The programs provide
students with hands-on practical training and involve engaging them through
personal success stories. “The Academy supports students to take
opportunities and pursue a positive future,” says Gareth McGrath. The
programs designed to lead to employment are as follows:
• The Certificate III in Health Services Assistance. Completing the course
allows students to work as Assistants in Nursing. It may also lead to further
training in the health area as the course can be a pathway into the
Certificate IV in Preparation for Enrolled Nursing and subsequently, the
Diploma of Enrolled Nursing.
• Certificate III in Education Support. Completing the course allows students
to work as an Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer in schools. It may
also lead to further training in the education area as the course can be a
pathway into the Certificate IV in Education Support and subsequently, the
Diploma of Education Support. The Institute is launching the Certificate IV
program in late 2011.
The development of the various programs for regional Aboriginal young people
based in Perth also allows the AASHE program to promote positive role
modeling that the students will be able to transfer back to their own
communities in the future.
Skills used by WCIT staff
All WCIT staff involved in the AASHE program are given the opportunity to
develop programs that stimulate and challenge students to achieve the best
possible outcome in their learning. There are concrete benefits of this
approach said Gareth McGrath:
By brainstorming with students about what they want to achieve we have
been able to develop programs that not only satisfy the course guidelines,
but also allow the students to develop ownership over the programs that
they are involved in.
AASHE encourages the philosophy of always thoroughly evaluating completed
projects or programs in order to ascertain the strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats that can make them more sustainable and
appropriate to the target group.
Gareth emphasised the importance of shared goals among the WCIT staff, and
that they know their roles:
Within the AASHE working environment staff work for the advancement of
team goals, as opposed to working for individual advancement. It is also
important that everyone in the team knows their role and their
responsibilities, as this allows everyone to remain accountable and allows
individual credibility to be upheld.
All staff engaged in the AASHE program are able to develop appropriate and
effective rapport with the students, therefore fostering trust and
subsequently accountability on the students’ part for their own learning.
AN OUTCOME FOR THE PROGRAM WILL BE
THAT IT IS DEVELOPED AND IMPLEMENTED
BY LOCAL ABORIGINAL PARTICIPANTS
Origin of the ideas behind the innovation
Management skills
Recognising that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
face challenges to their economic and social well-being on a day
to day basis, the Institute’s Aboriginal Education, Employment
and Training Committee (AEETC) recommended the
establishment of a dedicated Academy to create new
opportunities for the Aboriginal community. A pilot program
commenced in 2009 and the Academy now delivers innovative
and culturally sensitive training and education for the Aboriginal
community, opening up future opportunities for employment in
health, education, sport and fitness.
Effective management skills are both needed and demonstrated
in AASHE in order to achieve desired goals and intended
outcomes. AASHE has actively sought to employ Aboriginal
lecturers and support staff lecturers to provide positive role
modeling and to compile lesson plans and strategies that most
appropriately meet the needs of the students. This has required
the team to work autonomously in order to meet these goals but
to then share them with colleagues and others as the programs
develop and expand to wider client groups.
Instead of creating a set of rules and boundaries for its students
to adhere to, the AASHE program encourages its students to
create a sense of identity for the program and develop leadership
internally, said Gareth McGrath.
An outcome for the program will be that it is developed and
implemented by local Aboriginal participants and that the
Aboriginal community will be able to guide the long term
outcomes of the program.
The AASHE program regularly consults local indigenous groups
in order for it to meet the needs of its client group. AASHE has
also developed programs with other agencies and services such
as the Shifting Perspectives mural collaboration with the
Joondalup Police Academy. Shifting Perspectives was designed
to help improve youth/police relationships and the AASHE
students have completed three large-scale murals on a variety of
topics such as Community Policing and Reconciliation. The
murals are exhibited at the WA Police Academy.
Innovation implementation
Close involvement with the local community is helping to embed
the innovation. AASHE is continuing its memorandum of
understanding with the City of Wanneroo that allows the program
to be delivered at the Wanneroo Youth Centre in Wanneroo and
the Phil Renkin Centre in Two Rocks. The latter is a youth friendly
environment that allows the young people to develop a sense of
identity, belonging and ultimately autonomy.
Most AASHE projects are community-based. For instance, in 2011
students were asked to identify areas within the City of
Joondalup catchment area that they believe would benefit from a
mural arts program. This included areas of potential anti-social
behaviour such as underpasses and public toilets. Through the
development of ownership, identity and belonging this program
allowed the promotion of character and identity in the Joondalup
region and deterred graffiti and vandalism in the City of
Joondalup property, reported Gareth McGrath.
27
Case study 1.4: Listening to the needs continued...
Interview with WCIT client:
Michael Parker, Principal, Catalyst
Funding was secured from the 2011
Education and Training Participation
Plans (ETPP) to engage an Aboriginal
support worker within the AASHE
program. This position is performed by
former AASHE graduate and WCIT
student of the year Kaila Riley and her
role is to facilitate the engagement and
retention of students within the AASHE
program.
Outcomes
28
In 2010, 48 students were engaged in the
Aboriginal Academy for Sports Health
and Education (AASHE). Of these, 23
students completed the Certificate II in
Sport Coaching and 25 completed the
Certificate II in Community Services.
These programs were delivered both on
and off campus and were formed in
conjunction with local government and
other local agencies and services such
as the City of Wanneroo, Catalyst
schools and the HALO (Hope Aspiration
Leadership Opportunity) Aboriginal
support group. The AASHE program has
grown and the 2011 enrolments doubled
to 134.
Success is generally also measured
through the retention of students
throughout the semester and the
completion rate of students engaged in
the program. Over 80% of students
enrolled in the semester 2 2010 AASHE
program achieved competence and a
similar outcome was achieved in
semester 1 2011.
Gareth McGrath summed up the driving
purpose behind the initiative:
For the last two years we have
worked on improving and developing
West Coast Institute of Training’s
AASHE programs so that they
effectively help students become
successful people who are
workplace-ready and are re-engaged
in the learning process.
Catalyst takes an holistic approach to meeting young people at
their point of need, both real and perceived, to foster well-being
that encompasses every aspect of their person and releases the
young person to pursue a meaningful, happy life. Catalyst
operates on the understanding that barriers to growth in young
people are more often social and contextual than lack of ability.
Addressing these barriers is a key to unlocking the future and
engaging them in education and preparing them for the
workforce.
What is Catalyst’s overall aim?
Catalyst is a school for at-risk young people and particularly young
people who have had interaction with the justice system. Their
educational experience is somewhat limited and the capacity of
organisations to recognise their needs and deliver appropriately is
often a problem. Also we want to move our students on, into
beginning that journey of gaining their Certificate III and Certificate
IV related to apprenticeships and traineeships.
What is the background of the young people?
We take on young people from age 12 upwards. We have two
campuses, one boys, one girls, and they range up to 18/19 and so
particularly with the older students who are starting to hit 15 and a
half, 16, or 17, they need to move forward from a Year 10 level. Most
of them are not able to successfully complete Year 11 and 12 but for
many of them even after a year or two with us they still lack
confidence in their abilities and are still needing support. That’s
what the Aboriginal Academy of Sport, Health and Education offers
us: it is a chance to continue their education so that they can be
competitive in a job market.
What do the young people gain from your collaboration with WCIT?
It continues their social development and their capacity to operate in
an environment that is always a positive towards young Aboriginal
people. West Coast Institute of Training offers the best environment
for us to be able to work in collaboration to manage the special
needs of our students.
How well did WCIT find out what you needed?
We had a series of interviews where we were able to clearly indicate
what our needs were. They then framed programs for us rather than
our students having to fit into existing structures which weren’t
exactly what were needed. West Coast had the flexibility to redesign
their delivery and redesign their programs.
How else do they collaborate with you?
In the boys’ program that is being delivered now, one
of the WCIT staff members has actually spent time
within our program so that he’s been able to build
relationship with students in order to make that
crossover easier. And we meet on a regular basis to
discuss the students’ needs. Our staff are involved
with their delivery and they’ve welcomed our staff as
part of their team and so it’s been quite a close
collaboration.
Was there one critical step taken?
There were probably a lot of little steps to ensure that
we were going to have outcomes that were positive
for the young people. That was critical for us because
we’ve had other situations where our young people
have actually had setbacks because what’s been
promised hasn’t been delivered or their needs haven’t
been recognised.
“Catalyst is a school
for at-risk young
people and particularly
young people who have
had interaction with
the justice system”...
What skills were used by the West Coast staff?
From the outset they were listening to our needs and
then they had the capacity to go away and to design
and then to manage a program as negotiated. I think
there was also a capacity on their part to see our
expertise: there wasn’t any arrogance on their part. In
a sense they were saying ‘Well you’ve been the ones
working with your students, now what can you tell us
about them and how might we best work with them?’ I
think overall they have some very good skills in
community-building and in communication and
management.
What are the outcomes of the WCIT partnership for
Catalyst?
One of our students was nominated for WCIT Student
of the Year which was a great encouragement, not just
for that particular person but for others to see what
was possible. Also we’ve been able to bridge that gap
into adult education which has given some confidence
to young people that it’s possible for them. We are
getting them initially to complete their Certificate I
and then giving them an understanding of the journey
to their Certificate III, Certificate IV, Diploma and so
on. That continuation of education is often lacking for
Aboriginal people.
Is there anything else you’d like to say about WCIT?
We are not only continuing to work with them but we
are looking at other opportunities to increase our
partnership and in my mind that says it all.
29
WCIT internal customer: academic and non-academic staff
seeking leadership development or
other new skills
1.5
CASE STUDY: Coaching managers
INNOVATION HIGHLIGHTS
>
Innovation origin: WCIT’s Managing Director gained
an accredited qualification as a coach
>
Innovation exemplar: coaching is one strategy within
WCIT’s leadership development program
>
Innovation goal 1: more staff, both teaching and nonteaching, develop coaching skills
>
>
Innovation goal 2: participants in the program
develop new skills for assisting colleagues
Innovation skills of WCIT staff: the designers of the
leadership program ensured there were sufficient
opportunities for participants to practice
>
Innovation goal 3: coaching will assist leadership
development of both academic and non-academic
managers
Innovation management approach by WCIT: targeting
of participants
>
Innovation critical success factor: modeling by the MD
and Executive
>
Innovation type: process
>
>
Innovation category: incremental
Innovation outcomes: the organisation gains from
better leaders; the individual gains from managing
staff better
>
30
Description of innovation
Institute goals
WCIT launched its coaching program in 2010, not in isolation but
as one part of its leadership strategy, said Kerry Kapel, Manager
Workforce Services:
In our challenging and changing environment, future success will
depend on “the quality, resilience and innovation of leaders
throughout the organisation,” said Kerry.
Coaching forms part of a broader leadership strategy. It’s one
of the good tools that can be used to develop people and to
develop good leadership capability.
The WCIT coaching program involves a number of elements
including two structured workshops for theory and practice and
guided reading, as well as the 360 degree feedback tool.
Kerry is aware that coaching is not a new idea, but a coaching
program is innovative for WCIT:
Coaching itself is not an innovation per se, but in our
organisation it certainly hasn’t been put into place before, and
so it’s an innovative approach for us to be using coaching in
the way that we have.
Coaching is seen as a way of improving organisational
effectiveness by offering a flexible and reflective approach as a
tool to working with others.
The Institute vision is that ‘our students have world class
skills’ and achieving that begins with the world class skills of
our leaders. As part of a holistic leadership development
strategy, coaching is seen as a way of improving
organisational effectiveness by offering a flexible, solution
focused approach as a tool to working with others.
Coaching can result in powerful individual relevant learning with
a consequent increase in professional competence. The process
of reflection and thinking enables the person to align their own
thinking, knowledge, skills and leadership style with the needs of
the organisation. Table 1 provides a summary of the benefits of
coaching for both the organisation and individual, prepared by
Kerry Kapel.
Table 1. Benefits of coaching for the organisation
and individual, prepared by Kerry Kapel
BENEFITS OF COACHING FOR
THE ORGANISATION
BENEFITS OF COACHING
FOR INDIVIDUAL
• Alignment of individual and organisational
values and goals
• Leads to improved performance,
increased job satisfaction
• Better equipped managers to deal with
performance issues, improve interactions
with staff, change and deal with conflict
• Safe place to talk about issues
• Developing leadership capacity
• Challenge assumptions
• Demonstrated commitment to
development of individuals
• Support and encouragement
• Retention of staff
• Learning about self, reflection
• Improved performance, productivity and
quality
• Develop communication skills
• Improved team effectiveness
• Develop understanding of organisation
Origin of the ideas behind the
innovation
The idea took root when the Managing Director
Sue Slavin and the new Manager Workforce
Services Kerry Kapel found they had a similar
view of the value of coaching, said Kerry:
I’ve been in the organisation about 18
months now and with my background in
organisational development I was used to
using coaching as a management tool. The
Executive team were all very supportive of
using coaching techniques. So then we
looked at how can we make sure that this is
brought into the organisation not just as a
once-off training course, but as part of a
cultural shift we would like to see in the way
that supervisors and managers work with
staff.
Interestingly, a Principal Lecturer also raised
the concept in one of the Managing Director’s
Open Door Days and subsequently she was
endorsed by the Institute to map the outcomes
of the initial coaching program in her Master’s
thesis.
Implementation of the innovation
As with all cultural change it is important that
initiatives are supported from the top, noted
Kerry.
The Managing Director completed a Diploma
of Coaching and individually coaches her
Executive team. This approach
demonstrates role modeling behaviour and
reflective awareness.
To get started, a coaching workshop was
held for the Corporate Executive to
outline coaching models, tools and
techniques. “The Executive team are all
committed to developing staff and using
coaching as an intervention tool,” said
Kerry.
Coaching is also viewed as one part of
the leadership program:
It’s really part of a leadership
strategy. We also have put into place
our West Coast leadership program
which is a new initiative. We have a
number of different things that fit
under that overall leadership
framework and coaching is one of
them.
Coaching also complements the
performance development program
we have in place and other training
that we have around interpersonal
skills and customer service. It fits as
part of a whole strategy, rather than
sitting alone. I think it’s important that
it is seen in that way; it is not just a
once-off thing.
Both the Managing Director and Manager
Workforce Services felt that the coaching
program would support middle
managers who had asked for more
training in performance management.
In 2010, two coaching skills
workshops were conducted including
the use of a 360 degree feedback tool
and 35 participants attended. The
workshops explored solution focused
coaching and how this can be used
effectively in team development. This
was followed by two individual
coaching sessions for participants.
These sessions were valuable in
seeing how a professional coach
works and also exploring work
related issues and how these might
be resolved.
The Corporate Executive was clear
about the target group for the
coaching, said Kerry:
We were targeting the middle
manager area and supervisors as
well: those people that work with
or have teams.
In addition, staff below the level of
supervisor were offered training in
interpersonal skills.
Ongoing support and advice on
coaching techniques and options are
made available through the
Workforce Services team, together
with a variety of reading material
available for use.
Institute outcomes
Managers are encouraged to use an
informal coaching approach with
their staff, when appropriate, as an
integral part of the management
style, but is difficult to isolate the
impact of coaching from other
changes in the business
environment, said Kerry. “Rather, it
is through subjective judgments
about whether participants have
improved their effectiveness.”
Pre- and post-course evaluation
indicates that staff saw developing
coaching skills as useful and they are
applying these skills in day to day
interactions with their staff. In
particular, the outcome of
performance development
discussions has improved, with more
engagement and ownership of goalsetting and developmental needs.
More focused questioning, listening
and feedback have resulted.
31
Case study 1.5: Coaching managers continued...
A post course interview was conducted by the Principal Lecturer
with participants and their line managers. Feedback indicated
that access to a professional coach was helpful for being able to
discuss work issues or ideas, gain new perspectives, create
clarity around desired outcomes and explore new ways to reach
a solution or conclusion. Kerry added:
Managers indicated that generally participants were using
coaching behaviours and tended to be more reflective about
management style, actions and the affect on staff.
Coaching is slowly gaining acceptance and momentum
through personal experience. Feedback also has indicated
that staff are using the skills with student interactions and
their personal lives.
One of the challenges is determining the appropriate level of
support to enable coaching relationships to be as effective as
possible in the organisational context. In response, some ideas
from Kerry Kapel are to develop a coaching network that
connects managers interested in coaching and sharing
experiences and to provide career coaching for identified
individuals as part of talent development at WCIT.
Interview with a participant
in the coaching program:
Tracy Ware, Lecturer,
Commercial Studies, WCIT
What was your reason or motivation for undertaking the
program?
I was going to provide an introduction to case management and
training for the Salvation Army and part of that was talking to
clients and using motivational interviewing so I thought this
coaching skill would be really useful to learn. And I also love
learning new things that I can use with my students.
Why is it useful with your students?
I’m a workplace trainer and sometimes when I’m teaching, say,
frontline management, the students need a lot of
encouragement to realise that they can do the tasks.
What other benefits were you seeking from the coaching
program?
To know the right kind of questions to ask, to understand a bit of
the psychology behind it all, to learn different techniques of
getting the best out of people.
Did the program meet your needs?
Definitely and more. The whole thing was very thorough.
What was innovative about the way the program was delivered?
32
The fact it was in the workplace was great, and the fact that
there was a diverse range of people there, not just lecturers.
What were some of the key steps the program followed that
helped you to achieve your goals?
It showed me the theory behind coaching and gave real life
situations about how it can work. In the program we were given
scenarios to experience how it feels, to actually go through and
think about what are our own motivators.
Was there any critical step that really clicked for you in the
program?
I think it was going through the motivational interviewing. I’d
just done case management training and I thought that’s just
what it’s about.
What are some of the outcomes for you and for your program in
your area now?
“Coaching is slowly
gaining acceptance
and momentum
through personal
experience...”
I prepared a case management and documentation training
session for the Salvation Army and that was very successful and
they really enjoyed it and got a lot from it. I used the coaching
techniques with my students one-to-one, asking them ‘Is this
important to you? If it’s important then what’s holding you back?
And how are you going to get there?’ And you can set positive
images for students: it really works.
Is there anything else you’d want to say about the coaching
program?
I think everyone should do it. Every lecturer should do it
because it’s so useful, not only in your teaching but in working
with different clients.
Interview with a participant in the coaching
program: David Hodgson, Workforce Development,
Health and Risk Consultant, WCIT
Why did you want to learn the skills of coaching?
I’ve taken over a role as a supervisor at WCIT so I haven’t had
that type of training for a long time. I used to work in the
Department of Defence up until 1997 and they did a fair bit of
that, probably in the early 1990s, but I hadn’t done anything
similar since then.
What sort of benefits were you looking for?
I’ve worked for a while with the people I am now supervising,
and after you work with someone for a while you have a
different relationship when you’re managing them. I just
wanted to try to manage that process.
How did you practice the skills of coaching?
I worked with two different people within the program, to finetune my skills and also to put them into practice. It wasn’t
theoretical, it was more practical, using expressions like ‘How
are you going to use this now? What process are you going to
use? When are you going to do it? Are you going to do it now?’
It was quite good from that perspective because I came back
to work and actually put it into practice. And it works.
What were some of the key steps in the program that helped
you get what you wanted from the program?
I learnt there are different ways of dealing with different
situations and there are different processes to go through. In
discussions with staff I often used to try to get their views on
different things and I’d play the devil’s advocate in trying to
get out a whole lot of views on different things; that’s probably
the technique that I used the most. I was trying to get people
to come out and give all their views so that we could go
forward from there.
What will be the outcomes for your section from you having
participated in the coaching program?
I’m more aware now of providing information and training
where sometimes in the past I might have said ‘Oh why don’t
they know that?’ But when you think about it they’re either a
new person in the area, haven’t worked in that sort of area
before, or they’re a young person without the experience that
you’ve got. So you need to give them that background
knowledge before you start saying you’ve done this wrong or
the process isn’t working, because you just don’t understand
how they were given that knowledge in the first place.
What did WCIT do to ensure this coaching program worked
well?
Well I think it showed that they’re interested in giving the
people the skills that they need to do their job and by doing
that they’re securing the organisation’s future as well.
There are too many organisations around that promote
people because they’ve been there a long time and they
don’t equip them with the skills to be able to do these other
jobs, particularly in management or supervision roles, so I
think it’s a good part of that.
Some people in the group were managers and supervisors
already and other people had shown leadership potential
and their director or their portfolio manager had said ‘Well
we want you to go on the course because we believe that
this will be valuable for us and for you for the future’. So
from that point of view the course was really good.
Is there anything else you’d want to say about it?
The potential for people to be managers and supervisors
was recognised and that’s why some people got their spots
on the program. So from a development point of view it was
really good and it created a lot of discussion among the
people that went from this non-academic area.
33
WCIT external customer: all students and their needs, from
enrolling to accessing training
1.6
CASE STUDY: The customer
experience keeps improving
INNOVATION HIGHLIGHTS
>
Innovation origin: Staff wanted to increase student
satisfaction ratings
>
Innovation exemplar: 80% of programs can now
accept online enrolment
>
Innovation goal 1: Improve enrolment process
>
>
Innovation goal 2: Accelerate generation of rolls
Innovation skills of WCIT staff: continually asking
what else can be improved
>
Innovation goal 3: Enhance student experience with
their training, through to the completion of their
program
>
Innovation management approach by WCIT: all
sections of the business, as needed, are included in
the examination of where improvements can be made
>
Innovation types: process
>
>
Innovation category: incremental
Innovation critical success factor: commitment to
continuous improvement
>
Innovation outcomes: WCIT’s student satisfaction
ratings have soared
34
Description of innovation
Since 2009 an innovative Customer Experience Group at WCIT
has impacted substantially on student services and student
satisfaction levels at the Institute. Russell Coad, General
Manager, Training and Business Services described how the
innovations around customer service grew from some initial
concerns some three years earlier about the length of the
student queues on enrolment day:
There were some general concerns around the customer
service we were providing to the students and enrolment was
the original focus. We were starting to ask ourselves why do
we require the students to come in to enrol in person on this
day and date? Having them in queues for 30 minutes to an
hour was poor customer service. I wouldn’t want to be stuck
in a line somewhere and going from A to B to C to complete an
enrolment.
Within the Institute, Russell and his colleagues were also aware
of issues around the timeliness of roll creations.
In some instances the roll creation would be done the day
before enrolments started and there was so much stress on
the frontline staff who were doing the enrolment. It was just
unreasonable. And to have that kind of pressure on staff the
day before students are enrolling doesn’t assist great
customer service. If they’re stressed they’re going to be
portraying some of that to the client as they come through the
door. So it was in that context we started to look at our
customer service.
At the same time, staff at WCIT were concerned that the Institute
was rated below the national average for student satisfaction.
That was a bit of a slap in the face. You don’t want to be below
the average, you prefer to be above the average. You don’t
even like being average. We need to keep raising the bar and
not be satisfied at being equivalent to the national or state
averages; we want to be performing beyond that.
Client goals
While the overriding intent of the Customer Experience Group is
to improve the customer experience, from their first contact with
the Institute through to graduation, Russell Coad understood that
many parties benefit from a lift in student satisfaction ratings,
not just students:
35
“WE NEED TO KEEP
RAISING THE BAR AND
NOT BE SATISFIED...”
36
Case study 1.6: The customer experience keeps improving continued...
...”THERE’S A WILLINGNESS TO
WORK TOGETHER AND TO SAY
‘HERE’S OUR GOAL BUT THERE ARE
MORE THINGS WE CAN DO...”
It’s not just the fact that the customer benefits from improved
customer service, but we also benefit in the Institute in terms
of the sense of we’re doing a great job, we’re all in this
together. It lifts the pride in the organisation and the morale
of the staff.
Skills used by WCIT staff to achieve the innovation
A cluster of skills were and are used by WCIT staff to implement
effective systems for improved customer service including
project management and teamwork skills, as well as technical
and organisational skills, according to Russell Coad. Additionally,
Russell noted a maturity in the Customer Experience Group to
continually challenge itself and look for new goals:
I think it shows the maturity of the team when there’s a
willingness to work together and to say ‘Here’s our goal but
there are more things we can do’. We’re constantly open to
‘OK, is there another focus we need to bring in now?’ There
are always things we can improve on so as a group we ask
ourselves, ‘What ideas can be brought to the table today?’
Origin of the ideas behind the innovation
The innovations around enhancing student experience are the
result of a number of issues and ideas coming together and the
Customer Experience Group “organically” taking on board new
ideas and developing new approaches, said Russell.
A lot of elements were coming to the fore. We got through that
early part of the project and made some improvements and
then it grew from there. It’s been quite an organic kind of
experience.
The initial driver was to improve customer satisfaction with the
enrolment process as it is often the first experience students
have with WCIT. This evolved to focusing on improving student
satisfaction.
It wasn’t a clinical process of we’re going to do this and start a
project here and go bang, bang, OK now we’re finished, walk
away from it. This work is organic, it’s ongoing, it’s changing,
it’s growing. Right from the beginning we started to branch
out and to say ‘OK, what else can we be doing?’
Steps in implementing the innovation
In early 2009 the Institute set up a working group consisting of a
cross-section of staff to analyse what the current problems were
with the enrolment process and what outcomes the group wanted
to achieve. The group then looked at what was being done and
what improvements to the process could be initiated with a view
to having a one stop shop for enrolments.
A number of recommendations were developed, presented
to the Corporate Executive and endorsed, which led to
improvements in the enrolment process and students
spending less time enrolling.
In late 2009, out of this initial project, the Institute created
the Customer Experience Group consisting of managers
from the support services areas of the Institute and one
member from the training area, with the aim to improve
student satisfaction ratings. The initial focus was on the
enrolment process, course enquiries and information,
signage and student services. Actions from the One Stop
Shop project were incorporated into this broader action
plan.
In mid 2010 the Customer Experience Group was expanded
to include the training Portfolio Managers and a
heightened focus on course delivery in order to improve
student satisfaction with their training and module
completion rates. Many of the additional actions around
this focus were developed by the Training area of the
Institute and embedded in the action plan of the Customer
Experience Group.
In 2011 a new focus was added to the Customer Experience
action plan: the internal customer. This focus was adopted
because the Group needed to recognise colleagues as
customers as well as students and employers. This new
focus was also based on the rationale that if staff could
improve the level of customer service to each other then
the Institute would be improving its service to external
customers. For example, by lecturers and Portfolio
Managers providing regular course updates to front-line
student service staff they in turn would be providing up-todate information to students. By the training areas
completing roll creations in a timely way, those staff
enrolling students could provide a better service to
students.
The Group now meets every two months to update
members on progress made on agreed actions and to
share new ideas and establish new actions to further
improve the experience customers have in all their
interactions with WCIT.
37
Case study 1.6: The customer experience
keeps improving continued...
Management skills assisting the innovation
According to Russell Coad, the management skills behind the innovation
included the following:
• developing the discipline to manage resources efficiently to sustain a
structure that can cater for innovation
• keeping the Corporate Executive and staff on the same page in jointly
pursuing the required outcomes
• ensuring those who can implement change at the student interface
are part of the Group, and contribute to actions and own the outcomes
• surveying students and asking them what customer service key
performance indicators (KPIs) they expect and what on-line processes
they want.
Identifiable outcomes of the innovation
There are some concrete outcomes of the work by the Customer
Experience Group: WCIT’s student satisfaction rating was the highest of
all metropolitan Institutes in 2010 and 6 percentage points above that of
2009; from 2008 to 2010 WCIT’s module load completion rate increased
by more than double the increase in the state average; more than 80% of
WCIT courses are now available for students to enrol online; enrolment
queues have been eliminated or significantly reduced from what they
were three years ago; and customer satisfaction KPIs have been
identified and the Group is in the process of determining how to measure
them.
38
Additionally, online processes that WCIT students want have been
identified and the Institute has created electronic forms around
withdrawal, course payment plans, application for RPL, request for
Statement of Attainment, application for unit exemptions and request for
qualification. Further, the Institute is working toward offering students
the opportunity to submit assignments electronically and for students to
change network passwords on-line. Finally, a budget of $500,000 has
been set up over two years to develop the Institute’s e-learning capacity.
Interview with WCIT Portfolio
Manager, Directorate of
Health, Education & Social
Sciences, Adrianne Jones
As a Portfolio Manager, what was the business reason your
portfolio became involved with this project?
In my portfolio Health, Education and Social Sciences (HESS,)
the WCIT values of customer satisfaction and continuous
improvement are continually front of mind and on the daily
agenda of our teaching and administrative staff when dealing
with internal and external customers. I was keen to gain an
increased awareness of the across WCIT foci that the
originating Customer Experience (CE) group were discussing,
in order to gain a holistic Institute perspective of where the
emphasis of continuous improvement was being focused at any
one time. I could therefore, in turn, be a conduit of information
back to the Directorate regarding pertinent ideas and action
plans related to enhancing the customer experience. As
mentioned, customer satisfaction is high on our agenda and
we’re quite vigilant about student survey and customer service
responses, hence contact with the CE group seemed to be an
ideal opportunity to bring those issues to the fore.
While all staff across WCIT are clearly involved with students,
our lecturers and admin teams are extremely passionate and
very proud of their customer service and they really do want
to make a difference for their students by providing the best
customer service possible. Our teams all participate in
numerous professional development programs and we
constantly talk about customers in meetings, so we wanted to
be part of that overall WCIT planning and processes for
customer service provision and continuous improvement.
How well does the Customer Experience Group cater for the
interests of your portfolio?
The CE Group meets every two months so prior to the
meetings Portfolio Managers ask their sections for items
from a customer experience perspective that they believe
might be important for the meetings. We then bring those
items to the meeting to toss around and discuss. Outcomes
and actions and responsibilities are relayed back to the
teams, discussed, put into action and the outcomes evaluated.
Because the Directorates at WCIT deliver to different student
cohorts and clearly may have differing training and service needs,
it is important that potentially a number of differing customer
experience solutions are employed to work across WCIT to satisfy
these different student groups.
For example, in HESS portfolio, inclusive of face-to-face training,
we deliver a high number of programs flexibly, in the workplace,
project and workshop styles, and online, however in another
Directorate a more traditional classroom delivery approach may
better suit the students. The challenge is to continue to be flexible
enough to accommodate all student groups, within reason, and to
achieve the common success denominator. A great deal of
discussion and consensus as to the best possible services
provision needs to occur. Whatever is decided, feedback to our
Admin and lecturing staff is paramount so all are on the same
page as to what actions are agreed upon. The CE group is a terrific
forum for this to occur.
What are some critical achievements in working with the
Customer Experience Group?
One initiative that stood out for me at the beginning and still
continues was that at the time of student enrolment we wanted a
‘one-stop’ shop and we wondered: ‘Was it going to work? Was it
not going to work?’ Student enrolment is a good example of
different Directorates doing different things and that’s OK so long
as the core systems behind the scenes are not too different. So we
trialed a different approach where the students could access the
lecturers and talk more about the qualifications, the training
program, timetables and job prospects and all those kind of things
that lecturers know about their industry. The admin team
concentrated on the actual enrolment process itself, so as
‘internal partners’ a collaborative approach worked brilliantly for
the students’ enrolment experience.
Now that pilot worked well and all Directorates have adopted that
approach, improving on the pilot even further by providing their
own ‘twist’ to personalising the student experience. It was an
excellent achievement because the student enrolment processes
always need refining and continuous improvement. It was quite
obvious in student feedback sheets after the pilot that the queues
were shorter or fewer and their general satisfaction was certainly
a lot higher than previously. I think we can take it a step further
now where all full-time-time, and potentially part-time classes
could be totally on-line, without needing to come into WCIT at all
until the student orientation class... for further CE group
discussion.
What management skills were used by you and the Customer
Experience Project Group?
The specific management skills were to support staff to engage
with internal and external feedback about student issues and to
encourage open discussion about the effectiveness of our
services and business processes. We also encouraged staff to
seek feedback when they have their meetings with students and
industry groups and that it’s okay to say ‘Did this work? Did this
not work? Why, and what would make it a better experience for
you our client?’
I believe it is a manager’s role to empower staff to do that; to
give them permission to discuss and explore ways to improve
student satisfaction whilst providing a supported business
environment. I prefer to work alongside staff, offer suggestions
and parameters, but at the end of the day, an inclusive,
discussion based approach I believe is good management, to
mentor and coach staff in a way that supports and promotes
them to make available innovative practice, while acknowledging
and recognising and celebrating their successes... And we have
heaps!!
What other outcomes emerged for your section?
In terms of outcomes we now know it’s OK to discuss customer
experience on a regular basis at staff meetings. It then becomes
part of staff language, embedding the WCIT values. It’s not just
like an audit or complying with regulations or instructions, but a
normal part of everyday business, and culture.
Is there anything else you’d like to say about the Customer
Experience Project Group?
The Customer Experience Group provides a forum to keep pace
with the diversity of training and students needs, to share and
swap stories, and communicate issues of importance that are
raised directly from our students [and staff] to management, and
vice versa. It is really important that our internal and external
business systems and operations constantly be reviewed and
modified to keep abreast with what’s going on externally, in the
training and workforce arena.
Listening to customer feedback is just so important and I don’t
think we’ll ever get to a place where it remains static. Change is
the norm, we’ve learnt that, and if we put ourselves up as world
class trainers, and expect our students to have world class
skills, then we need the organisational systems to follow. Those
systems need to be viewed as a normal part of business. We
need to be constantly vigilant and evaluate our own processes,
listen to our customers and be willing to go that extra mile.
“Listening to customer feedback is just so
important and I don’t think we’ll ever get to
a place where it remains static...”
39
WCIT client: Joondalup Health Campus (JHC),
Ramsay Health Care Group
1.7
CASE STUDY: A vertically integrated
relationship within a hospital
INNOVATION HIGHLIGHTS
>
Innovation origin: skill shortages
>
Innovation exemplar 2: flexible co-delivery on-site
>
Innovation goal 1: more enrolled nurses for
Joondalup Health Campus
>
Innovation exemplar 3: customised training programs
>
Innovation skills of WCIT staff: collaboration,
negotiation and flexibility
>
Innovation management approach by WCIT: ensure a
quality service
>
Innovation goal 2: more training for other staff at the
hospital
>
Innovation types: processes and products
>
Innovation category: incremental
>
Innovation critical success factor: partnership
>
Innovation exemplar 1: scholarship offered for stage
two enrolled nurses
>
Innovation outcomes for client: more sustainable
business
40
Joondalup Health Campus is owned by private health care operator Ramsay Health Care, which was
established in 1964. Ramsay has grown to become a global hospital group operating over 100
hospitals and day surgery facilities across Australia, the United Kingdom and Indonesia.
Description of innovation
A partnership between Joondalup Health Campus (JHC), which is
part of the Ramsay Group, and West Coast Institute of Training
(WCIT) seeks to produce benefits related to agreed standards and
consistency of practice, cultural engagement and workforce
sustainability, said Judith Peters, Portfolio Manager, WCIT
Directorate of Health, Education and Social Sciences, in an
interview for this case study. She added that, from introducing
school students to nursing in years 11 and 12, to the exposure of
student enrolled nurses to acute care experiences in their
clinical placement partnerships, through to post-basic
recognition of prior learning (RPL) services and gap training for
Ramsay employees, “this innovation supports lifelong learning
and cooperation between WCIT and industry where skill
shortages and change are the constant”.
Judith Peters believed that the partnership between West Coast
Institute of Training (WCIT) and Joondalup Health Campus (JHC),
Ramsay Health Service, has generated a range of innovations,
including the following:
• Since 2008 WCIT has delivered units from the Enrolled
Nursing (EN) qualification to Year 11 and 12 students through
the Career Link program, one day per week, which is followed
each year by the students undertaking workplace experience
at Ramsay Health Care hospitals in WA, including Joondalup
Health Campus (JHC).
• WCIT has maintained a formal placement partnership with
JHC for the clinical placement of enrolled nurse students
since 2009. Students need to successfully provide a written
application and attend an interview with JHC and WCIT staff to
be awarded a place for their stages 2 and 3 practical
placements.
• WCIT’s use of a combination of face-to-face and interactive
online learning to deliver the Intravenous Medications
Competency commenced in 2009. The program involves the
provision of recognition of prior learning (RPL) services for
individuals followed by the co-delivery of the skill set by JHC
and WCIT.
• Currently the core units for the Advanced EN qualification are
being mapped to the Ramsay Graduate program with the
further development of the remaining units of competency for
the acute care stream of the AEN to be co-developed with the
acute care JHC staff.
• In 2011, WCIT joined JHC in the second year of the
Commonwealth funded Increased Training Capacity Initiative
for the pilot of introducing students to night duty clinical
placement experience. This is aimed at expanding the training
settings for undergraduate nursing students.
• A scholarship program commenced in 2011 with three
Ramsay sponsored scholarships now awarded to second
semester WCIT EN partnership students to assist them to
meet the costs associated with their vocational training.
Client goals
This innovative collaboration between WCIT and JHC meets the
goals of both organisations and the student enrolled nurses.
Student enrolled nurses can now apply to receive a Ramsay
scholarship – a new program that commenced in 2011 to
encourage students to apply for placement partnership positions
within Ramsay; a program that increases the likelihood of them
being offered a graduate position on completion of the
qualification. This in turn benefits Ramsay as new graduates are
already conversant with the culture, leadership, policies and
procedures of the organisation.
Judith commented on these multiple, interlocking benefits
resulting from the collaboration between the two organisations:
Ramsay staff development and ward preceptors, as clients of
WCIT, have developed greater awareness of the curriculum
and skill base of the students who successfully gain
placement partnership places. This leads to consistency in the
expectations of the preparation of students.
As a result of the collaboration between WCIT and JHC, health
service clients are better placed to receive consistent clinical
care from students and graduates coming from the same training
organisation.
WCIT prides itself on its quality of training and the depth of
learning not only to meet training package requirements but
also industry requirements. This quality is monitored through
regular feedback from Ramsay staff development, ward staff,
clinical educators, and students.
Skills used by WCIT staff
This incremental innovation partly relies on the skills
of WCIT staff to develop customised programs and
processes that enable clients to become engaged and
remain so indefinitely. “Each stage has required and
continues to require collaboration, negotiation and
flexibility,” said Judith.
Judith noted that negotiation, collaboration, active
listening and analytical skills are used to further
develop rapport and determine need and priorities.
Origin of the ideas behind the innovation
When planning began around 2008, JHC was in the
early stages of an extensive redevelopment to nearly
double in size and bed numbers, “with the clear driver
of future staff numbers in the limelight”, said Judith.
With nursing forecast to remain as a skill shortage for
some time to come, enrolled nurse training in the form
of beginner practitioner through to advanced
capability, was a priority issue.
The WCIT health management team held a series of
meetings with JHC’s staff development personnel to
float ideas and develop a proposal to submit to JHC
senior management to research and plan for
workforce related training and development
opportunities. This built on the existing clinical
placement partnership that had already been
established between the two organisations and the
collaborative development and delivery of an
Intravenous Medication competency for qualified
Enrolled Nurses.
Ultimately the proposal was put forward and
authorisation was gained for WCIT staff to work with
people from JHC Nursing, Allied Health and Services
and Human Resource Management to gain a greater
understanding of JHC training needs and to
collaboratively develop solutions.
41
Case study 1.7: A vertically integrated relationship within a hospital continued...
How the innovation was implemented
It was agreed that two WCIT staff members would
participate in the corporate JHC staff induction and
be physically located within the organisation to gain
insight into the Ramsay culture and legislative
obligations and then commence meetings with
management and workplace staff to develop
relationships and determine priorities. A nonnursing (allied health) and nursing team member
organised to meet JHC personnel, initially weekly,
to discuss, clarify and plan training priorities. The
two WCIT personnel established contacts with JHC
managers and collaborated to set dates to meet to
discuss issues. Documentation was kept and
reported to the Portfolio Manager in progress
reports and JHC staff development and WCIT
health management met each semester to clarify
progress and outcomes.
Client outcomes
As WCIT is physically situated in the developing
northern corridor of Perth, it is well placed to
support students living in the area, said Judith
Peters.
Research supports the need to increase social
connectedness in communities and the Institute
takes seriously its ethical responsibility to
contribute to the enabling of individuals to train,
work and live in the one area.
42
With a collaborative arrangement now in place with
JHC, WCIT enables select school students who are
embarking on a career in nursing from years 11
and 12, as part of the Career Link program, to
undertake units of the enrolled nursing
qualification, followed by work experience in
Ramsay Health. On leaving school these students
can then articulate directly into the mainstream
delivery of the enrolled nursing qualification. “With
a reduced workload in the first semester, students
have time to adapt to adult learning and other
social impacts,” said Judith.
Ramsay Health Care Group is committed to
increasing its total full-time equivalent number of
enrolled nurses within its workforce and its
numbers of placement partnerships. The increased
financial incentive through the scholarship
program provides an encouragement to students to
apply for the placement partnership program.
Students then have a greater likelihood of securing
a place in the graduate program and subsequent
employment with Ramsay Health.
THE INCREASED
FINANCIAL INCENTIVE
THROUGH THE
SCHOLARSHIP
PROGRAM PROVIDES
AN ENCOURAGEMENT
TO STUDENTS...
Interview with WCIT client: Dr Glen Power, formerly
Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Joondalup Health
Campus – Ramsay Health Care, Western Australia
What was the business reason for working with
WCIT?
What did the WCIT staff do to get to know your
business needs?
We chose West Coast for a partnership in developing
more opportunities for enrolled nursing placement in
private hospitals within the Ramsay Health Care
Group because West Coast Institute of Training is a
leading provider of training in WA and Ramsay is a
leader in the private health and hospital services
sector. In addition to Hollywood Private Hospital,
Glengarry Private and Attadale Private, Ramsay
Health Care also operates the Joondalup Health
Campus, which is a large ‘public-private partnership’
hospital providing public patient services to Perth’s
growing northern suburbs. We naturally want to
partner with organisations of like quality and with the
strong reputational benefits both might derive from
the partnership.
West Coast Institute of Training placed their own staff
in Joondalup Health Campus, which is the largest
hospital in Perth’s northern suburbs. This hospital
has the largest and busiest emergency department in
the State, and treats in excess of 100,000 emergency
and inpatients per annum. The Institute placed their
own staff in that hospital and assisted in coordinating
clinical placement opportunities for their own
students. Also they worked directly with our staff to
find opportunities for the inclusion of EN graduates in
nursing teams. So they really helped us to drive the
process of skill mix reform.
The business reason is that the hospital sector
benefits enormously from greater involvement of
enrolled nurses. There is a push nationally within
Ramsay Health Care to encourage greater numbers of
enrolled nurses within the skill mix in hospital
service delivery. In the spirit of that strategic
direction, Western Australia’s Ramsay Health Care
hospitals have decided to form this partnership with
West Coast Institute to enable it to join with us in
finding opportunities on the wards for the placement
of enrolled nurses and for the opportunity to train
more enrolled nurses by creating clinical placement
opportunities.
What was the main benefit you were seeking from
the partnership with WCIT?
The benefits are not only the opportunity to reform
the skill mix model for service delivery at a hospital
level but also to ensure workforce certainty and
sustainability and to create opportunities for our own
staff who might be interested in pursuing enrolled
nurse training. So this initiative, along with our
partnerships with Western Australia’s public and
private universities, has provided enormous benefits
to our organisation.
To implement the enrolled nurse program, what
other collaboration was needed?
The Education Unit at Joondalup Health Campus has
been collaborating closely with the West Coast
Institute staff. For example, there is now a
scholarship devoted to enrolled nurse students that
we’re offering to West Coast students. The Institute
and our own staff are involved jointly in the selection
of the recipients. These students are in the second
stage of their enrolled nurse program, and it’s for
students who are prepared to undertake all of their
clinical placements within a Ramsay Health Care
hospital.
It’s a cash scholarship of $2,000 that students can use
to redeem for their tuition fees, buy a laptop
computer, or use for any other expenses related to
their training. It’s made available to those who have
already completed part one of their training to
supplement their resources for their remaining
stages of the course.
The scholarship is another way that we work
collaboratively with West Coast Institute to build
opportunities.
What were some of the key steps that led to the
enrolled nurse program being put in place well?
West Coast staff worked with our own education and
training staff to identify where the opportunities for
placement of enrolled nurse students might exist.
This was fundamental to understanding how they can
meet our business needs and also identify other areas
within the spectrum of training that they can
participate in. For example, they now provide postbasic qualifications and gap training that are in
addition to the clinical placement rotations of
undergraduate enrolled nurse students.
43
Case study 1.7: A vertically integrated relationship within a hospital continued...
“It’s the closeness
of the relationship
and our cross
involvement with
one another which
is going to be
enormously
beneficial...”
What management skills do WCIT use to assist the
innovation?
They use communication, cooperation and
engagement so that they are involved not only in
finding placement opportunities but also they work on
the wards alongside our own nurse preceptors to
teach and train students who are on our wards and
undertaking that clinical placement. It’s a highly
collaborative venture.
What are some of the outcomes now for JHC?
We are seeing greater numbers of enrolled nurse
clinical placements on our wards, something we’re
encouraging and which will ultimately flow through to
greater recruitment to the graduate nurse stage for
enrolled nurse graduands. They’ll hopefully in the
future represent a greater share of our graduate
nurse training program, which will flow through to
employment offers of positions in the wards.
Is there anything else you’d like to say about the
collaboration with West Coast Institute of Training?
44
I think we have a vertically integrated relationship
where we’re dealing with the Institute on the wards
and through the faculty staff. Also from my
perspective, I sit on the Governing Council of the
Institute and get to participate in business strategy
development and governance. There are other ways in
which we cooperate, for example in training for nonclinical areas. It’s the closeness of the relationship
and our cross involvement with one another which is
going to be enormously beneficial.
45
SECTION B. SNAPSHOTS
WRITTEN BY PARTICIPANTS
IN INNOVATIONS
46
2. TYPES OF INNOVATION AT WCIT
This section profiles three different types of innovation at WCIT – product
innovation, process innovation and organisational innovation.
The section not only records a number of innovations at WCIT, but also it illustrates
that innovation has become embedded in various areas within the Institute.
This section and section three contain snapshots or short descriptions of innovative
activity at WCIT, prepared and written by WCIT staff and in one case a university
partner of WCIT.
Types of innovation
There is no one agreed way to define
types of innovation. For example, it
may be a product, process,
organisational, market or
technological innovation or a
combination of any of these.
Williams (1999, pp.57-72) identifies
different types of innovation including
the following:
• new and improved services
• new and improved work
operations, processes and
methods
• synthesis – when existing ideas,
products, services or processes
are combined in some new way so
that an improved idea, product,
service or process results
• replication – copying or
duplicating or learning from
others or applying someone else’s
idea or invention in a new
situation.
While it was decided to focus on three
types of innovation for this
publication – product, process and
organisational – as they capture
many of the innovations in a
contemporary training provider
organisation such as WCIT, most
innovations at WCIT are a
combination of a product and a
process innovation or a product and
an organisational innovation. In the
WCIT context, a product is also taken
to mean a service such as a new
training program or a new way of
providing assessment.
Other examples of
WCIT innovation
This section contains descriptions of
three innovations at WCIT that are
primarily an example of one of the
following: product, process and
organisational innovation. However, a
wide range of other innovations exist at
WCIT and could not be included in this
publication due to the amount of space
required to describe them.
Table 1 set out in the Key Findings section
provides a summary descriptor of some
of them, together with the type of
innovation it mostly represents. The table
excludes the eight innovations described
in sections 1-3.
A feature of many of the innovations in
Table 1 are that they are mostly
improvements to existing programs or
services that only required a minor
adaptation to appeal to a specific market
segment. Such minor improvements
often provide high returns and fit with the
view of Bettencourt and Bettencourt
(2011) who argue that there is much value
in organisations developing viable
innovations that are within easy reach:
...in searching for the next great thing,
companies should be careful not to
overlook commercially viable
offerings that they already have under
their noses. These can be brought to
market faster and more cheaply than
ideas still on the drawing board, and
often, at much lower risk. To amend
the familiar proverb: An innovation in
hand is worth two in the lab. (p.94)
The innovations in this section and in
subsequent sections align with many of the
suggestions Bettencourt and Bettencourt
(2011) provide for managers:
Managers should look for six kinds of “in
hand” innovation:
1. Innovations that were previously
developed but never launched, owing to
circumstances that may have changed.
2. Features of past products that may meet
newly critical customer needs.
3. Existing offerings that should be
repositioned, because customers like
them for unforeseen reasons.
4. Elements of bundled offerings that
could stand alone.
5. New combinations of elements, in which
the bundled value to customers is
greater than the sum of the parts.
6. Overdesigned offerings that could be
pared down for less-demanding
customer segments. (p.91)
Bettencourt and Bettencourt (2011) argue
convincingly that innovation need not
involve “bold bets on next-generation
solutions” (p.91).
The ability of WCIT staff to model this
practical, efficient and quick approach
recommended by Bettencourt and
Bettencourt (2011) explains in part the
large number of innovations implemented
by WCIT in the last two years and reflected
in Table 1 in the Key Findings.
47
2.1
INNOVATION SNAPSHOT:
Sports officiating
AUTHOR OF SNAPSHOT: ROSEMARY DUGAN, LECTURER FITNESS
48
Type of innovation: primarily a product
innovation
What skills were used by WCIT staff members to achieve the
innovation?
In the context of the Certificate IV Sport
Development this innovation enables our clients to
be industry-ready with specific sports officiating
qualifications. This requires us to embed industry
skill requirements into our course units and to map
qualifications in ‘Officiating within Industry’ with
the theoretical and practical components in our
Officiating course units, by means of assessments.
This ensures our students’ knowledge and skills
align with that of industry at the completion of the
course.
Lecturers from the WCIT Fitness and Sport Section, Rosemary
Dugan, Simon O’Connor and Paul Ahearn have undertaken extensive
research to discover what the Sport and Recreation Industry
requires and what skills and knowledge employees need to develop.
Lower profile sports are shown to have had a decreasing number of
coaching officials, therefore networking and having dialogue with
these organisations has provided staff with more insight into where
major gaps lie within the sporting industry. Through constant
collaboration and communication our staff have been both flexible
and adaptable to industry needs and mapped these needs over to
our course and unit qualifications, in order to make our students
industry-ready and employable.
Which clients benefit from the innovation?
The clients are the students of West Coast Institute of
Training who graduate with a number of officiating
certificates. This covers a variety of sports, some of
which are Auskick, Modcrosse, Touch Rugby,
Volleyball and Soccer.
Gaining their Level 1 Coaching Certificates makes
students more employable especially as they have
performed a specific number of practical hours in the
officiating role as well. By gaining recognition with
industry organisations through the work practicum,
this often leads to part time or full time employment.
Industry organisations are also clients so they also
benefit from this initiative.
In turn this constant networking with and surveying of industry has
enabled us to gain more recognition and lifted the profile of the
Institute within industry, to a point where our students are in
demand.
What was the origin of the ideas behind the innovation?
The origin of the ideas behind the innovation is to make our students
more employable by providing them with skills that are used within
the sports industry. By liaising with industry sports officials who
deliver and assess in conjunction with WCIT lecturer assessments,
the result is that students can gain a variety of officiating skills at
industry standard. This process lifts our students’ abilities and
profiles to a much higher level compared to other training
organisations delivering the same course.
What roles were undertaken and processes or steps followed to
implement the innovation?
Networking and discussing what options organisations can provide
to our students also has been a major factor within our innovation
process. Through websites such as “Future Now” and information
from industry organisations such as the Department of Sport and
Recreation we have also gained information on the sporting trends
within our community. Adaptability on our part gained us these
partnerships and alliances with industry. Discussions with industry
professionals provided us with more insight as to which particular
sports required more recognition of prior learning services and what
gaps existed for providing training for the required skills for
coaching officials.
“BY CREATIVELY ALIGNING UNIT
ELEMENTS TO INDUSTRY ASSESSMENT
METHODS, WE’VE SUCCEEDED IN COVERING
ALL INDUSTRY SKILLS.”
The Training Package was then scrutinised and a suitable
program put together to cover these gaps. By creatively
aligning unit elements to industry assessment methods, we’ve
succeeded in covering all industry skills.
What management skills and approaches assisted the
innovation?
We decided to kick start this innovation through a project
management approach. This involved setting deadlines for
implementation of the program. We also investigated and
ensured the occupational safety and health requirements for
the program were satisfactorily covered. By delegating
different tasks to various staff members, the unit was created
and formatted comprehensively. Regular discussions and
meetings within the department continuously provided
feedback for the process.
If the innovation is a new product or service, how is the
innovation being implemented?
The Certificate IV Sport Development course runs over two
Semesters. Most units have a theory and practical component.
The course is run in conjunction with the Active After School
Program engaging students to work at primary schools once a
week for a total of 25 hours. The core and stream units are a
mixture of written theory exams, assignments, group work and
collaboration, observation and practical assessments.
Casual lecturers from industry run their individual programs over the
required number of weeks with our students on campus. Their delivery
involves educational lectures followed by a theory test and a practical
assessment such as a sports drill or session plan for a group of
individuals. Students run a majority of practical sessions off campus at
primary schools for Auskick, School Fitness, Fitness Programming for
Children etc. Continual supervision, observation and assessment are
conducted over the term at every session. When the students have
completed the assessment requirements for their officiating units, they
are provided with a Certification of Completion from the individual
sporting organisations. To conclude the course the last term is dedicated
to undertaking a work practicum with a suitable organisation. This
involves up to 90 hours, putting into use the knowledge and skills
attained during the course.
This qualification has also enabled students to enter university for
ongoing education or enter industry through the program or through
recommendations from industry organisations familiar with our course
delivery and standard of graduating students.
What are some identifiable outcomes of the innovation?
Students are presently employed at VenuesWest within the Events
Department and a number of students run Auskick clinics at schools for
West Perth Football Club. Students have gained coaching and officiating
positions at a number of sporting venues and former student Leigh
Angerson was recently named Community Coach in Western Australia by
the Australian Sports Commission as part of its annual Active After
School Program. Other students have gone onto university to gain their
qualification as a Physical Education Teacher.
49
2.2
INNOVATION SNAPSHOT:
Animation and digital media studio
AUTHOR OF SNAPSHOT: TRAVIS BADGE, LECTURER, ICT DIVISION
Type of innovation: primarily a process
innovation, plus an element of
organisational innovation
50
The innovation involved the recent creation and
operation of a commercial Animation and Digital
Media Studio for graduate training and animation
development. The Graduate Training Program is a
highly innovative training initiative that centres on
bridging the gap between the training environment
and industry. This studio operates out of our newly
formed Academy of Digital Technologies.
Graduates work on real industry projects to further
enhance their skills and portfolio, gain project
experience and be better prepared for industry
employment.
Graduates are given the opportunity to undertake
real industry projects with deadlines, in a
commercial environment. These projects provide
greater weight to the graduate’s portfolio as they
are high quality and have industry recognition.
Graduates also have the experience of working on
projects in a team environment.
While the studio can obtain its own clients and jobs,
the preference is to not compete with industry but
to be supported by it. This support is in the form of
continual work provided to the studio. All
commercial work undertaken by the studio is
monitored by the Academy’s industry professionals
to ensure the work is of a high quality.
Which clients benefit from the innovation?
There are many beneficiaries of this innovation. First and foremost are
the graduates: the experience gained and portfolios produced ensure
they have the best chance of gaining employment in the industry.
Ultimately the Digital Media and Creative industries will experience the
long term benefits of this initiative with higher skilled and commercially
experienced graduates to employ, allowing the expansion and the
undertaking of more work locally. It is also envisaged some graduates
will start their own enterprises, increasing the size of the local industry
and employing graduates of their own.
What skills were used by WCIT staff to achieve the innovation?
All of the WCIT staff involved in the Academy and the commercial studio
are still involved in the creative industries. The skills used to operate the
studio are project and production management, script writing and
editing, production design and storyboarding, and client liaison and
quoting. All of the work on this initiative by WCIT staff was done out of
passion for the industry and a desire to be the leading training provider
in the Animation and Creative Industries, producing highly skilled
graduates ready for employment.
What was the origin of the ideas behind the innovation?
The origin of the innovation came from the desire to create a highly
reputable, specialist training academy in animation and the creative
industries. Part of this training facility is a commercial production studio
which works on industry projects as well as producing its own IP
(intellectual property). Originally the plan was to create the commercial
studio once the Academy was fully established; however a unique
opportunity presented itself twelve months ago when it became clear
that there existed a small, highly skilled team of graduates. These
pioneers have specialist skills and are dedicated to developing a high
quality production house that can train graduates.
Our consultations with industry revealed they were unwilling to employ
graduates due to a lack of experience. As the primary role of WCIT is to
provide students with the necessary skills to gain employment, this
provided further motivation to ensure our graduates were employable
and the gap between training and industry reduced.
What processes were undertaken or steps taken?
An initial proposal document for the graduate training studio was
drafted by the lecturing staff. Approval was given by WCIT management
to allow the graduates to work on portfolio material and internal
Institute projects, while a plan was formulated to formalise this highly
experimental venture.
“OUR CONSULTATIONS WITH
INDUSTRY REVEALED THEY WERE
UNWILLING TO EMPLOY GRADUATES
DUE TO A LACK OF EXPERIENCE....”
What management skills and approaches assisted the innovation?
What are some identifiable outcomes of the innovation?
High level interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills were
essential to gain the support of colleagues, middle and upper
management within WCIT to allow the concept to move forward.
Leadership skills were also very important to get the concept into an
established program and to provide the graduates with a sound
leader they could work with.
Students who graduate from the animation diploma find it very
difficult to break into the animation and multimedia industry without
having a portfolio of work that they have undertaken. By providing
the graduates with the opportunity to work on commercial projects,
the graduates are able to build a portfolio to improve their future
employment opportunities. This arrangement also provides them
with an opportunity to engage with other industries such as
architects, engineers and the construction and trades industries. An
Advanced Diploma qualification has now been introduced to ensure
that after six months in the studio, we have high-level, global
graduates who are job ready.
How is the innovation being implemented?
It is being implemented by us engaging with industry to gain their
support for the concept and also gaining the support of upper
management in WCIT to endorse and support it. The Executive
Director and Portfolio Manager arranged for an external consultant
to be employed to develop a business case to present to Corporate
Executive. This was completed at the end of 2010. Many more
questions were raised from the presentation which resulted in a
redirection of the original concept.
Corporate Executive has now endorsed the introduction of a new
Academy for ICT called the Academy of Digital Technologies. Within
this academy the delivery of the graduate training studio is under
the leadership of the multimedia lecturing team and the Portfolio
Manager. All work is undertaken as a commercial activity and
graduates are employed on a temporary arrangement for each new
tender proposal that is successful.
One recent contract involved the creation of a 3D visualisation of
a robotic shaft bolter for the WA-based Spence Industries, a
leading-edge provider of specialised robotic mining equipment.
Spence Industries plan to use the visualisation to win financial
backing from South African mining companies for the
development of a prototype robotic shaft bolter. The animation
design process undertaken by the Academy involved not just the
creation of the 3D visualisation but also collaboration with
Spence Industries’ chief engineer on design aspects of the
concept model. Spence Industries has a number of projects in
development that will require 3D visualisation and is keen to
work with the Academy on future projects.
51
2.3
INNOVATION SNAPSHOT:
JLP mentoring program
AUTHOR OF SNAPSHOT: VALENTINA BAILEY, COORDINATOR OF THE JOONDALUP
LEARNING PRECINCT (JLP) MENTORING PROGRAM, EDITH COWAN UNIVERSITY
52
Type of innovation: primarily an
organisational innovation involving
collaboration between three groups, but
including product innovation, the
mentoring program.
The program commenced with eleven partnerships pairs.
Participants were recruited into the program through responses to
an open invitation for expressions of interest (EOls) across the three
agencies. Matching of mentors and mentees took place on a ‘best fit’
basis, using the information provided in the EOls.
Located just 25kms of Perth is the Joondalup
Learning Precinct (JLP), the only known
educational facility in the world incorporating a
university, police academy and vocational
education and training institute. Located in the
heart of Perth’s modern City of Joondalup, the
Precinct is comprised of three co-located education
campuses of Edith Cowan University (ECU), West
Coast Institute of Training (WCIT) and the Western
Australia Police Academy (WAPA). The City of
Joondalup is a strong supporter of the precinct.
Prior to the launch of the pilot program, participants attended
induction and orientation workshops. Throughout the program,
partnerships were monitored through regular telephone contacts
and participants were supported through review workshops. The
pilot program also conducted surveys at various points to monitor
individual and partnership progress. The pilot program was
coordinated by WCIT.
Staff from ECU, WAPA, WCIT and the City of
Joondalup have the unique opportunity to take part
in the joint, cross-organisational mentoring
program developed and supported by the
Joondalup Learning Precinct Board.
This staff development program aims to bring
together staff to enrich, enhance and share
experiences and to strengthen relationships
between organisation partners in the precinct.
What steps were taken by ECU in conjunction with
WCIT have helped the implementation of the JLP
mentoring program?
The Joondalup Learning Precinct Mentoring Program
was conceived by the CEOs of the three organisations
and first launched in October 2004, as a pilot project.
The program was initially developed by WCIT in
conjunction with ECU and the Police Academy.
Since 2006, the JLP Board has been coordinating the JLP Mentoring
program with continual refinement and improvement to the program
based on research and participant feedback. Funding of the program
has been equally shared by JLP partners.
Can you give examples of successes to date?
There have been many success stories as a result of the program.
Some examples and excerpts from participants’ testimonials are
provided below:
Mentee from WCIT with a Mentor from WA Police Academy
Thank you for choosing me as a Mentee in the current JLP
mentoring. I have found it invaluable, and have started to realise
the previously-thought impossible. As of Monday 28 August I
leave WCIT to take up a managerial role on secondment for 3-6
months.
Having a mentor has helped me considerably, as there were
issues at work that I needed assistance with and to discuss with
someone.
I have only the highest of high praises for mentor – [name
withheld] and can hope he too derived some benefit from this
process.
ECU staff member: two years as a mentee and one year as a
mentor
I have definitely increased my confidence in my abilities and
increased my network of useful contacts within JLP. Having been
both a mentee and mentor has been a real eye opener; I have
learned perhaps even more as a mentor. If I hadn’t been on the
program I would never have thought I could be a mentor – yet I’ve
gained so much from it.
Other comments
What program outcomes are emerging?
“(The program) forced me to clarify, examine and challenge my own
behaviours and attitudes...
The major outcome from the program over the years
has been the personal and professional growth of
individuals participating in the program. Testimonials
and feedback indicate that both mentees and mentors
grow and learn from the partnership.
Reinforced the importance of people and making time for them...”
“(The Program provided) an opportunity to reflect on things I have done...
issues discussed as relevant to me and to my mentor...”
The other significant outcome is the growth in
participant numbers, which testifies to the success of
the program. In 2010, the program received 70
expressions of interests and for the very first time, had
to draw a limit on the number of participants. That year
started with 54 participants (27 partnership pairs).
“I feel more focused as a result of working with my mentor...”
“I gained valuable contacts and a greater awareness of the department ...
increased confidence in my ability to contribute to the department...”
“I gained increased confidence in relating to other people and managing staff,
as well as receiving support, encouragement and ideas...”
PILOT 2004
2008
2009
2010
2011
MENTORS
MENTEES
MENTORS
MENTEES
MENTORS
MENTEES
MENTORS
MENTEES
MENTORS
MENTEES
ECU
4
1
8
9
16
14
13
13
12
11
WAPA
2
5
4
0
3
2
9
2
5
2
53
WCIT
5
5
2
1
2
4
4
4
4
8
CoJ
N/A
N/A
4
8
5
6
1
8
3
3
11
11
18
18
26
26
27
27
24
24
“I have definitely
increased my
confidence in my
abilities and
increased my
network of
useful contacts
within JLP.”
3. SKILLS FOR INNOVATION AT WCIT
This section focuses on the skills
developed and used by WCIT to bring about
innovation, including skills used by
leaders, managers, teams and
practitioners. The discussion emphasises
that skills in innovation used by staff at
WCIT help underpin the sustainability of
innovation in the Institute. If innovation is
skill based, and if staff are aware of the
skills they are using, more innovation will
occur and be sustained.
54
Innovation skills in theory
The snapshots of innovation set out in section two indicate or
imply the use of a raft of skills by WCIT leaders, managers and
other staff. The following discussion is designed to alert the
reader to some of those skills.
Tushman, Smith and Binns (2011) point to the role of leaders in
navigating between existing and innovative products. Applying
their observations to this registered training provider, the
Institute leaders need to know which existing products or
programs deserve ongoing support and where and how
innovations fit around these existing or mainstream programs.
Leaders also need to know which existing aspects of the
organisation deserve ongoing support and which organisational
innovations warrant support. Tushman et al. find that “balancing
the needs of core businesses and innovation efforts is a central
leadership task” (p.77).
In addition, Tushman et al. (2011) find that firms thrive “when
senior teams embrace the tension between the old and new and
foster a state of constant creative conflict at the top” (p.76). As
part of this embracing of the tension, Tushman et al. argue that
leaders at the top of the organisation need to own innovation, not
push it too far down the organisation (p.78). To avoid turf battles,
they suggest the fiercest debates about innovation need to occur
at the upper levels of the organisation.
Brown and Anthony (2011) who show that leadership and
management skills are needed if “new-growth” units or factories
are created inside the existing organisation:
Efforts to build a new-growth factory in any company will fail
unless senior managers create the right organisational
structures, provide the proper resources, allow sufficient time
for experimentation and learning and personally engage
(p.70).
Brown and Anthony conclude that while individual creativity can be “unpredictable and uncontrollable,
collective creativity can be managed” (p.72). Extending this finding that creativity can be managed, Martin
(2011) refers to large software development company Intuit to show how innovation can be generated from
the ranks of staff if people are empowered: “the best creative thinking happens on the company’s front
lines. You just need to encourage it” (p.82). One way Intuit empowered and encouraged staff was by
creating, first of all, ten innovation catalysts and then another sixty five. The innovation catalysts were
“closer to the bottom of the organisation that the top” (p.85) and were set to work to help any work team
create prototypes, run experiments and learn from customers.
Different stages of innovations require different skills. Green, James and Miles (2007) identify four stages
of the innovation process that require different skills, as set out in Table 2 below.
Table 2: Skill requirements at different stages of the innovation process
STAGES OF THE
INNOVATION PROCESS
STAGE SPECIFIC INNOVATION SKILLS
Sourcing and selection of
ideas
•
•
•
•
•
Scanning and filtering ideas for innovation
Development of networks and relationships
Interpreting and evaluating data from the market, consumers and competitors
Awareness and application of IP mechanisms
Preparing and securing backing for a business case
Development of innovation
ideas
•
•
•
•
•
•
Assembling development teams
Allocation and management of budgets and resources
Securing appropriate spaces and conditions of experimentation
Sourcing and specifying complementary inputs
Establishing networks and partnerships
Sourcing of technical and design skills
Testing, stabilisation and
commercialisation
•
•
•
•
Evaluation of risk and benefits
Understanding of client needs
Ensuring reproducibility and service at competitive cost
Managing roll-out and marketing risks
Implementation and
diffusion
•
•
•
•
Project management and technology transfer skills
Managing and coordinating value and supply-chain relationships
Evaluating innovation practice and performance
Reflexivity
Innovation skills within WCIT
The above discussion is a reminder of the specific and many skills needed for innovation, which WCIT
possesses, as illustrated by the sometimes sophisticated innovations described in this section of the
report. In brief, innovation at WCIT is likely to be sustained because of the skills within the organisation,
including:
• the Institute’s leaders balance the needs of core businesses and innovations
• the Institute’s leaders own innovation and manage the tension created by innovation
• within the Institute innovation catalysts or leaders help team create prototypes, run experiments and
learn from customers
• Institute staff have skills required at each of the stages of the innovation process.
55
3.1
INNOVATION SNAPSHOT:
Environmental sustainability
AUTHOR OF SNAPSHOT: RUSSELL COAD, GENERAL
MANAGER TRAINING AND BUSINESS SERVICES
What is the type of innovation?
What was the origin of the ideas behind the innovation?
A combination of process and product/service
innovation – the impact is on energy management,
recycling, education of staff and training of students.
Having seen first-hand the effects of what I attributed to global
warming during a world trip while on long service leave in 2007,
I returned to WCIT with a conviction that we needed to review our
commitment to energy management and recycling, with a view to
doing whatever we could to reduce our carbon footprint. Apart from
influencing behavioural change of our staff, I believed we could also
influence the knowledge of the students passing through each year
in the hope this would in turn influence their behaviour regarding
environmental sustainability and that of their future workplaces.
Which clients benefit from the innovation?
56
Staff, students and employers of our students: staff
are provided with education in environmental
sustainability practices which they can employ both at
work and home, students are receiving training in
environmental practices relevant to their future work
places making them more employable, and the
employers they work for are able to leverage off the
environmental knowledge of their employees.
What were the skills used by WCIT staff to achieve
the innovation?
Some of the skills were:
• Networking both internally and externally. Staff
from across WCIT are represented on the
Environmental Sustainability Committee and
Environmental Representatives group. Externally
we set up the sector wide Environmental
Sustainability Network
• Marketing skills to promote the benefits to staff
and students of changing behaviour and engaging
in education around environmental sustainability.
Please describe the innovation process in terms of roles
undertaken and processes or steps followed.
Steps taken in late 2007:
• The General Manager Training and Business Services (TaBS)
offered to lead a team of interested staff with the goal of moving
WCIT towards more environmentally sustainable practices, and
to better train students in environmental sustainability relevant
to their future employment
• The Environmental Sustainability Committee was created with
agreed terms of reference and staff were invited to join.
Importantly, no one who asked to be part of it was turned away
and at least half of the committee consisted of lecturers who
volunteered and were representative of the broad Institute.
• A basic action plan around energy management, recycling,
training and marketing was quickly developed for 2008 and a
Green Office Guide created and provided to all staff along, with
an Environmental Sustainability Policy.
Steps taken in 2008:
• Environmental Representative roles were created so that each
building and preferably floor in the Joondalup Campus had a
‘champion’ to check on lights and waste management in their
work area and to engage with fellow staff to promote the
environmental messages.
• Progress in relation to the operational action plan was reported
to the Corporate Executive and staff at the end of the year, with
the majority of it completed.
“APART FROM INFLUENCING BEHAVIOURAL
CHANGE OF OUR STAFF, I BELIEVED WE
COULD ALSO INFLUENCE THE KNOWLEDGE
OF THE STUDENTS...”
Steps taken in 2009:
Outcomes:
• Staff engagement on the Environmental Sustainability
Committee remained strong with some turnover, but more
lecturers were asking to join. Significant progress was made
around energy management, with changes to the Building
Management System and agreement was reached to replace it.
• From our base year of 2006, electricity consumption at the
Joondalup campus was reduced by 31% in the last six months of
2010 and gas consumption by 14%
• World Forestry Day, Environmental Day, Landcare Week and
Recycling Week were introduced to provide a focus for each of
the four terms across the year and to raise awareness among
staff and students. Of greatest significance was the agreement to
have environmental sustainability either embedded across each
course, or a dedicated unit on Environmental Sustainability (ES)
introduced into every course, by the start of 2011.
• Late in the year WCIT led the creation of the Environmental
Sustainability Network across the WA Training sector.
Steps taken in 2010:
• Having made steady progress in raising awareness of
environmental issues and introducing some changes in energy,
waste, recycling and training, a commitment was sought and
given to employ a dedicated resource to focus on ES and fast
track our progress
• A contract Sustainability Coordinator role was created and filled
by the middle of the year resulting in rapid progress on
awareness raising, changes to waste management and
broadening of the scope of the ES action plan.
• A number of training opportunities were provided for staff to
improve their understanding of ES and what they can do in
practical terms to reduce energy usage and recycle more
• A comprehensive waste recycling program has been
implemented with 15% of waste generated now being recycled
saving water and energy and reducing the associated carbon
footprint
• The Eco Playgroup facility was built and programs developed
with children, parents and students educated in ES
• A 60Kw photovoltaic arreas was installed, which was the largest
curved array in the state.
• From the start of 2011 all courses have either a dedicated unit on
ES or principles of ES embedded.
57
3.2
INNOVATION SNAPSHOT:
Recognition services for
457 visa applicants
AUTHOR OF SNAPSHOT: GARY WADDLE, AUTOMOTIVE LECTURER
What is the type of innovation?
Factors that have a negative impact on this type of assessment are:
457 visa applicants require mapping of existing skills through
recognition of prior learning (RPL) to attain the Australian Trade
Certificate prior to entering to Australia. As part of a consortium,
WCIT is conducting the Certificate III skills assessments in
Automotive Light Duty and Automotive Heavy Duty. WCIT staff are
aware that the applicants will vary in their skills and culture.
• Language barrier: often English is not the applicant’s first language
The role of WCIT is to provide skills assessment only. Whether the
applicant is permitted to enter Australia to commence work for a
particular company is not our decision and we cannot influence the
outcome of the assessment.
58
The assessments are conducted in two ways: offshore and onshore.
The former requires WCIT skills assessors to utilise flexibility and
their full range of communication skills to provide quality
assessments of applicants, which can be benchmarked against the
onshore assessments.
Offshore assessments
Offshore assessments rely on the industry experience of the
assessor. The units of competence are assessed by observing the
hand skills of the applicants as well as by in-depth questioning and
interviewing the applicants to determine the experience of the
applicants and discover any specialist skills the applicants may
possess.
This is the preferred assessment method as the assessor has the
opportunity to be present with the applicant. This facilitates
improved communication between the assessor and applicant that
reduces language and cultural differences and enhances the
assessment process.
Onshore assessments
However, in cases where there are not a large volume of workers
requiring assessment, WCIT skills assessors utilise the online video
program Skype to conduct a verbal interview with the applicant.
Using a pre-prepared question bank aligned with individual units of
competency, the applicants are interviewed in order to determine
the experience and technical knowledge they have in relation to the
individual unit of competence. Other technology includes exchange
of videos documenting the applicant’s competency.
• Technical: a poor internet connection causes poor sound quality
• Time difference between countries: some interviews need to be
conducted outside normal office hours of WCIT.
• Applicant preparedness for technical interview: applicants often do
not know in advance what the interview process will involve.
Which clients benefit from the innovation?
Industry benefits from this streamlined technology enabled process by
having ready access to skilled workers. Other clients benefiting from the
process are recruitment agents and the applicants themselves, along
with a consortium partner in this Commonwealth Government initiative.
What are the skills used by WCIT staff to achieve the innovation?
Skills used by WCIT staff need to be broad and varied. For instance,
some important points to remember when conducting RPL assessments
are as follows:
• the context of the applicant’s skills and also to what level are they
being assessed
• the assessment of skills needs to take into account the context of the
worker’s experience in the industry
• the applicant is being assessed to Certificate III level, the level
attained by Australian apprentices at completion of their
apprenticeship term, not Certificate IV or Diploma level which is only
attained after several years’ experience in the trade.
Given the above, the assessor needs to have a very broad range of
industry experience and knowledge in order to accurately assess the
applicant’s skills in a given area.
For example, an applicant may have a wealth of experience working on
excavator hydraulics and is an expert in this field, but has not been
involved in engine overhaul for a number of years. Therefore, his or her
skills on hydraulics may be well beyond Certificate III level, and he or
she may be considered a specialist in this field, but his skills in engine
overhaul may have been partially forgotten due to the context of his/her
working environment. In this case, the question the assessor needs to
address is whether the applicant’s skills on engine overhaul meet
Certificate III level. The assessor’s technical questioning in this situation
will depend heavily on his communication skills and questioning
technique in order to give the applicant the best opportunity to prove
his/her competence.
What was the origin of the ideas behind the
innovation?
This technology based approach to the 457 visa
application process is relatively new. As there was no
previous model for us to follow, we needed to develop
the techniques, tasks and information required.
Consequently the first applicants were possibly over
assessed. However, this was a necessity, as we did
not know the industry standard overseas or skill level
of the applicants being interviewed.
With further experience we streamlined the process
of the technical interview and can gather enough
evidence from the applicant for us to determine
competence at a technical level.
Please describe the innovation process in terms of
roles undertaken and processes or steps followed.
As with any RPL process, the gathering of sufficient
relevant evidence is critical. In the case of the
offshore Skype interviews, we also require
documentation from the applicant in the form of
certification of their trade skills, third party
testimonials from previous employers and other
documentation related to migration and personal
identification.
The offshore skills assessments required sound
communication between the parties involved in
arranging the location and relevant resources for the
assessments to take place. For example, a degree of
flexibility is required by the WCIT assessor in
conducting skills assessments in Manila as
equipment and tooling levels are not always as
desired.
Flexibility and the need to “make do with what you
have” become critical in assessing the applicants to
industry standard. A combination of the techniques
used during offshore Skype interviews and onshore
skills assessments needed to be implemented.
What management skills and approaches are assisting or assisted the innovation?
The approach to the skills assessment involves using the assessor’s experience
and knowledge of industry standards in Australia and contextualising those skills
to the skills and experience of the applicants. In the case of the applicants
assessed so far, I have found that the skills of the majority of the applicants can
vary from country to country. For example, workers from the Philippines tend to
have very good skills without much experience using the latest diagnostic
equipment. Generally they are very good at component overhaul as this is a large
part of their local industry.
Workers from Britain are very good with the latest diagnostic equipment, but do
not have the same experience with component overhaul as those from the
Philippines. Does this mean that a tradesman from the UK is less skilled than a
Filipino or vice versa? Again, the questions of context and skill level become
apparent.
We only need to assess to Certificate III level; we are not assessing to the level of
someone with ten years or more post trade experience. It helps if the assessor
asks himself the questions. “Would I give this person a job?” “Would I recommend
this person to my industry?”
We are also continually investigating new ways to further improve a system of
assessing that is already proving successful. Continual improvement and
streamlining of the process is important to achieve efficiency and accuracy of the
process for 457 visa applicants.
How is the innovation being implemented?
The process of RPL for 457 visa applicants is currently being implemented by WCIT
as part of a consortium. To date, approximately 80 Skype interviews have been
conducted and approximately 30 onshore skills assessments.
Implementation of the process is conducted by successful communication between
working parties in Australia coordinating with each other and with the agents for
the applicants in other countries.
What are some identifiable outcomes?
Some outcomes are:
• WCIT is one of the largest skills assessors of 457 visa applicants in WA and
Australia
• WCIT is continuing to expand its involvement in conducting assessments for 457
visa holders in other trade areas
• Capacity building has resulted for lecturing staff around the use of online
technologies for delivery.
59
3.3
INNOVATION SNAPSHOT:
New skills cater for coffee lovers
and foodie aficionados
AUTHOR OF SNAPSHOT: WENDY ROACH, HOSPITALITY LECTURER
Informal email correspondence from
Wendy to Kim Hawkins, Director of Health,
Education and Social Sciences, WCIT:
60
I am still not sure what we mean by the term
innovation, whether you mean related directly to the
education of students. For example – having a public
formal wine tasting – is it innovative, or just a way of
assessing students that meets the competency
requirements? What about Fair Trade Fortnight
where we got students involved in selling fair trade
coffee and promoted positive and sustainable policies
at the same time – innovative or just day to day
teaching? I like to think these projects are innovative
– but for me – it’s just what we are doing and we get
on with it.
This year I am involved in a number of projects that
are innovative ways for me to keep in touch with the
industry – but I’m not sure they meet your
understanding of ‘innovation’.
One day a week I am working at European Foods. In
this role, I am working with the Quality Assurance
Manager and the Master Roaster to write a Quality
Assurance Program for all of the roasted coffees on
the Braziliano Coffee list (about 35 different coffees).
Each week we assess a number of coffees. From this
we will be creating formal tasting notes for the
marketing of each of the coffees, and setting up a
coffee tasting centre as part of the Braziliano
Superbarista focus. We plan to use these to create a
Professional Development session for the Sales
Representatives of the company in a bid to create
some team work, uniformity of understanding and
improve sales.
In this capacity I have been interviewed for the West Australian on-line,
found myself sitting on a panel for the Eat Drink Perth week in March
where a range of “foodie aficionados” debated such issues as Burger
Bars, Small Bar Licenses and Cafes in 2020. This was streamed on the
Braziliano website throughout the week, and can now be found on
YouTube (if you fancy watching three hours of panel chats on the
hospitality industry).
I have assisted in preparation for the Long Table Lunch, and the Relay
for Life, and will be participating (and taking our students with me) in the
Mundaring Truffle Festival at coffee carts throughout the grounds. I am
also assisting the coffee school trainer at European Foods (who is one of
my graduate coffee students), to write advanced coffee training units,
and market the new Prepare & Serve espresso coffee unit which we
train and assess through an auspice agreement with European Foods.
All this in a 6 hour time allocation!
And just so you know – I am LOVING every moment of it, and grateful that
I work in a WCIT section that has allowed me this opportunity.
The Hyatt Wine Week runs in August. I am co-ordinating the presentation
evening of the Hyatt International Cabernet Challenge. This involves
working closely with the wine industry, and I plan to take a few select
students on board to assist with the week – hoping to gain them
employment with Hyatt International.
I have been invited to be the Chief Wine Steward at the Qantas Mt Barker
Wine Show which is run during October school holidays in Albany. I will
also be the Chief Wine Steward at the Perth Hills wine show in July
(school holidays). These things are directly related to the fact that I teach
students about conducting formal wine tastings, and keep me closely
involved with the coalface of the wine industry.
I am on a wine tasting panel with a number of industry professionals
every week. The results of the tastings are written up in books and
magazines on a regular basis: Quaff, Winestate, Gourmet Traveller Wine,
Sunday Times, to name a few.
In a male dominated section, I mostly sit back and listen. As women we
tend to just get on with it and don’t blow our own trumpet much. When I
look at all these things I am involved in I think I should do a bit more self
promotion!
Honestly Kim, I don’t know how I can possibly fit in any time to sit around
and come up with innovative ideas, I am too busy waving the college flag
all over the industry!
Anyway, if any of these things help I am happy to discuss them with you
further should you require more information, and thanks for the
opportunity to rave.
61
3.4
INNOVATION SNAPSHOT:
Recognising skills of workers in the
field of domestic family violence
AUTHOR OF SNAPSHOT: THERESE SMITH, LECTURER AND
COORDINATOR SKILLS RECOGNITION PROJECT
The West Coast Institute of Training (WCIT)
Division of Health Education and Social
Sciences has worked closely with the
Women’s Council for Domestic Violence
and Family Violence Service (WA) for a
number of years via the Field Placement
program. The main objectives were to
value and empower existing workers in the
Domestic and Family Violence sector by
recognising the core competencies they
had already gained in the workplace.
62
What is the type of innovation?
It is a combination of product and process innovation.
As a product innovation, the skills recognition project
is the first time our group has provided full
qualifications using recognition of prior learning
(RPL).
In terms of process innovation, previously RPL had
mainly been conducted unit by unit with a focus on the
student taking responsibility for an evidence
submission after meeting with the assessor to
discuss the requirements. In the current approach the
assessor now takes responsibility for creating the
means that the participant can use for showing their
abilities and knowledge. This reverses the standard
approach and enables the person to “show they
know”.
In addition, the choice of location and timing works around the
participants’ schedules and their places of work and communities.
Women’s refuge workers often work on rotating shifts and the
assessor needs to be flexible in timing the appointments and needs
to be prepared to conduct the assessment in a place that is
comfortable for the participant. We endeavour to work in
collaboration with the participant to uncover knowledge and skills.
Which clients benefit from the innovation?
The participants accessing our skills recognition service are
experienced workers from refuges around the state. In brief, they
are experienced workers:
• whose life and work situations make it difficult to access formal
learning opportunities
• who may not be confident that they know enough to warrant
accreditation
• who have little or limited paper based evidence of their skills and
what they have done
• who prefer a verbal style over written style, and may find it easy
to provide an explanation but have trouble writing it down in a
formal manner.
What are the skills used by WCIT staff to achieve the innovation?
Their skills include:
• the ability to build strong rapport with the participants, as many
are anxious about being assessed
• interviewing skills and the ability to draw out information and
encourage elaboration and expansion
• recording skills, as the assessor is the one who collects the
verbal and other evidence and puts it into a coherent form
• patience and the ability to work on strengths and support the self
confidence of the participant.
Informing these skills are the following types of knowledge:
• a thorough knowledge of the industry in which the workers are
employed
• a thorough knowledge of the training packages and suitable
types of evidence.
“THE TWO PARTIES AGREED THAT THE
MAIN FOCUS OF THE PARTNERSHIP
WOULD BE THE PROVISION OF A FLEXIBLE
AND ACCESSIBLE RPL PROGRAM...”
What was the origin of the ideas behind the innovation?
In 2007 discussion started between WCIT and the Women’s
Council for Domestic Violence and Family Violence Service
(WA) in relation to the recognition of the refuge worker’s skills.
The two parties agreed that the main focus of the partnership
would be the provision of a flexible and accessible RPL
program which would lead to employees achieving a Certificate
III or IV in Community Services Work.
The first step for WCIT was to gain an understanding of the
sector and its workers, their core competencies and the
training delivery methods which would be most appropriate to
meet their needs. This process involved conducting interviews
at all of the women’s refuges around the State – at 16
metropolitan centres and 21 in rural and remote areas. The
results of this research were used to compile a unique and
tailored assessment program. The assessment looks at the
competency, knowledge and skills of staff, using a narrative
approach as opposed to the more traditional portfolio
approach.
At the end of 2008 expressions of interest were called for from refuges
interested in nominating employees for the pilot of the skills recognition
project. The response was enormous and exciting, and resulted in six
women’s refuges from across metropolitan, rural and regional sites
being selected for the first pilot. In total, 26 workers participated, with
three working towards a Certificate III qualification and 23 towards a
Certificate IV qualification.
The refuges involved in the Skills Recognition Project pilot were:
• Pat Thomas Memorial House (4 workers)
• Lucy Saw Centre (3 workers)
• Anawim Aboriginal Women’s Refuge (2 workers)
• Wooree Miya (5 workers)
• Goldfields Women’s Refuge (7 workers)
• Byanda Nunyara (5 workers).
Since then we have continued to work in partnership and a new round of
expressions of interest was held. 42 people indicated they would like to
be involved from around the state including people from Halls Creek,
Derby, Port Hedland, Bunbury and Fitzroy Crossing. In 2011 we offered
the Diploma of Community Services by RPL only and also by RPL
combined with flexible delivery, for those who may have some but not all
competencies.
63
innovation snapshot 3.4: Recognising skills of workers in the field of domestic family violence
How would you describe the innovation process in
terms of roles undertaken and processes or steps
followed?
Roles performed included the following:
• The CEO of the Women’s Council for Domestic and
Family Violence Services WA provided information
and facilitated WCIT staff contact with services,
made available Angela Hartwig as an assessor in
the process and actively facilitated the advertising
and uptake of the RPL process.
• Managers of Domestic and Family Violence
Services in WA provided information for WCIT staff
to conduct a training needs analysis and provided
support for staff undertaking the RPL process
• WCIT lecturers undertook the training needs
analysis, and deigned and redesigned the process,
the delivery and the review
• Participants were actively involved and provided
feedback
• WCIT managers’ and directors’ support for initial
training needs analysis and the release of Chrissie
Armstrong, the recruitment of Angela Hartwig as a
lecturer and assessor, and the continued
resourcing and promotion of the process
64
• The Department of Child Protection provided
financial support to enable the extension of the
project state wide.
What management skills and approaches are assisting or assisted
the innovation?
The management skills included the following:
• forward planning
• maintaining focus and emphasis on continued development
• needs identification and revisiting this regularly
• realistic and manageable progression
• building on solid foundations
• consistent “we” not “I” approach.
If the innovation is a new product or service, how is the innovation
being implemented?
The RPL service is implemented in the following way:
• participants make an expression of interest
• the participant is forwarded some information on RPL after an
initial phone contact
• the participant meets with the RPL coordinator to discuss the
process, how it works and the co–ordinator obtains an idea of
their experience, specific job role and goals
• a selection of elective units is made and the coordinator
organises the enrolment
• evidence collection with the assessor commences. Depending on
the person’s situation this will involve between 5-7 sessions
where we meet and go through a series of questions and
scenarios. It will occur at a time and place which is comfortable
and convenient
Steps taken included the following:
• the participant follows up with their line manager to obtain a
report on performance
• needs identification through discussion with
industry partner
• if all is in order the assessor completes an application for award,
completes resulting and writes up the evidence
• training needs analysis
• a visit to the student is made, to congratulate them and to review
the process.
• design of process
• EOI from refuge workers
• pilot process undertaken
• review and redesign of Certificate III and IV
• promotion via conference presentations in
2009/2010 and approaches for support to
Department Community Protection
• initial pilot of Diploma level RPL with two workers
in 2010/11
• early 2011: second major Expression Of Interest
and clear indication of need for Diploma
• WCIT approval of project monies for design of
Diploma RPL process.
What are some identifiable outcomes, if the innovation is now in
place?
The Skills Recognition Project has impacted very positively on the
following stakeholders:
• the individual learners, many of whom are from marginalised
groups
• the Services and their clients
• the team at WCIT
• the Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services
(WA).
“...THEY HAVE BEEN EMPOWERED
AND GAINED ENORMOUS CONFIDENCE.”
A sample comment from a participant is as follows:
The program was great for me to be involved in as
it provided me with the flexibility that I needed as a
shift worker and as a mother. It helped me to
review skills that I had learnt in the past and also
helped me to recognise the skills that I had
developed during my time working in Community
Services. It was surprising to me at times how
many skills I had gained over the years and never
took the time to recognise them myself! The oneto-one support that I received as a student was
fantastic and I felt free to approach my study in a
relaxed manner.
The individual learners have gained a formal
qualification and accreditation that recognises their
skills and experience. Through the process they have
been empowered and gained enormous confidence.
The success of the pilot program has encouraged
other workers to apply to be involved in the second
year. Angela Hartwig, CEO, Women’s Council for
Domestic and Family Violence Services WA,
commented:
I have noticed workers have developed a greater
level of self belief and esteem through the
recognition of their skills and knowledge.
The individual refuges were involved in the program
throughout and also worked towards achieving
successful results by providing support to their
workers. They now have a formally qualified and
empowered workforce.
With more formally qualified workers, the reputation and perception of
the refuges as business operations is enhanced, which positions them
better in the community and with government and other potential
sponsors in the future. The Domestic and Family Violence sector now
has a program that formally recognises its workers existing abilities.
This recognition will also allow the sector to negotiate for better
funding, raise awareness of its achievements and to review wage rates
and industrial conditions.
The opportunity for formal recognition and the improved perception of
professionalism in the industry will also help the sector attract and
retain much-needed, quality staff.
The assessment program developed by WCIT is being extended
throughout WA. The model can also be adapted for organisations in
other fields of health and community services. We have been engaging
with workers in other Community Services Agencies using a similar
approach (youth accommodation, community recreation, alcohol and
other drugs services) and this seems to be equally useful in the
different setting. The project has led to the development of a strong
partnership between WCIT and Women’s Council and will lead to an
ongoing activity between the two organisations.
Enhanced social inclusion
For a range of reasons including traditionally low rates of pay, refuges
have historically found it difficult to attract staff and a number of staff
have not completed Year 12 and had no post-secondary education. This
lack of educational opportunity, and the lack of recognition, and often
the social isolation that goes with it, is addressed by the WCIT
initiative.
This benefit is magnified for the significant number of staff in refuges
who are themselves in marginalised groups including older women,
Aboriginal people and migrants.
65
CONCLUSION:
MEASURES FOR AND
A MODEL OF WCIT
INNOVATION
66
This publication demonstrates that WCIT
has expanded the number and range of
innovations since the 2009 study, Reinvention through Innovation. The Institute
is ready to become even more innovative
and can raise its level as an innovative
organisation by taking some further
actions:
• The first recommendation is that, as a more
experienced innovative organisation, the
Institute can regularly measure its further
development against more demanding
indicators of innovation in contemporary
organisations, as discussed below.
• The second recommendation is that the Institute
staff be engaged in an ongoing professional
conversation about the value of collaborative
leadership in fostering and supporting
innovation. Innovation benefits from clear
leadership.
• The third recommendation is that it could seek
to gain further support for innovation from the
Institute staff through embracing even more a
model for innovation, based on shared values
and goals, also as set out in the discussion
below.
How to measure the
innovative organisation
Giugini (2001, pp.57-58) provides the following
indicators to use to measure the innovative
organisation, all of which are currently evident at
WCIT:
1. The organisation clearly states that creativity is
valued.
2. There is continued investment in the
product/service and staff.
3. Mentoring and/or coaching continue to support
the innovation.
4. Mechanisms exist to enable staff to mingle and
relax informally, allowing the exchange of ideas.
5. Strong links and alliances exist within the
organisation to assist interaction.
6. Programs exist to enable staff to rotate, to aid
the fertilisation of ideas.
7. Ideas are allowed time to germinate.
8. Staff are encouraged to accept responsibility for
their decisions.
9. Successes are celebrated.
10.The knowledge, skills and abilities involved in
developing the innovation are available to others
in the organisation.
All ten of these indicators are evident across the
set of snapshots and case studies within this
document. This not only demonstrates that WCIT is
an innovative organisation but also that the
Institute could stretch itself by regularly reviewing
its development as an innovative organisation
against each of Guigini’s indicators. This review
would be more beneficial if a wide range of staff
and clients participated in the review process.
67
Conclusion: Measures for and a model of WCIT innovation continued...
Leadership, shared
purpose, motivation and
inspiration
The importance of leadership skills for innovation
was discussed in the introduction to section three
of this report, and that discussion is extended here.
Ibarra and Hansen (2011) emphasise the
importance of leadership in innovative
organisations and highlight the value of
collaborative leadership instead of either
command-and-control or consensus leadership.
They define collaborative leadership as the
“capacity to engage people and groups outside
one’s formal control and inspire them to work
toward common goals” (p.73). Such leadership is
essential for innovation, because “left to their own
devices, people will choose to collaborate with
others they know well – which can be deadly for
innovation” (p.72).
68
Their comparison of the three styles of leadership emphasises that
collaborative leadership is the most relevant when innovation is
important within an organisation.
Ibarra and Hansen (2011) conclude that because “the old world of
silos” is disappearing, informed leaders will seek to collaborate and
connect with multiple parties. “Leaders today must be able to
harness ideas, people and resources from across boundaries of all
kinds” (p.74). The snapshots and case studies in this report indicate
that WCIT’s leaders are making such connections; and that they are
modeling collaborative leadership.
As well as connecting with people, leaders of collaborative
organisations like WCIT need to create a collaborative community
based on a culture of trust and teamwork, find Adler, Heckscher and
Prusak (2011). They describe how leaders of leading-edge innovative
enterprises marry a sense of purpose to a robust operating
structure and they argue that the large organisations that will thrive
in future will be renowned for “sustained, large-scale, efficient
innovation” (p.101). Importantly, the key to that innovative capability
“is neither company loyalty nor free-agent autonomy, but, rather, a
strong collaborative community” (p.101). This report contains
numerous instances of collaborative communities within say a
Directorate of WCIT, and at times points towards the existence of one
larger collaborative community across the Institute.
Table 1. Comparing three styles of leadership (Ibarra & Hansen 2011, p.73)
COMMAND AND CONTROL
CONSENSUS
COLLABORATIVE
1. Organisational structure
Hierarchy
Matrix or small group
Dispersed, crossorganisational network
2. Who has the relevant
information?
Senior management
Formally designated
members or
representatives of the
relevant geographies and
disciplines
Employees at all levels
and locations and a
variety of external
stakeholders
3. Who has the authority to
make final decisions?
The people at the top of
the organisation have
clear authority
All parties have equal
authority
The people leading
collaborations have clear
authority
4. What is the basis for
accountability and
control?
Financial results against a
plan
Many performance
indicators, by function or
geography
Performance on achieving
shared goals
5. Where does it work
best?
Works well within a defined
hierarchy; works poorly for
complex organisations and
when innovation is
important
Works in small teams;
works poorly when speed
is important
Works well for diverse
groups and cross-unit and
cross-company work, and
when innovation and
creativity are important
The collaborative community within WCIT is implicitly based on cooperation
and selflessness. Benkler (2011) finds that cooperative systems can and are
built into innovative organisations, tapping into the human disposition to
cooperate. “We are more cooperative and less selfish than most people believe.
Organisations should help us embrace our collaborative sentiments” (p.77).
This report abounds with examples of the selflessness and cooperation of
Institute staff.
Collaborative leaders and cooperative staff are not the only sources of
inspiration within innovative organisations. Grant (2011) shows how customers
can inspire innovation among staff: “End users can energise your workforce far
better than your managers can” (p.97).
Customers, clients, patients and others who benefit from a company’s
products and services motivate employees by serving as tangible proof of
the impact of their work, expressing appreciation for their contributions,
and eliciting empathy, which helps employees develop a deeper
understanding of customers’ needs. (p.99)
There are many instances in this report of WCIT clients expressing gratitude
for the work of the Institute staff. The Institute’s leaders would be well advised
to continue to draw attention to and respect this external validation and
appreciation of the efforts of the staff.
69
THERE ARE MANY
INSTANCES IN THIS
REPORT OF WCIT CLIENTS
EXPRESSING GRATITUDE
FOR THE WORK OF THE
INSTITUTE STAFF.
Conclusion: Measures for and a model of WCIT innovation continued...
WCIT’S MODEL OF SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION
WCIT can build on its growing strengths as an
innovative organisation and seek to gain further
support for innovation from the staff through their
collective embracing of a model for innovation,
based on shared values and goals. That model
could then be used to connect with and share an
ongoing dialogue with customers and clients.
The elements of this model can be drawn from the
above discussion in this section and from the whole
publication. Those elements include the following
beginning with the letter ‘c’:
• collaborative leadership
• cooperative internal culture
• community of selfless practitioners
• cross-organisational networks
• coaching to support collegial sharing
• capabilities shared across the organisation
• continual professional conversations
• creative ideas fertilised
70
• connections with clients, customers and
communities
• currency of knowledge of external needs
• co-development of innovations with clients
• customers providing inspiration
• celebration of success.
Many of these elements can be mapped to the
diagrammatic model for innovation proposed in the
2009 report Reinvention through Innovation and reinterpreted here. That model, set out in Figure 1,
can now be viewed as follows:
1. the model suggests the Institute is vibrant,
dynamic and moving from the centre outwards;
it is not an inert set of buildings, rather it exists
in order to be innovative and connect with other
people and help them achieve their goals
2. the model uses a wire frame to suggest the
organisation is without boundaries: the flowing
lines and overlaps suggest a close working
partnership with clients, customers and others
3. the model depicts the Institute as
interdependent with its clients and
communities, in an organic, fluid manner
4. the model also projects strength and
robustness, as it is based on connections, not
one single foundation
5. the model highlights interlocking partnerships,
and a strong sense of community, cooperation
and harmony between the parties
6. the model shows that the Institute is continually
regenerating itself in order to reach out and
connect with communities and industries
7. the model is based not on a hierarchy but on
interconnections; and these connections will
enable it to adapt and be resilient and
sustainable.
Ultimately this is a sustainable
model for innovation, underpinned
by strong elements such as
collegiality and collaboration,
connections and capabilities. Hence
the title of the publication, A model
of sustainable innovation: West
Coast Institute of Training.
Figure 1. WCIT model for sustainable innovation
C O O P E R AT I O N
CO
ON
MM
UN
IT
Y
C
O
L
L
AB
OR
I
AT
C
O
COACHING
CROSS-ORGAN
NS
ISA
IO
TI
CT
ON
NE
AL
N
PA
VIT
Y
CA
TI
BI
ES
CR
TI
EA
LI
C
O
N
VE
RS
AT
ION
S
C E L E B R AT I O N
C
O-D
EV
E
P
LO
M
EN
T
71
WEST COAST INSTITUTE OF TRAINING
Our students have world class skills
www.wcit.wa.edu.au
Joondalup Campus
35 Kendrew Crescent
Joondalup 6027
Western Australia
Postal Address
Locked Bag 7
Joondalup 6919
Western Australia
Trades North Campus
Harmony Avenue
Clarkson
Western Australia
(adjacent to Clarkson Community
High School)
Brighton
11 Headingly Crescent
BUTLER 6036
Wangara
4 Pappas Street
Wangara 6065

Similar documents