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Case study: Leading Change Through Team Cultures

The Challenge

With the landscape of government and business changing, for most organisations there is no longer a clear line between acting solely as a business and acting only on the behalf of a government. As the commercialisation of government entities aims to ensure resources are used in a productive manner when providing services that are vital to communities, many government entities are seeing the value in becoming more business-orientated. Today, public sector organisations often need to act both as a business and a government entity and readjust their structures and processes to meet these needs.

However, introducing change – like commercialisation – into an organisation takes more than a general restructure; employees need new capabilities to face these changes and the organisation’s culture needs to be adapted to ensure its sustainability.

The Client

The Public Trustee logo

The Public Trustee logo

Operating for over 100 years, the Public Trustee of Queensland has a long history performing a vital role in society as the largest maker of wills in the Southern Hemisphere.

While ultimately reporting to the Queensland Parliament through the State’s Attorney-General, the Public Trustee has a strong commercial imperative: with billions of dollars under funds management, the Public Trustee needs to manage a good return to ensure it generates the funds to support its internal operations. In essence, the Public Trustee is a socially-orientated organisation with a commercial operating focus.

Additionally, the organisation’s new CEO, Peter Carne, was motivated to not only achieve this strategic direction and position it into the Public Trustee’s culture, but to adapt the entire culture of the organisation to foster coaching, continuous learning and strategic thinking.

QUTeX partnered with the Public Trustee to design the organisation’s first leadership program in over ten years. The Leading Our Future Program helped move the organisation towards being more client responsive and commercially attentive while maintaining the Public Trustee’s community focus:

“There’s a high regard for community and social outcomes within the organisation and that needed to be blended with the commercial imperatives of the organisation, so you just can’t make profit for profit’s sake. Their leaders needed to understand how that impacts on the community and how does that help them in their role in supporting a range of demographics.”

- Dr Brett Heyward, QUTeX Adjunct Professor and Program Lead

The Impact

Implementing the new CEO’s passion for fostering a coaching culture, the Leading Our Future program continues today to guide the Public Trustee’s leaders through learning activities that incorporate one-on-one and group coaching, leadership capability building and projects directly applied into the workplace.

With each new cohort the program is adapted and tweaked to continue to evolve as the organisation does and the previous participants pass on what they’ve learned to others through coaching. Now in its third iteration, the Leading Our Future Program continues to be demand-driven and QUTeX maintains its close partnership with the Public Trustee to ensure that the learning activities of its staff match the changing context of the organisation.

From the program they’ve been able to liberate a lot of effectiveness especially out of the high impact workplace projects that underpin the organisation’s strategic direction, and that creates a lot of empowerment within the organisation – that’s the essence of leadership. It was very a top-down management style in the past and now they’re getting far more participation from the grassroots of the organisation adding to its bottom line performance.

- Dr Brett Heyward

How can QUTeX help you?

Harnessing the knowledge and expertise of the entire university, QUTeX is a revolution in professional development that customises educational solutions for your organisation to meet your context and motivations. Thought your team’s learning journey QUTeX continues to work with you adapting the program to meet your emerging needs and their learning experiences.

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