Tell us about the journey to your current role and what it this role entails?
Previous to my current role I was the Waikato Regional Director for the Ministry of Social Development responsible for regional delivery of employment services and financial support. This work involved working in partnership with numerous agencies, industries and government departments to address complex social issues. I moved into my current role in 2014 and was attracted by the opportunity to build organisational capability and to work in partnerships with others to deliver on the councils purpose of building a region with a healthy environment, strong economy and vibrant communities.
Can you describe a project you are working on/recently completed, and any key challenges you have faced along the way and how they were overcome?
Developing the organisations first corporate plan was an opportunity to bring together a wide range of corporate functions and teams to ensure alignment of resources with a clear focus on achieving the organisations purpose. We identified that in order to do this we needed to be –
- Information led – realising the value of data and information
- Customer centric – being flexible, responsive and agile in our drive to deliver exceptional customer service
- Focused on our people – having positive, engaged and capable people accommodated in fit for purpose facilities
- Introduce transformational technology – Capable of identifying, assessing and implementing innovative technologies that enable us to improve and transform how we work
- Implement continuous Improvement – Being agile and responsive to CI striking the right balance between cost risk and opportunity
- Sustainable –By demonstrating our own sustainable values and practices in environmental performance and contribution to economic activity and social progress
Coordination of multiple teams, facilitating collaborative design processes and synthesising complex and detailed information into a succinct and usable format along with communicating and implementing the final plan was a complex and demanding task.
We took an iterative approach in the plans scoping phase and then adopted a structured project management approach for the development and communication of the final product
What did you learn from this project? What did it achieve?
This process helped us to understand that for corporate services to be efficient and effective and enable the organisation achieve its purpose teams must operate in a transparent and collaborative fashion by sharing resources (time, money and tools). Strong and effective leadership is paramount supported with a plan with that has a clear focus on outcomes and milestones.
This is a strategic guiding document that underpins our business units operational plans, business cases and ongoing service delivery.
What excites you most about the future?
To be working in an organisation that is developing and implementing solutions to some of the biggest issues that our region, the nation and planet is facing from climate change to sea level rise, environmental sustainability, water quality and future land use is an absolute privilege. It excites me that I am able to play an integral role in such a rewarding and important area.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to further their career in government, what would it be?
Identify what your passion is, what motivates you and provides you with personal reward and satisfaction. There are opportunities at every level in local government make sure you aim for roles that will give you a true sense of achievement and purpose. Be open, honest and collaborative.
Where do you look to for further education? E.g. articles, podcasts, news sources, courses – e.g. University, online, internal etc?
Mckinsey online, Institute of Directors, Waikato University/Auckland University schools of business, Human Synergistic’s International are all sources of further education that I’d encourage anyone to explore.