Education is central to AusTTA achieving its mission of more successful transformations for our Members and in an interview with Jayne Meyer Tucker (AusTTA’s Education & Alliances Director) we learn what’s core to our approach and more about the partnership we are building with Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

How do you see the relationship between Education and Strategic Alliances and the Association mission of “more success transformations for our Members”?

AusTTA has just completed its strategy for FY21-22 and a core pillar of our approach over the next couple of years is built around building partnership with world leading educators in the space of management so that we can provide a range of relevant training and education options for our diverse membership base. So, you can say we have a very deep commitment to education and helping Members embrace complexity and adaptation through an approach informed by many aspects of system thinking.

Why is systems thinking important for transformation management?

As a transformational leader, you are responsible for managing change of an organisation or parts of an organisation which will have many moving parts in terms of strategy, value management, risk management, process change, program management, change management, transformation IT and the complexity created by having many different stakeholder interests. Looking at an organisation that needs to transform through a systems lens, that is viewing systems as human activity systems, you are drawn to think about all of the parts and how the parts and their interrelationships will be impacted and may have to change. This more holistic view encourages leaders and especially transformation leaders to think more broadly than say the new technology system that needs to be implemented next quarter. We are not prescribing that transformational leaders have to become experts in systems thinking but that a systems perspective is a good way in which to start setting up a transformation program for success.

We have a close working relationship with QUT can you share how that came about and how it continues to develop?

It is interesting because it all began with a partnership with Australian National University in Canberra and as the key academics behind the program moved to QUT, the program also moved north to Brisbane. They had a real interest in ensuring that any transformation education program had sound theoretical underpinnings. They started the design of the program with an open approach, building in theory from the different parts of leadership education that are most relevant to the challenges being faced by the transformational professional.

Recognising that the MBA as we have known it may have had its time and that there needed to be some different skill sets. What they learnt as they put together the first course in ANU was the importance of complex adaptive systems theory (the theoretical roots of systems thinking). The other key learning from the first course they ran in 2019 was that transformational leaders would need to be confident and feeling comfortable with emergent change. As a result, we continue to work with QUT to keep the course content evolving based on learnings from running the course as well as the needs of transformation leaders in these rapidly changing times.

AusTTA have had the opportunity to provide input along the way which is exciting and QUT have really been able to establish a good standard of qualification that will help improve transformation success.

Like AusTTA, QUT has pivoted its approach during COVID times, how as their approach changed?  

The most recent change has reflected the pandemic environment we all find ourselves in, where the structure of peoples’ work and personal lives has had to change. The model of how education is provided has had to be reconsidered, it couldn’t necessarily be face to face, it needed to go to a more of an online structure, the length of the course and overall value proposition also had to be re-thought. QUT are holding off until 2021 to resume the full program of intensive learning through face-to-face structures.

To meet immediate needs some of the full program has been divided into 5 modules creating bite sized online masterclasses which are shorter in length, delivered online and able to be completed within people’s busy lives, ultimately reflecting the needs of those whom the courses are tailored for.

QUT have recently launched a new series of online Masterclasses, how is the series structured?

It is structured in five modules; 1) designing the transformation road map, 2) human centred leadership for transformation, 3) implementing transformative technologies, 4) transformational leadership and workforce change and 5) thought leadership for transformation, which I think is a really good model to finish on… In AusTTA we are very interested in that space because we want our members to increase their effectiveness in their workplaces but also to come together as a community and help us tell the improvement of transformation narrative going forward. Each module is completed online in a series of lectures and then working offline on individual and group assignments. Those that complete the course do so with a certificate of completion from the University, which is great recognition of improving competence, but it also can contribute to the full program being run next year as well as other courses being offered under the QUT umbrella.

They have the first Masterclass coming up in a couple of weeks, what’s it focused on and why should our Members and supporters sign up to do the course?

This first online masterclass has been designed to help leaders prepare themselves and their organisations for a transformation journey. The key elements of the course include, how to:

  • Commence your transformation strategy or review your progress
  • Examine the organisational capabilities required for effective transformation and future success
  • Scrutinise your resourcing structure and pinpoint a pathway to ensure capacity for transformation
  • Identify transformation priorities and potential pain-points; and
  • Explore the cultural changes needed to optimise leadership and drive the desire for change

 Finally, what does the future hold in terms of other transformation education opportunities?

We are building a strong partnership with QUT and we look forward to continuing to build on the quality range of courses designed for transformational leaders across business, government and not-for-profit sectors. We are also looking to find other world-class education partners who have aligned views on transformation and can help build out the AusTTA continuum of knowledge with training options covering different aspects of managing the phases of transformation.

What is exciting about the development phase of the Association today is we are looking to co-create what we are referring to as the AusTTA transformation flow and continuum of knowledge. We are actively inviting our Members to share their transformation education experiences and service providers so that we can cross-promote and share the learning in our collective pursuit of more successful transformations.

 

Jayne’s contact details:

jayne@austta.org

0447287542

 

About the upcoming QUT Masterclass

AusTTA members get a 10% discount

The first masterclass – “Designing your transformation road map” has three online lectures coming up and there are still places available

  • Session One |Wednesday 22nd July 2020 | 9:30am – 11:30am
  • Session Two |Friday 24th July 2020 | 9:30am – 11:30am
  • Session Three |Friday 31st July 2020 | 9:30am – 11:30am

 

For more information and to book a spot on the course:

https://www.qut.edu.au/study/professional-and-executive-education/courses/designing-your-transformation-roadmap

 

If you are interested in reading more about complex adaptive systems:

https://systemsinnovation.io/complex-adaptive-systems-article/