Executing transformation at the TAC through frontline leaders

Executing transformation at the TAC through frontline leaders

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Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is a leading social insurer. It has over 1,000 staff and disburses $1.5 billion in support each year.

A transformational strategy required new leadership capabilities

The TAC’s transformational strategy put people at the heart of its objectives, requiring fundamental organisational changes. This included putting customer service ahead of compliance, fostering greater collaboration among teams and empowering leaders to help them realise their teams’ potential. With these ambitions, the TAC partnered with Nous to co-design a leadership development approach to build the priority capabilities of frontline staff.

Learning modules for team leaders blended learning approaches

Nous worked with the TAC’s leadership and analysed its operations to identify priority levers to change the culture. The top priority was lifting the leadership capability of 200 existing and emerging team leaders.

Nous partnered with the TAC to co-design a blended learning approach over six months, with leader-led development activities supported by quality online resources and peer relationships. It progressed staff through the Team Leader Development Pathway.

The leadership development involved five modules that addressed the leadership capabilities. Each involved:

  1. participant preparation, including readings, workplace discovery, videos and diagnostics, provided through a learning portal, “Take the Wheel”
  2. a part-day workshop where the target leadership capabilities were explored and practiced in a safe environment with peers
  3. applying the capability in the workplace
  4. activities to encourage peer learning groups to reflect on what did and did not work and what could be done differently.

Participants showed greater commitment and capability

Participants rated each module at least four out of five stars, and many said it was the best development experience they had ever had. Senior leaders said they were impressed with the improvement in commitment and capability among participants.

“I was sceptical of one of the activities,” one participant said afterward, “and I was surprised as to how insightful it was. I thought it was a great activity I plan to replicate with my team.”

A senior leader said of some staff members: “A newer leader is demonstrating more confidence with performance conversations, and a more experienced leader who was cynical … is talking about the genuine benefit he is surprised to be getting from the program.”

The program won the Australian Institute of Training & Development 2019 Award for Best Leadership Development Program, recognising outstanding achievement in learning and organisational development.

What your organisation can learn from the TAC

Instilling fundamental change in an organisation requires giving leaders the skills to implement it.

Effective leadership development involves blending high-level theory with practical wisdom.

Deploying new approaches can be challenging for many people, so it is vital to give them a safe environment to test them out.