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The Executive Leadership Development Program - AVO

A Case Study


In 2001, the Australian Valuation Office engaged The Growth Connection to develop and deliver a leadership development program as a succession planning initiative for potential executives. The AVO had recently undergone a period of adjustment and emerged ready to grow and develop the organisation and its people to meet the changing needs of its customers into the future.

The Growth Connection conducted a detailed needs analysis, drawing on sources including the AVO Balanced Scorecard, the APS Commission's Leadership Capability Framework, world's best practice in leadership development (through The Growth Connection's intensive research, current experience and worldwide contacts) and the unique needs and culture of the AVO. The latter incorporated an understanding of issues including:

  • succession planning a critical issue due to executive age profile (3-5 years)
  • little previous development of this management group
  • residual scepticism resulting from the prior year's downsizing
  • higher turnover due to attractive private sector opportunities
  • significant perceived decline [by customers] in customer service levels.

More generic issues included generational differences in management styles, gender imbalance and managing commercial operations within a public sector framework.

The program created by The Growth Connection was innovative, intensive and delivered results.

The program focused on the new leadership realities coupled with real-life AVO applications. It was delivered through four formal workshops over a twelve month period, and off-site learning was reinforced by continuous workplace activities and skills practice on the job. The participants were supported throughout with external coaching and internal mentoring, and the program concluded with the presentation to the AVO Executive of major individual projects, in areas of strategic agency interest.

Ian Williams, General Manager of the AVO stated that "I firmly believe that the tailored program delivered by The Growth Connection has been very worthwhile as there has been great enthusiasm and marked improvement by staff who undertook the program and the projects."

Alan Arentz, Director Resources added "The organisation has observed and measured significant growth, development and behavioural change at both the personal and professional level of those employees who have participated."

Line managers endorse the dual benefit for the individuals and the AVO as a whole, with comments on the ELDP group members including:

  • "Our regional office has benefited greatly from participants' involvement in the ELDP, AVO nationally will also benefit similarly in the future"
  • "The course has overcome perceptions that participant was somewhat negative and cynical in some aspects of the workplace, with an emerging enthusiasm, self confidence and renewed commitment demonstrated."

Due to the first program's success, the AVO has extended the program to a new group of managers in 2002-2003.


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