Case study of building a model for organisational innovation: West Coast Institute of Training

A number of organisations have asked us to develop a model for innovation and then return a few years later and review and refresh the model.

One such case study is West Coast Institute of Training (previously West Coast Institute of TAFE)

1. Initial model: Reinvention through Innovation: 2008-2009

In late 2008 West Coast TAFE engaged Dr John Mitchell from John Mitchell & Associates to prepare a case study publication on examples of best practice across West Coast TAFE. The project brief was as follows:

1. Identify and document multiple examples of best practice across West Coast TAFE. These case studies should cover a range of clients from individuals to enterprises and demonstrate how West Coast TAFE is working effectively to help develop the State’s workforce

2. Interrogate these examples to identify those themes or elements that are consistent throughout the organisation and which illustrate the ‘West Coast Way’: Resourceful, Agile and Partnered (the origins and intended purpose of this expression are explained in the following interview with Norman Baker)

3. Using these common themes, assist Corporate Executive in developing a practical model for innovation/continuous improvement

4. Identify the skill sets required to implement this model and assist Corporate Executive in developing a ‘Workforce Development Framework’.

The field work was undertaken from January-May 2009 and the resultant publication is called Reinvention through Innovation.

2. Refreshed model: A Sustainable Model for Innovation: 2011-2012

The 2009 report entitled Reinvention through Innovation documented some prominent innovations at West Coast Institute of Training (WCIT) at that point in time. Much more innovation occurred within the Institute following that publication, hence in early 2011 the Institute re-engaged John Mitchell to assist it in documenting the next phase of the organisation’s journey of innovation.

The aim of the 2011 project was to map the transformation of the whole organisation and to extend the organisation’s thinking about, and future practice in, innovation.

The intended outcomes of the 2011 project were to create improved awareness of the transformation of WCIT following on from ‘Reinvention through Innovation’, and to support further innovation within the Institute.

This would be achieved particularly by:

  • engaging staff in an organisational level project as active participants. To engage staff, WCIT’s Kim Hawkins, Director of Health, Education and Social Sciences (HESS), performed the role of project manager and assisted John particularly by compiling a lengthy list of innovations across the Institute. This new publication is designed to lead to further staff engagement.
  • developing a model that captures the journey of WCIT and can have application in a broad range of contexts. The model agreed to during the 2011 consultations is discussed in the Conclusion of this document and is an adaptation of the model featured in the 2009 publication.

The resultant report with refreshed model was published in early 2012.