Developing skills in strategic and change management

Workforce development includes management development in fields such as strategic and change management. These fields are special strengths of ours, as demonstrated by some of our national publications, as below.

Strategy-making in turbulent times

Strategy-making ensures that organisations are responsive to their changing external environments and to their stakeholders and clients. This report shows that Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) in the vocational education and training (VET) sector need to continually undertake strategy-making, as the external environment for most RTOs is constantly changing and, to some extent, is turbulent. The report provides a range of examples of RTOs effectively developing strategies, despite this turbulence and despite uncertainty about the future. Click here to download.

The never ending quest

This report shows that every Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in the vocational education and training (VET) sector in Australia needs managers who can design effective strategies. Cusumano and Markides (2001) suggest that ‘designing a successful strategy is a never-ending quest’ for managers (p. 4). Click here to download.

Strategic management and change management and the national training system: Core ideas

The core ideas publication provides a brief overview of strategic management and change management in relation to the national training system. Click here to download.

Strategy-making for high-performing VET organisations

The VET industry experienced substantial change after the introduction of the National Training Framework (NTF) in 1996, not just because of the NTF and its components such as competency-based training and the introduction of Training Packages. Changes in the VET industry were also brought about by external forces such as changes to industry and consequent changes in clients’ expectations and training demand. Markides (2001) notes that in this environment, strategies need to be constantly updated. This paper shows how the senior managers in three registered training organistions updated their strategies over one year. Click here to download.

High-skilled High-performing VET

For VET to fully service contemporary industry training requirements in the early 21st century, two things are clear: VET organisations themselves need to become high-performing and VET staff need to become highly skilled. If VET is to become high-skilled and high-performing, VET managers need substantial skills in strategic management and change management; and extensive staff development is required for the full range of VET personnel. Click here to download.

The skilling of VET change agents

The term ‘change agent’ refers to anyone involved in initiating or implementing change, whether or not they have an official job title recognising that responsibility (Buchanan and Badham 2000, p.4). This report documents how a group of eleven VET practitioners were able to acquire extensive skills and knowledge as change agents, after participating in a six-month-long structured program of guided practice. Click here to download.

VET practitioners as specialist change agents

The paper indicates that it is important that more vocational education and training(VET) practitioners develop expertise as change agents to meet many of the challenges presented by a demand-driven national training system. However, the change agent role is complex and not to be under-estimated, as change agents need the agility to adopt a range of roles which could include being opportunists, diplomats and networkers. Change agents need an advanced range of skills and knowledge – as well as a high level of judgment, courage and sensitivity – to effectively assist the change process. Change agents also need to be reflective and insightful while coping with resistance, apathy, exuberance or turmoil. Click here to download.

Change agents and the national training system

While there is a legitimate place for engaging the specialist change agent who is external to the VET organisation, this paper is directed at staff within VET organisations that are or wish to become change agents. These staff will normally be at management level, but sometimes they will be non-management VET practitioners who are commissioned to lead change. Click here to download.

Managing complexities

Managing is becoming increasingly complex, but some people show that it is possible to manage the mounting complexities.

Managing increasing complexities