Boosting performance

Four Victorian Councils have joined forces in a cooperative alliance to meet various business demands on Local Government. Under this new initiative, 20 middle managers from Kingston, Bayside, Frankston and Glen Eira Councils are undertaking a Graduate Certificate of Business Management, designed and delivered by Monash Mt Eliza Business School.

The program was initiated by Kingston City Council in an effort to provide regional management development opportunities for its managers. Five Kingston staff, the Team Leaders of Corporate and Strategic Planning, Library Operations, Customer Services, Home Care Services and Health Services have commenced the course.

The customised management program is believed to be a first of its kind in Victoria and possibly Australia. It follows a comprehensive training needs analysis undertaken by the four Councils in response to the former Victorian Government's changes to Councils' competitive tendering processes, service delivery and performance accountability.

Manager Human Resources Jacqui Hudson said as Councils were expected to become more business like they were seeking new ways to enhance their overall performance and use resources more creatively and efficiently. "We see strong leadership as essential to our success, as strong leaders will drive improved performance through their staff," she said. "The program has therefore been designed to focus on people management skills."

Managers are expected to gain broad based business management and leadership skills through the Monash Mt Eliza program. This will help them run their business units more effectively. "As our managers have had to change focus from managing community services to running business units, we wanted to ensure that they had the right skills to make the transition successfully," Jacqui Hudson said.

She said Council hoped the initiative would increase productivity and efficiency and ultimately lead to significant flow on savings and benefits to the local community.

In addition, the management education alliance aims to help build networks across Councils and provide a broad depth of learning through the generation of ideas between participants from diverse backgrounds and professions.

For further information contact Jacqui Hudson, telephone (03) 9581 4761