Time has gone so quickly, three months have already passed since 2 December 2013 when I commenced in the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at State Trustees. I am honoured to be leading an organisation that has played such an important role in the lives of so many Victorians and I am very excited about the future, as we begin the next chapter in the long history of State Trustees, which this year celebrates 75 years as Victoria’s Public Trustee.
With our committed, passionate and caring employees, I intend to build on the solid foundation that has been set down, particularly over the past two years. We are continuing to transform this organisation to ensure it is one that our clients and staff are proud to be associated with. We are committed to being the World’s Best 21st Century Trustee Company and I am delighted to share with you that we are well on our way.
The program of work undertaken so far has placed us remarkably well and this year is about enhancing our service offering and growing our organisation. At the heart of this is a focus on ‘client centricity’, put simply; we will work together to put the needs of our clients at the centre of every decision we make.
In support of achieving our vision, we have been working with our clients and their support networks seeking direct feedback on what we do well and what we can improve. The insights from this will directly influence our actions and is assisting us in developing a service promise for our clients that will shape State Trustees into an organisation that provides a world-class, value for money, client experience.
A significant benefit to having already been a part of the organisation for two years as General Manager, Client Services, is that I ‘hit the ground running’ from day one, the challenging piece was getting our people to embrace further change, after two years of major transformation across the company.
There are many questions that I have been considering; What is the right pace of change for an organisation that will be the World’s Best 21st Century Trustee Company? Who are the right people to have around the table? How do you encourage others to continue to embrace change when they have already gone through so much? How far is too far? What does short term success look like? How do we get there? How do we work towards longer term success at the same time?
It was clear to me that any further change I introduced had to either solve a problem or create an opportunity. I was not going to make change for change sake; I am after positive results, whilst working towards a longer-term vision.
With all of this in mind and with a number of recent structural changes including some senior external appointments put in place before I commenced as the CEO; the existing organisational structure was mainly retained, although People and Culture were elevated to the Executive in its own right along with Strategy, Innovation and Transformation equally represented at the table with a dedicated focus.
I have just last week finalised the last appointment for the Executive Team, a vacancy that came about as a result of my move into the CEO role. With a mixture of fresh faces, internal promotion and a broad range of expertise across our commercial and community service areas, the Executive team is now in place.
Two of our three new executive appointments have been promotions from within the organisation. During my time as General Manager, Client Services I quite deliberately focused on succession planning and capacity building throughout my portfolio, which has enabled this wonderful outcome.
Succession planning is not only important for personal development, job satisfaction and employee retention, it is also a great way to minimise disruption to a business through periods of significant change. I am really pleased that like me, there were people within the leadership team that were ready to step up when the opportunity arose.
In an organisation that is predominately female [65%], it is gratifying that 50% of our executive team are female and 51% of our overall leadership team are female. I am personally committed to fostering diversity in our workforce and gender diversity being reflected through the more senior levels of the organisation is one aspect of this.
There are many opportunities ahead as we explore what it takes to be the World’s Best 21st Century Trustee organisation, this includes strengthen our client centricity and commerciality. I am eager to see the outcomes of an empowered team that are given the freedom to innovate and work together to realise our new vision.
Want to know more about the State Trustees Executive Team?, Click here