Senior Executive Development
Immersive leadership program stretches participants to face new personal leadership challenges
The real highlight for me was the immersive experiences. This was the first time that I’d participated in a program that incorporates you going out and undertaking real life experiences...The learnings from that have been phenomenal for me and I’ve been able to bring back [what I learnt] and apply it to my own team here in Western NSW.
Brendon Cutmore, Executive Director of Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing at Western NSW Local Health District and graduate of HETI's Senior Executive Development Program.
When Brendon Cutmore commenced the inaugural NSW Health Senior Executive Development Program delivered by HETI, he couldn’t see himself applying for a senior executive role with NSW Health. He felt he lacked the confidence required to take on a senior role.
Yet, before even completing the program, Brendon had stepped up to take on a new position as the Executive Director of Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing at Western NSW Local Health District. He credits his involvement in the intensive program as key in giving him the confidence to apply, and the strategic leadership skills to successfully land the position.
“I couldn’t have done this without the program. The program gave me confidence as an individual and as a professional to feel as though I’m worthy enough to step into an executive role,” Brendon says.
The NSW Health Senior Executive Development Program is a 9-month leadership and development program designed to build the capability of NSW Health executives so they feel ready to take on more senior roles. The Program, coordinated by HETI, commenced in October 2016 and combines strategic leadership principles and skills with individualised learning pathways and development plans to enable participants to achieve personal goals and meet organisational outcomes. Unique immersive learning experiences, a state-wide strategic challenge, executive coaching, work placements, shadowing and group workshops give participants practical skills in leadership, decision-making and design thinking.
For Brendon, the program's highly experiential nature made all the difference, exposing him to learning methods and leadership techniques he had not previously used.
“The real highlight for me was the immersive experiences. This was the first time that I’d participated in a program that incorporates you going out and undertaking real life experiences. My favourite immersive experience was the trip I undertook to the City of Sydney Office to look at their organisation as a high-performing team. The learnings from that have been phenomenal for me and I’ve been able to bring back the model they shared and apply it to my own team here in Western NSW,” Brendon explains.
"The program also gave us the opportunity to learn about leadership models and design thinking concepts, design and develop our own, look at applying them back in our workforce and testing their relevance. Often at courses or programs like this, you see a lot of theory and models, they sit on your desk gathering dust and you don’t necessarily use them. The challenge throughout this program was to take those tools and apply them into the workforce, and then come back and share that with the group."
A role-play media conference with real journalists also stretched Brendon's skills, challenging him and his fellow participants to confront their vulnerabilities and discover their true capabilities.
"This was really about taking someone right out of their comfort zone to think on their feet and really dig deep to their inner, personal leadership skills - to walk into something feeling vulnerable, but to walk out of it with growth personally and professionally."
Brendon also felt the supportive nature of the program was a real benefit for him. In particular, he enjoyed the 'check-in check-out' component which involved each participant sharing their thoughts on the activities, experiences and readings as the program progressed.
"I’ve never really participated in meetings or other programs where you are encouraged to share what you are feeling and how things might have impacted on you. This really brought us together as a group and ensured that we felt safe to share things you wouldn’t normally share with people you work alongside.
I’d absolutely recommend that NSW Health continue with the program. It has shaped and changed the way I lead which has prepared me, I think, for the role that I’ve stepped into now as an Executive Director.”
- Individualised learning and career development pathways
- Integrated with personal development planning
- Highly experiential
- Stretch work placements and executive coaching
- Networking opportunities