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Newsletter February 2019

Leadership, culture and the link to sustained performance

The link between leadership and culture and how it drives performance in any organisation and project is an area of focus for a number of our clients as we build in to 2019.  It is particularly important given the disruption and need for flexibility in responding to industry changes that are occurring from a technology, customer and whole of system thinking perspective.

The need for organisations to have constructive leaders that lead their people through this change and create constructive environments is compelling.  Leadership development needs to be a priority with an appropriate balance on management rather than the other way around.   This is a gap in a lot of projects and organisations as the skills and capability required to lead are often not well understood, taught or applied.  It requires a focus on leading people, understanding the external trends and changes and then creating an environment for others in your organisation and projects to be successful.

It is a chance to reflect on this as we build momentum in to 2019.  Do your leaders know what constructive leadership looks like?  Are they freeing up time and making it a priority to lead rather than manage?  Are new leaders in your organisations and projects set up for success through training and development?  These are questions that need to be a focus as it will be leadership teams and leaders that will navigate successfully the changes and opportunities that present in our industry in 2019.  Making time to lead, learning how to lead and prioritising your people will be central pillars of successful organisations and projects.  Being busy is not an excuse for not making this a focus as a leader.  Challenge yourself to work harder on yourself in 2019 as a leader than you have before as the skills that have got you to where you are won’t be the skills that ensure you are successful in addressing your organisation and project challenges in 2019.

Partnering with our clients to deliver great outcomes

Throughout 2018 our BRS team has been working with the Office of Projects Victoria (OPV) to improve the commercial capability of Victorian Government agencies in delivering successful infrastructure projects with their supply chain partners and service providers.

The training has been enormously successful with courses booked in for the remainder of 2019 and additional courses on a range of topics potentially being developed with OPV. We look forward to the successful rollout of these with OPV over the coming months.

As part of the commercial capability program, Kym was interviewed by the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance as to why this commercial capability training is such an important capability to develop in Victorian government staff as they look to deliver successful infrastructure projects. This video interview that also interviews OPV staff and participants of the program and gives you the details on how you can register your interest for the program.

What does a commercial capability program look like? A deeper insight

What is the purpose of a Commercial Capability Program?

The objective of these sessions is to develop the commercial capability of Victorian Government infrastructure delivery agencies based on the following learning objectives:

  • Understand the supply chain and market dynamics for Victorian Government projects and what this means for customer focus, accountability and delivering value;
  • Work through what value for money means and how value for money drives procurement and delivery methods;
  • Gain an understanding of the commercial practices which influence the effective commercial performance of Victorian Government agencies and ensure that projects are delivered to the satisfaction of clients as well as customers, community and stakeholders;
  • Understand collaborative contracting and why this concept is important for ensuring projects are established and driven to achieve success from planning to implementation through to handover to network owners;
  • Ensure the Victorian taxpayers get value for money from Government projects by understanding the commercial drivers and behaviours of suppliers and service providers; and
  • Consider alternative commercial practices that will drive value for money on our projects

What are the benefits of our Government Agencies generally becoming more commercially savvy?

  • Government agencies spend billions of dollars per year on contractors and consultants through capital and operating projects
  • Achievement of better outcomes from taxpayer spend
  • Improved value for money outcomes – anywhere from 1-10% in cost and non-cost savings
  • Improved relationships with service providers including less disputes and disagreements
  • Development of internal leadership depth and bench strength
  • Improved commercial capability skills of public servants

Training underpins the transformation in commercial capability

  • Training is one of the most important aspects in promoting change by raising awareness, capability and leadership depth
  • Training needs to be complimented by the right policies, frameworks, systems, processes, KPIs and leadership support to enable the necessary shift in the culture
  • Training needs to be a constant not a one off – adaptability, flexibility and coachability linked to a commercial capability framework
  • We need a pathway towards commercial capability as a valued skill set

These skills are not only relevant for government organisations working in delivering better infrastructure projects.  We are finding that consultants, contractors and constructors are all investing in developing the commercial acumen of their staff in driving value for money outcomes for the community. The upskilling of commercial skills in staff is critical in ensuring all parties benefit from strong commercial relationships right from the start of the planning, procurement, delivery and operating cycles of any infrastructure projects.

If you would like to learn more about any of our commercial and procurement services, please visit our website or contact us on +61 8212 5752 or

New team members

Sarah Hazelton

Sarah has recently joined BRS as our Strategic Assistant to provide high level administration and infrastructure support to the BRS team.

Sarah joins us from behind closed doors, a leading national network of businesswomen where she was the Executive Assistant to the Managing Director.

Her expertise lies in business improvement, systems integration and automation, system implementation and diagnostic team and organisation health surveys. Sarah is passionate about managing project process improvements to optimise service and performance levels and to lead and deliver on tasks. This can be achieved through the development of strong working relationships, the utilisation of existing technology and constant process reviews and improvements. Sarah believes that focusing on the detail helps to support successful project delivery.

Sarah has been in Adelaide for 10 years since moving from Sydney with her husband and two boys. She volunteers her time to help run their local football club which enables hundreds of children to enjoy their football on a Sunday morning. She is also involved in the many basketball teams her boys play in.

If you would like to learn more about Sarah and her expertise, please click here.

Ethel Garupa

Ethel joined BRS in November 2018 as an Administrative Assistant. She is a quick, motivated learner, and a proactive and reliable individual with over 13 years’ experience in the Information Technology industry.

Ethel has a solid background in using graphic design tools such as Adobe Photoshop, basic writing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code, an expert user of Microsoft Office tools and strong familiarity with different authoring tools (Camtasia, Adobe, Captivate, and Storyline) in multimedia course development. Originally from the Philippines, Ethel holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Mapúa University.

Ethel is passionate about helping others. She is a regular volunteer at Adelaide City Care assisting those who have recently arrived in Australia as a migrant. She also enjoys exploring different places in South Australia.

If you would like to explore more of her unique abilities and talents, kindly click here

To find out more about our BRS team click here

Featured case study

Development of Commercial Capability Training Program

Office of Projects Victoria

BRS undertook commercial acumen gap analysis to design and deliver the foundations of an introductory level commercial capability training course for the Victorian government infrastructure project delivery agencies.

Read more

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