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First State Super is a not-for-profit Australian superannuation fund. It was initially established in 1992 to provide superannuation benefits to New South Wales government employees, but is now open to anyone eligible to receive superannuation. It is one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, with more than $42 billion in funds under management and over 770,000 members.

Our Work

We started changing conversations with them in 2013

The Situation

One of our projects with First State Super (FSS) was to provide Leadership Development within the senior Executive team of 8 members. The team was relatively newly formed and the complexity of their industry was significantly increasing.

Our Approach

We utilised The Leadership Circle (TLC) Leadership Culture Survey with the Executive team to reflect on the results and plan their steps moving forward.  As a result of this collective debrief, it was decided that each member of the Executive would receive their own TLC profile.  In addition, a ‘Leadership Forum’ would be created, consisting of all or most of those reporting to the Executive team.  The ‘Forum’ was then convened and facilitated for two special meetings.  One was to give critical feedback to the Executive team on the organisational strategy and to make essential contribution to the question of which projects would be included and funded in the planning year to come. The second meeting was facilitated using Open Space Technology to create a ‘Forum’ dialogue on the culture of First State Super, and how to continue to enhance its most desired characteristics.  Following that meeting an Action Learning (AL) approach was taken to form an AL Team comprised of 7 non-executive members from the Forum. This AL team continues to meet, plan, learn, and execute projects relating to cultural development within FSS.

The Results

Both meetings with the Leadership Forum received very strong positive feedback from both the Executive team and those reporting to them. The organisational strategy was ultimately presented to the Board, and enthusiastically supported by them. In addition, organisation engagement scores show a clear continued improvement, even compared to the strong results of the previous year.

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