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News item: IWC trains emerging water leaders

Twenty-one emerging water leaders from around Australia participated in a week-long, intense face-to-face training session in Brisbane this month as part of the International WaterCentre (IWC) Water Leadership Program.

The Water Leadership Program training focused on improving the ability of water practitioners from consulting firms, water agencies and government agencies to exert influence, drive change and advance challenging integrated water management projects.

The training forms part of a nine-month feedback-intensive leadership development program which runs each year from 1 December to 31 August. Other elements of the program include one-to-one coaching sessions, online discussion activities, challenging leadership projects, follow-up training in July, 360-degree feedback, individual leadership development plans, and group mentoring by four highly experienced executives from the water industry.

IWC Leadership Specialist and Program Coordinator Dr André Taylor said the face-to-face training is a critical component of the program. “The training sessions are important for three reasons: first, they help the participants build specific leadership capabilities that are associated with effective water leadership; second, they provide an opportunity for participants to build individual leadership development plans; and third, they involve interaction between a diverse group of enthusiastic participants, leadership specialists and water industry leaders, including some of the most respected executive leaders in our industry such as Mr Rob Skinner and Ms Jude Munro,” Dr Taylor said.

Gladstone Area Water Board Corporate Services Manager Gary Larsen who is participating in the program said he  was keen to further develop his leadership skills. Mr Larsen said he sees the program as a way of “assisting me in the development of my leadership style so I can build a better team focus across the business.”

Yarra Ranges Council Water Management Officer Dr Elizabeth Wallis also said she joined the program to further develop her leadership skills. “I think this program provides a good theoretical basis for developing leadership skills,” Dr Wallis said.

Participants said they found the training “stimulating” and particularly appreciated group mentor sessions that highlighted the wealth of experience from the course guest speakers. “The final exercise was incredible at forcing me to give advice to others on new techniques / techniques that I learned, and asking others for help,” one participant said.

The IWC Water Leadership Program is customised for water industry professionals at the project to middle management level (i.e. non-executives). The program is based on sound research within the water industry and is delivered in partnership with experienced leadership specialists and industry practitioners. Twelve trainers, guest speakers and group mentors (‘executives in residence’) helped to deliver the recent training in February.

The International WaterCentre provides education and training, applied research and expert consulting services to promote integrated water management and effective water leaders around the world.

To discuss the program, contact Dr André Taylor, Leadership Specialist, Or find out more here about the Water Leadership Program.


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