At HRwisdom we focus heavily (some might call it ‘harping on’) on being proactive when it comes to all aspects of managing your workforce.

In fact, it would appear that the Australian Government has taken notice of this harping on/heavy focus and has tried to go one better by stumping up $12 million as proof.

Centre for Workplace Leadership

However, one high profile labour economics expert has raised the unusual prospect that the Government may have got it wrong with this new investment.

In this two part HRwisdom Blog article, we will look at what the Government has in mind and what could possibly be wrong with spending a cool $12 million in an attempt to hang out with the cool crowd (ie. HRwisdom).

What Does The Federal Government Have In Mind?

The Federal Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten, recently announced a bold new plan to boost Australia’s workplace leadership capability.

In his media release, the Minister said:
“Australia needs higher performing and more profitable and competitive workplaces to continue to drive productivity growth and position Australia to take advantage of the opportunities of the Asian Century. A key workplace level factor to achieve this is to boost workplace leadership capability.
The workplace relations debate in Australia has for too long focused on conflict between unions and employers and the transactions involved in setting pay and conditions. This has meant that ongoing, daily relationships that occur at the workplace have not been given the attention they deserve.
The recent independent review of the Fair Work Act found no evidence that our workplace relations laws impede productivity growth. Instead, there is a substantial and growing body of evidence that shows that leadership, workplace culture and management practices have a significant impact on workplace performance, productivity, profitability and innovation.  It also shows that good leadership which empowers employees delivers greater job satisfaction, productivity and motivation.”
This led to the Minister’s declaration that the Federal Government wanted to hang out with HRwisdom and was prepared to pay for the privilege:
“Today I am announcing that the Gillard Government, in collaboration with industry, is providing $12 million over four years for the establishment of a new Centre for Workplace Leadership.
The Centre will encourage higher performing, innovative workplaces and stronger leadership capability in Australian workplaces, to boost productivity and ensure Australian workers truly have quality jobs.
The Centre for Workplace Leadership will be a flagship initiative of this Government and will focus in a very distinct and new way on leadership as it happens at the enterprise level every day.”
In an attempt to ingratiate himself even further with HRwisdom, the Federal Minister spelled out exactly what he had in mind for the new proactive Centre for Workplace Leadership . . .
“The Centre will:
  • be the Australian expert on workplace management and leadership and improving the productivity of Australian workplaces through leadership;
  • deliver quality training for leaders and managers on effective leadership, workplace culture and people management practices and connect leaders to training and development from other providers;
  • promote and disseminate practical, relevant research, including surveys, on workplace change and improvement;
  • lead the public debate on the importance of good leadership, workplace culture and people management and on the interdependencies between high performing and productive workplaces, effective management practices and quality jobs; and
  • drive a broader movement to ‘do things differently at work’ by recognising that productivity ‘happens’ at work and that leadership is a crucial mechanism to improve productivity.”
Indeed, there are some powerful ideas and ambitions in the development of the proposed new Centre for Workplace Leadership. Tomorrow, we see what a high profile labour economics expert thinks of this major new development . . .