Archive for April 27th, 2012

20th April IPWEAvic Business Luncheon was held at the Whitehorse Centre Nunawading with guest speaker Tony Kelly.  The audince was very privileged to gain an insight into Tony’s leadership style, hints and tips.

The Major challenge in his role at Yarra Valley Water MD was the drought:-

  • Tony was the media spokesperson throughout the drought which bought added pressure to his role
  • Drought made all focused on liveability of the city
  • As a consequence of the drought the N-S pipeline and desal plant were built
  • As a consequence of the drought audits were undertaken on the water authority, regulators were scrutinising the business operations, the organisation was accused of under delivering and over planning
  • The drought created debate on a number of levels
  • 2006 was a very dry year and if 207 had been as dry then Melbourne would have had brown outs

But the drought broke and now YVW is back to business as usual!

Other challenges Tony has had as MD YVW are to do with

  • Productivity
  • Culture
  • Business transformation (putting in place a billing process, then other new IT systems
  • Environmental achievements

Attributes of Leaders:

  • Have the raw horse power
  • Understand the industry
  • Be confident and relaxed
  • Self aware
  • Leaders are held to account
  • Be a great coach – make others powerful and give the big picture
  • Be generous and grateful (Tony is only 1 of 600 in his organisation)

Doors opened to Tony when he became MD and he felt broader responsibilities taking up positions of Chair of several nfp Boards

Basic attributes of a leader are to think ahead, know the big picture and show others how to work through the ambiguity.

A big part of leadership is to set the organisations Culture (why we do things) and Strategy.  Your culture is your competitive advantage as you can find strategies and processes everywhere

Human Synergistic culture is used by YVW with an empasis on circumplex.  Strategy gives culture purpose.

One “trick” Tony learnt from his days at Harvard for longer term strategy is to raise the level of D (dis-satisfaction).  For monopolies such as YVW this is very relevant

  • look at customer satisfaction – use comparative performance (eg against SE water or a municipality)
  • how to motivate staff (eg SE water doing something better)

Tony rounded his converstation with the point that there are two types of Future – The one We create and The one we Can’t control with a reminder of Yogi Bear’s saying that “future ain’t what it used to be”!  Tony then outlined some of the amazing innovations that YVW is pursuing at present.

Thankyou Tony for addressing the IPWEAvic business luncheon on 20 April.

Thankyou to Phil Warner of City of Whitehorse for organistation of the excellent venue and service at the Whitehorse Centre.

The South West Regional Group with meet in conjunction with IPWEAvic Geelong Regional Group and MWOA South West Regional Group on 4th May in Warrnambool.  Speaker will be Minister for Roads and Transport – Terry Mulder.

Details and registration available here

There is a General Meeting scheduled for the Municipal Works Officers Association & Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia Vic, South Western Branch on Friday 4 May 2012 in Warrnambool.

Download flyer and details here

The guest speaker at this event will be The Hon Terry Mulder MP – Minister for Public Transport and Minister for Roads.

Sorry about the short notice of this event, RSVP is required today to Mandy Van Den Nouwland on 0419 105 788.

Chair Geelong Group IPWEA
Vicki Shelton
Coordinator Infrastructure Management, Engineering Services
P:  03 5272 4348M:  0439 004 994

F:   03 5272 4374







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