Liz Vinning, Alliance Director
Liz Vinning is an Alliance Director at DeakinPrime; she is a Learning and Development specialist with expertise in forming enduring partnerships in corporate education. Liz believes her role is to ‘provide learning and development strategies to corporate/industry sectors, thereby enhancing business outcomes, employee capability and capacity and, on an individual level, enhanced self worth and self image’.
If you would like to find out more about Liz and her wealth of corporate education experience, watch her interview here or view her professional profile.
Q1: Liz, you set up a very successful partnership with the Coles Group during the early years of DeakinPrime. It was essentially a corporate university partnership. What was the impetus around that?
The impetus – you might expect that it was an impetus from the organisation itself but in fact DeakinPrime took the idea to Coles Myer. Our CEO at that time had been doing quite a bit of travel in the US and has seen this emerging idea of the corporate university from about the mid-90s. And at that time, we had been working with Coles Supermarket for a number of years and they were very strategic in the way they used Learning and Development, and we thought they would be a very good partner to work with us in this way.
Q2: The corporate institute – are we seeing a trend away from large-scale corporate institutes or do you think that they are coming back into vogue?
Interesting that you should say that. I think from about the 2000’s through to about a year or so ago, definitely there was a move away from that corporate institute/academy idea. Not many Australian companies have really taken up that idea. But over the last 6 to 12 months,I’ve actually seen a number of organisations embrace that notion again. For me, the idea and the reason behind the corporate institute is using Learning and Development as a strategy to support business outcomes. And that, certainly, we’re seeing that with a few clients again.
Q3: And you have also made an interesting transition from Retail sector to Personal Injury sector. That sounds like a really interesting challenge. Can you tell us a little bit about that journey?
Sure. I worked with Coles Supermarket and Coles Myer for about 14 years, so as Wesfarmers took over Coles Myer Group, the Coles Group as it became known as, their Learning and Development strategies changed completely, so our partnership finished. I was really at a loose end; it was like losing a part of the family, and I really needed to recreate myself, whether withinDeakinPrime again or somewhere else. And I am very committed to what we do here at DeakinPrime and how we work with organisations and was fortunate enough to accidentally start work with the Personal Injury sector, WorkSafe Victoria and the emerging Personal Injury Education Foundation, and that has blossomed into the relationship that we have now. Both those organisations are very strategic in how they approach Learning and Development and I’ve been able to apply my skill and expertise. It has been fantastic to have that opportunity again.
Q4: Liz, you also work quite deeply in the leadership area. Napoleon Bonaparte once said ‘A leader is a dealer in hope.’ How true do you think that is?
Interesting. Leadership is a topic that we could talk about for many, many hours, many days and many weeks. Leadership – in the organisations that I have worked for, trying to implement a leadership program has meant something different in each of those different organisations. It’s about creating people who will be the champions, be those in the organisation who will take it forward. We all have our own interpretation of what that means, but Napoleon’s comment about the hope of leadership, I just think having the opportunity to lead any people in the capacity is a wonderful responsibility and an opportunity to influence those around you and to influence your world.
Q5: Apart from your role in Business Development, you actually lead a team , the Client Portfolio team that comprises around 17 Project Managers. Can you tell us how you lead the team?
Yes. I lead by example. I think that is one thing that I do. I would not have been able to do that when I first came into the organisation, because [now] the work that we do is very broad across the whole Learning and Development spectrum. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to work from induction through to postgraduate programs in that sense but [also] across the whole suite of professional development programs. And there are particular requirements and skills that we all need and they vary depending on the kind of program that we’re working on.
I love sharing what I have learnt with others so that they can become skilled and I’m very particular about certain ways in which we do that work and provide and fulfil our client contracts. It is an ongoing challenge to do that better, and to do it consistently, and to do it well and to exceed our client expectation. It’s a great privilege to have that opportunity.
To find out more about Liz please view her professional profile