Department of Regional NSW – Leadership Development Program

The Department of Regional NSW is part of the New South Wales Government. The department’s main objective is to make regional and rural towns more liveable through supporting local workforce development and key worker recruitment, fostering housing growth, and encouraging local economies to diversify.

The challenge

With significant investment in Regional NSW, the Department of Regional NSW RDP team has experienced exceptional growth in 2022, including the recent recruitment of large numbers of first-time or emerging leaders.

Endeavouring to build stability and a collegiate environment across the leadership team, the Department of Regional NSW were keen to partner with an organisation which is experienced in the challenges of ‘first time leaders’, and passionate about building engaging and sustainable leadership capability for the future. 

Co-designed solution

While the Department of Regional NSW has its own internal Learning & Development (L&D) team, they needed support in the delivery of a multi-levelled approach to leadership development.

Having an external partner to design and deliver a tailored program would provide expertise and capacity for the L&D team.

We love to truly understand our clients and key stakeholders, to design a meaningful, relevant and connected program that will deliver value and return for the Department of Regional NSW and their team.

As a result, we recommended a program approach for the RDP team with consideration of the time and location restrictions for delivery and providing participants time to embed their learning between modules.

With the program kicking off at the beginning of 2023 and needing to be delivered in 5-months, we built a tailored program for leaders to be delivered to 8 cohorts over the 5-months.

Due to the Department being located across the state, they asked us to include virtual sessions. This enabled delivery of the program to over 140 leaders in multiple locations, providing resources and adaptability around their day-to-day work.

“The flow was great of subjects, pace was good. Explanations were clear. Stace is the best facilitator I have had in my working career” 

– Workshop Participant

Called the ‘RDP Accelerate Leadership Development Program’, the program incorporated: 

  • Design and facilitation of two, two-day face-to-face sessions, and two, 1.5 hour virtual sessions to create an intensive and engaging program to bring each Cohort of the Accelerate participants together face-to-face in their relevant Hub; 
  • Pre-program communications and associated pre-work; 
  • A pre-, during- and post-program surveys to measure participant experience and effectiveness in leadership throughout the program;
  • Design and collation of tailored RDP-branded program materials including activities and other resources.

“Nice sessions, that were not too long with plenty of breaks and activities. Spaced out well and easy to follow. Session was clear and well delivered.”

– Workshop Participant

We covered numerous topics to ensure a well-rounded leadership program for this cohort of varied experienced leaders including emerging to highly experienced. Topics covered included building emotional intelligence, coaching teams, effective delegation, managing difficult stakeholders, managing emotions, leading through change, embedding empathy, dealing with challenging situations, and resilience, to name a few.

Following the kick off session, we made further adjustments to the program based on participant feedback. We then finalised it to deliver to the remaining seven cohorts, taking over 270 hours of fun and exciting facilitated sessions. 

The results

Involving more than 140 participants, the Program was highly impactful. At the completion of each cohort’s 6-8 week program, participant self-assessments out of 5, included:

  • Having the skills to effectively perform their role, shifted from an average of 3.9, growing to 4.2;
  • Confidence in leading a team effectively shifted from an average 3.4, to 3.8; 
  • Clarity of role expectations as a leader moving from an average 3.2 to 4.0;
  • On average participants found the overall learnings from the Program that can be applied to their role scored 4.4;
  • And for recommending the program to others, average 4.4 out of 5.


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