In June 2015, some of the world’s brightest minds gathered to discuss the pivotal role of spatial science in ensuring a sustainable global future. Between NASA scientists, Nobel Laureates, politicians and humanitarians, we considered the changing landscape of technologies and tools for discovering, analysing and monitoring human activity on the planet. From earthquakes in Christchurch and Nepal to fresh water in Africa, education in India, the Magna Carta and what’s happening with the Ozone Layer, spatial science is clearly emerging as a crucial technology for our future. Deanna presented a keynote address on barriers for cultural change, and also supported the Pivotal Summit with media management services and digital marketing.
In May 2016, Deanna collaborated with Prof Tim Foresman and Strategics’ Chris Mills, and board members of SIBA and Regional Development Australia to workshop skills required for a world driven by spatial technologies. From smart city planning to managing our prison systems and environmental sustainability, spatial skills are becoming more critical.
Interestingly, we discovered that while STEM is important, so too are the soft skills, like communication, empathy, parallel processing and systems thinking. Business development, story telling and strategic planning also featured as complementary skills requiring special attention.
In late 2015 we worked with Liz Savage to deliver a workshop series on emerging technology in infrastructure for AECOM Qld clients. Over three sessions, we:
- “drank from the fire hose” with presentations from researchers and developers of augmented reality, 3D printing, virtual reality, driverless cars, drones and BIM
- discussed approaches for change management, supported by case study presentations from Ergon Energy and Aurizon
- explored the commercial challenges such as contracting, big data and collaboration with help from SIBA, Brisbane City Council and Gadens Lawyers
The outcome of this project was a white paper prepared by AECOM, and a hackathon featuring our Managing Director and other members of the startup and smart city community in November 2016.
In 2014, we led a project on behalf of Simulation Australasia to develop and deliver a companion to the Introduction to Simulation in Australia (now Simulation Fundamentals 1) program. Deciding what to include (and NOT include) was a real challenge, and eventually the program emerged as Foundations of Simulation Acquisition. It was great working with Melanie, Elyssebeth, Nicole and Roger on this. We then delivered several iterations of this program across Australia and New Zealand, largely to Defence personnel and contractors, receiving exceptional feedback along the way.
Some highlights included:
- seeing participants discover how they unconsciously hide critical information from key stakeholders
- uncovering a culture of learned helplessness around requirements matching
- learning about significant failings in simulation, like
- the B707 crash at East Sale
- severe motion sickness in a helicopter simulation
In early 2011, we worked with the Rebel Group (Rebel Sport and Amart All Sports) to support regional managers’ professional development, and later to coordinate a learning and assessment centre for national store managers. Our role involved:
- recording observations during individual presentations and group activities
- providing feedback to participants relevant to the company’s internal competency framework
- leading the assessment team
- identifying for assessors things to watch for during observation
- helping assessors to prepare for giving difficult feedback
- debriefing assessors after feedback sessions
- ensuring accuracy, completeness and consistency in all assessment records
Our understanding of the challenges facing the Printing Industries’ Association of Australia saw us deliver a pitch to the Board for a complete strategic review, well beyond the initial approach for a marketing strategy. We worked closely with the senior management team, through a change of CEO to deliver a platform for business sustainability. Our work focussed on developing:
- systems for clear internal communication
- focussed planning and outputs for business units to clarify accountability and expectations
- role redesign to achieve alignment with a nationalised corporate governance structure
- performance feedback and recognition activities to improve morale
Our Managing Director, Deanna Hutchinson, joined the team at Queensland Health’s Clinical Skills Development Service for a short period to provide leadership to the eLearning team. Her achievements included:
- creating stronger alignment between the simulation, curriculum and elearning teams
- providing models for product development and marketing
- enhancing the instructional knowledge of elearning technicians
- providing a blueprint for management of elearning content development projects
What began as a Defence simulation conference is now the world’s most diverse simulation forum. It brings together academia, industry and government in an event encompassing many industries and uses of simulation. Growing an emerging industry presents unique challenges, as you navigate several “dialects” and build understandings about simulation capability from the ground up. SimTecT began in 1995, and has its roots in defence, an industry whose simulation use is diverse, both in terms of application and maturity. Since accepting the Convenor role in 2009, The Simulation Agency’s Deanna Hutchinson has been a key figure in leading the SimTecT conference through a significant change program, broadening the attendance demographic beyond defence, to include mining, transport, education, construction and emergency management. Deanna has also led the reshaping of the conference program to include innovation and decision support as well as the traditional training focus.
Along the way, our performance has been reinforced by excellent feedback, such as this comment from a senior US military delegate in 2012 “this is better than ITEC” (reference to the coveted European event), and several industry insiders offering congratulations for delivering a great buzz and “the right audience”. In 2016, after a two-year break, Deanna moved into the Congress Executive role, overseeing the integration of SimTecT, SimHealth and a one-year partnership with ISAGA (www.simulationcongress.com.au)
Working as a sub-contractor for Kaleidospiel, we provided the educational review for Phase 1 of the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s Cybersmart Detectives simulation program review. This involved:
- highlighting challenges with the current design of the Cybersmart Detectives simulation and supporting tools
- identifying additional curriculum resources available to support the Cybersmart program
- documenting alignment with the national and state educational curricula relevant to cybersafety (including links to sociology and civics, technology, communications and design)
We spent a year embedded with Graphic Publishing, whose flagship titles Queensland Brides and Queensland Homes celebrated their 30th anniversaries in 2014, 15 respectively. What began as a digital strategy quickly transformed into a significant strategic change as the challenges associated with coordinating new marketing plans, branding reviews, digital strategies and HR reviews became apparent. We loved this in-house consultancy that involved:
- leadership coaching
- role redesign and organisational structure reviews
- business process reengineering
- business analysis and strategy development
- marketing and branding
- creating a digital culture