Medical Benefits Fund (MBF)

When you operate on shifting sands, you must dig deep or climb high to prosper. By closely partnering with an expert change agent, this employer did both.


Leading from the front

In 1998, significant government policy changes and demographic trends made MBF realise it had to skill up its workforce to thrive.

Of particular need was a national management training program to develop current and future team leader skills and behaviours.

In mid-1998, MBF chose DeakinCo to help it design and deliver same.

Structured solution

In just three months, the Foundations of Management Program (FMP) was created. It heralded a new style of training program structure.

The FMP comprised a blend of DeakinCo and MBF intellectual property – delivered via a combined residential and distance education model.

This began with a three-day workshop based on a customised version of DeakinCo’s Team Development and Leadership module.

Participants then returned to their workplaces for a month to review processes.

Next they reported on the effectiveness of their business units at another two-day workshop based on the structure of MBF’s performance appraisal program.

Finally, participants from around Australia convened at the historic Quarantine Station on Sydney Harbour to share ideas and work on solutions with DeakinCo and MBF facilitators. Central to the training program’s success was the close working relationship between DeakinCo and MBF staff.

From materials design to venue selection to content review and refinement, educators from both organisations worked as a team – thus embodying the principles of the very workshops they’d created.

The FMP rolled out with 240 middle and senior managers. It went on to become a resounding success throughout the organisation.

Building on firm foundations

The FMP let participants undertake an organisation-specific program which, on completion, yielded a 0.5 credit point towards a Deakin University Certificate in Management.

FMP participants then had the option to proceed with this certificate or pursue graduate studies. Continuing their close partnership, MBF and DeakinCo developed customised curricula to cater for students keen to continue their education.

We also collaborated to create administrative infrastructure to handle ongoing management education requests. The FMP had far-reaching effects. In recent years, MBF’s strengths were recognised when Bupa targeted it for inclusion in its industry group (which today serves 33 million people in 190 countries).