Victoria Police

Changing 160 years of leadership culture takes more than a PowerPoint presentation. But if done carefully and professionally over time, the rewards are profound.

Change of heart

Victoria Police employs varied professionals across 328 facilities to serve 4.6 million residents. Since 1853, Victoria Police’s function has evolved from law enforcement to community assistance. To fulfil this new role, a major cultural change program sought to shift leadership philosophy and practice from command and control to coaching and mentoring.

The Senior Management Leadership Development Program (SMLDP) was established to provide coaching skills to high potential middle managers.

At the same time, the Crime Dept underwent its most radical change in 75 years. A key success criterion of its new Major Crime Management Model (MCMM) is the ability of managers to coach staff.

Life coaches

As a recognised coaching and mentoring leader, DeakinPrime beat a highly competitive field to facilitate the SMLDP.

DeakinPrime worked with Victoria Police to develop workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions and a 360-degree feedback tool, as well as a program stream for its most senior officers and public service personnel.

DeakinPrime also established a program to deliver the MCMM’s leadership aims. This comprised five workshops over 12 months plus intensive one-on-one coaching.

A focus of the program was emotional intelligence.

All efforts yielded real, measurable benefits and senior managers soon began reporting on the effectiveness of the work done.

Flexible course delivery enabled easy adaptation to other parts of Victoria Police. DeakinPrime has since developed and delivered coaching sessions and workshops for senior staff in the Human Resources and Ethical Standards Depts.

A fresh approach

Based on positive feedback and success, Victoria Police retained DeakinPrime for a third successive year of coaching skills delivery.

As further pleasing proof of change, eight of the nine Crime Dept executives coached continue to work with their mentors. One, in particular, has become a passionate advocate.

Coaching helps you understand yourself, your impact on others and how they see you. I looked at how I lead in a critical manner – understanding my strengths and weaknesses and developing some areas. A coaching and mentoring style brings out the best in a team. The people I coach are now far more positive, collaborative, questioning and willing to deal with change and look at issues from a wider perspective.

Graeme Collins - Supt Strategic Planning Crime Dept, Victoria Police