A High Value Community of Practice

Kathryn Hume and Leigh Elligett from New South Wales Health discuss their community of practice for workforce planners working in local health districts across the state.  Using social and experiential learning approaches Kath set up this community in 2019 to create processes, tools and resources and develop capability at the same time.

Leigh was one of the workforce planners who actively participated in the community.  We get her perspective on the experience of working collaboratively to develop tools and resources, then realising at some point that they had all learned so much in the process that they didn’t need training.

One of the really exciting aspects of this story is how quickly the group was able to collectively respond when COVID hit to prepare for workforce mobilization at the frontline of the pandemic. The value and impact of their community is clearly demonstrated by their agility in the face of this disruption.

Episode Highlights

– What workforce planning for approx. 160,000 NSW Health staff looks like at both a strategic level and operational level.  Key pressures such as ageing population, technological advancement and skill developments.

– The start point:  Workforce planners at operational level distributed across local health districts working with their local teams, but not well-connected to each other.  Lack of visibility of their expertise. The dynamic nature of their role.

– Organisational-wide review of workforce planning, with capability development recommended as part of a six-point action plan.

– Why and how Kath started a Community of Practice in mid-2019 to create processes while simultaneously developing capability.

– What participating in this community looked and felt like for Leigh.  Her realisation that how they collaborated and what she was learning was just as valuable as the assets they were creating.

– The intention use of human-centred design practices and learning theory to create time and space for the community to improve practice and build capability.  See the show notes for Kath’s recommended resources.

– How the community worked together to rapidly create plans to mobilise the NSW Health workforce when COVID hit.  Leigh’s experience of this time and examples of what they were able to achieve working together.

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Full Episode

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Check out Learning Uncut Show Notes for Great Resources

Did you know that a downloadable transcript is provided in the show notes for every episode?  You’ll also find resources related to the episode topic.  In this case, Kath has shared two of the sources she drew on to help her build the community, including the IDEO Field Guide to Human-Centred Design.

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