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Program benefits

The IWC is confident that participants who fully commit to the program’s activities will enjoy substantial benefits. This confidence is based on the nature of the program’s design, the team of researchers and industry practitioners delivering it, our rigorous evaluation and peer review mechanisms, and strongly positive feedback from participants since the program was first delivered in 2011/12.

Alicia Loveless testimonial

 Scott Barnes testimonial

Graduates from the IWC Water Leadership Program have:

  • Improved ability to influence others, as well as initiate and drive change, especially in relation to complex, integrated water management projects
  • Greater desire to take on leadership roles
  • Greater self-awareness (a pre-requisite for effective leadership) and confidence as a leader
  • Enhanced knowledge, skills and tools to excel in leadership roles that are common in the water sector (e.g. leading multi-disciplinary teams)
  • Improved ability to select the most appropriate leadership style and strategy for a given situation
  • Improved ability, experience and new tools to continue to develop as a leader (including an individual leadership development plan)
  • Improved ability to mentor other developing leaders and staff
    Greater capacity to move into executive roles
  • New social networks with developing and established water leaders around Australia and overseas.

IWC conservatively estimates that organisations fully funding staff to participate in the program should see a positive ROI in less than one year (on average).

Benefits to the participants’ employers

The IWC has drawn on international research to design the program so that it delivers a positive and timely ‘return on investment’ (ROI) to employer organisations. The design has been peer reviewed by an internationally recognised, independent, leadership development expert (Professor David Day, University of Western Australia) and is refined each year following a comprehensive evaluation process.

As part of the evaluation process conducted for the first two rounds of the program, the IWC conservatively estimated that organisations fully funding staff to participate in the program should see a positive ROI in less than one year (on average). More specifically:

  • In 2011/12, the average ROI for participants was conservatively estimated at 170% after one year.
  • In 2012/13, the average ROI for participants was conservatively estimated at 330% after one year.

In other words, it is conservatively estimated that the total cost of investing in the program would, for the average participant, be repaid in less than a year. This is a strongly positive evaluation finding, and is consistent with the results of a smaller, pilot water leadership development program conducted by the IWC’s Leadership Specialist in 2008.

Rigorous and transparent annual evaluation activities since 2011/12 have found that the program has been successful in meeting its objectives, satisfying participants, positively influencing their leadership behaviour and strengthening their leadership ability.

Tangible benefits that are most commonly cited by surveyed program participants include:

  • Greater self-awareness, competence and performance as a leader
  • Improved team leadership ability and confidence to lead teams
  • Greater ability to motivate and inspire colleagues, which leads to extra effort and greater productivity at work
  • Improved social networking ability which leads to more efficient and effective project delivery
  • Greater clarity with respect to career direction and intrinsically motivating leadership roles
  • Improved self-leadership ability
  • Greater ability to manage their own development as leaders, as well as help others
  • The acquisition of a wide range of skills and tools to successfully engage in leadership in a variety of contexts.

The following quote from a participant who completed the anonymous evaluation survey in the 2013/14 program illustrates some of these benefits:

“The program has made me more self-aware of how to act when in a leadership position. The program has given me techniques which I now use daily without conscious thought. My team has seen positive changes and I am seeing better responses from my team. For me this is just the start of a continual leadership journey.”


> Read more: participants testimonials


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