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The project that will embed sustainability and EfS is five units of competency towards BSB40812 Certificate IV in Frontline Management. The learning experience will be centred round a project to reduce consumption and cost of business resources.
Structure of whole learning program
The model shown below (Fig 1) demonstrates that, through completion of four of the units of competency, the outcomes of a sustainability unit (BSBSUS301A) and consumption of business resource reduction will be achieved.
The learning outcomes to be achieved from this session are based on critical thinking. It is important that participants understand the strategic focus of the project, how it aligns to the company’s goals and objectives as well as sustainable practices.
A strategic focus needs to be backed by a strategic reason(s) as to why the project is necessary. This will be formulated through a brainstorming activity
The purpose of the project is two-fold.
1. Under The Australian Government’s National Action Plan for Education for Sustainability – Living Sustainably (2009) in Strategy 2: Reorienting education systems to sustainability includes in its objectives the requirement for Registered Training Organisations to implement sustainable campus management.
Therefore, this is a requirement we need to commit to for the sake of sustainability as well as compliance in the future.
2. Reducing consumption of business resources will have a flow-on effect of reducing costs. Any improvement to the bottom line of our business will mean we can be more competitive in the marketplace.
EfS principles and practices
The project will incorporate six of the seven EfS principles and support the initiative as follows:
How it supports the project
Transformation and change
Changing the way in which managers see the need for adopting sustainable work practices.
Systems Education for all and lifelong learning
Certificate IV in Frontline Management is the conduit for the project and all our managers will participate in the program.
Will equip our managers to understand the whole sphere of sustainability rather than just environmental issues. Envisioning a better future
Incorporated when formulating the Strategic Reasoning which will be a shared vision (determination of the desired future state) and setting goals for the project.
Critical thinking and reflection
Learning activities designed to create critical thinking will play a major part in transformation and change
One of the major aims of the project is to develop policies and sustainable work procedures which all members of staff will be required to comply with.
There is little sustainable work practice or policies in our organisation currently except for:
1. Waste paper recycling bins
2. Setting the printer to default to double-sided printing
I am the only resource that has any focus on sustainability and this is as a result of participating in this program.
However, by being enthusiastic about my experience through participation, I find the interest and support has grown.
Worldviews and Values
The RTO is a small family business. The owners are very committed Muslims and have high moral values. Most other members of staff are committed Christians who share the same set of values. Therefore, it is anticipated that change will be welcomed from a financial viewpoint, a social and sustainable viewpoint because of the belief that God is the owner of the world and it is man’s responsibility to care of it.
Consideration of barriers that may prevent the required outcomes being achieved is and contingencies are detailed below.
Participants may feel that their teams will not engage in new processes. During the implementation of the whole project, they will learn how to develop and implement new policies and procedures.
Within the audience, there is a mix of religious and racial differences.
Some participants may not want to openly discuss how their views and/or values have been formed.
In the learner group, there is no representative from the financial area. There may be reluctance from them in providing assistance or information that will be required in order to analyse the current situation.
Some participants will be uncomfortable about moving out of their comfort zone.
Other resource consideration
Knowing the participants in this group, I anticipate there will be difficulty in getting activities done on time and in punctuality and attendance.
As mentioned previously, The Australian Government’s National Action Plan for Education for Sustainability supports the development, implementation and continuity of sustainable work practices.
Opportunities to enhance EfS
By adopting sustainable work practices within our own organisation, when training and installing equipment at educational institutions, we can demonstrate this by using them as examples.
During the course of the whole learning program, participants will explore explicit opportunities for sustainability when they develop policies and processes required in order to achieve the project objectives. It is expected they will include things such as more effective ways to purchase resources, policies to reduce energy consumption, treatment of waste in the warehouse and processes for printing documents.
The methodology I use for change management is the one I learned from Volvo’s Operational Development program (their change management system) called “The Living Process”. If you imagine the steps required in building a camp fire it is easy to understand.
Implementation of change management usually takes at least six months to cover the whole process. However, because this project will be shorter in length, I have clustered certain steps of the process.
Step 1 – Create the energy
To ignite the wood you need a flame. In this case, the “flame” is similar to establishing a sense of urgency – the first step in Eight Steps to Successful Change (Kotter, 1995).
This, the first session, is built around implicit opportunities for sustainability. Videos and activities are based on why sustainable practices are necessary and to challenge participants’ views. The first video entitled “The Journey of Sustainable Business” explains the current environmental situation, the activities that have led to it and what some companies are doing to ensure their operations are sustainable.
Step 2 – Direct the energy
Visualise kindling with a small flame trying to spread across all of the pile. Without air to direct it, the flame will go out. This is where I direct the energy that has built up in the team by leading them into formulation of a strategic reasoning (why should we do this project?) behind the strategic plan.
Once this is done, they start to establish the current state.
SESSIONS 2 AND 3
Step 3 – Input
Once the fire is burning nicely, more wood needs to be added in order to keep in burning. By establishing the current state and formulating the desired future state, input of ideas and action plans takes place. Also in this session, goals and measurement methods are established.
SESSISONS 4 AND 5
Step 4 – Output
When more wood is added to the fire and it starts to burn more vigorously and outputs heat and light. In this session, activities and progress are presented. A review also takes place of what is working well and what is not working well.
Step 5 – Sustain the energy
To keep the warmth and light coming from the fire, it must be monitored and more wood added when required. To sustain the outcomes from the project, a plan must be developed to ensure continuity and compliance to all policies and procedures that have been put in place in order to maintain the sustainable work practices.
Precision Training Australia (RTO)
Training and assessing of various blue collar qualifications, development of training materials and assessment tools
Manage all administration functions associated with training records and funding matters
Development of marketing material, maintenance of website and social media, preparation of funding applications
Precision Industries (Audio Visual Suppliers)
Sales and Marketing Director
Development of sales and marketing strategies, sourcing, preparation and submission of government tenders for supply of audio visual and connected classroom equipment and systems
Responsible for maximising sales of equipment associated with preferred supplier agreements
Promotion of products and services
In planning the facilitation of each session, I have examined the skills I will need to use in order to see all participants achieve their full potential in the project. The table below demonstrates how I have considered this important aspect.
Challenges and Limitations
Communication – verbal and non-verbal
Because I wish to establish a learning environment where participants discover things for themselves, I need to be aware of how much I talk to avoid expressing my views and giving too much information.
Critical listening and questioning techniques
Because I regularly attend meetings with all of the participants, I know how much discipline I will need to exhert to ensure that only one person is speaking at any one time! At the start of each session, I will reiterate the rules of engagement which call for respect. Provision of constructive and supportive feedback
One of the participants is senior to me in the organisation so for me to give constructive feedback will take me out of my comfort zone. I will need to command respect by demonstration of my subject matter expertise.
Build trust and rapport
As I work with all of the participants, this has already been established.
Even if I disagree with a particular viewpoint and I feel it could discourage others, I need to be respectful in how I deal with the issue. Encourage expression of diverse views and opinions
This will not be an issue as our company has a very open communication style and we are encouraged to state our views and opinions. It is seen as a contribution to the organisation.
Provide experiential learning environment through:
Assessment will partly be based on gathering a portfolio of evidence from the project documents. I expect that I will have to closely monitor how people are keeping their records through the project. Provide opportunities for learners to examine, debate, test and apply value principles underpinning sustainability If any of the participants are not concerned about the environment then I have the ability to switch their focus to the financial element of sustainability.
I expect this to be welcomed and cannot foresee any challenges. Open ended and problem based learning
A project plan will be established in Session 3. The agenda for sessions 4 and 5 will include review of actions and whether any difficulties are being experienced.
On Site Assistance
Because I work alongside all the participants, I am easily accessible for them to ask for assistance at any time.
I have used the Outcomes Heirarchy methodology for evaluating the program. This can be seen on the following page.
At the conclusion of the project, achievements will be presented by the team at the Precision International Enterprises annual conference. This is when all major achievements of the company are celebrated and rewarded, where individuals are recognised for their contribution to the organisation. Each CEO addresses the group and makes recognition of outstanding achievement. Often, gifts and bonuses are awarded.
All employees of the company attend this conference so all policies and procedures that have been introduced as part of the project will be reinforced in the presence of both CEOs.
There is no requirement to table formal reports so it is likely a presentation by the team will be made. The group’s skill set will, undoubtedly, provide an entertaining presentation.
The Australian Government, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 2009, The Australian Government’s National Action Plan for Education for Sustainability – Living Sustainably, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, ACT.
Kotter, J. 1995, Eight Steps to Successful Change, http://www.kotterinternational.com/our-principles/changesteps.