News & Media

My next steps as CEO

By: Michael Wootten

  12.00 PM 20 February, 2015

Views: 1466

CFA is a large organisation, with almost 60,000 members across 20 districts and five regions. It’s also a very busy organisation. We have one mission, to protect lives and property, but sometimes we have different priorities that drive us. And it can be easy to lose connection with each other.

As I approach the end of my second week in the job, my priority is to do more to connect with staff and volunteers. In the next couple of months you’ll see me out and about, visiting each Regional Leadership Team to start to get closer to our field-based people. I’m keen to hear your issues and ideas. I’ll be running monthly CEO forums, and visiting our integrated fire stations. You’ll also see me at the volunteer championships, so please come and say hello.

My other immediate priority is to bring the Creating Our Future Together program to a formal close, and finalise the few remaining elements that still need attention. There are five parts of this program; strategy, culture, business improvement, leadership and structure. In all of these areas, we will transition to business as usual.

On strategy, we have developed four strategies that outline our priorities on People, Assets, Finance and Service Delivery. We are finalising our fifth strategy on Volunteerism after extensive consultation and engagement with members. Our next steps are to help you all understand each strategy and how your work contributes to them.

On culture, you told us in two recent surveys that we need to do more to improve our culture. We’ve heard you, and we have since focused our efforts on developing Organisational Values that will provide a common standard of agreed acceptable behaviours across CFA. We couldn’t have progressed this work without your input.

On business improvement, we’ve made progress on many small and bigger initiatives such as the new online rostering system, which is being piloted across a few districts, the development of a self-service member portal, which will allow members to manage their details such as availability and personal gear in one place, and direct email to our members which, along with other communication tools, helps us reach our people quickly.

On leadership, we are now able to set out the expectations of leaders at all levels through the CFA Leadership Framework. Our focus on building our leaders’ capability has been carried at corporate level and grass roots levels, for example through the Captain’s Peer Mentor Program. 

And finally, on structure. Changing CFA’s structure has been a big undertaking. We’ve seen the creation of five regions, the establishment of the Assistant Chief Officer positions, and a new model for delivering support to the frontline. But, as with any change process, this has not come without challenges. For many of you, it’s been a long and frustrating process, and I thank you for your patience. We know there is still work to do here.

We are still working through the proposed structures for Finance, OT&V and F&EM.

For our people, particularly those of you who haven’t been matched to a position, I want to say that I appreciate how hard this situation is for you. I will make sure you are treated with respect and dignity. And I want to make clear that my priority is to finalise these changes quickly.

I’ll keep you all updated on progress over the next few months, and I look forward to meeting more of you as I travel around the state. Thank you for the work you do.

Last Updated: 10 December 2015