Interview With Shawn Wilkey, Director Of Strategy & Development For Aboriginal Victoria

'Creating & implementing innovative strategy'


In anticipation of his presentation 'Strategy in the AFL & Government' at this year's Chief Strategy Officer Summit in Melbourne, we had a chat with Shawn Wilkey.

Shawn is currently the Director of Strategy & Development in the Department of Premier and Cabinet. Prior to this role, Shawn acted as the Head of Community, Diversity & Strategic Projects at Carlton FC.

How did you get started in your career?

Through a business degree majoring in sports management, I was able to transition into the AFL administration through AFL Victoria. Whilst the degree was an important ingredient in my getting my start, the most significant piece was the volunteering that I’d done in the community through local sport and community groups. The leadership skills I learned from giving have been of fundamental importance and continue to be a source of strength.

What are the main components of a successful business strategy?

There are many but the elements that are particularly important when considering strategy in business include:

  • Governance
  • Vision
  • Values
  • Objectives
  • Deliverables
  • KPIs
  • Infrastructure (including human, financial and technical)

What do you think is the most common mistake strategists are making when it comes to dealing with new technology/innovation?

Innovation is arguably the single most important factor that strategists have to deal with whether they are consciously aware of it or not. Building the innovative capacity of an organization requires an organization-wide approach championed by the board or the highest level of decision makers within the organization. Organizations that don’t have strong innovation governance at the very top will never meet the challenge of innovation nor grasp the promise that it holds.

What’s your best guess for how your industry will look in 3 years?

The public sector is transforming with aspirations to deliver citizen-centric policy design and service delivery. These aspirations are being chased through novel interventions that could totally change the way in which government approaches its work in 3 years. These interventions are disrupting bureaucratic systems and processes and have the potential to make jobs redundant overnight with automation the most obvious of examples. The challenge will be how as a society to adapt to this and ensure people’s well-being is the highest priority.

What can your audience expect to hear from you in Melbourne?

Strategic change in an AFL environment and the lessons learnt in developing and delivering a diversity agenda. Moving from sport to government, how is strategy approached in the public service contrasting the dynamics at play.

To hear more from Shawn Wilkey, join him on the 15-16 March in Melbourne for the Chief Strategy Officer Summit.

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