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  • Writer's pictureKate Crawshaw

Empowering Excellence at Deakin University.

Updated: Dec 4, 2023


A Tale of Capability Transformation

Introduction: Deakin University, with its 10,000 employees consisting of both people leaders and team members, encountered a significant challenge in centralizing learning and development within the People and Culture function. Recognizing a gap in their capability offerings, particularly in core skills, Deakin embarked on a search for a partner to design and implement a solution that would align with their capability framework and empower their workforce.

The Challenge: The centralisation of learning and development within Deakin's People and Culture function underscored a critical deficiency in core skills. Stakeholders stressed the need to provide essential, core, and future-focused capabilities. The challenge was to effectively address this gap, ensuring that the workforce possessed the skills and attributes necessary for successful performance in alignment with Deakin's capability framework.

Our Strategic Response: Serious Woo adopted a holistic approach to confront Deakin's challenge head-on. Through close collaboration with stakeholders, we devised a strategic intervention aimed at enhancing Deakin's workforce capabilities. Our response was meticulously tailored to meet the specific requirements outlined in Deakin's capability framework, ensuring a targeted and impactful solution.

Key Components of Our Intervention: Customised Workshop Topics: Serious Woo designed and delivered six distinct workshop topics tailored to address the identified gaps in core skills. These topics included:

  1. "Outside the Lines – Giving Feedback Peer to Peer"

  2. "The Kindness of Feedback – Part 1: Creating a Great Space to Deliver Better Feedback"

  3. "The Kindness of Feedback – Part 2: Recognizing and Receiving Constructive Feedback"

  4. "Online Influence - A Masterclass on Enhancing Your Online Presence"

  5. "Creative Intelligence - Developing New Perspectives, Identifying Hidden Patterns, and Generating Solutions"

  6. "Cultivating Learning Agility"

Strategic Integration: Three of the workshop topics seamlessly integrated into Deakin's annual capability uplift calendar, ensuring a sustained and focused approach to developing and enhancing essential skills across the organisation.

Impact and Results: Serious Woo's intervention had a profound impact on Deakin's workforce. The integration of workshop topics into the annual capability uplift calendar facilitated continuous learning and development. Participants reported increased proficiency in giving and receiving feedback, improved online influence, enhanced creative intelligence, and a heightened ability to cultivate learning agility.

The intervention not only addressed the identified capability gap but also nurtured a culture of growth and excellence. Team members across Deakin emerged with the essential, core, and future-focused capabilities required to excel in the dynamic academic environment.

Serious Woo's strategic response not only met Deakin's capability challenges but also became an integral part of the university's commitment to the ongoing development of its workforce. The tailored workshops made a positive and lasting impact, empowering individuals to excel within the diverse landscape of Deakin University.


Some words from our participants!



Fantastic, engaging presenter; thought-provoking; easy to follow and practical to implement. Enjoyed the role play the best.
Really enjoyed and will do this every year.
The delivery of the training was very inclusive without forcing participation in role plays etc.
This has been one of the best delivered learning programs I have recently attended.
The collaboration between everyone and the content. The facilitator was also fun and engaging!
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