Tanya leads the nib health insurance contact centre. She stresses it’s a “contact, not call centre” because her team engages in all the voice, email and social media interactions with the insurer’s policy holders, as well as the massive work flow processing.

Most of her 200+ employees are located in the Newcastle head office; some are in New Zealand, and some are set up remotely in home offices.

“Our corporate values are heavily focused on people”, says Tanya. “We’re not afraid to try new things and we’re finding the work-from-home model is very effective for particular employees.”

It goes without saying that Tanya has a lot on her plate. So if it hadn’t been for her boss’s bringing up the subject, she quite probably would not have made time for her own professional development.

Tanya admits she’s very “hands-on” in the business. “I realised I needed to step out and elevate my view of the big picture. AGSM’s Developing the Strategic Manager program was the step I needed in order to see that picture and translate it into strategies and tactics for my management team.


“It’s a credit to Rose (Trevelyan) and Patrick (Sharry) how they take everyone on the development journey. They really prove the point: it doesn’t matter where you’re from, you can still apply the theory to your own workplace or industry.”

“Rose is very much in tune with people and her training approach is very interactive” says Tanya. “There’s a big difference between talking about theories and concepts and watching how Rose applies the theory in different business contexts.”

Tanya particularly liked the ‘playing to win’ concept and she found that it simplified the strategic development process. “You define your ‘winning’ aspiration and then break it down into the resources you need to properly plan and execute the strategy”, she explains.

“This is a key take-away from my program because it’s easy to understand and remember. Nothing gets lost in translation. I can break the strategy down and it can be interpreted on the front line.”


Tanya came away from her program very motivated and committed to sharing the strategy development message.

“Sharing information is so important”, she says. “The more conversations we have in our organisation, the better we understand the strategy and the more likely we are to be proactive rather than reactive.”

Tanya is putting her new strategic development skills into action. Just this week she conducted a full leadership day for her 20 leaders. “We reviewed the strategic plan and critically analysed what we’ve achieved and what we still need to achieve.”

“Everyone in my team can now see how our strategy is linked with retention and sales, and how we can use that knowledge to plan for the rest of the year.”

And she’s arranged a two-day, off-site senior leadership workshop involving 29 business unit managers, six executives and the CEO. “But I’m getting Patrick Sharry from AGSM to facilitate that one”, she laughs.

Tanya acknowledges she’s now more open to professional development than she has been in the past.

“I haven’t given myself the luxury of professional training for a while. My program certainly renewed my faith in the learning resources that are available. This is definitely something we should do more of as an organisation.”