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A Tasmanian Success Story – Taking it international in an age of COVID-19

2020 was a pretty tough year for business in general, and a sector that has taken a big hit is training and development. Many operations shut their doors, some permanently, as everyone struggled to cope in the wake of mass cancellations. In a couple of short weeks, the industry went from boom to bust.

For Shaping Change and Susan Fahey Consulting, lockdown could not have come at a worse time. We launched our new flagship program for women in leadership – Emerge, in what was quite possibly one of the last face-to-face networking events held in Hobart.

Emerge is a 10-week program culminating in what was planned to be a two-day Success Summit event in Hobart…

Now we hate to use that overused word pivot… but pivot we did. With most organisations distracted by the challenges of COVID, marketing for Emerge became all about connections and conversations with individuals.

The pilot program of Emerge started with a cohort of 8 women, with 3 from interstate. Everything was redesigned for Zoom delivery. Our online learning hub, complete with a mobile app, took care of the content management. All our guest faculty joined us on Zoom, and the program worked better than we could have dreamed.

We ran 3 cohorts of Emerge in 2020. Our solid base of Tasmanian women was joined by national and even international participants. Even at 3 am in the USA (now THAT is commitment).

Just some of our success stories from during Emerge are:

·       Frances – became CEO of her NFP organisation.

·       Anu – launched a consulting business, won a contract to consult to the United Nations, and is positioning herself as a thought leader in the diversity space.

·       Jess – found her dream job heading up the Tas branch of a NFP.

·       Georgie – landed an influential board position and has taken on several significant opportunities in her Department.

In lots of ways, COVID has provided opportunities we simply hadn’t considered. From Emerge being a Tasmanian program to taking it to the world!

We are grateful to our brilliant guest faculty – true women of substance. They have been most generous with their time and wisdom. We were able to access some of them simply because they were house-bound with no big public engagements and were not constantly travelling. (The graduation speaker for the first cohort remains a highlight).

So, what is next for Emerge?

In every cohort we have been oversubscribed for our scholarship places, and we have had to turn away some truly brilliant high potential women from regional areas and not for profit organisations. With this in mind, we are seeking business sponsors for places in our 2021 programs.

We are grateful for the generous support from Momentum Energy for the April cohort. Read what Managing Director, Amy Childs, had to say here.

View our three sponsor packages here.

Find out more about Emerge here. 

Apply for a scholarship place by emailing me with your CV and a cover letter outlining what you look to gain from the program, and what you will bring.

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