It’s been almost one year since we were all together in our Sydney office. So, at our recent gathering, the excitement was palpable! We’ve missed the laughter, cross-pollination of ideas and camaraderie of being in the same place together. This year, our strategy day focussed on our culture, critical thinking and developing the human skills that underpin our work as evaluation consultants.
We’ve worked hard over many years to build a strong and supportive culture that reflects our core values: curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, commitment, and collaboration. (Thanks Jack and Holly for the chalk art!)
It’s underpinned by the relationships we have with our colleagues: they are kind-hearted, interesting, and always willing to lend a hand no matter their title or position. There’s a very clear sense that we’re all here because we are passionate about the work we do. We feel a sense of shared purpose, and we value the investment ARTD makes in us professionally and personally.
This year, we will focus on strengthening our culture and staying connected as our ‘hybrid’ work continues across our offices in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne.
We are committed to further developing the skills and competencies that will allow us to work across cultures and communities, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Public policy consulting is incredibly rewarding, but it’s also challenging. Undeniably, we need the right skills and competencies to allow us to provide robust evidence to our clients that is useful for their decision-making.
Doing our work successfully also requires us to bring our whole self to work. It takes a lot to do that! We need to be paying attention to our personal development, not just our professional development.
In the 1970s, Ram Dass (spiritualist and author of Be Here Now) proposed the ‘Be-Do-Have’ model. There’s a parallel for us in our approach to public policy evaluation work: it’s important we concentrate on who we are, in order to do great work and have an impact on decision-making. (That’s compared with having skills and competencies, so we can do the work and be useful.)
It came up several times in conversation that our job often is to ‘not know’ – often there is no formula or easy list of things to do to accomplish a task in policy and evaluation work. Our job is to work out how to know, and to do that, we rely on our core values of creativity, commitment, critical thinking, curiosity, and collaboration.