Kildare and Wicklow ETB Newsletter Issue 11, PARTNERSHIPS - Page 6

'Passionate about making a real difference to the lives of the people we serve'

I have always been and continue to be a very passionate believer in learning and training and the critical role it plays in enabling young people and adult learners live more meaningful lives, fully integrated into society, and making a valuable contribution to our economy.

For that reason, I feel very honoured and privileged to have been offered the position of Director of Organisation Support and Development in KWETB, working on behalf of a community that I live in

and grew up in. I am also very excited about joining a very progressive organisation such as KWETB whose

vision (below) is one that I can fully relate to and be inspired by.

“Nurturing a learning community, enriching educational experience, empowering the pursuit of excellence, whilst leading a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Irish education and training system”

My own background is somewhat varied but I started off as a Secondary School Teacher. I really enjoyed being at the coalface of having a real impact on students' lives, not just academically but holistically. Around this time the relevance of IT was just starting to raise its head and I felt that it was going to play an increasingly important role in our lives. So I returned to college full time to study Computer Science with the intention of going back to the classroom with another subject and more value to contribute. However, on completion of that course, I ended up joining Microsoft and that took me on a career trajectory that I could not have envisaged and in the process I got to see the world.

After 16 very fulfilling years in Microsoft in various senior leadership roles, I decided it was time to focus on an area that I was very passionate about, Organisational Development and Change.

For me, organisational change is all about people and helping people help themselves. I spent some time as an independent consultant before I moved full time to Coillte as Head of Organisation & People Development. My role was facilitating the transformation to a more progressive, high performing organisation.

'Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world.'

Nelson Mandela

Though I have had a varied career path both in public and private organisations the one constant and one of my personal values has been my passion for lifelong learning and development.

The opportunity to work in an organisation like KWETB where the learner is front and center and be able to make a real contribution and impact to changing people lives was too good an opportunity for me to pass.

In terms of my management philosophy I am a strong believer in people and relationships. The best organisations in the world hire the best people, create an environment where they can do their best work and then get out of their way.

From what I have experienced thus far, I am blessed with a fantastic team in OSD who are ultra-committed to the organisation and who get up every morning with the intention of doing a great job. We are also very clear on our purpose as a team:

"To flawlessly deliver and continually develop support services to our customers to enable the provision of optimal education, training and development, to the students & learners of KWETB. In so doing, we will ensure integrity, transparency and fairness through the implementation of governance best practice.’’

We have seen many like minded colleagues throughout KWETB with similar values and intentions to do the best they can for our students and learners and I look forward to working closely with them as one virtual team.

Though these are very challenging times for all of us, it is also a time of great opportunity where working together with common intent and purpose we can collectively make an even greater and sustained difference to people’s lives. That is not a bad legacy for all of us to leave behind!

Joe Kelly, Director of Organisation Support and Development