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  • Senior Leader

    Arabella Patterson

    ‘I make decisions to achieve results. I address bad behaviour and remove barriers.’

    People say that change is the one constant these days. Our workforce has had to adapt to keep up and I drive change with my people – that’s what effective leadership is.

    The direction, vision and mission of the ATO reflects the dynamic environment we’re operating in. I’m adapting by taking personal responsibility for making sure my people and I are connecting effectively across the organisation, and outside of it too. You can never do it too well, particularly when cooperative, cross agency approaches are a given these days for both government and the community. I’ve fostered more effective networks and working relationships than I’ve had before, and have supported my people to do the same.

    I actively work to remove blockers that are preventing us from moving forward. We’ve found some areas have solutions we’ve been able to adopt which has saved us effort and seen us bring about greater change than we could have otherwise. It’s actually improved people’s motivation because they’re seeing improvements and looking for more.

    All in all, the work environment feels more engaged these days. Our people observe leaders who make decisions, take a sensible approach to risk management and strive for exceptional results. I’m energised by how well we collaborate across the ATO and are effective in guiding and empowering staff to adapt to change and deliver positive outcomes.

    The improvement in our work practices and client engagement is so tangible that it’s made it easier to have a robust discussion and gain buy-in from people on our direction and the things that underpin it, like our team plans.

    Technology within the office has played its part too. It’s much easier for the leadership team to engage more personally with our people in all of our locations, and that’s the expectation I’ve set. Our people appreciate the effort, and I feel we’ve all got a better sense of where we’re coming from as a result.

    The well communicated expectations of our leaders, improved engagement and communication has led naturally to a more dynamic workplace, true innovative thinking and a belief within our people that we can deliver. We encourage more of the same by rewarding good ideas in the first place, and it’s all contributing to a positive looking future.

    How the ATO behaves

    • We are dedicated to achieving the organisation’s vision and bringing our transformational changes to life in all our work.
    • We are courageous, we experiment and innovate.
    • We build trust through leaders who say what they mean and do what they say.
    • We are effective in the midst of ambiguity.
    • We recognise effort and celebrate success.

    What the ATO does

    • We understand Arabella’s expectations of the organisation and spell out what the organisation expects of her as a senior leader.
    • Arabella is able to influence through clear communication, well articulated arguments and strong networks and relationships.
    • Arabella provides an environment where collaboration, innovation and good performance is expected, valued and recognised.
    • We are committed to creating effective leaders who are accountable and transparent.

    How the ATO supports clients

    • Arabella actively participates in and drives connectedness with the community so as to have a current understanding of needs, irritants, service expectations and how the ATO is delivering against these.
      Last modified: 19 Aug 2016QC 49929