Learning with TBOE

Do we have the capacity, commitment and resources to realise our human potential?

Posted on November 20th, 2019 in Blog

Ahead of her presentation at The Business of Events 2020, Linda Tillman, CEO, Tilma Group shares her blog series exploring critical questions and actions affecting council and events and tourism destinations.

“Linda Tillman of regional tourism consultancy Tilma Group and Ali Uren of learning and development service Kiikstart are exploring approaches to three key questions that are impacting local governments across regional Australia in a series of three blogs:

1. What is the role of local government in a modern and changing tourism industry?

2. Are we a destination or do we have the ability become one?

3. Do we have the capacity, commitment and resources to realise our human potential?

We continue with the third of these questions. Read the first and second here. Be sure to add your comments and thoughts at the end!

Do you have the staff, local businesses, community advocates and strategic partnerships to support the development of your local visitor economy?

There is a lot of talk in tourism about collaboration but that talk fails if skills and insight are lacking in the workforce to successfully execute the smartest and best-fitting opportunities.

Let’s ask some of the key questions local government decision-makers must ask before they consider committing to the collaboration path:

1. Time is of the essence

The first key question is whether you have the time and resources to nurture a collaboration opportunity so that it has a high degree of success.

2. Identify your processes

Before entering into any external collaborations or partnerships, you should identify your processes for critiquing the value of your collaboration.

Ask: What am I seeking to get out of the partnership first and foremost? Once you know this, you’ll be able to deduce how best to measure it, whether it be greater brand awareness, a spike in sales of a particular product or service, or increased customer satisfaction.

3. Leverage your strengths

When negotiating any partnership, know your strengths.

Consider both your access to knowledge and people. For example, you may have a small team, but you could have expert specialised knowledge that is particularly valuable to a potential partner. Alternatively, you may have a broader organisational focus, but perhaps you have the people power to support this work and do more of the heavy-lifting.

Knowing and leveraging your strengths before commencing negotiations with prospective partners will ensure you get better outcomes. Be prepared to ask yourself and your team tough questions about what you bring to the table as an organisation and its impact across the region – and to your potential partners, of course.

4. Mind the gap

Be aware of your skills gaps, and ensure you partner with an organisation that doesn’t have the same gaps as you have. Consider whether you have complementary skills-sets, and if there are creative ways to bridge any skills gaps.

5. Better off alone?

Finally, assess the ideas and opportunities that collaborations offer and weigh these up against potential challenges. Ask yourself: Are we really better off collaborating, or could we be better off alone? Consider what you could do with the resources required for your collaboration if you decide not to go ahead.

6. Trust is a must

Lastly, weigh up the ‘co-opetition’.

This term is used to describe collaborations with organisations that would often be considered your natural competitors. It sums up the need for trust. In order for partnerships to be truly successful, all parties need to be willing to share ideas and insights. At the same time, protecting your IP and business plans is essential to mitigate unnecessary risk.


Recommended solution:


Local Government needs to invest in their team, and invest in their community, in order to realise the full potential of their local tourism industry.

Are you prepared to review your current learning and development processes and invest in making necessary changes?

Decision-makers within local government must be brave enough to ask themselves if they are developing their teams in the right areas for future success.

Are you across the skills of the future and are you prepared to invest in bettering your team, community and operators to have the skill and talent needed to build relevant tourism offerings into the future?

The skill set that we valued in the past will not be able to be the same skill set moving into the future.

Today’s data and resources are reflecting the same trends: complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity. See below some of the key changes in skill and talent over the last five years in terms of value and relevance.

Top 10 Skills – What’s changed (regardless of industry)


1. Complex Problem Solving

2. Critical Thinking

3. Creativity

4. People Management

5. Co-ordinating

6. Emotional Intelligence

7. Judgement/Decision Making

8. Service Orientation

9. Negotiation

10. Cognitive Flexibility



1. Complex Problem Solving

2. Co-ordinating with Others

3. People Management

4. Critical Thinking

5. Negotiation

6. Quality Control

7. Service Orientation

8. Judgement and Decision Making

9. Active Listening

10. Creativity


(Source: The 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum)

To build an impactful and distinctive tourism offering Local Government requires a supporting team structure and adequate resources to achieve results.

This requires leadership and key decision makers with the talent and skill needed to reflect on the organisational cultures that underpin team reality and to make a call on the changes that must be made. It also requires a bold and brave approach to current work practice and time to reflect.

Ultimately, Local Government needs to commit to a thinking and doing culture!

Next steps

We can help you identify your regions key roadblocks and skill gaps, and priority catalyst projects to help overcome them so that you are positioned to realise your region’s full tourism potential.

For further information please contact Linda Tillman at linda@tilmagroup.com.au”

Blog by: Tilma Group, 18 October 2019




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