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Ken Lay shares his wisdom on Responsible Leadership

Ken Lay Kenneth Lay Victoria Police La Trobe Business School MBA Leadership

On Sunday 18th October MBA students studying Responsible Leadership, and Values, Ethics and Diversity, had the privilege of hearing Ken Lay’s views on leadership. Ken was Chief Commissioner for Victoria Police until December 2014. He currently holds two federal government advisory roles:

Chair – Council of Australian Governments Committee to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children (with Rosie Batty);

Chair – Prime Ministers’ National Ice Strategy Taskforce and in December will assume the Chair of Ambulance Victoria.

He gave us a fascinating and thoughtful snapshot of his leadership journey from a boy in Korumburra, country Victoria, to commanding 17,000 people and keeping the State of Victoria safe, describing his leadership style along the way. Ken developed an expert executive team to support him, noting that he looked in the mirror and honestly assessed his capabilities, saying “What am I good at and where do I need assistance?”. With the help of a loyal and smart team of colleagues he launched initiatives such as developing the Victoria Police Blue Paper, which outlines a vision for Victorian Police to 2025. This includes:

– rethinking the traditional operating model to better use resources

– improving capability through workforce reform and technology

– collaborating through partnerships

Part of this plan is increasing diversity and inclusivity in the police force, with suggested targets for sworn officers of

  1. 35-40 per cent female
  2. 5-10 per cent who speak a second language at home
  3. 1 per cent Indigenous

Ken spoke about why diversity is important to organisations, making a clear case for the link between better performance and diverse and inclusive workforces, particularly the impact of women in senior roles. In terms of lessons learned about leading responsibly he noted that he would like emerging leaders to have the courage to call colleagues when they may be acting out, in order to develop a positive work culture. We look forward to hearing about the important difference Ken makes in his new roles.

1 Comment

  1. Ken is an exemplary leader and champion for change. This must have been a great experience for the students.

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