Water Journal : Water Journal April 2013
WATER APRIL 2013 56 Feature Article the differential consequences of potential innovations across different social groups prior to implementation. In terms of water sector speci c knowledge, we may think about the elements of the water cycle and how humans manage and intervene in those processes. Hydrology and water quality might be among the natural sciences; water treatment and hydraulics might be among the engineering; water resource economics, ecosystem services, investment appraisal and asset management might be among the nancial subjects; and water governance, regulation, policy, planning, law, stakeholder engagement and collaboration, and social impact assessment might be among the relevant social sciences. The precise blend of water subjects required of any T-shaped water professional may require nuancing to the speci cs of the role they occupy and the organisation by which they are employed. Turning towards how one might develop T-shaped skills pro les a number of approaches can be identi ed. One such approach (Harris, 2009) advocates developing T-shaped pro les early in education, at the undergraduate level, but such an approach may risk producing Generalists with insuf cient depth, as previously discussed. Other approaches advocate utilising postgraduate education as the primary mechanism for deliberately developing T-shaped pro les, with some variation between avowedly professionally oriented approaches (McIntosh and Taylor, 2013) and more standard models of higher education (Uhlenbrook and de Jong, 2012). And nally, thinking about how T-shaped professionals might be employed within urban water management organisations we might identify three models: 1. A small, select band of junior to mid- senior employees across each functional area in an employer organisation is purposefully developed but given no formal roles. Rather, their ability to drive change is left with them in an emergent, or champion capacity; or 2. A small, select band of junior to mid- senior employees across each functional area in an employer organisation is purposefully developed and given formal roles. This might mirror the way in which BP (see Hansen and Oetinger, 2001) gave some senior managers a proportion of their time to engage in internal collaboration, networking and problem solving activities across normal functional boundaries -- a formal T-shaped role with carved out time allocated to it; or 3. T-shaped skills pro les may become the new norm, leaving only a few I-shaped specialists in each functional area. Under this model as many staff as possible would be purposefully developed to become T-shaped, and all such staff would be empowered to act informally to drive change in an emergent or champion capacity. The relative pros and cons of each model and of other models need to be dissected and assessed. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS The Australian urban water sector faces a range of challenges, from dif culties in recruiting and retaining key skills, to responding effectively to signi cant pressures for change -- population growth, urbanisation and climate change. Developing T-shaped skills pro les has been identi ed as an important mechanism for promoting capacity for innovation and change in the sector. To progress this agenda and to move Australian water skills dialogue into considering how we build capacity to develop and deliver signi cant urban transformation, we suggest the following questions be addressed: 1. What kinds of T-shaped pro les are needed by different urban water sector management employers? What kinds of change are needed in current urban water practices? 2. How should T-shaped skills pro les be utilised? Informally or through the creation of formal roles? 3. What kinds of developmental programs would be best for developing T-shaped skills pro les in staff? 4. How will the necessary skill development be funded? Where will the investment come from and to what level? THE AUTHORS Dr Brian S. McIntosh (email: b.mcintosh@ watercentre.org) is Senior Lecturer and Education Program Manager at the International WaterCentre (IWC), Brisbane. He is leading a project to develop postgraduate, professionally targeted education services to help facilitate processes of transformation towards water sensitivity as part of the CRC in Water Sensitive Cities (watersensitivecities.org.au) 'Adoption' Program. Tim Beckenham is Vice-President of the International WaterCentre Alumni Network (IWCAN), based in Townsville. Michael Yule is a Senior Consultant in Water and Environmental Management with CH2MHILL, and a member of the Board of IWCAN. Mark Pascoe is an ex-President and Life Member of AWA and the CEO of the International WaterCentre. An Ex-Deputy Director of IWA, Mark has a 40-year career in the water sector including time as the Manager for Water and Wastewater for Brisbane City Council. He is a member of WIST, the Water Industry Skills Taskforce, co-ordinated by AWA. WJ REFERENCES AWA (2011): AWA National Water Skills Audit Report 2011, Australian Water Association. DEWHA (2009): Water for the Future, National Water Skills Strategy, Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, December 2009. Hansen MT & von Oetinger B (2001): Introducing T-Shaped Managers, Knowledge Management's Next Generation, Harvard Business Review, March, pp 107--116. Harris P (2009): Help Wanted: "T-Shaped Skills to Meet 21st Century Needs", Technology and Development 63, 9, pp 42--47. ICEWaRM (2008): National Water Skills Audit, Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts for the Council of Australian Governments, June 2008. IfM and IBM (2008): Succeeding Through Service Innovation: A Service Perspective For Education, Research, Business and Government, Cambridge, United Kingdom: University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing, ISBN: 978-1-902546-65-0. Ison RL, Collins KB, Bos JJ & Iaquinto B (2009): Transitioning to Water Sensitive Cities in Australia: A summary of the key ndings, issues and actions arising from ve national capacity building and leadership workshops, NUWGP/IWC, Monash University, Clayton, www.watercentre.org/resources/publications/ attachments/Creating%20Water%20 Sensitive%20Cities.pdf McIntosh BS & Taylor A (2013): Developing T-shaped Water Professionals: Building Capacity in Collaboration, Learning and Leadership to Drive Innovation, Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education, 150, pp 6--17. Uhlenbrook S & de Jong E (2012): T-shaped Competency Pro le for Water Professionals of the Future, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 16, 3, pp 475--483.
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