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Melbourne Business School News Alistair Lloyd is using his MBA to improve 000 emergency call responses

Alistair Lloyd is using his MBA to improve 000 emergency call responses

You can rely on Alistair Lloyd in an emergency. He uses his MBA skills to ensure Victorians get the help they need when they call triple zero.

The Part-time MBA graduate works at the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority, or ESTA, which takes a triple-zero call for ambulance, police, fire or other urgently required service every 12 seconds on average.

Victoria is the only state in Australia to operate centralised emergency communications centres – perhaps not surprising, given its experience with major weather events, such as the world's deadliest bushfire a decade ago.

"Black Saturday was a devastating event for the Victorian community, and we were in the thick of it," says Alistair.

"We still talk about it every day at ESTA, how it played out, how we respond to it, and what we can do better."

As the Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships and Program Management, Alistair's role is to help the organisations that ESTA works with improve their responses to everyday emergencies and major disasters.

"Partnerships are very important throughout ESTA," he says. "We have a lot of direct partnerships in our day-to-day operations with members of the police, fire and ambulance who share our operations floor with us and are part of what we do every day."

Before joining ESTA, Alistair spent most of his career as an IT professional. He started to consider studying an MBA when the challenges he faced at work evolved as his career progressed.

"I was working on more and more projects that were bringing about change to people and organisations," he says.

"Whether a merger acquisition or major overhaul of systems and process, the recurring theme was people and change."

Alistair enrolled in the Part-time MBA at Melbourne Business School in 2010 while he was working as an enterprise architecture manager at food and beverage maker Lion, and was surprised at how many different kinds of people it introduced him to.

"What I got out of it the most was the diversity. There were engineers, marketers, public servants, sales people, IT people, different ages, backgrounds – you name it," he says.

As well as boosting his people and leadership skills, meeting so many people from different backgrounds also helped to cure Alistair of his biggest flaw – perfectionism.

"It cured me of my perfectionism and gave me the confidence to sit in a room where I didn't need to be the smartest person," he says.

"I learnt to work with diverse people who had the same aim but approached a problem from their own perspectives and experience."

Alistair uses almost all of the skills he learned on his MBA every day, but says he gained the most from those that took him outside his comfort zone.

"For me, the biggest take-outs were the subjects about leading change, engaging with people and how to reflect on myself as a leader," he says.

"That's been something I've put into practice back in the workforce as I've progressed in roles."

Overall, Alistair says, studying an MBA made him a more rounded person and better manager.

"The key differences for me before and after the MBA were around my perception of how I work with people in an organisation, and how I interact and really understand how different people can come together for a common goal," he says.

"If you're going into an MBA and coming out the same person, then you've probably taken the safe path.

"It's an opportunity to really challenge yourself and ask who you want to be and what you want to achieve as a result of you experience and what the MBA gives me to unlock doors that you wouldn't otherwise reach."

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