This month we chatted with Hugh McIntosh, Manager, Marketing Operations from City of Adelaide about his role, being a LG Professionals SA Board Member and his thoughts on staying connected.
What’s your current role and what does it involve?
I enjoy a breadth of responsibilities including leading three full-service ‘marcom’ teams that partner with the wide variety of departments across the City of Adelaide, supporting our three commercial businesses (U-Park, the Adelaide Aquatic Centre and the North Adelaide Golf Course) and supporting our Marketing Strategy Specialist. As a bit of a marketing-nerd, I also enjoy leading the marketing for the soon to be redeveloped Central Market Arcade.
You are one of our newest Board Members – what inspired you to nominate? What do you hope to achieve as a Board Member? Any advice for others considering this path?
As a privileged attendee of the inaugural Executive Leaders Program, I was moved by the professionalism of the course, the relevance to my needs and those of local government executives and surprised by the impact it had on attendees: literally life-changing for some. With a life-long belief in ‘giving back’ to that which you value, when nominations for the board went out, it was an easy decision.
Whilst community focused nature of local government makes the work innately rewarding, to further support and develop those who play a fundamental role in making our cities and regions better places to live, beyond my council’s boundaries, is a main objective for my time on the board.
For those considering a similar direction, my advice would be to set your sights high in local government, seek the counsel of those who inspire you and continually ask yourself: what else could I be doing to make a difference? Actively networking regularly with peers from other councils will help broaden your knowledge whilst extending your support base.
Being part of the Executive Leaders Program Alumni how do you think the learnings from this program are relevant in the current COVID-19 world? What would you say to others thinking of undertaking the Executive Leaders Program?
In the opening half hour of this six-day program, the concept of ‘VUCA’ was introduced – a situation and response model where how much is known of a situation and how well the outcomes of actions can be predicted are key metrics. It is safe to say, this pandemic has us at the extreme ‘Volatile’ quarter – a situation that’s unexpected / unstable and compounded by an unknown duration.
The course developed participants leadership ‘tool kits’ to manage themselves and others in increasingly unpredictable situations or scenarios; embedding skills and approaches I have leaned upon heavily of late. Every participant was challenged to get out of their comfort zones, into their ‘productive zones of disequilibrium’, question their past patterns of behaviours and thought processes and become agile leaders in the face of evolving, increasingly complex challenges.
If you can attend this exceptional program, you absolutely should; you won’t come out the end of it the same, to you, your organisation and your team’s benefit.
Can you share some tips for staying connected during these uncertain times?
There is no shortage of advice and digital ‘connectivity’ tools flying around at present, so alongside these I say also keep it as simple. Whether introverts or extroverts, we have evolved as social beings. Working from home and social distancing can have unexpected impacts on wellbeing and health. Make sure you reach out to co-workers or your teams weekly at a minimum without an objective or purpose. Chew the fat, laugh about ‘that awkward Zoom meeting’ and generate those ‘water cooler moments’ that often only become apparent in their value when they disappear.
For those with a step counter in their watch or device, if you’re anything like me you’ll have noticed how much more sedentary we’ve become when working from home. Personally, I’ve made a point of increasing exercise and breaks from the desk and done my best to reduce those fridge and pantry ‘drive-bys’!
How do you spend your leisure time outside of local government?
These days my spare time includes long family walks, catching up with our close-knit-neighbours, improving my ‘handy-man’ game and occasional travel, especially to Japan (for which I have a ceaseless fascination). That said and without doubt, Daddy-Daughter time is a biggest and most valued pastime.