Interview with Jo-Anne Moorfoot (FCLP’16)

Jo-Anne Moorfoot knows leadership courses. As the Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Healthcare Governance, she “assists directors of healthcare boards and executive management teams to fulfil their governance responsibilities”.

Her job is to “analyse an organisation’s processes… to identify gaps and make practical recommendations”.

She’s a leader and has done plenty of work on her leadership skills.

So, what did she gain from Leadership Victoria’s Folio program?

“Folio offers a more personal leadership program challenging your own personal beliefs. It provided exposure to leadership through a different lens. For me, it gave me perspective on leadership from outside the healthcare sector.”

That sector is demanding. Jo-Anne says healthcare is “client focused, not-for-profit, 24/7, low-budget and people orientated.”

Interacting with leaders of other Not-For-Profit organisations in her Folio course provided “A-Ha!” moments.

“My job was very operational; it’s all about getting from A to B and working around problems every day. Folio exposed me to people with very different thinking, taking a much more long-term mindset. People who were looking to solve problems five years into the future.

“It made me step outside myself and think of the big picture.”

To see that big picture, Jo-Anne needed the different “lenses” offered by government and even corporate Folio colleagues.

“It was a luxury to sit around and talk about leadership.”

Jo-Anne has maintained connections she made at Folio.

“I can catch-up with people I met there from very different fields and talk about the challenges I face. I bounce ideas around with people from outside my immediate sector.”

Jo-Anne recalls the famous “balcony” model from Adaptive Leadership.

Likening the challenges of modern leadership to a crowded dancefloor, adaptive leadership encourages a leader to retreat to the balcony to see the patterns and details from a vantage point. Jo-Anne said that “taking a step back” has been a crucial practice for her since undertaking Folio.

“I think the way I think about things has broadened. I apply it in the health field and in a non-medical Not-For-Profit I’m involved with. It teaches you to recognise the unique skills everyone brings.”

Jo-Anne says Folio’s practical sessions fine-tune personal leadership attributes and enable participants to understand their strengths and weaknesses.

“It’s personal exploration in a safe and supportive environment. You can open up and talk about things you want and be honest and open. In the workplace around your peers, you don’t want to expose your underbelly or weakness, so you’re not going to open up as much.”

Jo-Anne has recommended Folio to colleagues. What does she say to prospective participants?

“You get out of it what you put into it. Go in with an open mind. You’ll be challenged, you’ll be uncomfortable, but you’ll come out a better leader at the other end. There’s stuff that you’ll experience that all the theories in the world can’t teach you.”

Jo-Anne Moorfoot (FCLP’16) 

With a career spanning over 30 years, Jo-Anne has extensive experience in the health sector having worked in rural and metro settings in acute, subacute and community health in clinical and senior management positions. Jo-Anne has particular expertise in risk management, clinical governance and effective consumer engagement, and is passionate about developing and supporting the next generation of health leaders.  Jo-Anne has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Speech Pathology, a Graduate Diploma of Business, is an alumni of Leadership Victoria, is a GAICD, and currently sits on the board of West Gippsland Healthcare Group and bestchance Child and family Services.

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