Steve Pretzel, CEO, TADWA

Abstract:
With the end of block funding looming, TADWA’s Board knew that radical change was necessary.
Incoming CEO, Steve Pretzel, was well equipped to drive the transformation. An ‘outsider’, new to the sector but with a strong business building, marketing and technology background, he had a mandate to transform TADWA and ensure its viability when the block funding ceased and competition in the open market was the only game to play.
Bringing commercial efficiencies and a market-competitive attitude to an organisation that had not previously needed a commercial focus was always going to be a challenge. Transforming the culture was the obvious key to success.
“So buy more forks…”
When he arrived, Steve was surprised to find only two or three forks in the kitchen drawer. Why? Because “if we had more people would steal them”, he was told. Distrust permeated the organisation. Fingerprint timeclocks. GPS trackers in vehicles. How do you build a competitive team in an atmosphere of such distrust? “Buy more forks” was the directive. “And if people steal them, keep buying more.” The GPS trackers and fingerprint timeclock were dispensed with. Very few forks were stolen or mislaid. Trust was restored.
An employee ‘climate survey’ showed a dramatic improvement in attitude. Progress was being made.
Getting ‘Change Fit’ was another key element in the transformation strategy. Like anything in life, the more you do something, the easier it gets, so jolting people out of their comfort zones and getting them accustomed to constant change was important.
Visibility was next. Where was the time being spent? What projects were profitable? What activities were costing the organisation? This data, previously best described as of mild interest was now life and death stuff.
And so began the technology overhaul. Over the past two years, EVERY software application has been changed. Over twenty new software systems have been introduced, and all are cloud based, enabling greater staff mobility, flexibility and satisfaction.
The focus ON the business has come at a time when there is significant change IN the business. Since the transition from the State based HACC regime to CHSP, referrals have increased by over 300% in some months, really putting the new efficiencies to the test.
State winner of LASA’s Organisational Excellence Award in 2018, the TADWA case study will likely be of interest to CEOs and business managers facing the new order of consumer-directed care.

TADWA CEO, Steve Pretzel

Biography:
Steve Pretzel entered the Aged Care sector with over forty years commercial experience, most at senior management / director level. He has a track record for spotting the inevitable while it still looks improbable.
Prior to joining TADWA as CEO in 2017, Steve had a successful career in the advertising industry in Sydney and Perth before establishing award winning internet pioneer Pretzel Logic in 1992. Steve was winner of WAITTA Achiever of the Year 2002, and a State Finalist Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001.
He is currently Chairman of Home Modifications Australia and a member of the Home Modification Information Clearing House (HMInfo) Advisory Committee.

Session: 
Day 3, 12:00pm – 12:30pm – The Race to Transform. TADWA’s Two Year Sprint to the Future.