Courage and change

Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) held an event for women in leadership titled, ‘Courage and Change’ in March earlier this year. Carolyn Viney brings both of these words to the table and has made them the building blocks to the way that she leads Grocon, Australia’s largest privately owned development, construction and investment management company.

From industry outsider to CEO, her journey has been up, down and all around but it didn’t stop her. She saw her role as more than ‘getting things done’ and she knew that to uphold Grocon’s purpose of leaving a legacy, she would have to find the courage to lead differently. Past practices were challenged, despite going against a chorus of voices; even when she felt like everyone else had the right kind of answers and experience to know better, because she knew that more could be done to live out what was being said. Viney believes that the standard you are willing to walk by is the standard you are willing to accept, and it took some time before the company became what it is today in its industry-leading consideration for areas like safety. The result is evidently worth it as each project makes the location a part of the community’s history.

“Do we want to be liked for the work that we do? Of course we do… But does that mean we work our way down to the lowest common denominator of doing something that’s agreeable to everybody?
We didn’t think so.”

Viney knows that they ask a lot of their people, to go the extra mile… Grocon looks for people that want to do those things anyway and invites them to come along on the journey.

Photo: CEDA 2015

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