How Movember used AbilityMap to evolve its leadership culture

Company Overview

Movember Australia
Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Industry: Not for Profit
Founded: 2003
101 - 500 Employees

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Amanda Green
Chief People Officer

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The Success

Product flexibility and customisation
Scalability of data
Career development insights

Chief People Officer used Human-centric technology to drive-performance in one of the world’s most successful charities.

The Challenge

The Challenge – a global charity sought an HR tool that surpassed off-the-shelf capability frameworks

Movember is the leading charity changing the face of men’s health on a global scale, focusing on mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. The charity raises funds to deliver innovative, breakthrough research and support programmes that enable men to live happier, healthier and longer lives. Committed to disrupting the status quo, millions have joined the movement, helping fund over 1,250 projects around the world.

Beginning in 2003 in an Melbourne pub, the idea of growing a “Mo” (moustache) had all but disappeared but could two mates bring the trend back? In 2004 the concept was formalised, starting in Australia and then from 2006 out to the rest of the world. Movember is now an international annual campaign involving men of all ages being sponsored to grow moustaches, move or host and event to raise funds for the cause during November.

Movember has evolved from a group of enterprising mates wanting to improve men’s longevity, to serious not-for-profit (NFP) status. With their aim “to change the face of men’s health”, Movember’s $1.3 billion in fundraising and now has official status in the US, Canada and Europe. In 2020, Mo Bros and Mo Sisters in Australia helped raised $35.5 million.

Brand awareness is not a problem for Movember (who hasn’t seen those planes with moustaches?). But COVID brought its own challenges. In 2020, Movember welcomed a new CEO, Michelle Terry who joined just as COVID became a reality she had to swiftly respond to the challenges this presented. For Chief People Officer (CPO), Amanda Green, who joined late that same year this accordingly required finessing the leadership team’s skills base and capacity to administer and raise funds in drastically altered circumstances.

Amanda began searching for solutions to harness / develop her team’s arsenal of capabilities, outputs and experience. She wanted to engage and grow its workforce in tailored ways. She didn’t want off-the-shelf capability frameworks that would not fit with the history of Movember, the culture or alienate her colleagues.

“It can’t be big and corporate and scary, it needs to be very aligned to our culture, brand and our positioning, which is agile, innovative and quite start-up its nature. I was obviously very conscious in terms of the donor spend too.” Amanda is also cognisant of what’s happening geopolitically and its myriad ripple effects. and impacts on revenue, talent pools, incomes. Parachuting a one-size-fits-all capability framework into such circumstances won’t yield meaningful results.

The Solution – AbilityMap is granular – anywhere, any time

Amanda Green has a reputation for high-performance outcomes having been a pivotal member of the team that helped Richmond Football Club deliver Premiership Season after a decades-long drought. As an organisational psychologist, Amanda was already across various packages extolling the skillsets and competencies needed in the future. She knew that Movember’s expanding team required a capability framework that could respond to the various immediate environments in which they operated but hadn’t previously encountered such a tool. She was capable of building a bespoke in-house one, but was especially interested in AbilityMap’s capacity to diagnose how a specific environment enables or inhibits best practice.

“It’s really unique, it’s really, really different than … the off-the-shelf solutions that I was looking at and trying to fit into a not-for-profit charity context”

Amanda Green, Chief People Officer, Movember Australia

When she first joined, she noticed Movember had limited use of objective tools to assess individual behaviors and capabilities, beyond those used to help inform individual preferences group dynamics.It’s not enough for a potential hire to be excited by Movember’s brand, they need to slot seamlessly into Movember’s evolution. Similarly, an executive must readily adapt to their team’s dynamics within overall strategy and “not be corporatised or one-dimensional”. To this end, new Movember teams are continuously “storming and forming”.

“I think the real Aha with this tool is that it actually says ‘this is the environment at this point in time'”

Making informed HR decisions is always crucial, but isn’t collective wisdom from the meeting room table sufficient? Amanda declares “We’ve good leaders with good intuition, but let’s add some objectivity to this (recruitment or promotion) decision”. For example, with the ever-present need for fiscal responsibility, Amanda’s sensitive that they don’t employ a financial controller with non-existent EQ. In charting her organisation’s overall direction and staff gaps, she persuaded Movember’s leadership that AbilityMap could delve beyond a person’s credentials and technical knowhow to discern their emotional fit for a role.

She is enthusiastic about AbilityMap’s multifaceted capacity to acutely calibrate a person’s inherent strengths within “the organisation’s view of what we think we need at this point in time and where we’re going, a role’s specific capabilities and (differing) points of view”. The software’s diagnostics also enables Movember to swiftly pivot in its approach to problems and its leaders to articulate the elusive qualities and processes they’re seeking.

“Once you put intuitive software in the hands of humans, it creates possibilities that were beyond the initial design.”

It’s the equivalent of a Neil Peart-style drummer with multiple intricate flourishes and time signatures but maintaining the pace via a quintessential driving beat.

The Outcome – backend brilliance enabling ever-better practice / building MOmentum / MObility

Like everyone during the pandemic, the Movember team segued into remote working arrangements and now utilises a hybrid operational model, harnessing AbilityMap for ongoing customisation, contextual decision-making and best practice in relation to better hiring, development and support and career partnering decision. To continue building, optimising and transforming ’Mo-organisational agility’, Movember’s subscribed to AbilityMap’s enterprise unlimited program to help deliver the purpose.

Having successfully trialled AbilityMap, Amanda is sold on the ways the software can be customised to Movember’s diverse HR needs and fuelling her organisation forward. She loves the way AbilityMap’s design can be plugged in and adapted wherever Movember staff are located, without necessarily requiring her presence, or an accredited expert to help with the screening of potential candidates. Its ability to trawl mounds of data is impressive but its problem-solving aspects are enough to render Hercule Poirot envious.

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