isabelwu.com is a site dedicated to the thoughts, ideas and findings from her journey into understanding why people work, how people work and why workplaces are so poorly matched to the way people work best.
Isabel Wu Bio
After working in a range of management positions, an invitation from her then employer, Australian Airlines, to participate in their government-funded study program on industry Best Practice in the hospitality industry, “Our Guests, Our People, Our Future”, became the catalyst for a new direction in Isabel’s career. Using this experience plus further study in organisational behaviour and human resources, her subsequent career focused on how engagement between organisations and the people they employ works. She set up her firm, Meta Management Solutions in 2003, to enable her to work with clients without the barrier of ‘being in HR’ and the assumptions and widely adopted practices that accompany much of the profession.
Isabel challenges organisational practices that allow programs to achieve objectives while not adding value to the core purpose of the organisation. She believes many concerning trends in employment, including skills shortages and the widespread defection from traditional employment, to be a result of inadequate people practices. It follows that many of her clients are from heavily people-reliant, service-based industries.
As technology becomes progressively more integrated in the way people live and work, organisations must also be enabled to manage and build the knowledge that unlock the value of their intangible assets. Isabel has named this capability the ‘Organisational Infrastructure’.
Jul 2003 – Managing Director, Meta Management Solutions Pty Ltd www.metamanagement.net.au
Based in Melbourne and with clients around the world, Meta Management provides services that help her clients grow and improve their performance through their organisational infrastructure.
Nov 1998 – Jul 2003 Human Resources Specialist
Project HR (2002 – 03) – Human Resources Consultant
United Recruitment (2000 – 02) – General Manager, Staffing Services: Hospitality, Retail, Office and Medical staff.
P&O Resorts (1998 – 2002) – Lizard Island Lodge, Human Resources Manager
May 1994 – Nov 1998 Crown Casino, Food & Beverage Division
Executive Development and Training Manager (Jun 97 – Nov 98) – Responsible for executive coaching and management performance development programs; this role included the responsibility of training manager for the division of over 2,000 employees.
Project Manager, Food and Beverage Transition, Crown Casino (Jun 96 – May 97) – Project Manager for the transfer of the food and beverage operations, and growth of the department for 800 to 2,500 employees, from Crown Casino Galleria to Crown Southbank casino, retail, banqueting and Crown Towers Hotel.
Pre-opening and Opening, Crown Casino Galleria (May 94 – Jun 96) – Management positions in the Restaurants division of the food and beverage department from the pre-opening period until being appointed Performance Development Manager of the Division’s performance management program.
Feb 1994 – May 1994 Bensons Hospitality Training
Contract trainer in Hospitality studies and providing employment support to clients identified as long-term unemployed.
Jan 1992 – Dec 1993 Australian Airlines, Australian Resorts Division
Employed in resort positions of Restaurant Manager and Guest Services Manager, and nominated to the Steering Committee for the company’s participation in the Federal Government-funded Best Practice Demonstration program, aimed at identifying and implementing industry best practice to improve the performance of Australian business.
May 1989 – Jan 1992 Myer Stores Ltd, Melbourne
Customer Service Manager employed in the flagship Bourke Street store; and Trainer in the company’s Advanced Selling Skills program.