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April 14, 2023 1 min read

Shaping Future Leaders: Optimation Group's Innovative Youth Leadership Program


A note from Optimation Group's Chief Financial Officer, Ed Read, on Optimation Group's latest initiative


Greetings Everyone,

I have recently joined Optimation Group as CFO where I am responsible for our Corporate Services function as well as Finances.

One of the HR initiatives I now have oversight of is our Youth Leadership Program, where we invite employees under 35 (this is ageist I know but in a good way) to apply to be part of the senior leadership team for 12 months.

During that 12 months the successful applicant operates as a peer within the SLT. This is hugely powerful in every aspect.

  • The youth leader gets some fantastic exposure to the inside workings of a corporate environment - years ahead of what they would glean across a standard career trajectory.
  • Us oldies get fresh and sometimes really unexpected ideas coming into play.
  • As a team we walk the talk of career progression and diversity in a tangible way which helps make our culture what it is.
  • For the wider community we can add youth into that pool with greater levels of experience than you might expect them to have thus bolstering IP in general.


As well as being part of the SLT the Youth Leader/s run a forum of enthusiastic employees to work on ideas we want to run with. A large number of those ideas are uncovered through our employee satisfaction surveys. So we are able to give REAL leadership on desirable outcome projects to our youth leaders to help them understand and improve their experience, as well as make feedback from employees important enough to do something with. How good!

It’s fantastic to be involved in this programme at Optimation and to be sharing our experiences to help develop the careers of our younger team members in this way. I find I am learning a lot myself too...nothing like a different generation’s perspectives on things!

We have promised not to spend too much time talking about floppy disks, Walkmans or Aerograms instead we have prepared a cassette tape for this year’s team members to listen to.

- Ed Read