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HRINZ HR Conference 2012 Student Ambassador Highlights – Sovaia Uluiburotu

HRINZ HR Conference 2012 Student Ambassador Highlights – Sovaia Uluiburotu

Entering a warm room tucked away in the glorious national museum of Te Papa and anticipating encountering HR professionals, I knew this conference was going to be a blast. From the beginning of the HRINZ members clinic to the closing speech by Beverley Main, I was not let down one bit. It’s one thing being a student studying HR, sitting in a lecture theatre listening to HR concepts and theories, but it’s another thing being surrounded by HR practitioners with practical knowledge who know its reality first-hand. The atmosphere, the interactions, the heated debates, the laughter and sharing of knowledge was what captured me from the HRINZ members clinic. Every single panellist had insightful knowledge backed up by relevant and practical examples which made it more engaging for me. The discussions we had at our table were challenging and also enlightening. It was interesting to see different perspectives of HR experiences come together and create one idea of how HR can be improved. Engaging and participating in the concurrent sessions was what made me come out of my comfort zone. These sessions gave me the opportunity to network, dialogue and glean insight from people with experience in the HR environment. The first session Effective Cross-Cultural Communication using Appreciative Inquiry was a fantastic start to an awesome three days. Within the short time that Holona and Trish Lui had to share such amazing knowledge, they really engaged me from start to finish. I valued seeing the depth of consideration that is required when dealing with communication in a diverse environment. It allowed me to see the holistic perspective that is required in order for communication to become effective, given the unique circumstances of dealing with different cultures. One of the highlight sessions for me was Peter De Jager’s session on...

posted on: Oct 4, 2012 | author: Editor

HRINZ HR Conference 2012 Student Ambassador Highlights – Colette Wood

HRINZ HR Conference 2012 Student Ambassador Highlights – Colette Wood

Peter de Jager’s early morning pre-conference workshop woke me up faster than an espresso could have. This interactive change management workshop quickly emphasised how similar humans’ reactions to change are, regardless of their nationality. Yes, there are differences between cultures’ expectations, but there are core aspects to change in organisations that we all share. Through a participatory exercise, our group realised that human beings don’t resist change, but rather resist being changed. Peter de Jager has conducted this exercise in cities across the world with the same feedback from a multitude of cultures. Peter also emphasised the need for celebration of success during a time of change, having a sense of humour and an ability to trust. Through this workshop I realised the importance of being comfortable with a state of chaos, as this is inevitable in a change process and yes, creating a more diverse workplace can be a massive change for some organisations. In order for innovation to occur, we need to be okay with making mistakes and creating an environment that supports this is crucial. Tones of innovation and change also grasped my attention in Professor Robert Wood’s seminar. While the main emphasis of his discussion was on gender diversity, I quickly realised just how broad diversity really is. I suppose, much like our expanding universe, one could focus on the outer galaxies or on a single atom. This session made me aware that my very own mind-set could be the greatest barrier to creating a diverse workforce. Again, our similarities as human beings were reinforced, as so many of us are reluctant to ‘own’ the problem, simply believing that ‘others’ have issues with diversity. We all possess unconscious biases and perhaps a good first step is to become aware of our own biases. I gained...

posted on: Oct 4, 2012 | author: Editor

HRINZ HR Conference 2012 Student Ambassador Highlights – Talis Liepins

HRINZ HR Conference 2012 Student Ambassador Highlights – Talis Liepins

The holistic structure of the conference and complementary nature of all speakers is what most impressed me. While some speakers addressed diversity at a strategic level others focused more at the operational level. The overall experience was amazing for its capacity to place concepts in context but was not limited to this as it also provoked reflective thought at an individual level (delegates were challenged by speakers to evaluate their own decision-making processes and subconscious biases). Underpinning all this professional and personal development was change management discussions that enabled one to conceptualise successful transformation and discover that in reality change is neither difficult nor traumatic. Put simply, we resist the thought of change more than the change itself. For a member of the audience acting like a sponge, the holistic nature of the conference meant that speakers reinforced each other at all levels – albeit indirectly and from different perspectives. I thought this was a text-book example of diversity-of-thought. The collaboration by speakers resulted in the delivery of a message that in its core was truly congruent with the aim of the conference – that diversity results in success. In a single word, the conference was fantastic. For those that did not attend and would like a summary of why we need to incorporate diversity into our organisations: –          Increases inclusion and acceptance – thus improving freedom of thought and empowerment levels –          Increases ability to identify and capitalise on new markets and trade opportunities –          Insurance policy against group think –          Source of growth and innovation –          Increases organisational adaptability and responsiveness thus reducing risk –          The moral reasons for doing so –          The ethical reasons for doing so. I would like to express my gratitude to HRINZ for enabling me to attend. Thank you also to those...

posted on: Oct 3, 2012 | author: Editor

HRINZ HR Conference 2012 Student Ambassador Highlights – Paru Krishna

HRINZ HR Conference 2012 Student Ambassador Highlights – Paru Krishna

What an experience! I would never have imagined that as a student aspiring to make it into the human resources profession that I would receive such an amazing three days to meet some of the most talented people that New Zealand holds in its HR field. I think I can speak on behalf of the other student ambassadors when I say that we were welcomed and faced with an unbelievable amount of warmth by all the delegates and organisers present at the conference. Noted professionals like Ravi Kalpage were especially welcoming to the students and it was great to be faced with such enthusiasm towards what we study and our plans for the future. As a student I was eager to learn a lot from this conference, but was apprehensive about how I should or could contribute to discussions that were centered mainly around peoples’ real-world HR experiences. However, I found the whole conference experience to be extremely interactive and that was possibly the most important fuel to my learning process over the course of the three days. My opinions were not only valued, but also actively sought out by others. Particularly helpful was the way in which the topic of diversity was related to numerous facets of HR. My most memorable session was the New Ear’s Resolution taken by the wonderful Taruni Falconer. Not only was the content of her presentation especially riveting to me, I loved the way she presented it by making us speak in a new language ‘Redunduncia’. Through this new language/communication exercise, we were able to understand the dynamics through which language and communication operate. Taruni made me realise that we take for granted the ease with which most of us can communicate and the sheer importance and impact that this has in human...

posted on: Oct 2, 2012 | author: Editor

HRINZ HR Conference 2012 Student Ambassador Highlights – Sarah Columbus

HRINZ HR Conference 2012 Student Ambassador Highlights – Sarah Columbus

Right from day one at the HRINZ members clinic I was scrambling for my notebook, frantically trying to capture all of the valuable points made by the panel of CEOs and senior HR professionals on what HR professionals need to do today to position HR as a true business partner. Being a current HR student I am constantly immersed in class debates on various theories around this topic. However, I found being able to hear real life experiences from skilled practitioners on what challenges they face in the real world far more valuable. Particularly, hearing their views on what HR is doing that is right and what HR is doing that is unhelpful or should be stopped. It was great to hear from Mike Bennetts that HR had a place in the top table at Z Energy and that he believes HR helps them win, delivers strategic outcomes and helps build competitive advantage over time. Bryan Dunne of the Earthquake Commission (EQC) added that he finds HR to be effective in producing building blocks for finding and retaining staff and helping manage EQC activity effectively. Constructive criticisms on HR were also valuable. Geoff Smith from ProCare Health found that HR lacked knowledge on the financials and Peter Merry of Talent Strategies added that HR needed to do less of the transactional activities and to be more strategic. The discussions that followed the opening panel comments were very engaging, as practitioners shared their own stories on how the panel’s views were relevant in their own businesses. I found the group discussion aspect hugely valuable by allowing me to take on board the practitioners’ shared experiences, hurdles and successes to aid me in making more informed decisions in my own career. Every one of my following sessions was just as engaging...

posted on: Oct 1, 2012 | author: Editor

HRINZ HR Conference 2012 Student Ambassador Highlights – Deborah Versluys

HRINZ HR Conference 2012 Student Ambassador Highlights – Deborah Versluys

Te Papa is ‘Our Place’; however for a few exciting days at the beginning of August, Te Papa was HR’s place. While windy Wellington certainly lived up to its reputation, the rain couldn’t keep away nearly 200 enthusiastic human resource delegates as they descended upon Te Papa for HRINZ’s 2012 National Conference. We were spoilt for choice with inspirational, thought-provoking speakers who were experts in the HR profession. The State of the HR Profession members clinic was my personal highlight of the conference and set a high standard for the remaining three days at Te Papa. The panel of New Zealand CEOs created a session that was controversial, fresh and engaging. As the profession of HR evolves, one can ask, ‘What is the role of HR?’, ‘Does HR add value to organisations?’, ‘In what way does HR hinder the success of organisations?’ and ‘What does HR need to do in order to be considered as a true business partner?’ I was particularly impressed that the panel presented a balanced approach and consideration of both the positives and criticisms of HR when addressing these questions. It was clear that the value HR adds to organisations depends on the type of organisation and industry that it operates in. For example, Brian Dunn of EQC identified that HR at a strategic level has been fundamental in managing the exponential growth of EQC employees since the Christchurch earthquakes, while at the same time managing organisational culture effectively. Sarah Williamson from Mt Cook Airlines explained that HR played a unique role in the Airline Industry through largely managing and mitigating risk within the strong regulatory environment. Furthermore, Mike Bennetts of Z Energy and Gary Diack of Solid Energy argued that HR enables their organisations to deliver on strategic outcomes and build a competitive advantage...

posted on: Oct 1, 2012 | author: Editor

Stimulating, invigorating and appreciating the positive

Stimulating, invigorating and appreciating the positive

Appreciating the positive and stimulated to action was our experience of the 2012 HRINZ conference held at Te Papa. Well done and congratulations to HRINZ for organising such a forward looking conference on a subject that’s relevant to all our futures and New Zealand’s increasingly diverse workforce. The theme of the conference was Diversity. It was stimulating on many levels – Diversity of thought, gender, representation and cultures. The setting at Te Papa Museum was perfect. Bright, spacious, reflecting New Zealand’s history and diversity as a nation and in amongst the public we are very much part of. Right from the pre-conference members’ session the conference was stimulating, provocative and practical. We attended as delegates and as workshop presenters, seeing the conference as an opportunity for our own personal and professional development, and to build a professional relationship with others. The conference was very much an opportunity for sharing different perspectives and learning from the expertise and generosity of others as colleagues and thought leaders. The keynote speakers and presenters at the sessions we attended were excellent, providing insight and a global context on a topic that is still very much in the formative stages as an explicit conversation in New Zealand businesses and wider society. Diversity is both visible and in many instances still ‘invisible’ in the workplace, when it comes to confidently and strategically leveraging the talent and potential for growth and innovation that it offers organisations to achieve their business goals. Realisation of its significance to New Zealand economy is still gaining momentum and has yet to reach a tipping point towards being an integral part of everyday business practice. It was good to see industry leaders, including Fletcher Building, reflecting on their proven experience and advocacy for leveraging on Diversity to enhance the profitability of...

posted on: Aug 30, 2012 | author: Guest post

HRINZ Conference & Expo 2012

HRINZ Conference & Expo 2012

The HRINZ National Conference 2012 is now open for...

posted on: May 9, 2012 | author: Editor