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No Suits Required! A recap of the NZ HR Summit – Northern

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No Suits Required! A recap of the NZ HR Summit – Northern

In this blog post HR professional of the future, Jonathan Britto, shares his experience of the recent NZ HR Summit in Auckland

I had the opportunity to attend the NZ HR Summit – Northern, hosted by HRINZ at the Rydges on the 5th of June. Initially I was apprehensive regarding attending the event as I (probably like your self) don’t always enjoy being bombarded with information for eight hours! Plus it was a Friday, my emails and workload would pile up while I was sitting in a room full of “suits” resulting in an extremely hectic Monday to look forward to.

As it turned out, the sessions were constructed to be short and sweet yet informative and contained a high level of interaction between the “delegates”. The range of topics were closely aligned to my role in the HR industry and gave me insights about HR best practices, experience and insights from fellow delegates as well as the ability to mingle socially with industry professionals.

image7To set the stage we had lively introductions from Terry Williams (MC) & warm welcomes from Chris Till (Chief Executive, HRINZ) and Danny Lessem (ELMO – Talent Management Software).

Up first to present was Wade Jackson (Mind Warriors International) with an extremely interactive session on ‘The Disruptor – A.D.A.P.T. or die’. The gist of this session revolved around accepting chaos, developing trust, asking ‘what else?’ presencing and taking action. It was only towards the end of the session where I realised that it was the same Wade Jackson from Whose line is it anyway fame!

Next we had Kirsty McDonald (Duncan Cotterill) with an informative session on ‘Technology, Accessibility and the Need to Maintain a Sustainable Workplace’.  Key takeaways of this session included how connectivity and flexibility are not always an advantage in the workplace, how to balance people & performance utilising work tools, WorkSafe and risk management from a Health & Safety standpoint.

image6After a refreshing morning tea, Chris Johnson (Kerridge & Partners) presented on ‘Taking Charge of Your Career’. He discussed the roles we were currently in and if these roles would exist in the future. He also asked us where our current roles stacked up to in relation to our intended careers. What I got out of this session was that careers don’t look after themselves and that it all boils down to considering if your current role is a ‘Project worth Working on With People worth Working With’ or is there something else you should be investing your time and energy into.

Following a scrumptious lunch (thanks Rydges!) we had Frank Harkin (Human Synergistics International) with an interactive session on ‘Rethinking VUCA’. He got us to question how well we could predict the results of our actions and how much we knew of the situation. We then discussed VUCA problems in terms of the current soccer (football!) scandal.

Then we had James Elliot (Real Action) speaking on how to ‘Get Things Done in the Age of Disruption’. It involved breaking down some of the major projects or problems we were wrestling with into smaller more manageable tasks that we could then tackle. James went on to break down Chris Till’s project of remodelling his garden which really backed up the theory. Chris, if you’re reading this I really do hope you get around to sorting out your s**t garden. We are all looking forward to the before and after pics in a future HRINZ magazine!

A short tea break later we had James Spencer (PWC) present on ‘The NZ Inc. EVP: Attracting and Retaining Talent in New Zealand’. His top five EVP opportunities were sorting out selection, induction and onboarding processes, preparing for the impact of Millennials, addressing diversity, incorporating sustainability and using big data and analytics to our advantage.

image13Lastly we had Callum McKirdy (Leading Ideas) wrap things up with a lively and thought provoking session on ‘Disruption or Distraction – Where is HR Heading?’ He did an exceptional job of keeping us motivated in spite of it being the final session of the day. Callum discussed the way technology has both distracted and disrupted us over the years and covered a few recent technological advancements that will continue to do so.

All in all I had a brilliant day and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I received advice on managing Monday’s workload, gained insights into the world of HR, made a number of professional connections and walked away with a lovely bottle of Moët!

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Bring on the next HRINZ event and hope to bump into you there!

Jonathan Britto
HR and Solutions Consultant
Drake New Zealand