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 their businesses.
What delighted us was that the speakers’ focus was on the strategic implementation of policies and practical application of initiatives that had proven their practical worth to their respective organisations.
Keynote speakers Professor Robert Wood and one of his colleagues, Lisa Vos from the Melbourne Business School in different sessions, provided research, case examples and pointed to opportunities for practical application. International citizen and globe-trotting Peter de Jager’s approach to demystifying Change Management by ‘Boiling Change Down to Seven Questions’ was entertaining, refreshing and engaging. Apa Watene with his workshop on ‘One Size Fits All?’ approach struck a chord expanding our thinking and perspectives on HR practices and different worldviews of the way to do business.
Nigel Latta offered an insight why people tend to behave the way we do in his wonderfully informative and entertaining way. For us, these were only some of the highlights among many.
The HR Expo was an opportunity to gain ready access to HRINZ Strategic partners and specialist service providers. The booths were relevant and interactive with the exhibitors freely sharing their knowledge and expertise.
While we’ve mentioned some of the sessions we were only sorry that we could not attend all the sessions. We left the conference feeling invigorated, optimistic and looking forward to challenges the present and future bring.
Holona and Trish Lui
Catalyst Pacific Ltd