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 who shared their thoughts and experiences with me during networking hours, thank you to my mentors/managers at Mercy Hospital and the SDHB, and of course thank you to my lecturers at Otago Polytechnic.
HRINZ Student Ambassador