The New Zealand Culture Conference

The culture event for all Kiwi leaders

Event Details


Registration and coffee
Opening remarks from the Chair
Penelope Barton , Co-Founder, People Labs
Opening Keynote: Humble Leadership and its role in culture creation, evolution, and change

For the first time in New Zealand the eminent Edgar Schein, the widely published Ex MIT father of organisational culture theory, and his son Peter will share their invaluable insights into leadership of culture change. 

Edgar Schein and Peter Schein , Co-Founders , The Organizational Culture and Leadership Institute
Keynote presentation: Organisational culture - an anthropological perspective on the intersection of culture and business
  • Assessing the role of culture in your organisation
  • How culture works as an enabler within businesses
  • Stressing the damage that a toxic culture can do to an organisation’s effectiveness – but can you change it?
  • How do you build culture intentionally?
  • Promoting a strong business culture and purpose to attract the best future talent
Michael Henderson, Corporate Anthropologist
Measuring culture – how to do it and what to do with the data
  • Can you measure culture?
  • What are the science and data behind the behavioural measurement of culture? What are the most effective mechanisms?
  • Exploring the value of ethnography as a tool for understanding organisational culture
  • Data as a vehicle towards culture success
  • Measuring effectiveness - how will you know whether your culture change efforts have been successful
Darren Levy, Consultant, Human Synergistics New Zealand
Morning break
Examining New Zealand’s macro-cultural identity

1. What is it that makes us uniquely and distinctly “kiwi”? 


2. Exploring the attributes of kiwi culture and identifying the opportunities and challenges that provides New Zealand Inc 

  • The genesis and evolution of New Zealand culture 
  • People and politics – the turning points of culture  
  • Reflecting on the impact of the Christchurch mosque attacks on NZ culture 
Colleen Ryan, Partner , TRA
Professor Paul Spoonley, Distinguished Professor, Massey University
Integrating Māori culture authentically and appropriately in your organisation
  • The key characteristics and values of Māori culture
  • Context matters – assessing if Maori culture is the right fit for your organisation 
  • Overcoming obstacles and challenges
  • How you know when you have got it right
Mavis Mullins, Chair, Atihau Whanganui Inc / Rangitane Tamaki Nui a Rua
Lunch break
Cases studies: Achieving transformative culture change

In this series of rapid presentations hear how these organisations and industries have reprioritised, overcome challenges and created opportunities to intentionally craft culture to get the best out of their employees and achieve their strategic goals.

  • Seeing the forest through the trees – how the NZ forestry industry is growing a safety culture
  • Beyond inclusion - why Contact Energy is building a participatory performance culture
  • Creating high-performing teams using agile – how Vodafone is using agile principles to develop a high-performance culture in HR
Fiona Ewing , National Safety Director , Forest Industry Safety Council
Dan Teo, Partner, Radically
Katie Williams, Director of Human Resources, Vodafone New Zealand
Jo Kearins, General Manager Culture Revolution, Contact Energy
Afternoon break
Panel: Leading culture change in New Zealand

Just as fish don’t notice the watery nature of their aquatic homes, we are just like them, swimming within a sea of culture that defines our existence but of which we have very little awareness. Yet culture can be the most powerful differentiator and indicator of success for an organisation and a key strategic business asset.

How are leaders setting the vision, signalling their expectations, leading from the front and role modelling behaviour? And how can they best manage the very real tension between driving culture change strategically from the top and empowering employees to come up with the solutions from the bottom up.

  • Identifying opportunities to embed culture and achieving meaningful buy in across the organisation
  • Exploring the tools and change mechanisms that are proven to be effective in delivering culture change
  • What are the best mechanisms for scaling cultural transformation?
  • Creating cultures that attract and motivate future workforces and provide dynamic and productive workplaces
Fiona Allan , Chief Executive and Secretary General , Paralympics New Zealand
Kirsten (KP) Patterson, Chief Executive, The Institute of Directors
Greg Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Icebreaker
David Ferguson, Headmaster, Westlake Boys' High School
Closing remarks from the Chair and Networking Drinks
The Excellerant Group
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