People Leaders 2020

Powering people through leadership, culture and technology

1 Sep 2020Ellerslie Event Centre, Auckland
Event Details


Registration and coffee
Welcome from the Chair
Betsy Wang, People & Culture Advisor, The Trusts
OPENING KEYNOTE: Reviewing the global and local landscape in the wake of the pandemic
  • The economics– what is the size of the economic recession and what is the predicted affect
  • What effects has this had on New Zealand’s workforce
  • Societal learnings, changes and new ways of being in response to COVID 19, an economy in recession and higher unemployment
  • What this means for HRs role in business
Paul Spoonley, Distinguished Professor, Massey University
Reinventing organisations to thrive in the world after a global crisis
  • What questions should leaders be asking about designing a future fit organisation?
  • What makes an organisation not just survive but thrive in current and future markets?
  • Leadership reinvention on extreme employment landscape, employment conditions and restructures
  • Working in the changing economy moving forward from a post COVID-19 perspective
Estelle Curd, Head of People and Culture, Rocket Lab
Morning break
STREAM A: Panel Discussion: Resilience, responses and adaptability - Moving toward a modern workforce

Critical skills required to succeed in the world of tomorrow and what separates individuals with these skills from anyone else?

  • Supporting and encouraging innovation during conservative times
  • Leading transformation - how leaders can better support and prepare people to be agile and thrive in this unfolding new world?
  • The importance of building multidisciplinary teams, capable of operating in challenging environments in a post-COVID-19 market
  • Scenario forecasting- how can it help and how is it done with accuracy
  • Evaluating the importance of care and empathy among the current workforce
Ryan Ghisi, GM Global People Programs, Xero
Esther Livingston, General Manager People and Capability, Callaghan Innovation
STREAM B: Understanding the potential of new technologies and their impact on HR analytics and its future trends
  • How technology can optimise the HR function in an increasingly connected world
  • Data on the current state of HR technology use in New Zealand
  • Challenges and drivers of people analytics in an evidence-based business world
  • How will the future trends in technology and analytics impact HR processes and employees?
  • How HR technologies can be utilised to manage and support remote teams?
Professor Jarrod Haar, Deputy Director, NZ Work Research Institute & Professor, AUT
Session break
STREAM A: Panel: The importance of transferable skills in a digitally dominated world
  • Staying relevant in the shift of traditional roles and work environments
  • Growing your people through up-skilling even with reduced workforces
  • The importance of resilience and soft skills in agile or uncertain environments
  • Promoting productivity through balanced technical and people skills
Kavita Khanna, Director, People and Capability, Tonkin and Taylor
Rose Powell, General Manager People and Capability, Vitaco Health NZ
Ksenia Eliseeva, Learning and Development Manager, Park Hyatt
STREAM B: Managing virtual teams
  • Discussing the benefits and pitfalls of having most of the staff working remotely
  • How to set up for and transition from traditional ways of working to managing virtual teams?
Session break
STREAM A: The changing scope of learning and development within the workplace
  • What does L&D mean now, after one of the biggest shifts in history, and what will it look like in 10 years?
  • What is the scope of requirement for L&D in your organisation?
  • Accommodating all types of learners in the workplace
  • Increasing productivity through tailored L&D
Shyamini Szeko, Organisational Development Lead, Auckland Transport 
STREAM B: How can you use HR analytics to drive business optimisation & performance?
  • Does good people & HR practice drive good organisational performance or does good organisational performance drive good people & HR practice?
  • Can HR function be reduced to raw data or is an element of trusting your instincts necessary?
  • How to quantify the value of people management and where do high performers stand out?
Tina Lundkvist, Head of People Analytics, Fonterra
Session break
STREAM A: Case Study: Reacting in the eye of the storm - Working productively in times of hardship
  • Learnings from rapid agile increases and swift changes in protocols
  • The importance of operating ethically in times of crisis
  • Fostering transparency and authenticity in times of distress and turmoil
Kylie Telford, Head of Culture & Performance Strategy and Employee Experience, NZME
STREAM B: Quick-fire: Micro-learning and Gamification - how Lion plans to bridge the generational gap in the workforce
  • Allowing for diverse learning through digitisation
  • Practical applications of shorter training sessions in the workforce
  • Planning into 2021 – what will tomorrows workforce need?
Helen Murray, Ambassador Leader, Lion
STREAM A: Case Study: Designing a peer network to address mental health issues at workplace
  • Vodafone’s Manaaki Support Network - created for our people by our people
  • Collaborating with internal stakeholders to enable success of the network and ongoing implementation of mental health & wellbeing strategy
  • Role of leadership in supporting network & normalising conversations around mental health in the wake of COVID-19
Tuihana Ohia, Wellbeing Consultant, Vodafone NZ
STREAM B: Embracing metrics over belief - building a data-driven culture within HR
  • How can we move from ‘gut feel’ to a robust, evidence-based approach when we engage in conversations around employees?
  • What role do leaders within and outside of HR play in embedding a data-driven culture?
  • How will a data driven culture enable you to make rapid decisions in the modern economic environment?
  • What are the critical skills that HR professionals need to thrive in a data-driven culture?
Session break
STREAM A: Lean HR - optimising your team, resources and processes
  • Increasing employee productivity through a positive working culture
  • Optimising your resources, introducing cost minimising measures and building resilience in your organisation
  • Adapting to current climates and markets by utilising available technologies and enabling streamlined HR processes
Tony Aitken, Organisation Development Manager, Synlait Milk
STREAM B: Leadership in times of crisis – How HR leads and supports the business through unstable and uncertain times
  • Responding to external challenges at pace and helping your people get ready to work outside of the norm 
  • The importance of communication- the effect two-way communication in times of stress can have on employee morale 
  • Supporting employees through restructuring and redundancies  


Sarah Millard, Chief People Officer, Zag Limited
Session break
STREAM A: Case Study: F&P Healthcare’s experience with remote learning
  • Learning design and technology to facilitate a new starter’s experience remotely
  • Practical ways to create layers of deep understanding using technology and accepted neuroscience findings
  • Taking learning out of the training room and eliminating geographical restrictions
Ian Martin, Digital Learning Manager, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
STREAM B: People-Centric leadership- focusing on powering people
  • Putting people at the centre of the strategy
  • Adopting an agile outlook on work and what it meant for organisation-wide learning
  • Building resilience among staff and ensuring rapid responses to an ever-changing market
Afternoon break
Promoting positive team behaviours and growing high performing teams
  • Developing agile high performing teams in a high change environment
  • Evaluating the link to team learning behaviours
  • Using a wellbeing survey to promote and measure psychological safety
Andy Hearn, Manager - Health & Wellbeing, People & Culture, ARA Institute of Canterbury
The future of the workforce isn’t uniformity- it's diversity and adaptability
  • Building adaptable and flexible workforces and business structures while in recovery from COVID-19
  • AQ, the key to innovation, transformation and a competitive advantage
  • Examining diverse experiences, learning capabilities and adaptable learning environments
  • Refocusing learning to avoid hitting mental blocks and filters
Angela Vale, CEO, Footprint
CLOSING KEYNOTE: New way of thinking - valuing the Human

The way we value people and technology is always changing and evolving. Here we will hear how considering the way we value, train and work with people to bring about a better future for your organisation. 

Jade Leung, General Manager People and Performance, Horizon Energy Group
Summary remarks from the Chair

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