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Wellington: August 2015

Our presenters

Simon Sinek

Start with WHY

Fascinated by the leaders and companies that make the greatest impact in their organizations and in the

world, Simon has discovered some remarkable patterns about how they think, act and communicate and the environments in which people operate at their natural best. He has devoted his life to sharing his thinking in order to help other leaders and organizations inspire action.

Simon is best known for popularizing the concept of Why and for the talk he gave on the subject that became the second most watched talk of all time on TED.com. He is also the best selling author of Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last.

At the HR Game Changer in both Melbourne and Wellington he talked about what he sees as the biggest changes that need to happen to make our companies human, and how HR can be part of that.

Rock Star CEO Panel

The Rock Star CEO concept was inspired by Rod Drury, Xero and Melissa Clark-Reynolds at the first HRGC Conference. Rock Star CEO’s really understand that results come from the culture they build, the way they lead and getting the HR right. They are the CEO’s that people want to work with, and who create success and inspire others. In each city the panel will discuss what they think is needed to lead into the future. Our Wellington panel included:

HR Game Changer Award Finalists

We then heard presentations from our HR Game Changer Award finalists. These are business projects or people who are trying out new ways to develop and grow their businesses and people - and achieving fantastic results. To check out the winners and finalists as well as other companies changing the game - make sure you visit the HRGC Hall of Fame.

International HR panel discussion

HR game changing is a global movement. Our international HR panel of HR innovators and disrupters joined us via videolink and discussed what’s happening in their part of the world in transforming HR!

Gold Sponsors

We’d like to thank our fabulous sponsors for supporting the HR Game Changer.

If you haven’t checked out what they do, please visit their website above.

Read Atlassian's blog Read the Brandon Hall blog Read Perry's blog Read Derek's blog Check out the B Team Check out Start with Why

Platinum Sponsor

Dave Wild


Dave Wild is Smith & Wild’s Futurist and Managing Director. He has spent more than 15 years working as a strategist and innovator for design, marketing and innovation consultancies. He has led workshops in New Zealand, Australia and the US.

Dave’s experience covers a broad range of expertise including strategic planning, facilitation, branding, marketing, research, digital strategy and innovation development.

He has worked with a wide range of small, medium and large businesses including Air New Zealand, BNZ, MediaWorks, The Warehouse and Toyota.

At the HR Game Changer in Wellington Dave ran a highly interacive session on creating the WHY of HR which resulted in 6 new ideas being created to show our business how to really believe in their people.

Sharing the learning:

The Twitter storm - have a read of the hundreds of tweets shared!

Justine Troy

Founder of 42 Below

42 Below vodka was brewed by Wellington power couple Justine and her husband Geoff in their garage and everything about this vodka was audacious. From the very notion of making high-end vodka down under to its shock-and-awe advertising campaigns and the fact that it would go on to beat the world's great brands in international vodka competitions. But the most remarkable thing about 42 Below was the way it stole the world's bartenders' hearts and eventually attracted the attention of liquor giant Bacardi, who paid millions to buy the brand.

Justine’s book Every Bastard Says No tells the rollicking tale of how Justine, Geoff and their business partners and loyal staff risked all and worked their butts off to do what New Zealanders so often dream of doing but so rarely manage: build a brand that makes the world sit up and take notice.  Justine is a graduate of the London School of Journalism, and has written and researched documentaries for TVNZ's Tuesday Documentary and TV3 Inside New Zealand including the award winning Destination Disaster – The Sinking of the Mikhail Lermontov.

These days Justine is a prolific writer, a brand ambassador for 'eco-luxe' home fragrance, body and bath company Ecoya and is involved on the Play it Strange Charity Trust Board. She challenged our audience with ways to think differently and deal with issues!

The Crazy Gang

Read one of the blogs from the conference!

Derek Handley

Astronaut in Waiting!

In 2001 Derek co-founded, The Hyperfactory, one of the first agencies in the world to recognise the power of mobile devices for connecting consumers, brands and mass media. It is the most awarded mobile agency globally and was one of Entrepreneur Magazines Top 100 Brightest Ideas of 2010 and Brandweek’s 10 Biggest Ideas of 2008.

Derek has been named most influential technology people in New York and was also NZ Herald Business Leader of the Year and Ernst & Young ‘Young Entrepreneur’ of the Year in my home country of New Zealand and the co-founder and Chairman of mobile advertising network, Snakk Media, which listed on the NZX in 2013, becoming one of the first publically listed B-Corporations in the world.

In December 2011, he donated 2 years of his life to help Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group, and many other amazing inspiring global leaders to help create the leadership collective The B Team to help drive a brighter future of business for the wellbeing of people and the planet. He is the Adjunct Executive Professor for AUT University, has written, ‘Heart to Start’, about his own wandering entrepreneurial journey and has also signed up to go to space with Virgin Galactic as an aspiring astronaut – if all goes to plan, he’ll get to rocket off sometime in 2015.

At the HRGC Wellington Derek talked about ways to build innovation and corporate social responsibility into business.

Read the HRGC Blog

Read what they discussed in this article....

Visit the Hall of Fame for more about our finalists

HR Tools of the Future

In the last section of the conference, we explored Design Thinking and Agile - two tools which don’t belong in the HR world…. but should! Not only did our presenters talk about how these tools worked, but also gave everyone a chance to experience them at work. We heard from:

HR Game Changer showcase

Our next speakers shared products and services that can be used to reinvent and transform HR!We heard from Dale Clareburt from Weirdly about how to recruit on values, Ben Hayman from Assurity about how to use culture to overcome processes that stop innovation, Reg Price on how to change engagement surveys into shared conversations using long data and John Austin from Talegent on using simulations and looking at the real competencies that make someone successful in a role (and we got to see Richie McCaw’s profile!).

Read about Design Thinking and Agile