HRINZ Conference 2005 Working Through Values Working Through Values  

Keynote Speakers
Concurrent Workshops
Conference Moderators
General Information
Added Value
HR Expo 2005
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Conference Summary

2005 Conference post script from HRINZ National President Geoff Summers

The 2005 conference was a resounding success, once again. A significant highlight was the opening keynote speech from Dave Ulrich, Professor of Business Administration at the University of Michigan. Dave is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost researchers and writers on human resource management. His address was via video link from the United States which is always a concern, but the technology operated very effectively. His address was on “Human Resources, the Value Proposition” – also the subject of his latest book. If anyone attending needed inspiration about the future of HR as a profession, Dave provided it.

The Secretary of Labour, Dr James Buwalda, also spoke at the conference on how HR in this country could contribute more to economic and business success. James used a series of graphic examples to demonstrate the problems facing New Zealand, despite the current buoyant climate, including our high employment and skill shortages. Anyone hoping for a sign that things might improve in the near future would have been very disappointed. There is certainly an exciting time ahead for HR practitioners.

Kevin Wheeler of Global Learning Resources USA was back for 2005 and as with previous visits to New Zealand his topic, “Corporate Ethics: Oxymoron?”, was as thought provoking as ever. The conference’s theme of Working through values gave Kevin an ideal opportunity to delve deep into the corporate ethics question that has come to the fore so vividly over the past few years. Geoff Armstrong, Director General of the Chartered Institute of Personal Development in the UK, kept the audience spellbound with an address that tracked the difference in organisational make-up and operation from large organisations that utilised economies of scale as the driver to competitive advantage in the twentieth century, versus the highly flexible and responsive organisations of today and the future. Mark Hornung from the USA provided an excellent breakdown of what employer branding actually is and how it assists to provide value to companies. The power of effective branding can never be underestimated.

Conference 2005 closed with an address by Robert Orth, HR Manager for IBM Australia and New Zealand. Robert took us through a case study of how a large firm can utilise the views and input of its people to develop values that resonate throughout an organisation.

Delegates who caught only the keynote speakers were provided with plenty of food for thought regarding their personal development within the HR profession. However, this year we also provided 16 workshops at the fringe event the day before the conference started, 11 conference sessions and three master-classes, where working through values was considered from every angle. A breakfast session also introduced delegates to the “value of failure”. There was also a very well attended and presented Expo, where many of the organisations that are the providers to our profession presented their latest and greatest. All in all it was a tremendous amount to take in fully and I for one will be assimilating much of the learning that occurred there over many months to come.

Of course, Conference 2005 was not all hard thinking.

HRINZ has a reputation for ensuring that its international guests and delegates from throughout the country have plenty of fun, and this year was no different. It started with the “Big Day Out” at the beautiful Pencarrow Lodge.

The Big Day Out gave us the opportunity to welcome our overseas speakers and to thank our sponsors for their generous support. Later that day, the conference welcome reception at the Malthouse allowed everyone to meet and mingle before some last ditch pre-election speeches from “Helen Clark!” and “Winston Peters”. Of course, as is always the case, the conference dinner on the Thursday evening was the entertainment highlight (as some of these pictures attest!). The Te Papa concourse, being a museum, has seen some fairly unusual creatures, but none quite as bizarre as the HR species attired in bad taste!

So we all had a lot of fun, we all learnt a lot and we all saw plenty of interesting things at the expo. Of course, this was very much due to the generous contribution of our 2005 conference sponsors. We always owe them a debt of gratitude because we could not put on such a fabulous event without them. So, thanks to IBM, Allied Pickfords, Southern Cross Healthcare, CCH New Zealand, Adcorp, Mercer Human Resource Consulting and expo sponsors Haines and Strategic Pay.

I look forward to seeing you back in 2006.

Geoff Summers AFHRINZ
National President





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