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Day One – Wednesday 14 September


F14 Corporate Values

Paul Stewart    

On–Brand Off–Brand – Unleashing the Potential of HR

Paul Stewart, Branded Customer Service – Asia Pacific

HR Professionals have the power to make or break successful branded service initiatives. This session will explore the powerful role HR has to play in Business Strategy and Branding. The focus of this session will be discussing new business thinking regarding the role of HR professionals play in building a brand and business strategy: creating unique competitive advantage and building trust of both customers and staff.

Participants will be actively involved throughout the session with encouragement to share information regarding their own organisations.

Don't be mistaken. Branding is much more than marketing construct. Howard Putnam, former CEO of Southwest Airlines (consistently one of the most successful service based companies in the world), says "a brand is the fabric of the organisation woven together purposefully over time". It starts from within and moves out.

The aim of this session is to introduce participants to a new paradigm in thinking regarding the roles of Marketing and HR in play and provides them with tools and ideas to play a more strategic role within their organisations.

HR departments are undergoing a profound change as organisations around the world have begun to position their capital expertise as one of the strategic elements that comprise business success. Employees must work within, and feel engaged by, the system that aligns them to the strategic positioning of the business. Enter the power of branding.

A brand is more than a name, a logo and a marketing campaign. A brand is a unique identity and a reputation that needs to be reflected everywhere in an organisation, especially in the service staff deliver. It's about building customer (and employee) "trust" by aligning experiences with expectations.

When branding is seen as a quality process to ensure all customer experiences are aligned to the expectations created by brand promises and brand images, it provides a road–map to build a brand from the inside–out and transform an organisation.

Branding is an integral part of business strategy. However brand strength only arises when "who we are and what we stand for" is consistently matched by "what we do and what we deliver".

An HR department can take many steps to redesign itself to match the organisational brand. When a company is branded from the inside out, managers will have a context by which to filter their policies, practices, and behaviours towards their staff. It has implications for: recruitment, induction, reward and recognition, people and performance management, and many core HR–based policies.

HR has the potential to play a make–or–break role in successful branded service initiatives. If not carefully and constantly assessed and nurtured, these efforts can wind up as veneers with no lasting impact.

Drawing on the concepts and examples from a recently published and internationally acclaimed book, branded customer service – The New Competitive Edge, and using the experience in the room, Paul will workshop key issues regarding the role that HR professionals have to play in ensuring their organisations deliver what they promise though their people, and discuss why HR departments have the potential to make–or–break successful branded service initiatives.

This is a way for HR to "join the dots" across their organisations and realize their strategic capability by working with other key functional areas of the organisation.

What others say:

"The intriguing message for HR managers is mind–blowing: You are in charge of the brand, because marketing is in reality a people business. Paul's new thinking helps us to understand what strategic role HR could play, if brave enough to enter the journey!" – Christian Dahmen, HR Consultant

"This is a fantastic contribution to a tough business issue, and for those who embrace it, I know it will create that sustainable competitive advantage. Branded Customer Service provides a roadmap to genuinely transform the customer experience that is accessible to all people within organizations – the concepts, language, and examples make sense whether you are a CEO or someone interacting with the customer moment by moment. It makes brand relevant. This has to be a great thing for motivation, retention of both staff and customers, and hence the bottom line of the business." – Sonia Stojanovic, former Head of Cultural Transformation, ANZ Banking Group

Paul Stewart is Chief Executive, Branded Customer Service – Asia Pacific and Director, TMI New Zealand.

After being awarded a 1st Class Honours Degree in Economics and psychology from Otago University in 1989, Paul joined the ANZ Bank and held various economic analysis roles in both New Zealand and London. In June 1996, at age 29 he was appointed as Chief Economist for the ANZ in New Zealand and from 1997 and until 1998, Paul was widely regarded as a leading economic commentator and advisor.

Between 1999 and mid–2002 Paul held strategic executive roles with Baycorp Advantage including: – Director Organisational Effectiveness and Communications and, General Manager Group Strategy. He led the transformation of the Baycorp's brand position from a domestic credit services company, to a leading provider of business intelligence and credit services within Asia–Pacific, and led the rebranding and cultural integration of initiatives for the Baycorp – Data Advantage merger.

In 2002, he joined TMI as a full–time Director and consultant and now works with a range of organisations on strategic initiatives around cultural transformation, leadership, internal brand development, service delivery, emotional intelligence, and employee communications. He coaches and mentors emerging executives.

In 2004, Paul and Janelle Barlow, a leading US consultant and author, co–authored a highly acclaimed business book entitled 'branded customer service' – the new competitive edge (Berrett–Koehler, San Francisco). Branded Customer Service has been released in 12 countries and is currently being translated into 4 languages.

As a member of the National Speakers Association of New Zealand, he is a widely sought after speaker on topics around business strategy, organisational effectiveness, culture and branding.

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Corporate Values



Grunt Factor:





Presentation 30%; Q&A 15%; group work 35%; reporting 20%



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