What I learned at the Global Women Conference

November 18, 2009 at 10:25 am Leave a comment

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Inaugural Global Women Conference in Auckland. To be honest I wasn’t really too sure what to expect, with 160 women all in the same room for the whole day! However, I’d have to say the day was a flying success and will definitely attend again, if they’ll have me.

Speakers for the day included: Mai Chen, Theresa Gattung, Katrina Troughton, Jenny Morel, Bridget Liddell, Justine Munro, Mary Devine and Rt Hon Dame Jenny Shipley. A pretty stellar line up of presentators, that’s for sure.

What I liked most about the day, was that the speakers (many of them members of the Global Women Board) took the time to be around most of the day and made themselves very available to chat with. A refreshing change from the usual “fly in, fly out” approach of speakers at most conferences. As well as this, there was a hugely varied amount of topics (from China, to Australia, to Wine, to Wool!), breaks with amazing nibbles and different session styles, which were both fascinating and mind expanding.

There were many points and quotes which struck me over the day but I thought I would share my favourites:

Mai Chen said in her intro, an old quote, “If you do not change your direction, you will get where you are going”. Ponder that one.

Helen Anderson mentioned in her piece “Let’s not forget, we’re all on the same team here, Team NZ!”.

Katrina Troughton mentioned in her speech (in regards to IBM’s HR policies, although I think it has wider applications than just that):
– “If you want something to change, you have to work to change it
– If you can bring a community together, they gain strength
– Create the right environment and the results can be surprising”

Karen Fistonich’s from Villa Maria’s piece about Family Of Twelve – twelve NZ wineries (technically each others competition) who have joined forces. Working together, as opposed to in competition, has meant they are gaining greater market share for their NZ wines overseas, more promotional opportunities, cutting costs, gaining a support network and all round having a great time along the way!

Annah Stretton’s rules for success I particularly liked…
– Use 80/20 rule in business (originally from Michael Hill, which she likes to use) – spend 80% of your time doing 20% of the work, but the right 20% which will progress you forward
– D.I.E – Always act with Dignity, Integrity and Effeciency
– Trust yourself, trust your gut – we all should do it more (women especially)
– Hire the best people. Unless they tick 9 out of 10 boxes, don’t do it. It’s just short term gain for long term pain.
– Aim high with your choice of mentor. They can only say no, it’s not cancer!
– Pay it forward

From Mai Chen’s session on how to find your Niche…

– Learn the power of less. Do one thing. Do it well.
– Know what your strengths are. If you don’t know, ask others, they often have a lot more insight than you.
– Know what it is you don’t want to do.
– Hire people to do what you can’t do well.
– Working your butt off (in business) is a given, but make sure it’s doing the right thing.
– Leisure time is important. If you’re the star, the goose that will lay the golden egg (so to speak), don’t kill the goose!
– Don’t sit back and wait for opportunity to come to you. It doesn’t work that way.

Near the end of the day, before Rt Hon Dame Jenny Shipley’s fascinating talk about doing business in China, I was given the opportunity to speak to the audience about DonateNZ for a couple of minutes. See the video of what I talked about here:

Feedback on my presentation was great, so I’d like to thank the Global Women team for the opportunity to present to such a stellar audience. And for having such a great event. Look forward to the next one (aparantly early next year some time!

For more on the event in the NZ Herald here or find more information about the Global Women Network and conference here.

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