Event Recap: Building a World-Class Culture –The power of values

2 August, 2016

Culture and values are a hot topic in business at the moment. But how are the best New Zealand organisations building World-Class cultures and how are their values guiding them on this journey? What are they focussing on and what challenges are they facing? We invited, Sam Gadd (Humankind), Tom Trolove (Framingham Wines), Mandy Simpson (NZX) and David King (Ryman Healthcare) into Ocean to explore all this and more.


Our guests shared their insights into culture and the power of values over an hour panel discussion. The panel discussion focussed on the following questions:

  • When did culture become important for you and your organisation? (Has it always been or is it trendy and a bit of a buzzword at the moment?)
  • Tell us what your values are and how they guide your people on a daily basis?
  • Tell us a story about how your values have guided a critical business decision? 
  • What’s the biggest challenge facing your culture? (Is there anything you're looking to change about your culture and why?)
  • What rituals and habits have you created to reinforce your culture and values?

We will be posting video interviews with each of our panelists shortly. 

We will be posting video interviews with each of our panelists shortly. 

Key takeouts from the panel discussion:

  • Values are uncomfortable but contagious if you involve your people in the process
  • Being single minded about your culture is critical. David King talked about the one question they ask themselves to guide any decision they make internally and externally. "Is it good for our residents?" 
  • It’s important to put your values at the core of your recruitment and to hire with them in mind. Integrity is the NZX's core foundational value. They now ask all graduates a simple but illustrative question to explore this value: "Is it ever ok to lie?"
  • Your brand informs your culture and your culture guides your brand. Framingham ’s vision to create 'Wines that Rock the World' has informed the Framigham Brand, which originates from the DNA of the head wine maker Andrew Headley’s love of Punk Rock. 
  • Your values have to move beyond the booklets and the posters on the walls of your organisation
  • Begin thinking about culture the minute you start thinking about setting up a business because when you get up to go to work every day you should love where you’re going and what you do. The culture of an organisation drives this. Sam at Humankind attributes the success of her business to doing just this.  

At the end of the event we also launched The Values Deck. We developed The Values Deck to fill a need for a simple tool that helps leaders define their organisation's values. No matter how big or small your organisation, The Values Deck will guide you and your people through the process of defining your core values. These discussions can often be highly complex conversations. The interactive and kinesthetic process helps simplify the conversation about what truly matters to your organisation.  It’s being used by some of New Zealand’s leading organisations including NZ Rugby, Humankind and Trilogy International. 

Auckland event:

We held the Auckland edition of this event on the 18th August at Seafarers. Our panelists included: Theresa Gattung (My Food Bag), Greg Muir (Tru Test Group), Angela Buglass (Trilogy International) and Raymond Dobbe (World Moving). Keep an eye out here for the event recap.