TAKEONEDAY Conference – Auckland

I’m just back from the annual TakeON! conference “TAKEONEDAY” hosted by OnBrandPartners yesterday in Auckland, New Zealand.

Again it was a rich and impactful day with 150+ people in attendance. The theme was the power of ‘conversation for good’ and was a day of connection, collaboration and partnership.

Sessions included the sharing of a powerful case study of how the Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) is transforming the workplace through conversations. The highlight of the session was the importance of engaging participants and 1-up managers in a way that truly engages them in the learning process.

Other sessions included exploring better partnerships; empowering change in organisations; exploring new ways of working; digital leadership; mindful practice, Frontrunners (a term used in TakeON! to describe internal champions/facilitators of change) as Accelerators; and building innovative cultures.

Developing Today’s New Leaders

I presented a session on Developing Today’s New Leaders – which focused on looking at effective practices for developing the generation of new organisational leaders needed in the context of today’s world.

To set the scene, we watched the short video ‘Shift Happens’.

Four Questions Every Organisation Should Be Asking

Then we discussed the following questions:

  1. What do the shifts highlighted (in the video) mean for leaders in organisations?
  2.  What needs to shift about leadership?
  3. What is a ‘New Leader’?
  4. What are best practices in developing leaders?

We had some great conversations reflecting on these questions.

The Five Big Shifts

Based on my own experience and a review of the latest literature and trends, I introduced what I think will be the five big shifts in leadership and how we develop leaders. In summary they were:


  1. Hero (leader) to host (able to create real and meaningful dialogue around what matters)*
  2. Character is important now but will be even more important in the future as organisations and leaders will need to build higher levels of trust and lead with character.
  3. Developing people is a leader’s number one priority.

Developing Leaders

  1. Fit for purpose/fit for life (make development fit organisational needs and strategy AND develop enduring qualities and traits).
  2. High impact and integrated (development that is short, focused, embedded).

The Next Generation of Workers

In an insightful piece, Gary Hamel has previously described what Gen ‘F’ (Facebook) means for organisations. He believes that this generation will expect the social context at work to reflect the context found on the web, including:

  • All ideas compete on an equal footing.
  • Contribution counts more than credentials.
  • Hierarchies are natural, not prescribed.
  • Power comes from sharing information, not hoarding it.
  • Users can veto policy decisions.
  • Tasks are chosen, not assigned.
  • Groups are self-defining and organising.
  • Resources get attracted, not allocated.
  • Intrinsic rewards matter most.


Where to Now? Seven Layers of Leadership Development

To provide a framework to think about moving from ‘insight to action’, we looked at seven possible layers of leadership development adapted from the work of Galvin and O’donnell. The seven layers were: Behaviour; Practices; Skills; Self; Framing; Character and Alignment.

We then finished with actions to take the leanings back to their respective organisations.

As always, I would love to hear what you think about these ideas and what your own experience is.

All in all, another great conference and can’t wait for 2016. This is a conference you should’t miss again. You can find out more about TakeON! here.

Phillip Ralph is the managing director of The Leadership Sphere and is an author, speaker, mentor, facilitator and coach. He can be contacted on 1300 100 857.


* Unsure who coined this phrase so not able to make suitable attribution.

TAKEONEDAY Conference – Auckland