ACE will deliver four new Future-Fit Forums during 2021. Our Chief Executive, Paul Evans, looks at how the forums will help improve business performance and what individuals can expect from the events.
What inspired the development of the forums?
The forums have been developed in response to one of the three priority areas in the ACE New Zealand Strategy (influence, connections and future-fit).
The third priority, future-fit, recognises how our world is changing with respect to new technology, globalisation, environmental pressures and evolving human behaviour. All these factors can disrupt the consulting and engineering sector, and the ACE board knows our members need tools to embrace the rapidly changing business environment.
As part of ensuring the sector is future-fit, we must support our industry leaders' development and help them explore new ideas that will lead to improved business performance.
How will the forums be structured?
The forums have been designed to appeal to managing directors and owners of small to medium businesses and mid-level staff from larger firms.
We aim to bring together a cohort of people from within the sector and provide opportunities to network and build relationships with people facing similar challenges in their businesses. We have lined up a wide variety of topical keynote speakers who will challenge thinking in particular areas.
The forums will also include a workshop where participants can join with others from various businesses or market sectors to tackle challenges. This will allow attendees to challenge their thinking, explore how they approach issues and encourage growth through collective learning and development.
How many forums are planned each year?
We are planning four events this year - two in Auckland, one in Wellington and Christchurch.
In recognition that our membership is spread throughout the country, and not everyone can get to a main centre, we will also live stream the keynote address from each of the events.
What will follow the keynote address?
The second part of the forum is the networking component. Those in the room will have an opportunity to begin building a network of people who undertake similar roles in other organisations.
It provides them with a chance to learn from other people's experiences, while an introduction to a person from another company may pay dividends when you require advice on a specific issue in the future or if you're looking to team up on a piece of work.
The third part of the forum is a workshop for those in the room based on the topic introduced by the keynote speaker. The speaker will work through tangible, real-world issues that relate to your business. This will give you some ideas, tools, and knowledge to take back to your company which can be used from day one.
Who is the keynote speaker at the inaugural event in Wellington?
Our keynote speaker at the first forum in Wellington is Dr Paul Wood. His life story can be summed up nicely in the phrase "from delinquent to doctor." At the age of 18, he expected to join the army. However, things took a turn for the worse when he got into a peer group involved in drugs and then his mother passed away. Two days after his mother's death, he had a fateful meeting with a drug dealer, which ended in the dealer's death.
Paul was sentenced to ten years in prison, and this prompted a complete re-evaluation of his life. When he started the prison sentence as a high school dropout, he believed he was too dumb to succeed in life. As time went on, he developed a completely new attitude to life. By the time of his release, he had attained an Undergraduate degree in Psychology and Philosophy, a Masters degree in Psychology and was two years into his PhD in Psychology. By 2011 he had completed the PhD and became an internationally sought-after keynote speaker known for his energy, humour, and impact.
What will Paul bring to the Wellington forum?
He will give participants an insight into how positivity changes the way you see yourself, how you rate your capabilities and how you view the world in which you work. Participants will leave with a clear idea of small actionable steps that will help begin the journey to unleashing their potential and greater well-being. Paul has a great way of ensuring the audience is engaged and inspired so that everyone will leave energised and motivated to take action.
Why did you choose Paul for this inaugural workshop?
He covers a broad range of topics, but for our members, one of his most important messages is how to turn adversity to your advantage. COVID-19 continues to impact our businesses and staff, while the challenge presented by constant change causes businesses to agonise over how they can adapt to the new order.
Paul will talk about how businesses and staff can embrace a world full of uncertainties and take positive steps to adjust. He will also develop the theme of proactively building and maintaining your emotional fitness in terms of mental toughness and creating a level of resilience required to remain effective.
We believe emotional fitness is essential for our members to develop successful businesses and build effective teams. The inaugural Future-Fit Forum will give members an insight into how they can lean into the future, positively address change, maintain emotional resilience and agility, and ensure that cascades into their broader team.