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Workshop 3

Leadership and Top Performance in the New Environment

7.30am - 9.30am, Wednesday 29 September 2010, Stamford Plaza, Auckland

The recession may be over, but it’s left its impact on how we go about building and leading a great team. Many aspects of the economy and business environment are different post-GFC.

Hear from three outstanding chief executives: How to build and lead a high performance team in the new environment. How to engage and train talent. The role of values and how they have changed.

  • Team Building - selecting, training and motivating talent whilst addressing different generations, backgrounds, attitudes and aspirations.
  • Culture - how it is developed, who contributes to that development, how does it become a shared culture, can the culture change if business conditions change?
  • Performance - setting and communicating standards and expectations; monitoring performance, the pitfalls in a high performance culture.
  • Employees - remuneration and incentives, retaining key staff, responding to employee aspirations for recognition, development, working for an ethical organisation, life friendly workplaces; sharing a passion for the business.
  • Goals - should more account be taken of external factors and stakeholder expectations such as ethical investment, green and sustainability issues, community needs?


Roger Bell
Vero Insurance, New Zealand

Vero Chief Executive Roger Bell is responsible for the strategy and operational delivery of general insurance operations in New Zealand including the strong Vero intermediary business and a number of successful niche specialists. Roger has held many roles, both in Australia and New Zealand, during his 37 year tenure with the Royal & SunAlliance Group. After representing New Zealand on the Promina Executive Board, Roger was appointed to the Suncorp Group Executive following the banking and insurance group's acquisition of the Promina Group in 2007. He now represents New Zealand on the equivalent Senior Executive Committee for Suncorp Board.

Under Roger’s leadership Vero New Zealand was awarded the coveted Gold - World Class award from the NZ Business Excellence Foundation using the internationally respected Baldridge Criteria. Roger is Chairman of the Board of the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation. He is Past President and also sits on the Board of the Insurance Council of NZ and is a Board Member of the NZ Business Roundtable. He was the inaugural winner of the Insurance Professional of the Year award in the General Insurance Awards in 2009. He is a Fellow of the Australia and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance. He has a strong passion for politics and cooking, the latter of which he has made time to master in recent years.

Brian Blake
DB Breweries

Brian Blake has been the Chief Executive of DB Breweries since 1993, the last 12 years as Managing Director. Under his leadership DB has seen a significant turnaround through excellent brand marketing (Heineken and Tui in particular) and organisational culture change, with significant EBIT growth and profitable market share gains. 

A BCA graduate from Victoria University of Wellington, Brian is a qualified accountant, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and has attended the Strategic Marketing course at Harvard Business School.

Brian is Chairman of Excelerator - New Zealand Leadership Institute at the University of Auckland Business School. Excelerator is a charitable trust established by the University of Auckland’s Business School in partnership with organisations committed to building leadership in all walks of New Zealand life. In addition to its Leadership Development programmes, Excelerator has a strong focus on leadership research. 

Brian is also Chairman of the Brewers’ Association of Australia and New Zealand which includes all major breweries. Brian’s interests include all sports and current affairs. He played senior rugby in Wellington and coached at Under 21 and Colts levels.

Mike Pollok
Ricoh New Zealand

In his 15 years as managing director of Ricoh New Zealand, Mike has steered the company from sales of stand-alone black and white printing devices, into the full colour, fully connected world of today’s technology industry. Ricoh is now a global leader in document solutions for business. 

Mike is a firm believer that long term business sustainability requires looking after profit, people and our environment. These principles have seen Ricoh New Zealand continue to grow and remain profitable, even through the recent economic turmoil.

Businesses have increased their focus on improving efficiency and, thanks to Mike’s leadership; Ricoh has played a key part in enabling companies to achieve their goals in this area.

Mike advises managers to empower their people, giving them opportunities to challenge the way things are done, and to recognise and reward them accordingly for innovation and when they achieve efficiencies that benefit the organisation and its customers. 

Outside of Ricoh, Mike is a trustee of START (Stuttering Treatment and Research Trust) and is a keen cyclist, having ridden the length of the South Island in February 2010 in the “Ride for Heart” raising money for heart research.