Leadership at all levels | Hill Laboratories - NZ


Leadership at all levels

Date: 5 Oct 2022
Author: Hill Laboratories

People Leader's Conference 2022

If you’ve listened to All Blacks coaches over the years, you’ll hear them talk about the need for leaders throughout the team. While captains may take the spotlight, fostering leadership qualities across the group is what leads to long-term success.

At Hill Labs we understand this, and how it translates to a requirement for capable leaders in all areas of our business.

So, in order to grow and develop our strong leaders we held a People Leaders Conference last month.  



Converging on Hamilton

Developing leaders at all levels meant bringing our people together from the six Hill Laboratories locations spread around the country. This was held in Hamilton, and we had a captivating keynote speaker, David Galbraith to speak on leadership.

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David is a former clinical psychologist and Olympic performance psychologist. He has worked with athletes of the quality of Lisa Carrington and is the author of the book Unleashing Greatness. Who better to inspire our people?

The reason we invited David Galbraith to join us was to bridge an important mental gap: the distance between Inspired Hope and Concrete Reality. As a former psychologist and performance coach, David understands that gap – our potential for greatness, and the psychological roadblocks that often keep us from reaching it.

Fear is perhaps the biggest obstacle. So David got us all to sing, not to relax us but to uncover our levels of inhibition and to highlight the internal handbrakes that keep us from trying things. 

It was a brilliant session. Not only did we gain mental tools for releasing the brakes, David showed us it was possible (and healthy) to become phenomenal weirdos!

A vision to follow 

CEO Jonno Hill set the tone by presenting Hill Labs’ ‘reason for being.’ It was a recasting of the company’s mission and strategy, which include setting the benchmark for customer experience, constantly improving operational efficiency, being the industry leaders for technical capability and delivery, and to be recognised as the most ethical business in our industry. 

This recasting created the lens for understanding the role our leaders could play in realising these themes. We saw a picture of the future and our leaders were invited to play their part in achieving it.

Understanding our leadership role was then fleshed out in our new Leadership Behaviours Competency Framework. These behaviours are the all-important ‘soft skills’, the non-technical abilities that describe how we work and interact with others. 

There was a lot to be unpacked in these 12 competencies, so we divided leaders into groups so they could workshop each skill. The exchange of ideas was exceptional; a great way to get buy-in and bring the framework to life.

Speaking of life…

We want all of our people to be healthy and satisfied, and that work-life balance starts with leadership. At the conference, we examined the results of the recent Hill Labs wellbeing survey and identified areas we needed to improve. 

Wellbeing surveys are good, but they’re only as useful as the actions that ensue. As a leadership group, we committed to launching a series of initiatives to satisfy the needs that our people have raised. 

Team building, but with a difference

We’ve all done the standard team-building exercises, so we ‘levelled up’ and included a tangible, feel-good outcome as part of ours (on top of fostering team unity, of course!). Clued Up ran the Big Little Bike Bonanza, which involved putting participants into teams, who then competed for points and bike parts via a series of challenges. 

Once enough bike parts had been gained, teams then raced to build their bike. The assembled bikes were put to the test in a race across the picnic lawn at Hamilton Lake, which inspired some heated competition! The five bikes were then donated to foster children through Kids in Need Waikato, ensuring others could benefit from our afternoon of fun.

It was an inspired team-building event and the perfect way to finish a galvanising day.

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