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16 Jun 2020

4 questions to define 2020 (Part 2)

4 experts paint the picture

The impressive line-up of speakers joining us at the HR + L&D Virtual Innovation & Tech Fest, gets stronger by the week. In the lead up to the big (FREE!) event taking place 7-8 July 2020, we’re tapping into the minds of these exciting thinkers with 4 questions about reinvention, the workplace, life philosophies and summing up 2020 in song.

How would you answer them?

Do you have a philosophy or guiding principle that you apply to life/work?

Heather McGowan: We are coming out of the era in which we learned once in order to work (learn to work) to an era in which we will work in order to learn continuously (work to learn).

Damian Hughes: Be kind – to yourself and others, have a laugh, try and make a positive difference.

Joanne Lockwood: People are people – always start with a smile, then engage and open up a conversation to educate. Go into the world and treat people as they want to be treated.

Jordan Pettman: Try everything twice – what if you got it wrong the first time?



If you could rule the world for a day, what's one thing you would change about the workplace?

Heather McGowan: I would stop the focus on measuring time spent or hours logged and focus more on impact especially towards company and community culture and value created for customers.

Damian Hughes: Stop long, boring and unnecessary meetings; “Meetings are where minutes are taken and hours are wasted.” - Douglas Adams

Joanne Lockwood: I would love leaders to be willing show more vulnerability and value empathy as a core skill in business today.

Jordan Pettman: I would minimise the multitudes of ways we have to communicate with each other. What is TikTok anyway?


This is just a taster! Register now to attend the free, virtual event where you will hear talks by these world renowned experts on exciting new approaches to the future of work; unlocking the DNA of a winning culture; inclusion in the workplace; winning friends and influencing people – and more!

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Describe 2020 so far using a movie or song title.

Heather McGowan: It is the End of the World as We Know It

Damian Hughes: All Things Must Pass by George Harrison

Joanne Lockwood: The Show Must Go On by Queen

Jordan Pettwood: It’s exposing me as a bit of a Disney nerd, but I Can Go the Distance from Hercules



An example of reinvention that I love is:

Heather McGowan: Victorinox has made swiss army knives since 1880. After 9/11 they lost 40% of their business because people could no longer fly with knives. They did not lay anyone off and instead they took the same philosophy of the utility of the pocketknife and applied it to watches, bags, and travel gear. Knives now only represent 55%. It is a story of a black swan event and successful adaptation through strong culture and leadership.

Damian Hughes: Mobile phones merging from devices to make a call to super computers in your pocket - I think the ability to make a call is the least-used app on my phone.

Joanne Lockwood: Vinyl – who would have thought it, 40 years later it's niche and trendy again. Anything is possible for people of any age!

Jordan Pettwood: Sticking to the Disney theme – the reinvention of those old school movies I grew up with. Some of them are so problematic when viewed with contemporary eyes. I think what Disney is currently doing to create better gender role models, fewer racial inconsistencies and less heteronormative plot lines is great!


Join the celebration of leadership and tech for FREE by registering for the HR + L&D VIRTUAL Innovation & Tech Fest, 7-8 July 2020.

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BONUS: Ahead of her keynote presentation, find out what Heather McGowan has to say about human potential and how it is a clear indicator that we are destined for new and improved versions of the world. Read more.


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