General Managers Forum

Gain insights from trailblazing practitioners to enhance your leadership acumen

  • October 16th - 18th, 2019
  • Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney


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- Practical strategies to drive positive culture change and boost performance
- Skills to mitigate risk without compromising on agility and innovation
- Frameworks to engage stakeholders in your strategic vision, and deliver from inception to implementation
- Tools to guide your teams through change and transformation


Claire Devlin

Claire Devlin is a senior Human Resources, Organisational Development and Learning executive with experience in large, complex global organisations including: Telstra, Cisco Systems, Sydney Olympic/ Paralympic Organising Committee and Optus SingTel. Claire has broad experience in creating and executing integrated people strategies. Depth of expertise and passion lie in Leadership, Talent, Culture, Learning and Development. She develops strategies in these domains that are simple, cohesive, integrated and evidence based with clear outcomes and impacts she demonstrates a balance of passion, energy and pragmatism, and is able to drive transformational change that contributes to growth.

General Manager Capability & Leadership Development

  • Tina Morrell
    General Manager, Customer Strategy & Experience Design
  • Clare Hudson
    General Manager People, Standards and Capability, Downer Resourcing Alliance Lead
  • Luke Sullivan
    Principal All of Game Risk
    National Rugby League
  • Lisa Apthorpe
    Director of People & Culture
    McDonald's Australia


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Leading leaders
A new & engaging narrative for risk management
Real relationships for business success
Egalitarian approaches to employee engagement
Sustainable community engagement
The future of work
Cultures in context
One small paperclip - limitless big ideas
Deep dive - strategy & stakeholder engagement
Deep-dive - culture & performance
Innovation ambition
Deep dive - change management
Deep dive - business risk & agility
General Managers Forum

16 Oct - 18 Oct

Case Study

McDonald's Australia are renowned for their exceptional people and culture initiatives. Their award-winning leader-development programs have been replicated globally, establishing McDonald's Australia as an industry leader in HR. Lisa shares her insights into leadership development and investment in our opening keynote.

- Identify skills shortages and plan to remedy

- Support your star performers to progress from technical experts to people leaders

- Implement effective feedback loops for continued excellence

  • Lisa Apthorpe Director of People & Culture McDonald's Australia

Case Study

A successful risk management strategy requires imagination and an understanding of the essential purpose of the organisation in which you operate. Learn from risk-branding guru Luke Sullivan to invigorate your organisational risk culture and executive risk mindfulness.

- Understand the risk profile of your business and focus on high severity/low frequency risk

- Develop a credible risk management system and brand it carefully

- Be a constructive sceptic and challenge your executive team  

  • Luke Sullivan Principal All of Game Risk National Rugby League


Relationships are at the heart of all successful enterprises, from the germination of a start-up between two entrepreneurs, to the continuing engagement and management of complex networks of stakeholders in multi-billion dollar corporations. The key is sincere connection, and sincerity is the hardest thing to fake.

- Understand the value of interpersonal connection in business development

- Design engagement strategies to appeal directly to your stakeholders

- Hone your rapport-building skills to foster powerful internal and external stakeholder relationships

  • Tina Morrell General Manager, Customer Strategy & Experience Design NRMA

  • Gillian Wood Director, Information Management & Technology Services Department of Customer Service, NSW

  • Lissa Twomey Executive Director, Major Performing Arts & National Engagement Australia Council for the Arts

  • Lisa Middlebrook Founder & Director Grovebrook Advisors

Case Study

For the last five years DHL has been recognised as an Employer of Choice in the Australian Business Awards, and in 2018 placed 8th on the Great Place to Work. Linda shares DHL’s culture-change journey, and reflects on the vital role played by leaders in fostering an egalitarian workplace. 

- Understand inclusive leadership in practice

- Upskill your teams with accessible professional development programs

- Celebrate employee success to boost engagement

  • Linda Clinch Vice President, Human Resources, Oceania DHL Australia

Case Study

Through their award-winning community open days, scholarship programs, and university partnerships, Acciona Energy has pioneered a robust stakeholder engagement strategy, forging long-lasting and co-operative relationships for the benefit of community and company alike. Emma Reiners shares Acciona's great stakeholder engagement success stories. 

- Identify stakeholder needs

- Plan a multi-faceted engagement strategy

- Foster future allies

  • Emma Reiners General Manager, Brand & Marketing Acciona Energy

Case Study

Work is changing. The aptitudes, attitudes, and acumen your teams need today will be distant memories tomorrow. To prepare yourself, your team, and your organisation for the disruptions just around the corner, we need a holistic innovation revolution. Lucy shares her exciting vision for the future of work, and how she is embedding innovation culture throughout the whole organisation at BPAY.

- Understand the value of innovation beyond the product

- Foster creative thinking in your people

- Liberate innovation from risk mitigation

  • Lucy Lithgow General Manager Human Resources BPAY


Cultures are ever-evolving phenomena. To foster positive and productive workplace cultures, we must first understand and embrace their nebulous nature. Learn from Australia's top HR leaders as they share their insights into workplace culture in an ever-changing environment.

- Understand the nature of cultures, how they're formed and sustained

- Analyse the relationship between the broader socio-cultural context, and workplace culture

- Manage, engage, and motivate diverse workforces

  • Claire Devlin General Manager Capability & Leadership Development Telstra

  • Katy McDonald General Manager, People & Workforce NSW Treasury Corporation

  • Jeremy Ing Former Director, Employee Success Salesforce


You've heard the exemplar case-studies for senior management success. You're ready to amp-up your own skill-set. Prepare for the deep-dives in this pre-dive interactive round table.

- Share your key takeaways from the case-studies and panel sessions so far

- Hear your fellow delegates' unique insights

- Set your personal professional development goal for the next two days

  • Michelle Farrar-Eagles Founder & Director Creating Conscious Leaders


Anyone can innovate. That's Angela's motto. Anyone can innovate, and everyone must. As Helen Keller put it, "ideas without action are worthless." Make your ideas count with a growth mindset. This interactive keynote will get you ready to leap into two days of deep-dives with a hunger to learn, grow, and thrive.

- Learn about growth mindsets, and how you can achieve one

- Warm up your brain with interactive exercises 

- Expand your vision - the sky's the limit!

  • Angela Bee Chan Head of Innovation & Growth Schneider Electric


Stakeholder engagement is a crucial element of all strategy. You cannot hope for successful implementation without their buy-in. In this deep-dive session, David Ross will give you practical approaches to planning for meaningful engagement and successful delivery.

- Design flexible strategies to weather perennial change

- Understand your internal stakeholders and their vital role in strategy development and delivery

- Engage external stakeholders from inception to delivery

- Take strategy from theory to practice with proven implementation methodologies

  • David Ross Director Phoenix Strategic Management


Great leaders understand that great culture engenders high performing teams. But cultures aren't clean-slates, and sometimes we need to drive culture change to empower our teams to do their best work.

- Understand the interdependent relationship between performance and culture

- Analyse the dominant and sub-cultures of your organisation, and disrupt toxic sub-cultures

- Drive culture change through leadership development

- Measure the success of your culture-change strategy with meaningful KPIs

  • Clare Hudson General Manager People, Standards and Capability, Downer Resourcing Alliance Lead Downer


"Innovate, disrupt, innovate, disrupt…” it’s a common refrain in this age of rapid technological development and digital disruption. Everyone seems to want it and most are trying, but why do so few succeed? Treating innovation like some uncontrollable and creative magic in a bottle, rather than a structured, repeatable, measurable process is one of the most common pitfalls. This session will cover some of the key steps in improving the success of your innovation effort, from inception to delivery:

- Set an innovation ambition 

- Identify and define innovation opportunities

- Maximise effectiveness through strategic approaches

  • Aaron Michie Director, Innovation Strategy, CEO Agenda Practice Monitor Deloitte


Restructures can take an immense toll on the morale of teams, and if handled poorly can generate the kind of stress and resistance that makes change impossible. The top-down, ivory tower approach to change management has proven itself ineffective, with 70% of restructures failing to meet their goals. The only alternative is a change management program that effectively engages teams in the process, mitigates fear, and delivers results. Learn practical tools to lead teams through change and ensure a stress-less transition.  

- Understand change as a process, not a state

- Prepare your team for transition

- Establish productive communication strategies

- Identify and analyse retention risks

  • Lata Hamilton Founder & Director Passion Pioneers


Superior risk management shouldn’t come at the expense of agility and responsiveness. In fact, the two are intertwined. To grow and prosper, you need a firm grasp of their relationship and the business acumen to harness and utilise this synergy. 

Understand the relationship between risk and agility

Seize opportunities while mitigating risk

Respond to changing customer and stakeholder needs

Master governance to reduce risk

  • John Le Mesurier Consultant, Tertiary & Vocational Educator


Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

27 O'Connell Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia

02 8214 0000

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