20 August - Dallas Fisher
“The pleasure of rooting for Goliath is that you can expect to win. The pleasure of rooting for David is that, while you don’t know what to expect, you stand at least a chance of being inspired.”
― Michael Lewis, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
Dallas has had an extensive business career covering a number of industries, and has included working for Natural Gas, being a partner in Coopers and Lybrand, and going onto lead and grow NDA Engineering and Montana Catering. Dallas has retained his entrepreneurial flair, whilst moving into governance roles including The Chiefs, Go Bus and Strada Corporation, and a number of other private companies.
The surprise and delight of his presentation was that it was an essentially a mini-case study on the turnaround of The Chiefs to come from nowhere to back to back wins. Unfortunately the presentation contains a lot of intellectual property that belongs to The Chiefs, so the full presentation cannot be shared.
The surprise and delight of his presentation was that it was an essentially a mini-case study on the turnaround of The Chiefs to come from nowhere to back to back wins.
The Chiefs, background: in debt to the NZ rugby Union, poor performance on the field, fan base un-happy. Something needed to happen. Board developed a strategy around five key initiatives, coaching structure, player recruitment, fanatical focus on training and coaching (question: imagine the commitment required to do have a high quality coaching 1 on 1 each week in your workplace), cost focus and a revenue growth workshop (lesson: there is only so much cost cutting you can do, and you cannot save your way to glory).
With absolute focus on these five key initiatives, the board, management and coaching team came together to re-build a high performance team culture, built around ‘Chief’s Mana’. With total buy-in from organisation, this drove behaviours, and linked to Individual Performance Plans (IPP’s) for everyone including board members. The IPP’s formally reviewed three times during the season (lesson: says something about an organisation really wanting to change behaviour when even board members have IPP’s).
Along with a change a culture, came a real focus on Analytics (hence the Moneyball reference) – Dallas referenced that The Chiefs lead the way in the use of on-field GPS, bio mechanical analysis, which includes each game being analysed right down to the tackle quality. The data used to drive performance through 1 on 1 coaching sessions, and recruitment.
16 July - Trevor Thornton
Trevor Thornton is a former chairman and partner at Grant Thornton New Zealand, and was appointed as one of the statutory managers for Aorangi Securities Limited and Hubbard Management Funds, two entities associated with Alan Hubbard and caught up in the meltdown of South Canterbury Finance.
Trevor explained the statutory management regime, which is rarely used, in depth.
- a statutory manager is appointed when companies are being operated fraudulently or recklessly;
- a statutory manager ranks ahead of all other security holders (including banks) in dealing with assets;
- a moratorium on the exercise of rights against the entity in statutory management or its assets exists while an entity is in statutory management; and
- other security interests over assets are not extinguished, they are just suspended.
A statutory manager has more powers than a receiver or a liquidator, and any liquidator or receiver is discharged when a statutory manager is appointed.
Alan Hubbard was controversially put into statutory management, but the legality of this was ultimately not tested due to Mr. Hubbard’s untimely demise.