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Collaboration in a crisis

Metcash generously hosted the NSW Professional Development Event, ‘Collaboration in a crisis’, held on the 9th of November. Thanks to NSW State Committee Member,  Abby Phillips (Transformational Change and Continuous Improvement Leader, Kimberly-Clark Australia and New Zealand) for providing the following recap of the event… 

Metcash hosted their long awaited event on the 9th November 2016. The topic of the session was professional development and we were extremely lucky to hear from Linda Venables and Kari Banick, two very successful women taking Metcash to its next stage of an inspiring Supply Chain Transformation. Linda and Kari shared with us the opportunities they took, challenges they faced, and decisions they made during their careers.

Hosted by Metcash and held at its State–of–the art Huntingwood Distribution Centre, this event was particularly special because it was originally planned for May 2015 – just after the massive storms that devastated the brand new DC. After an incredible re-build effort, it was a real pleasure to tour the DC and see that it was back up and running, impressing us all with not only the advanced technology and automation, but also the professionalism and streamlined coordination of the people and processes in the DC.

Over 40 people attended this event. We heard first from Linda Venables, Chief Logistics Officer Supermarkets, Liquor and Convenience at Metcash. Linda talked us through her extensive and varied career, bringing humour and human observations that we could all relate to.

Kari Banick, National General Manager Logistics at Metcash, then shared with us her inspiring career, highlighting how Kari’s core values have brought business ethics, collaborative change management and team development together to drive successful results in a culture of contribution across a number of different organisations and life stages.

Both women brought their own lens to the subject of professional development, which was very relatable to their audience, whose questions reflected that they, too, were looking through a variety of lenses in planning and executing their career choices. While their presentations were different, the similarities were profound, as both talked about times when they needed to tap into their core values to make tough choices, and the resilience that was both required and built in the face of set-backs.

The question and answer session afterwards was lively and engaging, with a key theme emerging, that although Linda and Kari approached many career decisions in different ways, they both recognised that it was using their core values to underpin their decision making which gave them the strength to move forward.

Some key takeouts from the presentations:

linda-venablesLinda Venables:

  • My peers often want to focus on profit and share price but I believe if we get the ‘people’ piece right – the rest will follow.
  • On personal values:
    o   I’m OK with admitting I don’t know – in fact I find it liberating.
    o   As a leader you don’t need to know everything – important to let people around you help you which engenders their respect and trust in you.
  • Need to know when some values can become limiting, ie when a strength can become a weakness – know when your health is at risk and you need to go home on time.
  • Like to get things finished but now I realise that I don’t always need to be the one that does the finishing and sometimes its better to reevaluate and decide to stop or not complete at all.
  • Cannot be completely aligned with everyone all the time.

kari-banickKari Banick:

  • I want my work to be meaningful and I want to create that for others and make a difference.
  • It’s about developing your brand:  What value do I bring to the group and what is really important to me – this becomes more and more important as you move through an organisation.
  • In moving from credibility to true leadership – it’s not about you –it’s about the change. Help others to be ‘heroes’ in their business, help them to be successful.
  • Perspective affects confidence so much. I ask ‘is someone going to die?’ If the answer is ‘No’, then it puts the problem into perspective.

 Thanks again to Metcash for their commitment to the development of operational women and providing the opportunity to hear from their inspirational leaders.

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