Fantail Wisdom Symposium #1


From the time I arrived to the time I left, the Fantail Network, Wisdom Symposium #1 captured my attention and interest. Held in a great venue, as ASB – The Cube, Wynyard Quarter, we were warmly greeted upon arrival and given a gift bag (really enjoying the Linden Leaves facial moisturizer). We enjoyed a yummy lunch while watching the Wilson Trollope fashion show and drinks and nibbles at the end, were we mingled and discussed the symposium and the speakers that inspired us.

The day was filled with fantastic speakers and presenters. The symposium opened with a talk by Theresa Healey and her life changing experience. I felt that the whole audience was caught in her moment. I could see tissues being taken out of bags and tears being wiped away. So many of us there, including myself related to Theresa. Her story was a brilliant opening to the Symposium and brought us together in spirit for the day.

Better by Design had the audience up on their feet, mixing and networking. They showed us that we are all designers. They introduced the term Scrappy Design. Later that week Scrappy Design was mentioned during my team meeting at work. I think I will be hearing more of this approach to design in the future. I was captivated by Terrance Wallace’s (from Chicago) life story. Wow, you need hear his story first hand to truly appreciate what faith is, it just blew me away. I personally related to Wendy Kerr’s story of lying on the blue carpet as the world as she knew and defined herself by came to an end and she had to redefine her career and thus herself.

What I took from this is how easy it is for us to identify ourselves by our roles that we have in life; corporate executive, a mother, a sportswoman etc. Then when this is removed from our lives, we find ourselves relearning who we are as person, a woman, a human and an individual. The various woman leadership traits and how they were classified in Conscious Competence Learning Matrix example that was presented made some much sense and I could hear many a woman in the audience agreeing to this classification. I felt we could learn a lot by understanding our subconscious traits as woman and how they maybe holding us back in our careers.

Belinda Tuki, from The Honest Food Company discussed defining your individual values: believe in yourself, trust the universe, take action, stay true to your values, and ask for help. Then reference those values to keep yourself focused on what is true for you as an individual.

What struck me overall was, that each speaker had overcome adversity or made a life changing decision to change the direction of their life. The all shared skills of determination, faith, self-belief and a philosophy that change in life is a challenge; to take oneself to the next level.

I am sure that everyone took something positive away with them from the Fantail Wisdom Symposium #1. Maybe a new insight, an inspiration, a realization, I know I did. I personally am looking forward to the Wisdom Symposium #2

Anita Evans – Blogger and IT Professional, 2015

Anita Evans lives East Coast Bays with her daughter and their cat called Crash. She is a Software Test Manager by profession. During her personal time Anita writes poetry and children’s short stories. She has blogged about her travels of Latin America. She has recently started a Facebook page  mingocreativity to promote her poetry and will be launching her own website later this year.


Creating Heroes Within Your Organisation

By Frog Recruitment, August 2015

If the terms ‘engagement’, ‘succession’, and ‘talent development’ are permanently glued onto the laundry of HR issues in your organisation, there may just be a simple and cost effective solution already in the building.

In fact, the solution to your HR problems may walk past you in the corridor every day.  This solution is often not recognised because we typically focus on solutions rather than processes. How do we achieve more with less? How do we build engagement? These nagging questions constrain us to think of ‘initiatives’ and ‘strategies’, where often the solution may reside within your staff members already, and requires simple human interaction to bring surface.

We are, of course, talking about mentoring.

We can all think of ‘aha’ moments or relationships in our lives where a kind (or harsh) word has created tremendous positive change. When it comes to organisations, we seem to forget the value of critical moments that have shaped our lives for the better, and forget to apply them to our business thinking.

We learn from others, and even from a yFantail Network Event May 2015-16oung age learn to mimic our parents in behaviours and actions. As we go through life we identify with ‘heroes’, which are typically pop stars, sport stars, or someone valuable in our lives. As we grow, it’s not uncommon to expand this circle to include intellectual heroes, or business heroes.

Think of the impact to your organisation to have a team of heroes on hand to guide other staff. Think of the evangelism this would create for your organisation, and the long term pay-off.

So what is the nitty gritty of mentoring? A mentor is someone who cares about professional, social, and psychological development of another person. A mentor actively seeks to support and impart knowledge and wisdom to someone who is receptive to receiving it. The mentor benefits by being valued and respected, and the mentored benefit by receiving guidance in their career.

The first major benefit of mentoring is keeping people in the loop. Get staff on board by instilling the big picture of company operations into their daily work. Contextualise the development of the mentored within the development of the company, and how their personal contribution helps reach organisational goals. This can be especially effective for managers working in remote locations.

Mentors also have the ability to communicate the progress of individual employees upwards. The upper management can gain a clearer understanding of who the rising stars are in the organisation. Mentored employees also have an increased ability to step into interim management positions because their increased knowledge and visibility within the executive team.

Mentoring doubles as real time performance reviews. Good mentors encourage introspection to shift the act of problem solving to the person being mentored. Mentored staff can adjust their behaviours in more or less real time to achieve faster results, and mentors can help identify skills gaps, or even allow for shadowing in their own roles.

So how do we find good mentors? The fit between mentors and mentored is crucial in the success of the relationship. We need to consider expectations from parties, willingness, skill sets and knowledge, and goals to start with. The practicalities of mentoring can be challenging, but once a relationship is established, the effort required by HR to sustain the program becomes virtually zero.

For more information on mentoring of if you are interested in becoming a mentor, email Fantail Network today on