Purposeful Leadership Summit

Driving Employee Engagement

“Leaders who are purely focused on the market value miss the chance to drive even greater business value by utilizing purpose to bring meaning to employees’ work, a key driver of employee engagement. Identifying this gap presents an opportunity— and responsibility—for leaders to approach purpose more holistically, to optimize value for employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders”

Putting Purpose to Work Report 2016, PWC

27 & 28 February & 1 March, 2018 | Sydney


Employee engagement has been a consistent challenge faced by most organisations since 2000, which is when Gallup began tracking it and it’s not going away. In today’s disruptive business world and the increase in the pace of change, organisations cannot lead change unless they have an highly engaged workforce. The lack of employee engagement in most organisations is good indicator that employees are seeking purposeful leadership to help create more meaning in the workplace.

A Korn Ferry study found that companies that focused their employees on the organization’s purpose, posted compounded annual growth rates of 9.85% compared to a 2.4% for the whole S&P 500 Consumer Sector.

Creating a truly purposeful organisation requires determination and courage by leaders – and time. It takes a special kind of leader to put the interest of employees before other stakeholders. And to create sustainable businesses, leaders need to reconsider how they are engaging their employees to lead change successfully.

We hope you will join us to be inspired by stories of great leaders who are creating purposeful organisations, helping employees find meaning in the workplace and unleashing business as a force for good.




February 27 - Purpose Driving Employee Engagement - Program Coming Soon

How Did I Find My Purpose?
Muneesh Wadhwa Founder, Humanity in Business




Why Are You Here?
A facilitated table discussion to get feedback from attendees on their key challenges.
Peter Smith, CEO Humanity in Business and Event Facilitator


International Keynote:
Why is Purpose is Important for Business?
Miguel Padró, Senior Program Manager, Business and Society Program, Aspen Institute, USA

The Aspen Institute has earned a reputation for gathering diverse, nonpartisan thought leaders, creatives, scholars and members of the public to address some of the world’s most complex problems.

The work of Aspen Institute focuses on rethinking common misperceptions about corporate purpose and explores ways that company-specific notions of their higher purpose can enable longer-term thinking in business.

Questions about purpose have no comfortable place in the field of economics.  Milton Friedman attempted to close that question in 1970 and he largely succeeded for several decades.  And yet in the wide range of fields that study the human condition- the humanities- we can see Purpose (or “shared meaning”) as a central element in human evolution and our  dominance of a planet that is filled with bigger, faster, and stronger animals.  Far from being “soft” or ancillary, Purpose may be one of humanity’s greatest Darwinian advantages.  If markets are one of humanity’s most common fields for  competition, it is odd that the toolkit for competing in business has largely ignored Purpose as a source of competitive advantage.

But the story of Purpose extends well beyond competitive advantage.  Purpose is an enormously powerful motivator that can be channelled for good or ill.  Purpose is complex and fraught with hazards.  The International Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders are remarkable purpose-driven organizations but so were the Nazis in Europe and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.  Given the power of business today to shape the lives of people around the world, reopening questions about Purpose will have enormous implications for humanity.


Defining Your Purpose – Why do You Do What You Do?
Karen James, Founder, ON Purpose
Mark Burrell,CEO of The Threshold Step, & Managing Partner of Growth Edge Teams.
Suzanne Mercier Purpose to Profit
Moderator: Vaughn Richtor, HiB Advisor, NED and (ex)CEO ING Direct Bank

Finding your purpose as an organisation can be challenging and making your purpose truly authentic, even more so. Even when organisations find their purpose, what can you do to better align it to managerial behaviours? How can it be used effectively in corporate decision making? What is the role of leadership in identifying purpose and engaging employees?
This panel will discuss strategies around how to find your purpose, what is the business value of and how you can make it authentic.


Meaning is the New Money: Connecting People to your Business and Enabling Employees to Thrive
Rebecca Nash, Group Executive People & Culture, Perpetual Limited

Martin Moore, CEO, CS Energy 

Danielle Duell, Founder, People with Purpose

  • Meaningful work is driving employee decisions regarding where to work
  • Enabling people to thrive is critical to attracting and retaining the best people to deliver value to clients and shareholders
  • Lessons regarding flexible working in pursuit of shared, challenging objectives
  • Leading teams who work in a flexible and mobile way


Morning Tea


Creating Tangible Business Outcomes: Embedding Purpose to Create Customer Centricity
Vaughn Richtor, HiB Advisor, NED and (ex)CEO ING Direct Bank

During Vaughn’s tenure at ING Direct, the bank has grown to become Australia’s sixth largest home lender. ING Direct consistently has had the highest customer satisfaction rating and Net Promoter Score (NPS) amongst all Australian banks.

“There are a lot of studies that show companies with a purpose ultimately outperform companies without. When you can gather your people around a purpose, you can basically create a set of values and you actually deliver a culture. Culture is not accidental, it’s deliberate and it’s not simply what you say it is”

Vaughn will guide the talk toward the three key things he did in his role to ensure the purpose was emboldened through the organisation.

Comments will centre around asking and answering how organisations define purpose vs. mission & strategy, how it is implemented and how congruent companies are in relation to product/markets/services/supply chains.

Group discussion at tables:
Discuss the following: What are the enablers and resistors in your organisation for applying these three principles.
Table group questions to Vaughn to discuss strategies for dealing with resistors.




Purpose at Work – Leveraging CSR to Drive Employee Engagement a Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Case Study 

Anil Snehi, Vice President TCS, Australia New Zealand
Karen Iles Head of Corporate Social Responsibility TCS, Australia New Zealand

A part of the Tata Group, Tata Consultancy Services is a global technology company. It is one of the largest Indian companies by market capitalization ($80 billion) and it is the world’s 10th largest IT services provider by revenue with over 3000 employees in Australia. Recently TCS was recognised as one of the top 10 companies in Australia for CSR Awards by Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (2017) and has been named  the leading company for CSR in Australia by the Australian Human Resources Institute (2016).

How does the Tata business model building purpose into the core of the company and into employees day to day? Does purpose and CSR flow into core business?
How can leaders engage HR and Sustainability teams to drive employee engagement?
What strategies and methods do you use to engage employees on CSR projects?
What is the role of corporate volunteering and how can it help employees find meaning at work?
What are the challenges in embedding volunteering in the culture?
What impact do these initiatives have on business outcomes?

The discussion will be followed by a table discussion to help attendees share ideas to action


The Importance of Purpose in Building Brand and Engagement

Scott Matyus Flynn, Partner & Head of Strategy, Republic of Everyone
Natalie Feehan, Exec GM, Group Marketing, MYOB
Susie Bayes, Brand Partnership Director, Guardian Australia

  • The role of purpose in building meaningful brands
  • The do’s and don’t’s for creating purpose for your business
  • The positive impacts of purpose on internal and external engagement

In conversation with Simon Rutherford, Slingshot Media

Attendees will be given a practical exercise after the panel discussion.


Afternoon Tea


Embedding Purpose Across the Organisation to Align to the UN Sustainable Goals
Kylie Rowe GM, People and Culture Yarra Valley Water

Matt Balfe, Head of Strategic Communications and Sustainability,
In Conversation with Suzanne Mercier, Purpose to Profit

Over the last decade the Executive team at Yarra Valley Water has led a cultural transformation centred on our purpose that has resulted in new national benchmarks for staff engagement, constructive culture, alignment and pride. Most recently this work this transformation has involved signing up to the UN Global Compact and embedding the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals in the way we work.

During the same period, YVW have dramatically improved efficiency, customer satisfaction, service standards, stakeholder satisfaction environmental and safety performance as well as redefining the role of a modern water utility in creating value for the community.

A recent employee engagement survey results indicated that 95% of employees understand the organisation’s purpose and 87% understand how their role contributes to achieving this purpose.

Kylie and Matt will discuss the leadership, organisational development, and communication approaches that have made the biggest difference along the journey.

The panel will be followed by a table discussion


First Day Closing Remarks, Muneesh Wadhwa, Founder, HiB
We kept the day short so you have some time to absorb the day!

February 28- Purpose Creating Social Impact - Program Coming Soon!

Welcome Back
Muneesh Wadhwa, Founder HiB



Outcomes Recap from Day 1
Peter Smith, CEO HiB



What Does it Take to be Future-Fit and Align Purpose with Sustainability?

Julian Crawford, Director, EcoSTEPS

We will be discussing a framework for feedback by the community so that we can create a benchmark for purpose led organisations. How would we recognize a truly sustainable, purpose-led business if we saw one?  How can we measure how far away any company is now from where it needs to be?

The Future-Fit Benchmark is a very promising approach that defines a future-fit business as one that creates value while in no way undermining the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on Earth forever. To become future-fit, a company must strive to reach the Future-Fit Goals, which taken together mark the transition point beyond which a business starts helping – rather than hindering – society’s transition to a prosperous future for all. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is our business clear on our commitment to help, rather than hinder, society’s transition to a flourishing future?
  • Is our vision and mission consistent with – and explicit about – the need to create system value?

Can we get engagement from all stakeholders at the event to endorse this framework to acknowledge businesses that are leading the way?


Creating Customer Value, Building Shareholder Wealth, Enhancing Community Well being.
Denis Kilroy, MD, The KBA Consulting Group

In this session, participants will learn how a more socially responsible business paradigm can evolve quite naturally from the current shareholder primacy paradigm.  The key lies in understanding and embracing some fundamental truths, including:

  • Why the true economic objective of a listed company from a shareholder perspective is not and has never been to maximise value for existing shareholders, but to build an enduring institution that can create wealth for its shareholders on an ongoing basis
  • Why the way a company journeys towards this goal is so important
  • How most business leaders, investors and business commentators came to believe (incorrectly) that enhancing short-term profit or earnings per share (EPS), would create shareholder wealth
  • Why attachment to this EPS Myth has had such deleterious consequences for the behaviour and performance of listed companies – to the detriment of all stakeholders, including shareholders
  • Why all stakeholders in listed companies should be considered allies in creating value over the long term, and not adversaries in the pursuit of profit over the short term
  • Why customer value creation and shareholder wealth creation must be considered joint and mutually reinforcing objectives
  • Why business leaders must understand the difference between real and artificial customer value, and make a conscious choice to focus on the former
  • Why they must also be clear about their true intent.  Are they in business to serve society – or instead to exploit it?

This session will reveal that many of the elements are already in place for the emergence of a new and more socially responsible business paradigm, under which the governing corporate objective could be to serve society. All we lack is the right understanding in the minds of business leaders, investors and business commentators.

The main components of this understanding and its implications for us all will be outlined – drawing on a combination of conceptual material, original research and practical examples.


Shareholder Primacy – Is it Sustainable?
Leeora Black, Managing Director – Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility

Michael Adams (ex) Dean of Law, Western Sydney University

Judith Fox, CEO, Australian Shareholders’ Association 

Simon O’Connor, CEO, Responsible Investment Association of Australia

This session will look to challenge the notion of shareholder primacy and explores the transition corporations make from a shareholder-orientation to a stakeholder-orientation to succeed as a purposeful and sustainable organisation. This session will cover the importance of culture, leadership style and stakeholder engagement. With international and local best practise examples, participants will learn:
• How stakeholder engagement opens an organisation to deeper understanding of its impacts, opportunities and purpose
• How stakeholder engagement has a positive effect on organisational culture, innovation and performance
• What the great companies do well and pitfalls to avoid.


Morning Tea


Purpose State of Play:
International Keynote: Embedding Corporate Purpose in Law and Governance
Paige Morrow, Purpose of Corporation Project, Head of Brussels Operations Frank Bold (Belgium)

Frank Bold, a European law firm started the Purpose of the Corporation Project, which provides a strategic, open-source platform for leading experts and organisations interested in promoting the long-term health and sustainability of publicly listed companies in policy-making and business management. The Project has launched a global roundtable series on corporate governance bringing together experts from business, academia, regulators and civil society to develop new options for corporate governance models.

Paige will be discussing the key insights gained from the global roundtable series and invite discussion on the latest developments in corporate governance.

Also to be revealed are latest research on how purposeful business outperforms others on financial metrics.

How can we use cathedral thinking to create more purposeful, jobs, businesses and economies? Could Benefit Companies be the answer? Where are we up to with Benefit Company legislation in Australia?



Is Shared Value the Solution? 

AIA & Bendigo Bank have been on the Shared Value journey for a while.

AIA is the largest listed company on the Hong Kong stock exchange and Bendigo Bank is a leader in community banking in Australia.

What have been the lessons learnt? What are the cultural challenges of embedding shared value and the importance of employee engagement? What are some of the outcomes for the customer and other stakeholders? Does having a shared value initiative make the company purpose driven? What are the limitations of shared value? Does focusing on win-win solutions through shared value lead companies to concentrate on the easy wins, while leaving unresolved the deeper social issues to which they are connected?

Damien Mu, CEO, AIA

Sam Moore / Head of Community Bank® Model Development, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank




Why has the Importance of Human Capital Failed to Capture the Attention of investors?
Amanda Wilson, (ex MD) Regnan

Judith Fox, CEO, Australian Shareholders’ Association 

Jan van der Schalk, Senior Analyst: ESG & Diversified Financials, CLSA

Eighty percent of market value of listed entities is based on intangibles – a huge increase from 20-30 years ago, and yet boards continue to prioritise financial, legal skills over Human Capital Management.

Does a sophisticated understanding of HCM (beyond having once been a CEO) lead to better performance?

If so, why is this not reflected in board skills matrices, the level of HR within a corporate, and mainstream analysts view of companies (e.g., they are usually happy with large scale redundancy programs with little appreciation of the long term value destruction they can do)?


Can the UN Sustainable Development Goals Help Organisations Find a Higher Purpose?
David Cooke, CEO Konica Minolta

Pat McCafferty, MD, Yarra Valley Water 

Laura McManus, Ethical Supply Chain Manager, Konica Minolta
Moderator: Miguel Padró ,Senior Program Manager, Business and Society Program, Aspen Institute

In September 2015 193 countries signed on to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. They can’t do it alone, and business has a role to play. The 17 broad ranging goals serve as a GPS for organisations to map out how they will contribute to the realisation of the global compact. The UN has led a big push to engage corporations to take a more active role in achieving their Sustainable Development Goals.

Why have CEOs signed up the support the SDGs? Does there have to be a business case or a just leaders who care? What role can the SDGs play in helping employees find meaning at work to drive employee engagement and solve problems faced by humanity? Can we leverage corporate volunteering programs to align with the SDGs? How can we engage more organisations to support the SDGs?

Table Group Activity: Participants are given a map of the SDGs and asked to plot which goals their business can sign up to


Afternoon Tea


Panel Discussion: Overcoming Challenges of Moving from Shareholder Value to Stakeholder Value.

A stakeholder centric approach is critical to creating purposeful organisation and it does come with it’s own unique challenges and a new way of thinking and operating. We will ask our thought leaders and practitioners what are some of the likely issues organisations will face and some strategies to overcome them. Some of the questions on our mind are the role of culture and employee engagement as well as how to transition and support leaders to this new way of thinking? What is the role of investment community? This will be an open discussion with questions to come from our moderator and the audience.

Damien Mu, CEO AIA

Vaughn Richtor, (ex) CEO, ING Direct, NED & HiB Advisor 

Miguel Padró ,Senior Program Manager, Business and Society Program, Aspen Institute
Paige Morrow, Purpose of Corporation Project, Head of Brussels Operations Frank Bold Belgium


4.30pm:  Creating Task Forces to Continue the Conversation

What are the collective actions we all need to take to continue the conversation and build advocacy post this event? How can we come together as a collective to create a movement?
Peter Smith, CEO HiB


5pm: Day 2 Closing Remarks, Muneesh Wadhwa, HiB

March 1 - Purpose Workshops
These half day workshops will run concurrently from 9am-12pm including lunch so please only choose only one of three. 

Workshop 1
Suzanne Mercier, Purpose to Profit
Leading with Purpose – Building a Leadership Legacy

Leadership is about inspiring others to follow. Great leaders care about their people, their organisation and the impact they have on the broader community. Great leaders have Purpose.

More than that though, they live their Purpose. It guides their strategy, their decisions, their everyday actions and the way they show up.  Purpose inspires them and others around them to see the possibilities and bring them alive.

Purpose is not a logical statement. It’s not your Mission, which is the ‘How’ of your business or leadership. It is emotional. It moves you when you think about it. Your Purpose propels you out of bed in the morning. Barriers become challenges you have the will, resourcefulness and energy to resolve. Getting to the difference you want to make as a leader can feel raw and gritty because it commonly taps into a deep need within you that you feel inspired to resolve for yourself and others.

When you find your Leadership Purpose – your True North – the energy you have invested in the difference you want to make will guide your leadership vision, strategies and your everyday actions. It will inspire others around you to step up and make their own contributions, creating an exciting and focussed business environment where great things happen!

This MasterClass will guide you through the process of finding your deep Purpose as a leader, the values that form your identity, your leadership Vision and how that translates into your day-to-day activities.

Identify the dynamics of the market for your leadership and organisation
2. Explore your motivation to leave a legacy
3. Recognise the power of Purpose personally, for your team and for your organisation
4. Explore factors that influence your Purpose and path to finding it
5. Engage with practical processes related to your path to identify your leadership Purpose
6. Understand how to bring your Purpose alive in your leadership and organisation.

Workshop 2
Purpose means business. Isn’t it time you got everyone working with you on purpose?
Karen James, ON Purpose

A workshop designed to create a Blueframe™ to live life on purpose – both professionally and personally. The link is no longer an option. A Blueframe™ is your blueprint of how you live and make decisions with a framework that gets things done – your Purpose, Leadership, Operations & Technology (PLOT).

We will explore the question of why relentless leadership is needed and present the key ingredients to becoming a transformative systems leader. We will discuss the character, values and virtues which create the moral framework for leaders to operate in. We will provide a simple 10 step approach to establish a blueprint and framework for each participant for on purpose living.

Translating purpose, vision, and values into an operating model which is powered by technology differentiates organisations to compete in a world which is hard to predict. From digital disruption to climate change the seemingly intractable issues in our world need a new model. A model which links everyone at an ethical and purposeful level whilst creating an enabling environment for success.

Workshop 3
Deepening Connection to Purpose – A Step Across a Threshold
Mark BurrellCEO of The Threshold Step, & Managing Partner of Growth Edge Teams.

To be human is to long for meaning and thrive on connection.  To know that we are part of something worthwhile  and that our life and efforts matter.   Being ‘purposeful’ as an organisation and as an individual is at its heart about this basic ‘quest’ for connection to something that we care deeply about, and the courage to step across thresholds of possibility as we engage with it.  Defining and pursuing a leadership purpose is one component, and so is creating meaning for yourself and those you lead from the situation you are in and from what is needed of you.  Doing what you love and loving what is needed.

There’s a power in naming a noble purpose and bringing your will, and that of others, to it’s fulfilment.  For organisations courageous enough to make this process a core intent, it can unlock new sources of energy, inspiration and renewal.  But only if it springs from a deeper connection to what the organisation is truly for.  A task easier to understand than to do, particularly given the prevailing mindset that looks at purpose as a ‘brand projection’ vs a window into your organisation’s character.

And in our role as individual leaders, there’s often a deeper current at work that can seem to resist our attempts to name and focus our individual leadership purpose.  We often allow ourselves to be swept powerfully along on exciting missions, and miss the subtle messages that knock quietly and patiently on the doors of our perception, signalling that a new and necessary frontier of possibility is available.  Or we can name a purpose too early, too carelessly or too rigidly, and run the risk of keeping ourselves bounded to the known and familiar.  

Cultivating a purposeful organisation starts with the quality of your own relationship to the QUESTions of purpose and meaning.  This session will invite you to look at your leadership purpose in ways that expand your connection to the questions, so you can bring a deeper wisdom to your leadership opportunity and to your organisation’s intentions.  Attendees will experience:

  1. A way to renew and extend your questions of purpose.
  2. An understanding of how to activate and deepen purpose conversations.
  3. Strategies for working with emergence, so that purpose can serve what’s needed of you.

Why Attend?

  • Improve employee engagement in your organisation by helping employees find meaning in the workplace

  • How can you engage millennials with purpose?

  • How can you effectively communicate purpose internally to engage employees?

  • How can we engage managers to embed purpose?

  • How to engage employees through purpose to create sustainable outcomes?

27 February 2018 – 1 March 2018
Sydney CBD
Venue TBC





Different Attendees Can Attend on Different Days

Single Ticket
Day 1 or 2: $700 + GST
Day 3         $400 + GST
Day 1 + 2:  $1200 +GST
All 3 Days: $1400+ GST

Corporate Table of 8 with Table Signage/Event Branding
Day 1 or Day 2:     $4500 +GST
Day 1 & Day 2:      $8000 +GST
Day 3: Group of 8: $2000+GST


Jo Kania
Email: admin@humanityinbusiness.com.au