Conference Program

Tuesday 21 September 2021

The Corporate PA Summit program is designed to deliver content that is cutting-edge, highly beneficial, easily transferable, empowering and inspirational. It’s designed specifically to help you fulfil your potential and be the best you can be.

Check out the program below.

8:30 – REGISTRATION AND WELCOME COFFEE
9:00 – OPENING REMARKS FROM THE CHAIR, CLAIRE TURNBULL
  • 9:10
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: REGAIN CONTROL, FINDING CALM IN ANY STORM

Jacqui Maguire

The remit of an Executive Assistant is as long as it is varied. The boundaries between office and home are blurred, and in recent years, technology has meant the days start earlier, and finish later. We feel the expectations of others bearing down on us, but sometimes, the expectations we put on ourselves are the harshest. Is it any wonder that stress related health issues are on the rise?

Our mental health is fluid, meaning people may find themselves coping better on some days than others. Even faring better in some moments than others. Regardless of where you currently sit on the spectrum or the particular challenges you are facing, we can all benefit from prioritising our wellbeing.

Jacqui is a renowned clinical psychologist passionate about mental health and wellbeing.  In this session, Jacqui will share her advice based on psychological science in an accessible way to help you thrive by adjusting your mindset, recognising your inner critic, and embracing healthy coping mechanisms.

  • 10:00
MINDSET MASTERMIND: TOOLS FOR MENTAL AGILITY

Kieran Flanagan

As an EA, tomorrow’s competitive advantage is all in your mind! The metric for high performance is now mental agility and the ability to change the way we think. EA’s need the ability to think, un-think, re-think and most critically out-think the challenges we find ourselves and our workplaces facing! Brain training may have increased our processor speed, but now we also need to update our cognitive and change coping software.

In this exciting and thought provoking presentation, we will explore how we drive more creative problem solving, success by design and advance innovation on purpose – deliberately, consistently and congruently. Full of tips, tools and new ways to approach and solve problems, Kieran reminds us all that, “If we think the same as we always have we’ll get the same ideas we’ve always gotten.” She will show you how to

  • Increase your ability to change the game by changing your frame of reference
  • Gain skills that encourage creative & critical thinking
  • Develop a mindset that helps you think on your feet and be more proactive and solution-focused
  • Learn tools that help you bring better ideas to the table
10:45 – MORNING COFFEE
  • 11:15
POWERFUL PARTNERSHIPS: CREATING CONNECTION AND SUPPORT

Zoe Robinson – EA to the CEO at nib nz and
Kelly Warton – EA to the Directors at Donovan Group

Successful Executive Assistants create powerful partnerships with their executives while also nurturing all relationships within the business.  In an ideal world, you support and you are supported. In this panel session, Zoe Robinson and Kelly Warton will share how they help deliver on business strategy by

  • Using your skills and agility to lead change as an EA to support your executive
  • Asking for help and owning any mistakes or oversights
  • How to embrace mentoring and your networks, either as the mentor for other EAs, or as the mentee
  • 11:45
THE STRATEGIC ASSISTANT

Alicia McKay

Executive assistants are a critical part of the strategic puzzle in any organisation. As an EA, you have an unprecedented view of your business, including how all the moving parts fit together.

Strategic leadership expert Alicia McKay will share her insights on how to become more strategic in your work, including:

  • How to take a more strategic perspective for solving tricky problems
  • Building your confidence and flexibility in an uncertain environment
  • How to ask better questions – to get better answers!
12:30 – LUNCH BREAK
  • 13:30
INSPIRATIONAL KEYNOTE: THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING

David DownsBusiness Leader, Senior Government Official, Board Director and Author

David Downs is known for his quick thinking and embracing change.  When David received a  terminal cancer diagnosis, he immediately swung into action, publicly documenting his entire journey battling cancer from a comedian’s-eye view, with a high-profile column on Stuff.co.nz.  When Covid-19 hit in 2020,  David co-founded sosbusiness.nz, a not-for-profit initiative to help bars, cafes and other small businesses.

David’s presentation is full of optimism and inspiration, with thoughts on the impact of humour and positive psychology along the way – with detours into resilience and the power of control.

  • Reframing your thinking to adapt to the new reality
  • Effective communication is key, especially in times of rapid change
  • Becoming an expert decision maker, even when faced with risk
  • Maintaining positivity, optimism and patience in the face of a crisis
  • 14:15
THE ART OF MULTITASKING

This Senior EA speaker will be advised soon

The modern EA – aka the problem solver, the expert communicator, the creative genius, the gateway, the scheduling genie, the IT whizz, the Zen master, the project manager,  the trusted counsel, ruthless organiser,  the oracle…. and the list goes on.   Maybe you are many of these things, perhaps you are all – and that can even be in the space of 10 minutes!

Our soon to be advised EA, is no stranger to wearing many hats.  In this session, they will share the skills that have helped them stay at the top of their game and how to

  • Manage competing priorities and deadlines
  • Manage overwhelm, and appear calm and in control – even when you’re juggling all of the balls!
  • Create boundaries and the ability to focus on the important whilst not neglecting the urgent
  • How to create buy-in from your executive for new tools, technology and initiatives
  • Approach difficult conversations and situations with confidence
14:45 – AFTERNOON TEA
  • 15:15
MASTERING LEADERSHIP AND COMMUNICATION IN THE DIGITAL WORLD

Sacha Coburn

An Executive Assistant’s communication can set the tone for your executive and even your company.  When things change, employees often look to you as a guiding beacon.  As we embrace digital transformation, as we Zoom and email more and meet in person less,  do you know what it takes to succeed as a fully engaged human in a world drowning in technology? How do you get the most from yourself and your colleagues  – so you can all get the most from life?

The not to be missed presentation focuses on key skills necessary to influence and inspire others we deal with to take action. With an emphasis on next level communication skills, we explore the neuro-science of emotional intelligence, the power of self-awareness and self-mastery, and new techniques for being at our best when we’re at our busiest.

16:00 – SPONSOR PRIZE DRAWS
  • 16:30
INSPIRATIONAL ADDRESS – HARNESS YOUR INNER STRENGTH TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Dr Paul WoodDoctor of Psychology and speaker

‘Failure is just an opportunity to learn and grow and come back stronger’ – Dr Paul Wood, Doctor of Psychology, author and internationally sought keynote speaker and coach. Dr Paul’s TEDx talk is the most highly watched and rated of any TEDx events in New Zealand and was listed by the New Zealand Herald as one of its top 10 TED talks to watch. It might come as a surprise that Paul is also the first person in New Zealand’s history to progress through undergraduate and Masters degrees while incarcerated.

Paul will explore what it means to show moral and emotional courage, to be open to your own limitations and willing to learn and grow.  This eye-opening session will relate to his own story of transformational change and growth, and the relevant key messages and insights that can be applied to your role as an assistant.

  • Turning adversity to your advantage
  • Taking control of your own personal development
  • Demonstrating courage in the pursuit of excellence
  • Incorporating your values into everyday workplace interactions
  • Proactively building and maintaining the emotional fitness (i.e., mental toughness/grit and resilience) required to remain effective and rewarding to deal with
  • How to build resilience, display moral courage and lead by example
17:00 – CLOSING REMARKS FROM THE CHAIR, FOLLOWED BY NETWORKING DRINKS
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