I recently returned from the annual Global CFR Conference which this year was held in the shadow of the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia.
Before the formalities began, those of us who were comfortable with heights had the opportunity to “walk the bridge” which involved a highly supervised and tethered walk to the apex of the uppermost supporting section of the bridge, 134 metres above the sea. I couldn’t help thinking about the 16 construction workers who died during the building process including two who fell to their death although one other, a certain Vince Kelly, amazingly survived the fall.
The Conference itself was held over two days, one which involved CFR internal topics including introductions from four new CFR Partners. The first was Success Korea from Seoul, South Korea; they are a well-established search & selection consultancy employing 53 Consultants who operate in a broad range of sectors.
The second and third were our two new Canadian Partners, St Amour and Goldbeck Recruiting from Montreal and Vancouver respectively. They have a long history of working together and between them employ some 24 Consultants.
Finally, Nuway in Singapore, a subsidiary of our Partner Nuway in India, were confirmed as new Partners with a particular focus on the Banking, Aerospace and Life Sciences sectors in Singapore.
Kirstin Feguson sits on the board of the Australian Broadcasting Association and is a non-executive director with a wide range of corporate and commercial experience. She is a well-known commentator on gender diversity and spoke about her successful career in the Royal Australian Airforce before her highly successful career in Risk & Compliance, HR Management and Corporate Governance.
Mark Bilton, a renowned corporate recovery expert spoke about his famously (in Australia) successful turnaround of Gloria Jeans Coffees, an Australian competitor of Costa and Starbucks. His focus on the importance of the human factor in successful turnarounds was particularly relevant to his audience.
Kirsten Molloy is CEO of the Hunter Valley Coal Chain and has spent much of her career in the Australian mining industry. Her success story was also inspirational, given the largely male dominated sector within which she worked in R&D, Sales & Marketing and Commercial management.
The final speaker, Kurt Fearnley, who was born with serious disabilities, has never walked however he is a three time Paralympic Gold Medallist, a multiple marathon winner, ocean racer and Global Disability Ambassador. He also crawled the length of the Kokoda Track, a 96 kilometre, single file foot thoroughfare in tropical Papua New Guinea. His astonishing story highlighted the strength of the human spirit and left his audience feeling thoroughly humbled but aware of how little of our potential we truly realise.
The two days proved to be a resounding success and the group now looks forward to next year’s Conference in Linz, Austria.