After an unprecedented 2020, Blanchard® NZ, was finally able hold the first Leadership Interest Group (LIG) gathering in December.

The purpose of the LIG is to bring together like-minded professionals in the Learning & Development sector to share knowledge and experience, particularly around leadership, and this year we took the opportunity to introduce Blanchard NZ’s new team members, and to farewell Malcolm & Bridget Sutherland, who have retired from operational duties.

A special thank you to our keynote speaker, Carmen Jacobsen, of Wise Group https://www.wisegroup.co.nz.  The Wise Group are a not-for-profit family of community organisations, that employ over 1,000 people across the health, wellbeing, education, housing support, employment and business support services sectors.

Partnering with Blanchard NZ in some key areas for leadership development, they are in the early stages of implementing several Blanchard programs into their curriculum starting from within Wise Management Services itself.  These initially include the world-renowned SLII®, along with Self Leadership, and Leading People Through Change.  Carmen shared with the group how they are implementing these programs, including training their own L&D team to deliver the training, and then she talked about some of the benefits they’ve already experienced.

The Blanchard NZ team were excited to unveil a new training solution that complements our existing offerings and aims to enhance individuals’ and teams’ ability to have conversations that are safe, collaborative and result in effective decisions.  The program launch included a personalised video message from Craig Weber, the author of the book and co-creator of the program Conversational Capacity.  

Craig explained the fundamentals of Conversational Capacity – finding the ‘sweet spot’ between candour and curiosity, the place where difficult exchanges turn into learning opportunities and unfocused meetings become innovation incubators.

We look forward to hosting our first Conversational Capacity workshop on 18 February 2021 in Auckland – see Public Workshops – Blanchard for details and to register.

Based on feedback from previous gatherings, time was allocated to facilitating conversation amongst the attendees, enabling best practice sharing and discussion of ideas. Topics were generated by participants and included:  Resilience and Working Under Pressure, Communication and Remote Working.

The discussion was rich and diverse and to keep a record, some flipcharts were created to highlight the key points.


As one of the first global partners of The Ken Blanchard Companies The final event of the morning recognised that 2020 marks 35 years since Blanchard was established here in New Zealand.

Dr Ken Blanchard himself prepared a short video thanking Malcolm and Bridget for their service in our region and acknowledged their contribution to the work that has been done worldwide to make a difference in people’s lives through leadership.

It was also with great pleasure, that on behalf of Blanchard NZ, Robert awarded a certificate granting Emeritus status to Malcolm Sutherland, the founder of the company.  Our team and clients in attendance valued the opportunity to wish Malcolm and Bridget all the best as they embark on the next journey in their lives.

Although we officially wrapped up the LIG at 1230, we loved the fact that attendees spent a further 30 minutes networking with each other discussing, learning and sharing.

All the best for the holiday season and we look forward to working with you again in 2021 and beyond.


Blanchard® are looking to hold future events in 2021 – if you would be interested in attending these, please register your interest to service@blanchard.co.nz


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