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Creating a healthy and high-performing culture has long been a strategic objective for any self-respecting organisation. By all accounts we had become pretty accomplished at it, with many organisations entering ‘lockdown’ with a strong culture based on organisational values, respectable employee engagement results and high employer brand advocacy.

Then, with the announcement of a global pandemic on March 11, the world and our workplaces changed, along with many of the strategies and tactics we’d come to rely upon to create and nurture culture.

But that was temporary, right?

Now we’re back at Level One we’re back to normal.

Not so fast!

Our ways of working, our beliefs and mindsets about work, our places of work, the who, when and how we go about the business of being an organisation are changing – be that just with a tweak or through radical reinvention. How we ‘do culture’ in the post-COVID world is leaving those responsible for it, at the core of organisations, with more questions than answers.

The culture game is the same but COVID-19 has shuffled the deck and the rules have changed.


Based on questions, challenges, and ambitions about all things culture surfaced in our regular Blacksmith Client Community Zooms, we’ve invited renowned Corporate Anthropologist, Michael Henderson, to share with us his observations of what’s changing in the world of organisational culture as a result of our collective experience of COVID-19. A key question on our minds is “How can leaders advance culture with the new rules in mind?”

Amongst other things we’ll be talking about :

  • the shift from a left brain-driven business culture toward one where right brain attributes and capabilities will be the cultural game-changers in the on-going complexity
  • the impact of lockdown on personal values and the flow on to organisational values and culture; and
  • if culture still means ‘working together to bring out the best in ourselves and each other’, what do together and best mean now?


  • CEOs and Executives
  • GMs HR, CPOs and HR Directors
  • L&D and OD Managers

This BY INVITATION session starts promptly at 2.00pm for ONE hour on Wednesday, 1 July.

Secure your place today by completing Zoom registration details HERE.

If you know of someone who would really value being a part of this session, please email with their details and, if capacity allows, he will pass on an invitation to them with your compliments.

We will be sharing an overview of the session as part of our regular Fully Human update in the weeks to come.  If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to FULLY HUMAN HERE.

In preparation for our time together, please:

  • Ensure you don’t have a meeting finishing immediately before this (give yourself at least 10 mins for a leg stretch, loo break, and grabbing a glass of water) and be on-line and ready to go before 2.00pm
  • Turn off your other devices and applications, including email alerts (a session like this takes all your attention and we’d hate you to miss anything)
  • Have a pen and paper handy (we still love analog note-taking!)


Kate and Michael

Kate Billing:

Kate is the Founder & Creative Director of Blacksmith and she is on a mission to put the tricky business of being FULLY HUMAN at the centre of how we live, lead and work.

Kate believe’s it’s time for a new kind of leader. Human-centred leaders who together will create the world we need for our shared future. Leaders who are examples of what’s possible when we commit to the deepest levels of humanity and responsibility in the ways that we live, lead and do business.

For nearly 25 years she has worked in the people, culture and leadership space building a reputation for sharp insights, compassionate challenge, warmth and energy. Always connected to her diverse global community, Kate brings the best of what’s happening out there to New Zealand, and takes the best of our home-grown wisdom to the world.

Micahel Henderson:

Michael is a Corporate Anthropologist. His job is to help organisations learn the role of culture in delivering workplace performance, business results, customer experience and employee satisfaction.

As an anthropologist, Michael delivers deep insights into culture that go far beyond what many organisations are aware of, including: what culture actually is, what culture does, how culture forms and is structured, and who really owns a culture.

After graduating with a degree in Social Anthropology, Michael travelled extensively for years studying and participating in both indigenous and organisational cultures all around the world. After a life-changing experience of becoming lost in the Sahara desert, he returned to New Zealand and, along with his wife, founded Cultures At Work (C.A.W.), a Corporate Anthropology practice that has now guided and supported over 300 culture transformations in organisations around the world.

I hope you’ll join Michael and me to explore how we can advance culture in a post-COVID world.