Building Legends - People Management

Time and Date(s)

11/09/2024 at 3:00 PM ⇢ 12/09/2024 at 6:00 PM


Two Locations - Auckland 11th September  / Wellington 12th September - 3.00pm - 6.00pm


People Management: Organisational Culture – a key component to business success, growth, and sustainability.

A new way of looking at organisational culture (OC) in the NZ construction sector through the lens of business performance, financial success, and competitive advantage.  Can businesses afford to ignore the impact of culture on the business – find out why not at this Building Legends workshop!

At this workshop you’ll hear from Uli Johnston who has spent much of her profession career focused on diving deep into organisational culture and is the CEO/Director of Accent Management Ltd. 

Uli’s presentation will cover a number of key points including: 

  • Organisational Culture (OC) - what is it and how can you measure it?
  • Who is responsible for OC and whose job is it to change it?
  • Impact on Business Performance: financial, competitive advantage, operational efficiency, human capital.
  • OC as a strategic element – it starts at the governance level.
  • Organisational values – is it practiced or used as a marketing strategy?
  • Assessing your OC – how do you know whether it is positive or requires improvement?

You will also hear about a case study to put these messages into a real-world context. George Russell, from Wilson Building and Commercial, was the Supreme winner at the 2023 NZ Building people Awards, he will talk about the work he did to lead the Samoa High Commission project in Pōneke | Wellington. This was not only a technically tricky project but also involved cultural complexities. George's handling of these complexities, his holistic approach, and his exceptional people management were what set him apart at the Awards. Read more about George below and see images of the Samoa High Commission project. 


Who is this for? 

This information will be particularly useful to key decision makers in organisations, but also anyone with an interest or curiosity about organisational culture and how to manage it.  It will be equally helpful to anyone working in the industry who is impacted by the culture and climate in an organisation. 

A few examples of who this workshop would benefit: Business Owners and Managers; Professional Service partners in the industry; Project Managers; Directors and Board Members; HR Managers; Leaders in the industry; Educational and Development Partners; Suppliers and Providers of Services; Staff representatives; Talent Acquisition Specialists and Recruiters. 

This workshop is for all - Institute members and non-members.

Key takeaways and lessons from the workshop: 

  • You’ll learn why OC is not a myth – it is an essential piece of good business strategy for any organisation.
  • You’ll better understand the risks and benefits associated with OC related to the success and sustainability of an organisation.
  • You’ll discover who is responsible for impacting OC – hint: not HR!
  • You will come away with tools and tips to improve your OC and give it a boost.


Workshop structure: 

  • Introductions by facilitator
  • Case study about an award-winning project (from NZ Building People Awards)
  • Presentation by our subject matter expert
  • Interactive session led by facilitator where participants can share and discuss their curiosities, lessons learnt and problems to solve. 


Uli Johnston

Uli Johnston is a trailblazer in the New Zealand construction sector, dedicated to forging prosperous pathways for individuals and enterprises alike. Originally hailing from Germany, she has amassed a wealth of global experience across the United States and Asia. Uli holds an Executive MBA from Massey University, with her career homing in on the intricate realm of organizational culture.

Uli's professional journey has seen her delve deep into the fabric of organizational culture, a subject that became the focal point of her master’s thesis. Through exhaustive research and analysis, she has redirected her focus towards examining organizational culture through the lens of business management. This shift has led her to craft a comprehensive framework for comprehending, assessing, and molding culture to benefit employees while simultaneously enhancing business performance.

Uli has extensive experience in the building industry with her most recent role as Manager Business Support (Culture, Learning and Development at The Building Intelligence Group.  Recently Uli has founded her own consultancy - Accent Management to assess clients' business performance and organisational structure. With an unwavering belief in the power of human capital, she strives to foster environments where success is not just measured in profits, but in the growth and fulfilment of individuals.


George Russell

George is a Project Manager at Wilson Building and Commercial. He won the $10-25 Million Projects Category and the Supreme Award at the 2023 NZ Building People Awards for his work leading the Samoa High Commission project in Pōneke | Wellington.

The project was constructed on a very constrained site, with a constrained budget requiring a fresh approach to design, methodology, buildability, and staging. It was also of critical importance that the Samoan cultural narrative was woven through the project. George took the time to get fully briefed on the reason why cultural design aspects of the project with the architect and then communicating these to the site team so that everyone on site understood, grew in knowledge, and could talk to these.

George went out of his way to ensure the Samoan High Commission was involved in every step, and actively set the tone at the top by adopting Samoan meeting customs, the Samoan flag, and the Samoan language into the project.

George’s leadership, integrity, excellence in technical fundamentals and his open and honest approach to contracting were key highlights, so much so that one comment was that “George should be running a course for the contracting industry on how to approach a challenging project”.

Images from the Samoa High Commission project below.



Tāmaki | Auckland

Date:    Wednesday 11th September 2024 
Time:    3.00pm - 6.00pm 
High Performer Building; 199A Main Highway, Ellerslie, Auckland 1051
Cost:     Institute 
Members $300 + GST and Non-members $390 + GST
CPD:     10 credits (NZIOB credits)


Pōneke | Wellington 

Date:    Thursday 12th September 2024 
Time:    3.00pm - 6.00pm 
Venue:  Wellington School of Architecture; 139 Vivian Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

Cost:     Institute 
Members $300 + GST and Non-members $390 + GST
CPD:     10 credits (NZIOB credits)


Upcoming Building Legends 

Procurement Management


This event is supported by CARTERS



Auckland & Wellington


Public Event


Building Legends - People Management Tāmaki | Auckland

Time and Date(s): 11/09/2024 at 3:00 PM ⇢ 11/09/2024 at 6:00 PM

Location: High Performer Building; 199A Main Highway, Ellerslie, Auckland 1051

Ticket Price: $390.00 + GST

Tickets Available

Building Legends - People Management Pōneke | Wellington

Time and Date(s): 12/09/2024 at 3:00 PM ⇢ 12/09/2024 at 6:00 PM

Location: Wellington School of Architecture; 139 Vivian Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

Ticket Price: $390.00 + GST

Tickets Available

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