Rural Leaders and Thriving Southland collaborate.

Thriving Southland, in collaboration with the New Zealand Rural Leadership Trust and Lincoln University, recently ran two successful workshops, held over four days. The workshops sought to strengthen rural leadership capability in the region and inspire catchment leaders and their teams to work on problems and deliver outcomes for a thriving Southland.

Think to Thrive: Strategy

The first Strategy Workshop, ‘Think to Thrive,’ was held in Winton on the 1st and 2nd of December. It was designed to form a pathway between today’s Southland and where it might be tomorrow. 

Trust to Thrive: Leadership

The second workshop ‘Trust to Thrive’ was held in Invercargill. With a focus on leadership, it was designed to build on the outcomes of workshop one. It drew on the facilitators’ skills in delivering world-leading military intent-based team building frameworks, and helping leaders learn to empower their teams to work and win together.

The facilitators

The workshops were co-facilitated by Chris Parsons, MNZM, DSD, Rural Leaders CEO, Professor Hamish Gow, Lincoln University, Phil Morrison ONZM, Freelance Consultant and Kellogg Programme Facilitator, and Rob Hoult DSD, a Leadership Development Specialist. 

The participants

Each workshop was attended by about twenty farmers, catchment co-ordinators, stakeholders, and local and regional government leaders. Introduced to a range of tools, models, and frameworks, attendees then took a deep dive into a session of insights work. 

The groups generated two hundred key insights, from which they produced three hundred ideas. These ideas were crafted into four game plans the attending leaders could share with their catchments, the Thriving Southland Team and Board. 

When asked how the workshops were for attendees, three strong feedback themes emerged: empowering, big picture, and thought provoking. Many also felt that they had a new platform for influencing change. 

Lynsey Stratford, 2021 Nuffield Scholar and attendee, posted on LinkedIn:

“This was a great opportunity to learn some new skills and identify opportunities for the region alongside other food and fibre producers and stakeholders.” 

Another attendee stated, “We left armed with the models, tools, and insights we need to build capability with our teams.”  

If you’d like to get hold of the workshop summaries, please email either Hamish Gow or Chris Parsons, or 

Our programmes work in partnership with some of New Zealand’s leading agribusiness organisations – click here for more.​