Staying agile in the face of technological uncertainty is a growing challenge for all business managers, none more so than those of us in the engineering sector.
We all need to be innovators, disrupters, creators and adapters if we are to keep our businesses relevant, growing and thriving.
There’s a newly coined philosophy doing the rounds that’s worth investigating; the growth mindset. This is where each team member is recognised by management as capable and talented, with the ability to improve and grow. A fixed mindset, in contrast, views employee capability and talent as limited.
Stanford University research shows employers who adopt and embrace a growth mindset (and we know many WECA members have done it for years) encourage learning, development and new ideas from their team members. These are the organisations most likely to stay agile in the face of technological uncertainty.
Notably, Microsoft Chief Executive Sayta Nadella has adopted a growth mindset to transition the tech giant from a “know it all” to a “learn it all” work environment.
To embrace a growth mindset, leaders and their teams must work together to move out of their comfort zone, get excited and adopt new ideas and beliefs.
At WECA we recognise being in the dreaded comfort zone can lead to technological stagnation. Therefore, we recently held an inaugural combined member event with Cultivate IT, the region’s digital business cluster, to foster collaboration between our organisations and innovation between our businesses. Read more about this successful event further down.
Actions to support a growth mindset culture in your business:
Foster continuous learning.
What you know now may be less relevant that what you may learn. In other words, knowing answers to questions may not be as important as having the ability to ask the right questions from the beginning.
Encourage rich conversations.
Excellent manager/employee communications is where a growth mindset really makes an impact. This includes daily touch-base conversations and regular performance check-ins.
Incorporate a growth mindset in your business strategy.
Transitioning from a fixed mindset culture requires much more than a launch-and-leave approach. It needs engagement, substance and leaders willing to go the extra mile to provide reinforcement and drive change. This includes weaving it through your business strategy.
(Source: Post by Stephen Childs, of Forbes Human Resources Council):
All the Action:EVolocity Waikato and BoP Regional Finals
Clockwise from top: Waikato Diocesan School for Girls team, the Economy Run on the track and Tauhara College kart Lignum.
Clockwise from top: Monowheel from Cambridge High School, Te Koopuku High School's Iti Rearea and Mount Maunganui College kart.
It was spectacular day in Hamilton for this year’s Waikato – BOP EVolocity regional finals. For the first time, the event was combined with the Bay of Plenty, with four bay secondary schools competing alongside 15 schools from Waikato. In total 46 teams competed on the day. This is the largest EVolocity event to date and we are likely to see a similar number of competitors at National Finals in Hamilton on Sunday November 24th from 9am.
For the first time there were multiple entries in the Open Class – EVs with 1kW motors that are more powerful and capable of going faster.
Students’ innovation and design skills were a highlight and we are seeing more outstanding builds. A special mention to the Green Team from Te Aroha College who made a cart reinforced by bamboo; Tauhara College’s “ikea” plywood cart, which could be deconstructed and put together again; and a monowheel from Cambridge High School (while it wasn’t the fastest, it was certainly impressive and innovative!).
Special thanks to the following sponsors, supporters and volunteers on the day:
University of Waikato engineering staff and students, Wintec staff, The Tool Shed, ETCO, Patchells, Te Ohomai (Barry Dawe and Carl), Longveld, Hamilton EV, Collins automotive technicians, Electrify NZ, the Waikato EV community, Stew Lister (chief scrutineer for Waikato) and Mark Robotham (photography).
EVOLOCITY REGIONALS RESULTS Drag Race - Fastest Cart - Otumoetai College - Boyz to men
Drag Race - Fastest Bike - Fraser High School - Fraser EV1
Drag Race - Fastest Bike (open) - Fairfield College - Power surge
Drag Race - Fastest Cart (open) - Kati Kati College -KKC EV One
Street Circuit - Quickest Cart - St John's College - The Trike
Street Circuit - Quickest Bike - Fairfield College -Solaris
Street Circuit - Quickest Bike (open) - Tauhara College - Harley Mk II
Street Circuit - Quickest cart (open) - Waikato Homeschoolers
Most economical Bike - Mt Maunganui College - Gigantor
Most economical Cart - St John's College - The Trike
Gymkhana – Cart - Otumoetai College - Boyz to men
Gymkhana – Bike - Mt Maunganui - Gigantor
Gymkhana - (open) - Kati Kati College - KKC EV One
Best Pitch -Evy award - Waikato Homeschoolers
Best Report - Waikato Homeschoolers
Show - Design & Appeal - Te Aroha College - Green team
Innovation challenge #A- Collection and display of vehicle performance data - Waikato Homeschoolers
Innovation challenge #B - Engineering excellence and innovation - New Plymouth Girls - MARIO-PARTY- Cyclops
Overall best performing Bikes - Waikato Diocesan School for Girls
Overall best performing Cart - St John's - The Trike
Leveraging IT for business growth and global success was on the minds of about 40 engineering and IT businesses who gathered for an inaugural combined WECA and Cultivate IT event at Innovation Park recently.
Guest speakers at the Cross Sector Collaboration event included Dr. Matt Glenn, of Robotics Plus, who gave attendees an interesting glimpse into the business focused on developing mechanisation, automation, robotics and sensor (MARS) technologies for horticulture and other primary industries. Company-X and Cultivate IT founder David Hallett gave a sneak peek into the latest innovations at his award-winning business, while Gallagher Groups' Vini Pant gave a glimpse into how the iconic business empowers employees and customers to achieve more with technology.
WECA gathered attendee feedback following the event, with nine of nine respondents likely or very likely to recommend the event to a colleague. We will keep members posted about WECA and Cultivate IT plans for future collaboration, including exploring ways to add value to each other’s businesses and to take Waikato innovation to the world.
Captions, clockwise from top left; Kaleb James, Stafford Engineering and David Hallett, Cultivate IT and Company-X; Sharron Gray and Jake Spence, St John's College, Vini Pant, Gallagher Group and Alison Marshall, Wintec; Adrian Marshall, JP Marshall, Matthew Weake, CADPRO Systems and Ruth Walmsley, business analyst; John Scutts, RTFI NZ, Fathima Shazna, Wintec and Apeksha Peiris.
Looking for entry-level staff and able to offer training? We'd love to give WECA members first pick of young, keen-to-work people WECA is screening and providing support to as part of the Government-subsidised Mana in Mahi initiative!
The WECA team identifies young people who are keen to work and, are interested in entry-level vacancy/ies. These people come with plenty of pastoral support from WECA (12 months), not to mention more than $10k in Government subsidies (as outlined here). We recently met with the team at Maaori Pasifika Trade Training (Wintec) who are working with us to identify suitable students.
Find out more about you can make a difference and support WECA with this initiative here or email firstname.lastname@example.org. BE QUICK for the BEST PICK!
Got a Trade? Got it Made! SpeedMeet 2019:
Engineering Careers focus
WECA intern Penny Bunting interviewed more than 60 senior secondary school students from throughout the region at a recent speed interviewing event at Hamilton Boys' High School.
Penny gave each student a brief run-down about WECA and engineering careers, using the opportunity to point those interested in engineering to the WECA website. She also gave interested students a copy of the Engineering Pathways poster in the latest FutureForce® Careers magazine.
Penny said students showed a good level of interest in mechnical and electrical engineering, as well as diesel-related engineering. "It was great to see so many students interested in pursuing a career somewhere on the engineering pathway."
Hamilton Boys’, Te Kuiti High, Hamilton Girls’, Waikato Diocesan School for Girls, Nga Taiatea Wharekura, Te Wharekura O Rakaumanga, Melville High, Te Awamutu College, Rototuna High, Te Wharekura O Te Rau Aroha, Forest View High, Huntly College and Cambridge High School had students there throughout the day.
As part of the Design Show the university is hosting an Industry Networking Event, an initiative aimed at strengthening connections with local industry, providing a networking opportunity for engineering professionals and to showcase the design work of final year students. You can also meet academic staff and find out about their research with industry.
This year our keynote speakers are Alistair Scarfe, Chief Technology Officer at Robotics Plus and Mike Williams, Founder at MW Design.
Wednesday 16 October 2019 Time:
Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts
Gate 2B, Knighton Road, Hamilton (map)
Engineering employers are being encouraged to attend this year's Wintec Engineering Design Show. Dates at Wintec Rotokauri are:
Civil Engineering students: Monday November 4th
Mechanical Engineering students: Thursday November 7th
Electrical Engineering students: Friday November 8th
Further details and invite to follow.
A word from WECA Sponsors...
Hamilton Electric Vehicles are proud to be the only EV, dedicated electric vehicle showroom in Hamilton and supporting Waikato towns.
Delivering competitive pricing, unmatched service and support packages with every EV investment. We have the vehicles, from around town city cars, to family cars, motorbikes, scooters and Segways........ if it’s an electric vehicle we have them either in the showroom or in transit. Pop in to our huge air-conditioned showroom for a chat, enjoy our customer lounge area for a hot or cold beverage. Book our function / education space for your group or business meeting and enjoy the ambiance that Hamilton Electric Vehicles offers. Pop in and see us at 6 Rawhiti St, Frankton, Hamilton! Follow us on Facebook.
A word from ETCO...
The Electrical Training Company (Etco) is New Zealand’s leading training provider for the electrical industry. Since 1991 we have helped thousands of apprentices and students into rewarding and successful careers.
Etco apprentices undertake a combination of on-the-job training, with host companies, and off-the-job training, including block courses and night classes. We employ apprentices throughout their training, placing them with host companies in placements that ensure they gain skills and experience in a variety of domestic, commercial and industrial settings.
We provide training at 35 locations country-wide. This includes our new state-of-the-art training centre in Hamilton, equipped with the most modern learning technology and systems.
Hosts pay one simple weekly charge for the hours an apprentice has worked. Etco covers all trainings costs, and supplies a start-up tool kit and PPE, all of which means Etco reduces costs, risk and stress for host companies. Apprentices undergo a 12-day residential induction, including site safe training, before beginning placements. We cover all leave, public holidays and ACC and KiwiSaver contributions
We also take care of all assessments and provide structured HR, pastoral care and study support. Etco apprentices lead the field in national examinations and competitions.
Our stakeholders include schools, parents, electrical companies and contractors, partners, sponsors and government. We work with schools to promote the career pathways available to high-achieving school-leavers, and with businesses to provide them with high calibre apprentices and meet their apprentice training needs.
Through sharing information, receiving feedback and consultation, we secure the best candidates, ensure work placements are available and deliver the highest standards of training to prepare apprentices to make a positive contribution to the industry.