Skip to main content

CANTERBURY: Building Positive Work Cultures with Strength-Based Development


Over the last few decades, the field of positive psychology has introduced HR and OD practitioners to new interventions for lifting individual and organisational performance. One approach, while not new, has become increasingly important to building psychologically positive work environments – places where people feel they can perform at their best – is the use of strengths-based development. Strengths-based development assumes that we all have weaknesses but that by focusing on what people do best, we have a far better chance of helping people make changes that they are enthusiastic about and that they stick to in the long-term. But what do we know about the effectiveness of this approach and what does it take to build a strengths-based development culture in an organisation?

This talk will cover:

- A short history of strengths-based development assertions (who’s idea was this?)

- Building the business case for strengths-based development (what’s in it for me?)

- Case examples of strengths-based leadership development (when has it been used?)

- Laying the foundations for a strengths-based development culture (where do I start?)

With thanks to our Sponsor - Duncan Cotterill

About the Presenter

Michelle Shields - MS Organisational Development; PhD Psychology

Michelle is a strengths-based HRD/OD practitioner. As principal consultant with Fulcrum Associates Ltd., she uses strengths-based approaches to help teams with strategy formation and culture change. She is an international partner of the Zenger Folkman Extraordinary Leadership approach employing strengths-based development multi-rather feedback and coaching. She has over thirty-years’ experience as a practitioner in New Zealand and the US and is a Chartered Member of the Human Resource Institute of New Zealand.

She has worked with numerous organisations in both New Zealand and around the world including most recently Canterbury Health Laboratories; Canterbury, Manukau and Waikato District Health Boards; Air New Zealand; Emirates Airlines; the Universities of Canterbury and Waikato; Ballance Agri-Nutrients; AgResearch;. And Orion NZ Ltd.


Payment is due at the time of registration. If this is difficult, please email [email protected] to request an invoice.

Fees for payment are non-refundable unless cancellation has been confirmed by email to [email protected] prior to the event.

Cancellations and Refunds

To receive a full refund cancellations must be received by HRNZ by email to [email protected] two working days before the day of the event.

Cancellations after this time and/or 'no shows' on the day will be payable in full.

Appropriate substitutions are welcome - please email [email protected] with their details.

Attending HRNZ Events under the COVID-19 Protection Framework

Please ensure you abide by the health and safety guidelines of the venue. Events are subject to Ministry of Health guidelines and the HRNZ internal COVID 19 Events policy. To view HRNZ's internal COVID 19 Events Policy please click here.