IGS Culture Conference

IGS staff were fortunate to welcome Virgin Australia CEO and Managing Director John Borghetti AO, and 5H Values Director and IGS parent Geraldine Chin Moody to share their inspiring, thought-provoking and encouraging words at the IGS Culture Conference.

Gathered at the University of Sydney, IGS Principal Shauna Colnan and colleagues welcomed the speakers’ brilliant mix of expertise and enthusiasm.

“What is business about? What is the world about? What is life about?” Mr Borghetti asked.

“Relationships! Everything is about the relationship you have with your family, colleagues, neighbours and government, and success comes from benefiting from the relationships you have.”

During a Q&A with Principal Shauna Colnan, Mr Borghetti shared insights from his remarkable career journey, which began in the mail room at QANTAS.

“All I wanted to do was be the best mail boy in the world,” Mr Borghetti said.

“Focus on the job you’re doing, not on the job you want, or you will be distracted.

“If you strive to be the best at the job you’re doing now, then people will notice.”

Mr Borghetti said he liked to refer to company ethos as an “atmosphere”, rather than “culture”, pointing out that every school or business is a microcosm of the world.

Geraldine Chin Moody continued discussions around “atmosphere” and “culture”, reinforcing that when IGS staff demonstrate the School’s values each day, these resonate throughout our school community.   

“Culture and atmosphere are influenced by signs and symbols,” she said. “Students are looking to us as staff and as parents. How do we behave at IGS? What examples are we setting?”

Geraldine explained that our unthinking brain guides 95 per cent of our decisions.

“Culture is formed through the decisions we make without thinking about them,” she said.

“For example if individuals instinctively buy coffees for each other, a culture of generosity can emerge.

“If they listen when others speak, it can create a culture where opinions are respected and everyone is more likely to speak up.

“The purpose and values of an organisation make up the internal compass, which needs to be constantly reinforced through everyday actions.”

Geraldine’s insights on the culture of IGS stemmed not only from her experiences as an IGS parent and Director of 5H Values, but as former Group Executive, People Culture and Sustainability at the Virgin Australia Group and former General Manager, People & Development at the Australian Stock Exchange.

“The IGS culture is unique and special,” she said. “IGS is the village you want your kids to grow up in.”

The idea of IGS as a “village” continued throughout the day, as staff reflected on the importance of relationships, community, engagement and mindfulness.  

“Culture is like DNA, the same and yet changing, responding to undercurrents, mutations and innovation,” Principal Shauna Colnan said.

“Let us keep the best of our identity, and enhance what is unique.”

The IGS Culture Conference provided an opportunity for staff to celebrate connection, collaboration and courageous conversations, establishing an exciting start to the 2018 academic year.