Date posted: 16/11/2020 3 min read

Episode 4: Nicki Nicol on building NZ Rugby better

Nicki Nicol CA, Chief Transformation Officer at New Zealand Rugby, talks to Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand Regional Manager, Mike O’Leary, about how NZ Rugby responded to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on their staff, supporters, business partners and global partnerships.

In brief

  • People are the heart of NZ Rugby, and are their most important priority
  • Organisational change is a challenge, but focusing on the values of their people helped NZ Rugby transition
  • Supporting staff, supporters and business partners is the focus of NZ Rugby’s leadership team

It's difficult to determine when the coronavirus crisis will come to an end, and how long the financial and operational challenges it has placed on businesses will continue. So how are Chartered Accountants helping businesses to navigate the crisis and support their staff in the 'new normal'?

Nicki Nicol CA, Chief Transformation Officer at New Zealand Rugby, met this challenge head on with a plan to address the sustainability of NZ Rugby: putting the health and safety of their people first, before focusing on how to protect the business' revenue.

When COVID-19 hit, like many businesses, NZ Rugby had to consider how to cut costs and save their business. And with the game being cancelled, NZ Rugby had to make the decision to look at doing things differently.

"I think COVID's almost taken us back to remembering all the things that are really important. We're also conscious as we're coming back to sort of return to normal, what does the next normal look like?"
Nicki Nicol CA, Chief Transformation Officer at New Zealand Rugby

Organisational change is a difficult process at the best of times, let alone during a global health crisis. NZ Rugby's leadership team took a value-focused approach to decision-making. A focus on people during such a tenuous time looked like NZ Rugby's staff being given an opportunity to process the changes ahead, before helping to move the organisation forward.

"I think we genuinely do put people at the heart of the organisation. But I think when you undertake such change, some of those values people feel have been tested," says Nicol.

"A really important role for us now as the new leadership group is rebuilding the motivation of our people."

Find out how NZ Rugby transformed their business during COVID-19 lockdown to ensure they'd make it to the other side.

Making to the other side Podcast Series

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