28 Nov 2014

Ministry of Awesome and Weta wow factor

Richard Taylor
Who wouldn’t want to be part of the Ministry of Awesome?  And what does it take to motivate people to work without a day off for 7 months straight? 
During the week I was lucky enough to hear Sir Richard Taylor, of Weta Workshop, and Sam Johnson, from the Student Army, talk.  Very different people but it struck me they had two things in common; humble leadership and no fear of failure.  These two attributes have enabled them each to achieve amazing feats.

Richard Taylor’s story is truly amazing, and with all those movies to draw from he also has an impressive powerpoint presentation.  But what was really inspiring was his approach to innovation – to quote him “Throw yourself at innovation and hope to hit” (a play on “Throw yourself at failure and hope to miss”).  The innovation they have brought to filmmaking, costumes and make-up is amazing.  To keep competitive in an international market, up against other smart businesses and other government’s subsidies, they have to out-think and out-deliver the competition.  And they do in spades – all from Miramar in Wellington – and they keep on doing it. That tenacity and belief is central to the success of the Weta team.

Sam Johnson
Speaking of spades, Sam Johnson is the young man who mobilised the Student Army to help after the Christchurch earthquakes.  Such an impressive young man, very humble of his achievements, but he is definitely a leader of the future.  He talked about what it takes to build a movement. Identifying a cause people can identify with and rally around, then removing the roadblocks so that they can do  things that make a difference.  It seems so simple, but then the best ideas are usually very simple –just takes tenacity and belief to make them happen.

So thinking about New Zealand’s primary sector and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, the message I got from these inspiring New Zealanders is being clear about where you are headed, innovate new solutions, get going and keep at it. So that’s what we  are doing at Regen – there may not be Oscars to win for smart farm decision support apps, but we hope you enjoy using them.

PS – about the Bootcamp video’s.  We were left under no illusions about the quality of our efforts by the Massey University film students co-opted to assist.  One young man prefaced the screening by saying “Please don’t judge our creative skills on what you are about to see”! lol  


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