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Meet The Team: Coffee break Q&A with Terry Samaras

Meet Terry Samaras, one of our newest Principals to join our growing A-HA team. He has over 20 years of global experience working with Corporates, SMEs and Start Ups across Australia, the UK, Europe and the US. Specialising in aligning Vision, Design and Performance, he is passionate about supporting visionary leaders making a pioneering impact in their organisations and industries, and providing commercial evidence of the creative potential within us all. Read more about Terry in his own words…

Principal - TerrySamaras

“Ultimately HR remains essential – because it is WHO not WHAT that determines relevance and value..” – Terry Samaras, Principal

First a little bit of fun, can you describe in six words or less what you do (without using your job title)

Creative Innovative Entrepreneurial Accelerated Humane Leadership


How did you get started in HR? And what attracted you to the profession?

I have always been fascinated by what makes us tick as human beings and how that impacts how we learn to work and live and hopefully prosper together. I think that interest was obvious to my early Leaders and Mentors as they invited me first into Training and Development roles and then into Project Leadership Roles and eventually Executive Coaching and Leadership Consulting.


What’s been your greatest achievement in your career so far?

I believe the greater our Humanity, the more effective our mutual Creativity and Innovation, the faster our Growth and Profitability. I have been privileged to have observed this working (and not working) with Senior Leadership Teams around the world in a variety of industries. I am proud to say I have applied it successfully and seen the commercial evidence in my past roles as Head of Leadership Consulting and Business Development for three Consultancies.


What do you think could be done differently within the current HR space?

A stronger relationship, alignment and commonality of focus and language between People, Technology and Finance is the opportunity to make a Business Leaders life far more effective.


Any HR words of wisdom?

Experience and reflection lead to learning and consistent learning leads to Wisdom. Recognising that all of us have differing levels of wisdom and supporting each other to apply our collective wisdom to future endeavours is the key to the field of empowering and developing the effectiveness of people.


Why do you believe HR is essential in 2017?

In the past you could design a business and watch it grow for decades simply by implementing iterations in the P&L. Now because of the pace of the Market there are three factors that are determining the success of a business in 2018

1. Contributing Value – staying relevant with your value proposition

2. Speed of Operations and Distribution – staying relevant with your technology and last but more importantly

3. Consistent R&D – the creativity of your people at all levels to continually adapt and re-design the above value and market relationships that deliver and achieve a consistently relevant, adaptable and sustainable market contribution.

Ultimately HR remains essential – because it is WHO not WHAT that determines relevance and value.


What do you think are the key challenges for HR in the not for profit space?

What we focus on is always at the risk and expense what we ignore or minimise. Using a negative – NOT for profit – does not aptly capture the purpose, focus or motivation of this sector and it has had cultural and organisational repercussions in its principles and practices for a very long time.

It is a huge opportunity now, as we move further into a realisation of the abundance of resources available as opposed to the outdated myth of scarcity, that in fact what we are talking about here is FOR mutual and social profit – which means the commercial principles and practices of doing business for Profit apply just as effectively and efficiently in this sector; and so the potential growth and impact of this sector could be much greater in the future.

What HR trends do you see emerging within Culture, Diversity & Inclusion or Leadership that you see having a big impact for Australian organisations?

At one level a culture is determined by its demographics – race, ethnicity, social/economic status and gender. At a deeper level it is determined by values and beliefs, and when we start looking at the diversity and inclusion of values and beliefs in and across an organization we can further unravel the relationship between values/beliefs and behavior/culture and outcomes.


What does the future of HR look like to you?

I think a greater understanding and advocacy of the causal relationship between Peoples’ physical, emotional and mental state and their commercial performance and outcomes, will become more and more significant as we attempt to keep a pace with the technological disruption and accelerated change occurring in the Market.

The difference between meeting Key Performance Indicators and Optimal Sustained Performance will continue to increase. If you permit me a racing analogy, as I learnt from a Formula One Driver, taking someone out of a road car and placing them in a Formula One vehicle doesn’t make them a faster Driver, it just means there is a greater urgency for accelerated skill development – if you don’t want to crash and burn.

What’s been the strangest thing (workplace practice, conversation, behaviour etc) you’ve encountered so far?

I really can’t recall anything coming to mind, nothing really seems ‘strange’ anymore.

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