Cecile  took us inside Rio Tinto Iron Ore, speaking about recent challenges the mining giant has faced and the resulting changes being implemented. Cecile gave the audience plenty to ponder and challenged Local Government leaders in the room to think about their operations, their workforce, and their own journeys.

Not shying away from the Juukan Gorge incident, Cecile gave an honest appraisal of the lessons learned, and how these lessons can be applied to any organisation. 

In short, Cecile said Rio Tinto didn’t partner, didn’t listen and didn’t engage. Partnerships and relationships with communities built on listening to understand rather than just listening to respond were vital.  This allows trust to be built, problems to be solved and positive change to be affected.

She added that when engaging with stakeholders, don’t arrive with a solution that is ultimately your solution.  That only demonstrates you are not willing to work together.  

In relation to sexual harassment within its workforce, Cecile was candid, admitting like many companies, Rio Tinto had placed an emphasis on the physical safety of its workforce, but not the mental safety.

What was her advice for those resistant to change? Find people who are innovators in your organisation and convince them to get on board with your change journey and inspire people to implement change.   

"Think about the change journey and what you’re trying to get to. Start creating stories. Start sharing stories. Start telling stories.”  

One of the interesting takes Cecile offered was to embrace conflict and tension because it comes from emotion and humans are feeling beings with thinking abilities. Don’t be afraid of not always getting it right.