Rio Tinto is committed to developing a strong and committed next generation. Based on the premise that peer learning strengthens ties and fosters closeness, the Next Generation Conference was held on 9 June. The initiative was part of a larger drive to introduce a new approach to human resources management.
The event highlighted the breadth of in-house talent and expertise at Rio Tinto and covered many topics of interest, such as collaborative leadership, health and safety leadership, decarbonisation, energy, First Nations, regional heritage and commercial activities.
The 130 executives and up-and-coming talents in attendance listened closely to the various talks, including opening remarks by Guy Gaudreault, Managing Director of Quebec Operations, and Martin Lavoie, Operations Director of P155 (Grande-Baie Works and Laterrière Works).
“As a sponsor of the next generation, I can attest to how far we have come since we launched this initiative in June 2022,” says Lavoie. “We have embodied our organizational values in the careers of our successors. We have changed our ways of doing things, learned about people’s interests and taken the time to listen. The Next Generation Conference was a mark of the strides we have made in our organizational development practices. Meeting all these rising stars in the space of a single day was of great value to everyone present. Developing the talents of our organization is important to me. I believe that relationships are integral to employee engagement, and encouraging opportunities for discussion such as this conference is key to creating and maintaining them.”
The conference also included in-depth conversations in the form of a panel discussion. The four directors on the panel shared their vision of collaborative leadership.
“This was a rare opportunity to learn from the experience of leaders,” says Josée Truchon, Human Resources Business Partner, who hosted the event. “We wanted to establish a genuine and privileged relationship with the conference attendees, so that the next generation could identify with us and learn that true courage lies in vulnerability: being a better person, asking yourself questions, doubting, moving forward, making mistakes and keeping going—being humble. This was the message that our executives shared with their captivated audience, who truly could not get enough.”
Attendees also took part in workshops on a variety of topics, including human resources, economic development, performance improvement, and learning and development.
This was followed by a discussion period, during which participants had a chance to ask questions and explore certain concepts in greater depth. The day ended with a cocktail hour filled with laughter and gratitude from the attendees.