Plan to Win

Gather some of the most prominent entrepreneurs in one room and the atmosphere is definitely one of winning.

In 2015 and 2016, Brett Kelly along with Kelly Partners hosted a one-day Plan to Win conference in Darling Harbour, bringing together some of the sharpest business minds in the country to share their wisdom to a sold-out crowd of 500 guests.

Most private business owners have a plan: goals, milestones, KPIs, targets. But how many actually have a plan to WIN? In an entrepreneurial world, failure can become glorified. We’ve all heard the
‘fail hard, fail fast’ mantra. Failure builds character and resilience, opening several new doors in place of one that closes, yet winning builds confidence on the road to success. Ultimately, it’s about setting a clear plan and following your purpose with consistency. Each speaker had their own story to tell of peaks and troughs on the journey. Jack Cowin even shared his ‘13 Instructions for Life’, which had guests scribbling notes while furiously trying not to miss a word.

The underlying themes of conference’s were culture, values and purpose. Collette Dinnigan, one of Australia’s most well-known fashion designers, shared the reasons behind her brave decision to stop production of the bridal line and shut down several boutiques. For mother-of-two Dinnigan, living your purpose is about being in the moment – without guilt, whether you’re at work or home – rather than the myth of work-life balance. James Stevens and Tom Waterhouse shared interesting insights into the current digital age that’s allowing us to be at work no matter where we are, from way back when moving a business online was seen as a risky move.

Brett Kelly and Andrew Simmons from Vision PT agreed that company culture and values also means having the right people in the right positions; building a solid, skilled team is crucial, but it’s
also about knowing when to let go. Dinnigan shared that one of her toughest challenges along the way has been holding onto the wrong people: ‘A lot of decisions need to be made on gut instinct,
rather than formula.’ The rules certainly vary in entrepreneurship – who would’ve thought former Rabbitohs’ player Sean Garlick would end up teaming with his pastry chef brother to start a pie company!

Angus Kennard, of Kennards Hire, opened the morning with a video showcasing the importance of fostering strong company culture in building a trustworthy, recognisable brand and bring your
values to life. ‘Every person, every leader, every dollar we spend has to serve that purpose,’ Kennard said. Bookending the day was husband- and-wife power team, jewellers Nicola and Carmela

Cerrone, who agreed on the value of company culture in building your brand, saying ‘It’s about being unique, authentic and making people feel valued.’ Ultimately, the journey to winning is summed up by Cowin as ‘genuine and enduring entrepreneurship.’

Former NRL legend and prominent business leadership speaker Wayne Pearce shared his insights into exponential change within organisations and better understanding of team dynamics and ensuring organisational accountability for change. Wayne’s motivational and empowering approach to business leadership left many business owners in the room wanting to learn more.

Imelda Roche AO has long mastered. Along with her husband Bill Roche and their International multi-billion dollar company Nutrimetrics, Imelda shared an inspirational story about how she started her company and grew it to be one of the largest privately owned cosmetics companies in the world.

Scott Evans (Game Farm) and Louise Cordina (Cordina Group) are successful business owners in control of fourth generation family businesses. Interviewed by Brett Kelly, Scott and Louise answered questions on the growth of their businesses, challenges they have faced and how to best operate a family owned business. When asked their business mottos, Scott responded with ‘No regrets, I never want to die wondering’, while Louise added ‘if you don’t have a need for being, then there is no future in what you are doing’.

PR genius and owner of the renowned BLACK Communications agency, Naomi Parry is one for being, having developed promotional campaigns for some of the most amazing luxury brands in the world. Naomi shared her ’10 lessons from the world of luxury’, principle that any business can learn from. Lesson one – ‘don’t be the biggest, just the best’, Naomi mentioned as she provided a refreshing perspective to business growth. Naomi ended by explaining that luxury brands teach us the value and power of a brand to make money.

Tom Hardwick is the CEO of Guardian Early Learning Group, one of Australia’s largest childcare businesses. Tom positioned his presentation simply, ‘How I built a half billion dollar business in the last 12 years and what we are doing to make that a 2 billion dollar business in the next 5 years’. Tom provided interesting insights into the strategy he uses to grow his business at such a rapid rate and shared his businesses projections and growth potential over the next 5 years.

Australian cricket icon Steve Waugh AO, who was interviewed by his close friend and Kelly+Partners Culture Carrier Duncan Kerr. Duncan and Steve discussed life after cricket and Steve’s involvement in his charity, the Steve Waugh Foundation a fantastic cause helping children living with rare diseases. Plan to Win is proud to support the Steve Waugh Foundation and raised $10,000 for the Foundation.

Plan to Win conference was held at the Hilton Hotel, Sydney.

2015 Plan to Win Speakers

Angus Kennard 

Andrew Simmons

Jack Cowin


Collette Dinnigan

James Stevens

Tom Waterhouse

Sean Garlick


Collette Dinnigan

2016 Plan to Win Speakers

Wayne Pearce

Imelda Roche, AO

Scott Evans


Louise Cordina

Naomi Parry

Tom Hardwick

Steve Waugh