Vertical Distinct's HR Breakfast Roundtables

Vertical Distinct presents the HR Breakfast Roundtable

Running since 2010, the HR Breakfast Roundtables present an opportunity for high calibre senior Human Resource decision makers and leaders to network and discuss critical and trending topics, in an intimate and closed-door setting. Hosted in a warm, congenial environment, guests are feted with a three-course Breakfast.


  • each gathering consists of between 12 –  14 guests to ensure a lively, robust discussion;
  • is usually headlined by a short presentation, delivered by a subject matter expert on a selected theme;
  • the idea behind this type of forum is the provision of a platform for discussion, learning and networking;
  • typically, all Breakfast Roundtables are complimentary for guest attendance and by invitation only;
  • each gathering is three hours long;
  • is limited to senior HR leaders and one guest per organisation at any one time;
  • past topics include performance, employer branding, managing risk, the employee value proposition, HR driving business results, innovation, talent management, leadership pipeline and leadership.


The calibre and type of guest invited is determined by the theme for discussion. These parameters for attendance change from one Roundtable to the next and are impacted by the topics we explore at each event. Guest profiles typically comprise senior HR leaders including these designations below:

  • Head of Human Resources/Vice President/Director/CHRO;
  • Head of/Vice President/Director of Training;
  • Head of/Vice President/Director of Organisational Development;
  • Head of/Vice President/Director of Talent Management;
  • Head of/Vice President/Director of Talent Acquisition;
  • Chief Learning Officer;
  • Head of Finance, HR and Administration;
  • Talent Management Leaders (People and Productivity, Performance and/or Succession).


The Breakfast Roundtables take place a few times throughout the year. Each Roundtable is formed around a different theme or it may be that we develop a series of Roundtables around a theme. To ensure the Roundtables are a success both in terms of discussion and networking, we ensure that different HR personalities, industries and organisation types are included in each gathering. It is important that the guests invited are able to discuss the issues covered as well as draw reference to their individual experiences. We limit the invitations to current practitioners only ie consultants and trainers are generally not part of the group as we seek practitioner insight. As these gatherings are closed-door sessions and limited in numbers, our decision as to who to include on our guest list is also based on responses we receive and the timeframes in which they are sent in as well. Invitation criteria may vary from one Roundtable to the next.

The general criteria include but is not limited to the following:

  • You are the most senior leader in the Human Capital/Talent Management/Human Resource/People division within your organisation;
  • Your portfolio may include national and/or regional oversight;
  • Your organisation is in the medium to large category (with a minimum of a 1000 person workforce within Malaysia);
  • Your portfolio includes the issues for discussion during the said Roundtable;
  • Organisations with a regional or global presence are welcome;
  • Organisations from both the public and private sector are welcome.
  • Please note that due to the high level of interest in these Roundtable gatherings, we may not be able to confirm each and every individual who expresses interest. When a Roundtable is announced, please send your registration of interest in early. On receipt, someone will be in touch with you.


Past Breakfast Roundtable Collaboration

These are a selection of the Breakfast Roundtables we have run since 2010 which include those presented under the banner of HR Matters Magazine.


Redefining Leadership in the Open Source Era
featuring a keynote by  Rajeev Peshawaria, Chief Executive, the Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre

Rajeev PeshawariaBringing together pre-eminent HR and business leaders, the discussion will centre on the impact points created by the shift of leadership and what HR can and should review and do in order to remain relevant and possibly, be one step ahead. In the era of disruption, this involves looking at what all of this means to the talent management, HR and leadership teams. We look at the different implications that may result from adjusting HR policies, launching new strategies as well as introducing creative ways of working together.

Breakfast Roundtable - The War For Talent Is Over

The War for Talent Is Over … Talent Won!
featuring a keynote by Michael E Kossler, Director Research and Curriculum at the Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre

Michael E KosslerIn 1999 the consultancy, McKinsey and Company, published a seminal white paper titled, “The War for Talent.” That paper described an impending shortage of talent that would impact organisations globally. Ironically, a decade later, the war was deemed over due to the vast numbers of employees that were laid-off as a result of the global economic crisis. Western pundits suggested that the war was actually won by organisations that now had their choice among talent. The Roundtable explored the strategies Malaysian organisations can use to make the war for talent a win-win outcome.

Breakfast Roundtable - Getting People To Do The Things You Need Them To Do

Getting People To Do The Things You Need Them To Do
featuring a keynote by Samantha Ayton, Director English Language Services, British Council Malaysia

Samantha AytonAs an HR leader, you don’t build cutting edge apps. You don’t crunch numbers to maximise revenue growth nor do you deal with market segments, price analysis or permission marketing. As an HR leader, you deal with people – growing, leading, building, attracting, recruiting, retaining and engaging people. As an HR leader, you work on bridging the gap between the needs of the organisation with that of the individual. Your ability to drive alignment and cohesion between these two distinct areas is what makes you successful. In these areas, success is determined by your ability to persuade, entice and build a compelling picture. It is also determined by how well you communicate.

Breakfast Roundtable - The Key To Motivating Subordinates

The Key To Motivating Subordinates? Stop Trying!
featuring a keynote by Muhammad Sabri Rawi, Director Research and Curriculum,  Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre

Muhammad Sabri RawiWhat is motivation really about? How do we motivate our people? The bad news is that there is no training programme in the world that can improve an employee’s motivation level. However, the good news is that employees are already intrinsically motivated. Do leaders know what motivates or moves their team? The Roundtable revealed simple leadership practices that can impact the motivational drivers of employees positively.

Breakfast Roundtable - The Talent Makers

The Talent Makers. Getting 90% Of Your People To Perform Like The Top 10%
featuring a keynote by  David Wee, Director Research and Curriculum,  Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre

David WeeRather than chase after a finite, expensive and questionable pool of star talent, organisations should re-channel their efforts to find a source of talent that is plentiful, inexhaustible and cost effective. The question is whether such a source for talent exists and if so, how would organisations tap into it? The answer lies within the organisation itself! The ICLIF Leadership and Governance Centre shared an approach that works, which they call 90-10 Talent Management.

Breakfast Roundtable - Rethinking The Business Of HR

 Rethinking The Business of HR With Next Generation Cloud Applications

featuring a keynote by  Richard Y K Lee, Director, Oracle Human Capital Management Systems

Richard LeeModern HR applications that can deliver analytical insights, provide collaborative tools and enhance the personalised user experience are what HR organisations of today require. You need tools and experiences, with state of the art HR business intelligence capabilities, that can help you do things better. Delivering results are what you are after. Where do next generation cloud applications sit, alongside these concerns? What kind of solutions can you expect regardless of your organisational size, region or industry? Oracle shared how to leverage enterprise-grade software as a service (SaaS) to get up and running quickly and securely, listing new techniques and the latest innovative applications to tackle key challenges such as aligning compensation and performance, organising and calibrating critical talent and assessing key workforce trends and risks.

Breakfast Roundtable - Risky Business

Risky Business: How Organisations Can Manage Business Travel Risk
featuring a keynote by  Dr Philippe Guibert, Regional Medical Director, International SOS

Dr Philippe GuibertDo you have a systematic approach to travel risk management? What is the role HR plays in highlighting this in the organisational agenda? Are you aware of how your approach, as the HR lead, impacts the organisational duty of care? Many employees are now more aware of the risks in these countries and are not willing to relocate there without a safety net. This Roundtable explored how these incidents expose both employee and employer to greater risk, how the corporate liability of employers is heightened and shared ideas on what you can do to address these issues in your organisation.

Breakfast Roundtable - Why Employer Branding Matters

 Why Employer Branding Matters. How We Can Utilise Social Media In Our Talent Acquisition Efforts

featuring a keynote by Rolf Bezemer, Managing Director, Stepstone Solutions

Rolf BezemerLeading-edge organisations realise the impact of their employer brand and take steps to manage their brand proactively. These very same organisations keep up with technological and other trends. Consequently, they realise the impact social media presents and the opportunities to be gained in its embrace. Their foray into social media is however,  considered and measured. Their efforts put them on a firm foothold towards getting their brand on a global level. In one respect, this eases considerably their talent acquisition efforts. The Roundtable explored how HR should manage their employer brand and the various tools they could leverage in their talent acquisition efforts.



Headline image Behind of Woman Gesturing courtesy Kaboompics/Karolina, Orange Juice on a Glass courtesy unsplash.com and People Coffee Meeting Team courtesy Startup Stock Photos.


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