What does a software consultancy have in common with an Olympic athlete

Enlighten Designs has appointed Hamish Carter in a newly created role as People Experience lead. The initial focus of the new role is to support Enlighten’s four Practice Leads as the organisation builds out its strategy of creating businesses-within-a-business to better serve the diverse needs of its clients in NZ, Australia, and USA.

Hamish Carter was a household name in 2004 following his gold-medal triathlon success. However, since his retirement from elite sport, Hamish has applied his understanding of high-performance environments to the corporate sector – first at Lion and then at High Performance Sport NZ. His deep passion for working with businesses to help shape their performance culture is why Enlighten Designs have chosen Hamish to join the leadership team in the People Experience Lead role. 

So why does a software company need a performance coach?

Hamish Carter when he won his triathlon gold medal at the 2004 Olympics.

CEO Damon Kelly says:

“For us to grow, the only way forward is to grow our people. And when it comes to innovations around human growth and development, it's hard to look further than high-performance sport. Hamish has not only competed in this arena, but he has also worked in the industry to create environments and programs to support people's performance and growth. This combined with his experience in the HR team at Lion and seeing Xero through its growth from being a 10-person company to almost 200, means he ticked plenty of boxes from our own wish list.” 

Appointing someone like Hamish may appear to be an unexpected move from a software development company, and this sits well with others in Enlighten’s leadership team. Marketing Team Lead Derryn Alexander adds,

“Enlighten Designs as a brand is an innovator and an alchemist – we make things happen where others can't. In that sense, Hamish’s appointment is the kind of move that’s in our DNA.” 

And as for Hamish? He is all ready to dive in. He is passionate about working with people and supporting organisational culture and processes that inspires both individuals and teams to be the best.  
“I find that Enlighten is truly taking what it means to be Kiwi – providing world-class service – and implementing that both locally and internationally. And this is what resonated with me a lot about this company, both as a person and a professional athlete; that anything is possible, and I am excited to be part of this journey. 

A quote from Hamish Carter, People Experience Lead at Enlighten Designs: "...[W]hat resonated with me a lot about [Enlighten], both as a person and a professional athlete; that anything is possible, and I am excited to be part of this journey.”

In fact, Hamish believes that the worlds of high-performance sports and technology are not too far apart. People truly invested in both set out to achieve difficult outcomes and the only way to succeed is to have clarity of mind and great processes in place but, most importantly, to trust the people.

"I am passionate about working with people who have big aspirations, such as those at Enlighten. I am looking forward to creating the inspirational environment for them to become the best version of themselves and help their customers better,” remarks Hamish.  
“The one thing I have learned over the years is that no one can do everything at once. Being clear about your priorities is crucial, especially for an organisation like Enlighten.” 

Hamish is settling into his new role by observing, talking, and learning how Enlighten operates and who its people are, so that he can start thinking about how to attract and retain top talent, given the challenges of recruitment these days.
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