{{ propApi.closeIcon }}
Our industry
Our industry $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Economic research and forecasting Economics Housing outlook Tailored market research Economic reports and data Inspiring Australia's building professionals HOUSING The only place to get your industry news Media releases Member alerts Submissions See all
Business support
Business support $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Become an apprentice host Hire an apprentice Why host a HIA apprentice? Apprentice partner program Builder and manufacturer program Industry insurance Construction legal expenses insurance Construction works insurance Home warranty insurance Tradies and tool insurance Planning and safety services Building and planning services How can HIA Safety help you? Independent site inspections Solutions for your business Contracts Online HIA Tradepass HIA SafeScan HR Docs Trusted legal support Legal advice and guidance Professional services Industrial relations
Resources & advice
Resources & advice $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Building it right Building codes Australian standards Getting it right on site See all Building materials and products Concrete, bricks and walls Getting products approved Use the right products for the job See all Managing your business Dealing with contracts Handling disputes Managing your employees See all Managing your safety Falls from heights Safety rules Working with silica See all Building your business Growing your business Maintaining your business See all Other subjects COVID-19 Getting approval to build Sustainable homes
Careers & learning
Careers & learning $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
A rewarding career Become an apprentice Apprenticeships on offer Hear what our apprentices say Advice for parents and guardians Study with us Find a course Get your builder's licence Learn with HIA
HIA community
HIA community $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Join HIA Sign me up How do I become a member? What's in it for me? Get involved Become an award judge Join a committee Partner with us Get to know us Our members Our people Our partners Mates rates What we do Mental health program Charitable Foundation GreenSmart
Awards & events
Awards & events $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Australian Housing Awards Awards program National Conference Industry networking Events Building and Renovation Home Show
HIA products
HIA products $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Shop @ HIA Digital Australian Standards Contracts Online Shipping and delivery Purchasing terms & conditions Products Building codes and standards Hard copy contracts Guides and manuals Safety and signage See all
About Contact Newsroom
$vuetify.icons.faTimes
$vuetify.icons.faMapMarker Set my location Use the field below to update your location
Address
Change location
{{propApi.title}}
{{propApi.text}} {{region}} Change location
{{propApi.title}}
{{propApi.successMessage}} {{region}} Change location

$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Where culture meets technology

In addition to being chief executive of consultancy company Emergent, Holly Ransom has delivered a peace charter to the Dali Lama, interviewed Barack Obama on stage, was appointed by the Prime Minister in 2014 to Chair the G20 Youth Summit, and was listed by Sir Richard Branson as one of his dream dinner guests.
{{ tag.label }} {{ tag.label }} $vuetify.icons.faTimes

With a resume of achievements so long you’d expect it from someone who was nearing the end of their career, this year’s HIA National Conference keynote speaker Holly Ransom is nothing short of a trailblazer.

As someone who has rubbed shoulders with, and been noticed by, the likes of entrepreneur Richard Branson, Holly understood she needed to ask better questions to solve bigger problems from a young age.

‘In my late teens I discovered the quote, “How long does it take to learn from someone’s life experience? A coffee!” I thought, “Hey, I can do coffee!” It made it kind of this accessible thing. I now have notoriously called or emailed or knocked on the door of most of the leaders of Australia,’ Holly says.

At 15 she became the youngest employee in the events department at a local stadium after just one week of work experience saw her secure a permanent role. It was a sign of things to come. At 22 Holly was named one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women by the Australian Financial Review, at 24 she co-chaired the Youth Summit Y20. By 25 she had founded strategic advisory firm Emergent. 

As CEO of Emergent, Holly works directly with leaders of businesses and companies through workshops and speaking engagements to help them identify opportunities for growth and improvement. Applying what she knows about businesses, people, and technology across a range of industries, Holly specialises in disruption strategy and social technology architecture – but what does that mean? And how do these concepts apply to the building industry?

‘Disruption presents a choice between opportunity and obsolescence – we can’t afford not to be changing,’ Holly explains. ‘While the industry itself might not have evolved a great degree in 100 years, what we do know is that the world has evolved significantly. In particular, customer expectations have evolved.’

Holly will be speaking at the HIA 2020 National Conference on the Gold Coast from 28–30 May.

Sarah O'Donovan

Content and Marketing Officer

With the phrase ‘don’t fix what isn’t broken’ echoing in the distance, it’s important to distinguish the purpose of Holly’s work: disruption isn’t about change for the sake of change, it’s about keeping up with the changes happening externally.

‘There is a whole new world order and it is critical that building industry leaders have their finger on the pulse of what this revolution will mean.’

The changes she helps businesses keep up with are those that occur within the industry but outside of an individual business or company and outside of an individual leader’s control, such as advancements in technology.

‘Digital technology is already having profound implications on the building industry,’ she says. ‘The “Internet of Things” is offering new opportunities to improve the efficiency of buildings, raise employee productivity, as well as helping to stimulate the development of innovative new ways of constructing buildings themselves.’

Holly believes the best approach in the building industry is inspiring action from the top down: ‘I’ve learned that the most powerful change we can make as a leader is the change we inspire in others’.

She understands that the heart of a business is behind the technology, where the people are, so her holistic approach to consulting also considers, in addition to how people work with technology, how people work together.

Digital technology is already having profound implications on the building industry

‘Culture is everything. Culture is inextricably linked to engagement and engagement is the major driver of workforce productivity. If people aren’t engaged, they don’t perform,’ Holly says.

‘Unhappy, emotionally distressed workers are more likely to get sick and less likely to recover from injury. On the flip side, in cultures where there is trust, psychological safety (a comfort in taking risk and speaking one’s mind) and a strong relationship between managers and their direct reports, we know people flourish.’

It’s for this reason that Holly continues to question everything, including herself, and recommends others do too: ‘Ask yourself every day “what am I doing today to put myself in the best position to deliver on my priorities?” every week “if I get one thing done this week that thing should be?” every month “what did I do this month to learn and stretch myself? What am I committing to do next month?” and every year “what am I going to do this year that I’ll be proud of in 12 months’ time?”

‘With the convergence of social, technological and economic factors impacting the building and construction industry, it’s a great time to ensure we are asking better questions of ourselves and our people, in order to ensure a better tomorrow,’ she adds.

‘I have always been fascinated by “why” things were the way they were, particularly when it came to people dynamics at an individual, team and societal level,’ Holly continues, attributing this ‘forensic curiosity’ to a street side encounter with a homeless person at a young age which opened her mind to the different realities individuals around her were facing every day.

‘Each interaction in our daily lives, I think, provides us with the opportunity to assess ourselves, to check-in on what matters and our own development. I’m continually learning and calibrating my beliefs and world view based on these interactions.’

Now on her way to attaining a Masters of Public Policy, Information Technology at Harvard University, while running her company and speaking at conferences and events around the world, it’s clear that, across sectors and continents, Holly has a wealth of knowledge to share.

To hear the rest of what Holly has to say about the future of the building industry, register for the national conference at www.hia.com.au/conference.

GreenSmart Environment Sustainability
Green Guru
Janine Strachan, 2021 HIA Australian GreenSmart Professional award winner, looks at the shift in sustainable housing during her career and reveals why she’s so passionate about it.
Mar 22
7 min read
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Wellbeing Work Health and Safety (WHS) Mental health
Taking a stand
Sometimes our start in life can inhibit our ability to succeed. For one prime soccer player and business owner, he had to master his own direction to score goals - on his own terms.
Jan 22
8 min read
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Inspiration Innovation Social media
When instinct meets innovation
With his roots firmly locked in travel, tech and entrepreneurship, Gus Balbontin shares his business know-how following decades of work with companies both big and small. 
Feb 22
6 min read
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Inspiration Awards Construction
Taking care of business
As co-owner and office manager of Highwater Homes, Elizabeth Searle is enjoying a double celebration this year with her business’s 10-year anniversary and her win of the 2021 HIA Australian Business Partner award.
Dec 21
6 min read
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Business operations Construction Planning
Industry insiders
HOUSING spoke with our insiders about the issues that may affect the residential building industry as we move into 2021, and how they are navigating the impact of the pandemic.
Nov 20
10 min read
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Sustainability Inspiration Innovation
Race for zero waste
The building industry is responsible for over 40% of the waste created in Australia. One woman is transforming some of this waste into sustainable building products – welcome to the materials revolution. 
May 21
7 min read
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Design Inspiration
Wellbeing warrior
After overcoming mental illness and coping with the suicide of her plumber brother, this community nurse now supports and guides others who have mental health issues.
Aug 20
5 min read
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Design Inspiration
Dynamic duo
HIA’s new National President Alwyn Even and Vice-president Debbie Johnson are renowned for their business acumen but their passion for building.
Aug 21
5 min read
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Design Inspiration
Black book of secrets
Renowned for his daring designs, Sydney architect Scott Weston reveals inside tips to help builders, designers and craftspeople work together seamlessly. Photos: Nicholas Watt
Aug 21
5 min read
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Design Construction Innovation
Open and agile
HIA award-winning interior designer Jasmine McClelland is one to take new challenges, pursuing her creative flair all the way into a housing industry.
Nov 20
5 min read
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Inspiration Human Relations (HR)
Disarming depression
When Jake's father died in a workplace accident, the tragic loss marked the beginning of his descent into despondency and depression. Jake shares his experience and inspirational journey to recovery.
Apr 21
6 min read
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Construction Planning Inspiration
Master of illusion
How does a design professional go about creating a custom home with liveable solutions? For Robert Kirkovski of Rural Building Co, it’s all about flexible thinking to create a forever space.
Feb 21
4 min read
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Sustainability Environment
Green for the mainstream
How do you plan and build an affordable, water-wise, energy-efficient home? Environmental scientist and media professional Dr Josh Byrne has the right green guide to help.
Feb 21
6 min read
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Residential
A cut above the rest
Monique Juratovac threw convention out the window when she signed up for a bricklaying apprenticeship. Despite the naysayers, she is determined to carve out her own path in the construction industry.
Feb 21
5 min read
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Innovation Construction Staffing
Industry Insiders
With 2022 approaching, five industry leaders look at the complex issues and challenges affecting our members now – and in the future. 
Dec 21
7 min read
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight