Cultivating culture, introspection and a basketball legend09 Feb 2024 2 min read
NGS’s People and Culture Partner, Kam Sadeghi, joined the NGS team in 2023. With extensive experience in Sydney schools as a Human Resources professional, NGS was a natural fit with the Fund’s link to the education sector. At NGS, Kam brings new talent to the Fund while upskilling and retaining existing employees.
Cultivating culture at NGS
“One of the most common pieces of feedback I hear from NGS team members is that they value the company culture. We strive to create an open-style environment where there is plenty of cross-team collaboration and idea-sharing. On most mornings, you’ll find our CEO, Nat, walking around the office, chatting and checking in with staff - whether it’s about upcoming projects or weekend plans. To cultivate our culture successfully, it’s important to understand the values, goals, and motivations of the individual. It’s equally important that they, too, understand what we are trying to achieve here at NGS. Being a member-first Fund means we put members at the forefront of everything we do, and it’s essential we bring on people who share that vision.’
Upskilling and growth
Kam recruits for a range of positions, using a wide-view lens of how that role fits into the business and what skills and qualities would best suit the broader team.
‘A key skill I look for in every recruit is the ability to be introspective. I believe it’s one of the most important qualities someone can bring to a team. A willingness to pause and think deeply about their choices and interactions in the workplace is incredibly effective in understanding strengths and weaknesses. It’s through this process that they can also identify what areas they would like to develop further or where there may be a skills gap. We can work with them to provide tools and training to support this growth.’
A willingness to evolve
When it comes to what makes someone employable, Kam believes while there are a variety of skills and qualities that are desirable for most roles, ultimately, it comes down to a willingness to evolve. In a time where the workforce is constantly changing with new technology, trends and even the types of roles that are in demand, this is more relevant than ever.
‘You want to be the Swiss army knife of employees’, says Kam. ‘Arm yourself with a range of skills, be adaptable and open to change. Even if you don’t understand a new trend, technology or whatever it may be, a willingness to learn and evolve goes a long way.’
Reaching goals one step at a time
When not in the office, you’re likely to find Kam learning a new sport (he has a goal to learn a new one each year.) As a sports enthusiast, he draws inspiration from various athletes and their ability to set and reach goals. ‘Bill Russell was a basketball player for the Boston Celtics in the 1960s and was part of the first all African American team in NBA history. He went on to win eleven championships, more than Michael Jordon and LeBron James. He was also a prominent voice for the civil rights movement. I take so much inspiration from Russell’s story and his determination to keep going even as he experienced constant racism from the sidelines. But he didn’t give up.
I also draw inspiration from my parents. They immigrated to Australia from Iran during a turbulent time and set up a life here for my brother and me. It’s an ambitious goal to start a new life in a foreign country, but bit by bit, that’s exactly what they did.
When I think about what they achieved, I can see it happens over time. I like to live by the mantra 1% better each day. For me, this means taking small steps one day at a time, and eventually, that will lead me to where get where I want to go.’