Open Minded


Dr Kerry Spackman | Rewire your brain for permanent change

Season 1, Ep. 11

Can we really rewire our brains? What makes a world champion special? Dr. Kerry Spackman shares his expert knowledge, personal experience, and advice for workplaces with Sir John Kirwan.

He has worked with some of the most impressive people and companies on the planet, from the All Blacks and Formula One, to Sir Jackie Stewart and Lewis Hamilton on how to optimize their performance at the highest level. Dr Kerry let Sir John Kirwan pick his mighty mind on neuroscience (brain stuff), growth mindset, his learnings from the world’s best, and his advice for workplaces on creating an environment that fosters creativity and growth.

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More Episodes


Mel Upton | Balancing performance and care in business

Season 1, Ep. 31
Mel Upton is the CEO of Positive Group APAC, a mental wellbeing company focussed on leadership training and group learning. She’s also a veteran of the legal industry and has led wellbeing programs throughout her 25 year legal career.Mel joins JK from a hotel room in Auckland on her first international trip since the start of the pandemic, another sign we are slowly finding our way back to some kind of normal.JK and Mel kick off the pod talking about Mel’s background in the legal industry, and her experience in setting up wellbeing programs as a leader in law firms. She gives us some insight into how to have difficult conversations, and how to be comfortable when you’re having an off day. Mel also shares a first hand experience of dealing with a team member going through significant mental ill-health. She reminds us that hard conversations are hard, and that it’s important to prepare and be mindful when approaching a hard conversation to steer it toward a positive outcome.Later, Mel gives some insight into the work she’s doing now with Positive Group, and how they communicate the sometimes complex scientific concepts behind mental wellbeing in a way that resonates with business leaders and stimulates change in their clients' businesses.Read and Listen:Moving Upstream: The case for a more proactive approach to mental health in the workplace - Dr Brian Marien of Positive GroupA Podcast of One’s Own - podcast by Julia GillardThe Measure of a Man - A Spiritual Autobiography - Sidney Poitier

Nikki Hart | How nutrition feeds mental wellbeing

Season 1, Ep. 29
Nikki Hart is a NZ registered nutritionist and weight management expert. Nikki became well known as “The Evil Diet Witch” when she hosted the TV series ‘Eat Yourself Whole’ and ‘The Fat Chance’.In this episode, Nikki talks to JK about the connection between good nutritional practices and better mental wellbeing. They discuss the results of the recent ‘Smiles Trial’ study showing the correlation between eating more fruit and lower incidence of depression and other mental wellbeing issues.Further, Nikki examines a new study by Elaine Rush showing that carotenoids, the pigments which give fruit and vegetables colour, have a greater effect on health outcomes than previously thought, and that a majority of New Zealanders aren’t getting enough of them.As part of our Groov wellbeing campaign on Winter Wellbeing, Nikki shares tips and tricks for getting enough protection from our nutritional choices in winter, and how to eat well efficiently using seasonal vegetables.JK and Nikki also discuss “Blue Zones”, countries or regions whose traditional diets provide high balanced nutrition resulting in low incidence of obesity and a host of other related health issues. They talk about what makes up a “Blue Zone” diet and how we can build this kind of culture in New Zealand.Read and Listen:The New Serving Guidelines Min of HealthThe Smiles Trial study Carotenoid studies referenced: 1 and 2Further information on Blue Zones