October 27, 2003

The Management Interview What Fires Up Solid Energy’s Don Elder?

Four years ago Solid Energy, once State Coal, was technically insolvent. Now it’s chalking up impressive annual profits, lifting production by up to 25 percent a year and giving environmentalists a run for their money. The turnaround is the work of fast burning chief executive Don Elder. What are his leadership secrets?

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Small Biz: Big Contrbution

Small businesses have been busy “keeping our economy afloat”. That’s according to National Bank chief economist John McDermott commenting on figures published in the Bank’s Small Business Monitor last month.

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Prediction Arie de Geus When capital becomes a commodity

Arie de Geus, former Shell executive and author of the best seller, The Living Company, is one of the few management practitioners to really succeed in the academic world. MIT’s Peter Senge credits him with originating the concept of the “learning organisation”. De Geus argues that all corporate activities are grounded in two hypotheses: “The company is a living being; and the decisions for action made by this living being result from a learning process.” In a rare interview, Arie de Geus talks to Des Dearlove about the need to change how we understand companies – from profit-making machines to living communities.

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Politics Labour’s Love Not Lost

Labour parties face special challenge which conservative parties are usually spared: how to stay in government and keep alive the reason for wanting to be there. British Labour Prime Minister

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Opinion Leaders Time to Trade Up

How often do we hear the claim from business of “skills shortage”? I am personally aware of this problem in my (manufacturing) industry. Regrettably I have been obliged to recruit

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Leadership How They Compare Our political and business leaders

It is difficult to remember a time when the daily media have not lamented the calibre of our political leadership, locally and internationally, or the business press has not found our corporate leadership sorely wanting. But how do leaders in these two sectors compare? We asked Ian Grant, author of the just released book on New Zealand’s political leaders, Public Lives, to tell us what he found.

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Backup Conventional Wisdom

How wise is conventional wisdom? Back in 1883 the tremendously influential scientific philosopher Thomas Henry Huxley explained to an International Fisheries Exhibition in London why the world should never worry

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Age at work – The need to plan

New Zealand businesses will increasingly depend on an older workforce and need to plan for that, according to report released at last month’s Age Advantage Forum in Christchurch. “Our success

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