Big picture: new ideas

We’re launching major new series in this issue. It’s an eight-part sector-by-sector review of the underlying drivers of success in key parts of New Zealand’s economy.
It comes underpinned by insights from years of Deloitte/Management magazine Top 200 Awards data and is pulled together by one of NZ’s leading business writers Vicki Jayne.
She kicks off with biggie: the energy sector which, poised over decisions on public vs private ownership and fossil fuels vs renewables, plays pivotal role in our economy. (See her story on page 24). Next in the series Vicki will be looking at manufacturing, which has undergone transformation not entirely of its choosing as lower wages have sucked jobs offshore. Many of these, of course, have gone to China, which is now facing its own demands for higher wages in slower economy.
I’ve got Anita Chan’s book Walmart in China in my towering pile of books at the moment. Any piece of work that looks at what happens when the world’s largest company collides with the world’s biggest country is going to provide an extreme example. From what I’ve read so far of Chan’s book, it is also likely to provide some fascinating insights into who adapts what to meet the needs, views and agendas of others.
Despite – or more likely because of, such macro-changes – both our energy and our manufacturing sectors provide rich source of remarkable stories of transformation as New Zealand companies learn to find their foothold in this very different world.
I live in state of perennial amazement over the Kiwi knack of finding some curious new niche in which to specialise and New Zealanders’ dedication to untangling knotty problems. Last month’s Go Global conference in Auckland pumped out stream of inspiring stories. My current favourite is SIMCRO CEO Will Rouse’s story of how his company developed multimillion-dollar sheep-drenching system for Novartis after one of his guys worked out it needed the same mechanical orientation as beer bottle.
At the same event, Natural History NZ MD Michael Stedman talked about how he tries to live out nature’s big lesson that things become extinct if they can’t adapt.
All that looking at wildlife over the years has clearly helped Stedman see business through nature’s lens. So now, when good people join, leave and rejoin the company he likens an organisation’s perennial search for talent to an estuary where nutrients ebb and flow on the tide. There’s comfort in that thought.
There’s also smidgeon of comfort to be derived from the idea that, finally, the complex issue of our nation’s low productivity is being taken more seriously. In the final of his three-part series on productivity, this month Reg Birchfield looks at how we measure the productivity of nations and suggests there may be better ways to do it.
Reg’s articles in NZ Management are increasingly generating debate. His regular leadership columns are particularly popular. (His latest is on page 20.) I reckon Reg is developing his own personal following of admirers. This, of course, gives me lots of scope to tease him about it, and watch as he squirms with modesty and tries to bat aside such wild and preposterous notion. I guess that’s one of the perks of my job. Long may such benefits continue.

Visited 7 times, 1 visit(s) today

Business benefits of privacy

Privacy Week (13-17 May) is a great time to consider the importance of privacy and to help ensure you and your company have good privacy practices in place, writes Privacy

Read More »
Close Search Window