The reality of our inexorable transition into becoming “branch office economy” strikes home for most of us every working day. Publishers for instance, must wait for advertising budgets to be signed off in Sydney or Singapore, and there is less and less opportunity for local input into the media spend decision-making process.
Multinationals might espouse the strategic philosophy of “act global, think local” but we know better. And each year as we compile our Deloitte/Management magazine list of New Zealand’s Top 200 Companies, steadily increasing percentage fall into the “overseas owned” category, such that last year the number so classified all but breasted the 50 percent mark.
Economists and business leaders alike, say New Zealand must attract more direct foreign investment. That means selling existing enterprises or encouraging overseas investors to sink capital into start-ups here.
This approach, they say, is the only survival game in town. The world is now village and we must play on the same village green as everybody else. It means that we have to get used to some very different rules if we are going to excel at the game. We assigned regular Management writer Mark Story to investigate.
Our changing world and the pressures it imposes upon us at national and global level are one thing, at personal level the drive to succeed also extracts potentially high price. We asked Adèle Gautier to look at the stresses and strains that are imposed on personal relationships like family and marriage from “successful” career in management. What she discovered is revealed in her article entitled “Paying the Price” in this month’s issue. At least one observer of the trends suggests, for instance, that New Zealand’s declining economic status has not been matched by lowering in our lifestyle expectations – therefore we have to work harder to attain the same lifestyle. “In culture of working harder, executives have to be seen to be putting in as many hours as their staff.”
At the same time as pressure of work is increasing, there is additional social pressure on executives to find that elusive balance, and especially on fathers to “be there” for their children, and on women not to pursue career outside the home at the expense of the kids. Inevitably marriages suffer, says the growing pool of statistical and anecdotal evidence. That’s why we have recently been taking serious look at the work/life balance issues in Management magazine. We think it is part and parcel of our mission to help you understand the importance and the impacts of the dramatic changes that confront us in our working world.