Editor’s letter

The combined Government/University of Auckland sponsored Knowledge Wave Conference last month identified the potency of ideas and technology. It will, however, take people to deliver, develop and exploit both of these. And people respond best to an environment in which they feel encouraged to give of their best, to realise their potential and where they believe they are valued for themselves as individuals. Outstanding leaders and organisations adopt management strategies which turn the theory behind this self evident truth into reality. In short, they put their people first.
This month we picked up on two of our planned editorial topics both of which are focused on people. We linked them to provide cover story which highlights the management point we want to make. That putting people first pays dividends in variety of ways. It was out intention to cover in depth the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust Work and Life Awards announced at the beginning of the month. We worked with the Trust to ensure fulsome coverage of both the winners and of the thinking that goes into the awards and the Trust’s strategic direction. EEO makes the point that people diversity has numerous positive spinoffs which organisations that adopt blinkered employment policies invariably miss out on.
And our feature on workplace health and safety picks up on similar points. Organisations should not just embrace better health and safety practices at work because the Government, through legislation, demands it. They should do so because they care, because it is best practice and because it pays dividends and thereby serves the interests of all stakeholders. New Zealand’s safety record is not that good when compared with similar economies. We may be involved in technological age but looking after people is still the best idea any manager can have.
Management magazine is, after all, about people and how to succeed as leaders and managers. The focus on the importance of the individual this month is quite deliberate. In addition to our cover story we look at the fast track careers opening up for young graduates, talk about the importance of the one-to-one relationship with customers through better customer relationship management programmes and NZIM CEO, David Chapman, suggests individual managers need to commit more to building their careers if they as individuals and we as nation are going to successfully foot it in tomorrow’s competitive world.

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