EDITOR’S LETTER : A 20/20 view It’s all about people

The annual listing of this magazine’s Top 200 companies is just one chapter in an ongoing story of New Zealand enterprise. While that story is not immediately apparent, little scrutiny of the figures reveals the shifting patterns of economic performance and of leadership. They show which companies are well managed and directed, which are in tune with the times and which sectors are suffering under the stranglehold of recession.
That story can be traced back over the past 20 years of NZ Management’s Top 200 listings, which highlight both how much New Zealand business has changed and how much remains constant. And the profiles of those companies and individuals chosen from the lists to be acknowledged and applauded as finalists or winners at the Deloitte/Management Top 200 Awards help add flesh to the bones of this historical record.
The next 20 years, even the next 10, will be every bit as challenging as the past two decades. But, as Deloitte chief executive Murray Jack puts it (see page 67): “New Zealand has weathered the financial storm well. It’s now time for business to look forward with optimism and confidence. We have had good recession – let’s have great recovery.”
Beyond the financial recovery and management’s ability to capitalise on the many and varied opportunities it has thrown up, there are major changes and challenges ahead. And the key to solving those is people.
Individuals must be educated, inspired and encouraged to produce answers to the many difficult decisions that issues like global warming, population growth, resource depletion, wealth disparity and political or religious intolerance present. Business must play its part in motivating people to seek solutions.
Both the sheer diversity and the seriousness of the challenges ahead demand more than single-solution ideologies. Instead they require open-minded dialogue, bipartisan approach and perhaps above all, leadership capable of vision, courage and action.
But tomorrow’s story is yet to be told. For now, this is our 20th Top 200 Awards Anniversary issue. It is also the last issue of NZ Management for this decade. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to and supported the magazine this year, especially our loyal readers and advertisers. It has not been an easy year for us – but we look forward to 2010 with great optimism.
Have happy and safe holiday and we will catch up with you again in February 2010.

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