Editor’s letter: The art of possibility

Somewhere in the process of becoming, this issue turned into Snedden brothers special – our face to face interview (p38) organised with Pat before the Rugby World Cup story (p32) demanded conversation with Martin.
Both interviews left me with delightfully aspirational sense of what New Zealand as country is capable of achieving – because both men, it seems, are adept at pursuing the art of the possible.
So what if few (well in fact no other) countries of New Zealand’s size, let alone its distant location, would attempt to stage something of RWC scale – especially when stuck with business model that leans more to bust than boom. Kiwis can – and furthermore we can turn it into fantastic opportunity to showcase our country and our culture to the world.
And as Martin Snedden says – it’s just not worth dwelling on the downsides. Instead he is galvanising people around vision that they own because they are helping to create it.
Which kind of echoes what his brother had been saying few days earlier.
It’s no good getting hung up on the fact that government spending has limited stretch and the economic downturn ain’t helping. What Pat Snedden is looking for in the recession is leaders who don’t complain but who look to see where the opportunities exist – people who see the chance for new idea to flourish.
That’s the scenario he is spearheading with the Tamaki Transformation Project – and again it’s about engaging people to come up with their own vision for how things could be done differently and done better with the same resources.
Okay – step out 20 years (p9)and we find well-known if elderly business commentator describing how New Zealand successfully shifted up few economic gears by recognising we could generate our own distinctively different solutions. For instance, instead of railing against the need to constrain carbon emissions, we could help green the world through sustainable natural capitalism.
I think that those who are able to embrace and serve up the art of the possible in way that seriously engages people’s energy are in too short supply. Perhaps we could just bottle bit of the Snedden magic and spray it around the country’s boardrooms. It would help make the next 20 years lot more creative, productive – and fun.

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