EDITOR’S LETTER: It’s the people

More years ago than I care to remember, I wrote cover story for this magazine about “Receivers – are they death to company?” It was another time, previous recession, and good excuse for gorier-than-usual cover graphics.
But the topic had remained an academic one for me until last month when the company that publishes this and bunch of other business titles went into receivership. Rather than one killer blow, it arrived like series of small deaths – some sudden, others unfolding like slow motion train wreck, all sad and strangely dislocating.
The good news is that the receivers have done their work, this title now has new home in new company and it’s back to business as usual (if bit later than usual). Better yet, Mediaweb may be new kid on the media block but it is absolutely committed to the quality journalism readers have come to expect in NZ Management.
What this process has highlighted for me is the truism that company is no more or less than the people who work in it. That’s truth around which I’ve prowled through the pages of this magazine since the mid-1980s – summoning up small armadas of words to describe, dissect, even hopefully discover the essence of leadership and what, other than the regular pay cheque, drives people to perform.
The answers are as complex and as simple as single human psyche – from passion and inspiration to duty, friendship, sense of shared values or the creative satisfaction of job well done. And even when the glue that holds company committed to some at least vaguely defined common cause melts away under the financial blowtorch of receivership, these live on.
Which, I guess, is why you’re reading this – it certainly hasn’t been the easiest issue to produce given the uncertainty over its future ownership and the fact that its editor, Ellen Read, didn’t survive the receivers’ initial cut.
So, some tributes.
Reg Birchfield, both as former shareholder/company director of Profile Publishing and 3media Group and as editor, has played huge part in this magazine’s direction and success for more than two decades. He not only set the high standards for editorial integrity and quality content but extended the magazine’s celebration of New Zealand leaders by initiating the Top 200 Awards which have become the most prestigious and well-attended business event in the country.
Because Ellen Read didn’t get chance to say goodbye, I would like to acknowledge how much she enjoyed her tenure as editor – particularly the chance to meet, interview and work with some of the amazing people who populate New Zealand’s business landscape and have contributed in many ways to the magazine’s content.
In the end – the title is no more and no less than the people who work in and for it.

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