EDITOR’S LETTER : Master of what?

So we know how the cynics interpret the letters MBA – and some of the more infamous recipients (former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling for one) haven’t exactly been great role models for the brand. But just what is its worth to business and to individuals?
While Reg Birchfield’s exploration of the subject in this month’s lead story (p28) generally finds in its favour, there are some interesting comments as to the degree’s perceived quality as well as its relevance to fast-moving business environments.
What’s also clear is that the so-called “soft skills” of management are getting lot more education attention, which is just as well given evidence that disrespectful, bullying, even sociopathic behaviour could be more prevalent in New Zealand companies than is good for either the company or those working in it (p7). And the impact that can have on employee engagement and productivity is more destructive than many managers might believe.
How to spot and deal with “snakes in suits” at senior executive level is covered in this month’s issue of The Director, which also reveals new research on both the competencies and motivations that board members bring to the table.
We also feature high-flying Kiwi Helen Robinson (p36) whose involvement in the global carbon credit marketplace has left her with no doubt that humanity is causing huge degradation to the environment. We need to do something about it, says Robinson – and she believes market-based mechanisms can really make difference.
As this is my last issue as editor, I’d like to say huge thank you to all the people who’ve helped make this such an interesting job. It’s been just great to have an excuse to talk to the people who can and are making difference in terms of helping make New Zealand an exciting and innovative place to live and work.
I’d also like to formally welcome Brenda Ward to the editor’s chair. She’s already got her feet wet in this issue and sees this as an exciting time to take the magazine’s helm given the huge shift taking place in New Zealand’s business environment. And she’s determined to maintain NZ Management’s role as thought leader – not just for the business sector but the wider community.
We undoubtedly live in “interesting times”.

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