EDITOR’S LETTER : The Power of the Parochial

New Zealanders are fiercely parochial and independent bunch. We lead the world in many fields and like to do things our own way – or is it more that we don’t like to be told to follow someone else?
Either way, this month’s cover story talks to the local heads of three leading global businesses about how they maintain the balance between ‘doing it our way’ and maintaining the worldwide brand and standards. Their experiences are fascinating – from L’Oréal New Zealand’s world-beating giant billboard to Microsoft’s leadership team car wash drives. (Despite his immense charitable donations and work, it’s still hard to imagine company founder Bill Gates on the end of chamois.)
Winston Peters’ big sister Lynette Stewart shares her passion for people and discusses her constant efforts to make sure the policies she is involved in implementing work for the people they affect. Growing up in the outspoken Peters family seems to have taught her to be focused and driven and she certainly shines in her own right as chair of the Northland DHB.
Foodstuffs’ boss Tony Carter continues the relationship theme, discussing how you keep business running when the customers are shareholders and the whole structure is that of cooperative. The answer – very carefully.
Family, business partners and global parents – there are certainly some common threads this month of cooperation, compromise and competition.

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