What difference few months can make. In the last issue of Management magazine our listing of the nation’s top 200 businesses ranked by revenue was major cause for celebration. trawl through the previous year’s financial results had provided conclusive proof that New Zealand had been sunning itself in one of its best periods of growth since the 1960s. The entry level to the Top 200 club soared from $70 million to $113 million and collective after-tax profit rose massive 117 percent.
Not bad for nation fighting the continuing strength of the Kiwi dollar and encroaching competition from overseas organisations.
Clouds were, however, gathering on the horizon and this year’s economic news shows many businesses reaching for their umbrellas as the likelihood of bad weather approaches. So far this year it’s been double whammy. First up, came the latest NZIER quarterly survey of business opinion which reckons the confidence levels of the people running our local businesses are at their lowest ebb for the past 20 years.
Hard on its heels came Grant Thornton International Business Owners’ Survey showing Kiwi business optimism dipping below international averages for the first time in three years.
Even more so than in the past few years, smart and strategic thinking must be on the agenda of those New Zealand business managers who want to succeed. good case in point is New Zealand’s manufacturing sector – the subject of this month’s cover story on page 30 – which after years of negativity and retrenching is now reformulating its vision for new place in the changing world order. Expect to see more rethinking and recharged resolve this year as other industry sectors work out how they will flourish in the future.
Expect too to be hearing more this year about number of other key themes. Attracting and holding on to good staff will continue to dominate management thinking as will Asia’s ongoing emergence as an economic powerhouse, energy prices and supply, environmental sustainability, our aging population, and much more strategic utilisation of costly and powerful IT applications. At the boardroom level, the identification, measurement and dissemination of best corporate governance practices will continue to exercise directors’ minds.
We’ll be covering these topics and more in this year’s issues of Management magazine and sister publications MW (Management Woman) and The Director.
Finally, this issue gives readers an opportunity to win one of the largest prizes ever made available through Management magazine. Lufthansa is celebrating the launch of its new private jet service by giving one lucky executive chance to enjoy this premium travel experience. And as an additional bonus, the executive assistant who submits the winning entry will win two nights for two at Taupo’s Huka Lodge. Turn to page 19 for the details or check out www.lufthansa-newzealand.net.nz/entryconditions.htm
Ethical leadership will be more critical than ever as the rise of AI means leaders will confront decisions they have not faced before, writes Michelle Gibbings. Depending on which side