Editor’s Letter: What does it take?

What underpins the achievements of individuals, organisations or nations? And how can we generate more of whatever that may be? In this month’s cover story we celebrate the winners of this year’s Kea World Class New Zealand Awards. This is group of individuals whose richly varied pathways to achievement have taken them out onto world stage where they can easily hold their own as Kiwi global citizens.
They’re innovators and entrepreneurs who have made significant contributions to the country’s growth and development. They’re out there building global connections, promoting New Zealand internationally, and helping exchange information, knowledge and skills from, and about, our country.
So, clearly, individual Kiwis such as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa – this year’s Iconic New Zealander – and the late Sir Paul Callaghan – who won the Supreme Award – are more than capable of doing all this and more besides. And, clearly, that’s not where we’re slipping behind as nation.
For it seems to me that at the country level New Zealand still appears unsure of what it is and who we are. The analogy of the number 8 wire mentality, so frequently cited in the past as the epitome of Kiwi ingenuity, has not yet been replaced by more fitting symbol for nationhood.
So for this issue we asked seasoned writer Nick Grant to explore the notion of what it would take for New Zealand to be world class as nation. His article, which starts on page 26, throws out some interesting insights into what could be shared vision for our country’s reputation, brand and future prospects.
Such conversations dovetail neatly with our launch this month of this year’s Deloitte/Management magazine Top 200 Awards (go to page 24 for an early reveal of the 2012 campaign). For years now, these awards have been identifying and celebrating stand-out business leaders and organisations that clearly have what it takes. Innovation and desire to chart their own path for growth must be part of their DNA. When everyone else zigs, they’re zagging.
So it’s fitting that this month Deloitte New Zealand CEO Thomas Pippos shares his insights into what it’s like to be taking over the mantle of leadership at one of the country’s iconic big four professional services firms. As I see it, he brings to the role keen sense of the legacy inherited from those who have led the firm before him. Importantly, too, he brings sense of new future direction. He knows how to differentiate his firm’s brand in an established market.
We’ll continue to explore the underpinnings of achievement in upcoming issues. Next month, for example, and as part of our contribution to the country’s annual Leadership Week, we’re dedicating the issue to the theme of leadership. For as our Top 200 Awards winners know only too well, those leaders who have what it takes to succeed can truly make difference.

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