AS I SEE IT: Jo Allison

General manager of marketing and strategy for Gen-i Australasia – responsible for Gen-i Australasia’s market strategy and business plan, as well as driving business development and marketing across New Zealand and Australia. She is member of Women in Technology and has Bachelor of Arts Degree (Economics) and Diploma in Business from Auckland University.

How would you describe the New Zealand identity?
We are refreshingly down to earth and value the personal touch. People on Auckland buses still thank the driver! We are quiet and independent, yet resourceful and self-reliant. Tempering our individualism is strong egalitarian streak and sense of fair play and ‘mateship’.
Our historical isolation has made us self-reliant and multi-skilled. We take world-leading technologies and combine them in way that produces business advantage. Quite often we create solutions with products that shouldn’t be able to do what we’re making them do! New Zealanders don’t stop at achieving the predictable, we like to redefine what’s possible.

What will be our next major challenge?
Creating meaningful, rich time to spend with our family and friends when we work in 24 x 7 global business environment and our working lives no longer fit into predictable 9-5pm, Monday to Friday timeframe.

What do you think we need to do to prepare ourselves?
Encourage work-life blending to create balance for our personal lives in working day that never ends. This can include embracing technologies that allow you to catch up and achieve the work-life blend we all want.
As businesses we need to invest in training and leadership and be open to new ideas, skills and technologies that allow us to truly work smarter. If this challenges the status quo, so be it. The alternative is to just ‘get through’, to work longer and harder.

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