AS I SEE IT : Travis O’Keefe

Travis O’Keefe is 37 and is the founder and CEO of Health TV – New Zealand Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) channel that is on screens in GP waiting rooms around the country and reaches over one million viewers month. The station has recently attracted multimillion-dollar investment from two of the country’s most experienced businessmen – former CEO of Ernst & Young, John Judge, and ex-managing director of Prudential Insurance Australasia, Trevor Perry, who have moved to secure cornerstone stake in Health TV as it prepares for international expansion. www.htv.co.nz

How would you describe the New Zealand identity?
As country we live at the edge of the world, where it is clean, and green. As people we are innovative, hard working, determined, friendly, down-to-earth and we punch well above our weight when it comes to international achievement. This is embodied by Kiwis such as Sir Edmund Hillary, the All Blacks, Peter Jackson, Ernest Rutherford, Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Flight of the Conchords, John Britten, Jack Lovelock etc.

What will be our next major challenge?
If New Zealand is to achieve sustainable growth then we need to be more receptive to change. This needs to begin with the right vision and an empowering organisational culture that is driven from the top down. Too many executives pay lip service to their mission statement of fostering innovation and then choke their staff by punishing them for making mistake.

What do we need to do to prepare ourselves for this?
Run business like an entrepreneur. Remove the fear-based organisational culture, create culture where it is okay to make mistakes as long as we learn the lessons and hold people accountable for results. Anyone can have good idea but ultimately results are driven from implementation of good idea. That is determined by the performance of people.

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