Inbox: Creating a pipeline of talent

New Zealand’s businesses and public sector organisations will have accelerated access to innovation, commercialisation and entrepreneurial skills if Fulbright New Zealand business award scheme gets the support it needs to expand.
In line with the Government’s push for fast-tracking the economy, partly on the back of innovation, the educational organisation has opened up its Fulbright-Platinum Triangle Award in Business.
“It’s about creating pipeline of talent at point in New Zealand’s economic development where there is clear need for the next generation of outstanding business leaders,” says Fulbright New Zealand executive director Mele Wendt, “but we need help.”
For the past six years, Fulbright New Zealand has awarded one two-year MBA course each year at American universities like Harvard, Stanford, Babson and UCLA, which not only teach the latest management best practice but develop innovation and commercialisation skills.
Wendt says it’s clear from discussions with the corporate and public sectors that there is growing shortage of tomorrow’s business managers with these skills.
To date, the NZ$100,000 cost of the courses has been funded by network of New Zealand and American business benefactors who are committed to helping New Zealand build its economic capability and strengthen its trading relationship with the United States.
“The problem is that one New Zealander year is not recipe for accelerated business growth, so we’ve been talking with the market about what it wants,” says Wendt.
There are two clear messages:
• There needs to be critical mass of at least 10 grantees each year to offer our key business and public sectors both choice and reliability of supply.
• Pathways need to be created for those sectors to access this pool of talent and create the openings for which grant recipients will want to come home.
“The Fulbright New Zealand board has accepted that, as Fulbright’s contribution to building business capability, we should seek to meet these two goals by 2013-14.”
Wendt says everything now depends on the willingness of the market to invest in talent, knowing that there will be significant return on that investment for them and for the New Zealand economy.
She says the six Platinum Triangle grantees who have completed their awards are standouts in their areas of specialisation.
In June this year the Minister of Business & Innovation Steven Joyce presented the seventh grantee, Mahara Inglis of Wellington, with his award at Parliament. Inglis is heading for the University of California, Berkeley, to complete an MBA specialising in clean technology entrepreneurship.
Fulbright New Zealand has appointed Chris Turver, an experienced business and corporate relations manager, as its business development manager ([email protected]). M

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