NZIM A Full Plate – For 2005

Leadership happens at all levels,” says NZIM national chief executive David Chapman. “All managers should aim to be good leaders.” The notion is at the heart of NZIM’s busy schedule of activities planned for 2005.
“In sense, we kicked out with and explored the validity of this thinking at the International Leadership Summit we staged in Auckland last year. Now we have lot of work to do on the ground at home to build on it and to implement it,” Chapman adds. The summit brought some of the world’s leading thinkers on leadership development to New Zealand.
One of the first and perhaps most critical steps in the follow-through process is the completion of major national research study into the state and status of management education and training in New Zealand and NZIM’s role as one of the country’s primary deliverers of these services.
“As part of the process of building better managers and leaders we must fully understand what the market has, needs and expects in future. The world and the management environment is changing radically. That might sound like cliche but it is nevertheless true and NZIM sits four square in the centre of this change process, helping managers and leaders to first understand and then equip themselves to cope with and even anticipate change,” says Chapman.
While NZIM has initiated and undertaken some groundbreaking management research in recent years, such as the study that led to the creation of the NZIM Management Capability Index two years ago, it has never undertaken project of quite this scale and scope, says Chapman.

Researchers
Two of New Zealand’s leading research companies, Wellington-based BRC and Clemenger BBDO, will together undertake the study. Serena Longley, lecturer in marketing at Wellington’s Victoria University, has already completed pre-survey study of NZIM in-house research in preparation for and as resource data that will feed into the national research.
“The study is designed to provide management education insights NZIM has never had before,” says Chapman. “We want to understand the relevance of education trends, possible future needs and directions, what managers and leaders believe they need to progress their careers and in particular, how they learn best and take delivery of the options available. We expect to know great deal more about NZIM’s large number of members but also about the desires, aspirations and needs of all managers and emerging leaders, including non NZIM members.”
The pace of government-sponsored effort to develop leadership, management and general business capability in the New Zealand business sector is also picking up and NZIM expects to be deeply involved with this in 2005. An announcement from taskforce operating under the chairmanship of former Labour cabinet minister Fran Wilde is expected soon. NZIM is key player in the Ministry of Economic Development’s initiative to find ways of lifting management standards and therefore business performance, particularly in the small to medium enterprise (SME) business sector.

Collaboration
“Project Collaboration”, as the development of the strategic plan is called, is partnership between the private and public sectors underpinned by the belief that business, and therefore economic, improvement cannot be delivered without the efforts of both the public and private sectors. Business improvement might be the primary responsibility of each single enterprise, but there are external influences (including the availability of management education and development services) which government and private sector players influence.
The object of the exercise is to have government agencies and the private sector work together to “provide the environment, the opportunities and the commitment to enable enterprise to improve their management and business capability” and therefore, business success. NZIM has been cornerstone contributor to the process along with other key groups such as the Business Excellence Foundation, Employers and Manufacturers Association and New Zealand Chambers of Commerce.
NZIM has, for the past two years, been urging Government to pick up on aspects of Britain’s government/industry initiative called “Raising our Game” which was designed to boost both the quality and quantity of management in the UK. Project Collaboration is, in large measure, the New Zealand response.

Capability
Chapman has been championing the case for lifting management capability as key component of any drive to lift the nation’s economic performance – hence the creation of NZIM’s Management Capability Index as one element in the process of measuring progress. “Our research and observations suggest that good management performance leads to good economic performance,” Chapman told Management magazine last year. “With the Government involved we might not only prove the point but be able to develop and promote programmes that positively influence management – and for that matter leadership – development in the future. All our activity – research, training, education – is designed around that.”
And as part of this thinking, NZIM will also tackle management and leadership education at secondary school level and wants more integration of government-driven economic initiatives and policies through supporting, rather than contradictory, education policies. “There isn’t any point in wanting to build more and better managers to enhance economic performance if education qualification practices at the secondary school NCEA level are not compatible or recognised,” says Chapman.
NZIM will be working on the Minister of Education Trevor Mallard to sort out what Chapman calls “significant anomalies” in the way in which the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) treats NZIM’s Certificate in Management programme in schools. The qualification has been taught in schools for many years through polytechs. But because there was no official business syllabus in secondary schools, in 1997 number of them started teaching the course. NZIM revised the programme in 1999 to make it more appropriate for school delivery.

Desirable
On the face of it, this looked like logical approach to delivering much-needed and increasingly desirable first level management education programme to students thinking about career in management. The Certificate in Management is NZQA approved Level 4 qualification of 80 credits. Around 80 New Zealand schools have chosen to offer papers from the qualification. Some provide the complete qualification. The programme is very popular with students and teachers and absolutely addresses the need to staircase students coming out of our schools into business, jobs and further study. The Government has consistently looked for ways to address this problem, but when it comes to our programme is looking the other way.
But while the course has credit into NCEA, recognition does not appear anywhere on student’s Record of Learning and the credits are not counted except where students need them to obtain their minimum number of 80 NCEA credits. NZQA records the credits in file that cannot be accessed by students or anyone else. NZIM believes this must change and change quickly.
There are other anomalies which NZIM will this year take up with Mallard in an effort to link the realities of lifting management and leadership learning and standards by starting at the senior school level. “It is ironic that over the past six years the Government has been strongly promoting ‘enterprise education’ in schools, but the major qualification that supports and develops enterprise education is given no official recognition,” says Chapman. “We have lot on the plate for 2005, and all of it is critical to the future of leadership and management in this country.”

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