NZIM : Meeting the Challenges – Strategy for success

Last year was year of affirmation, change and development for NZIM. At every level we agreed on the organisation’s direction and started developing policies, processes and systems for the future. The results will be seen this year in new website, member services and customer focus.
Last year’s changes focused on building the organisation’s internal capacity, external relationships and the business expanded as never before. We now offer 16 qualifications, and our corporate and membership services have grown considerably. NZIM’s Diploma in Frontline Management has been adopted as major training programme by many corporates and government departments. This is comprehensive programme targeting operational managers and gives measurable return on investment for sponsoring organisations.
NZIM has also developed several niche market programmes including work-based, practical diplomas in engineering and constructing excellence, manufacturing management, contract management and supply chain management. It also delivered specialist qualifications for practice managers, contact centre managers, and programmes for the armed forces.
These programmes indicate one of our major strengths – the ability to build relationships and partnerships with other organisations. Our partners find that our size and expertise allow us to respond quickly and effectively to meet specific needs and opportunities as they arise.
Some of those opportunities have come from unexpected markets. Now we are running programmes in Papua New Guinea, Mauritius, Fiji and Malaysia. It has led to organisations developing free online resources to support some of our programmes. shared website with the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) has, for example, been set up to provide services for enterprising small businesses. The website development grew out of joint public and private sector initiative called Management Focus.
Plans for Management Focus 2008 are well under way. This consortium of public and private sector organisations has collective objective to improve the capability and performance of New Zealand business. It is national communication initiative to encourage New Zealand managers to assess and develop their personal and organisational management capability.
Launched in October last year, the Management Focus website is designed as the hub of the multifaceted programme. It will showcase business case studies, provide set of self-assessment tools, publicise upcoming events and give managers access to special offers developed specifically for Management Focus. The partners involved in the website include the EMA, NZIM, the Ministry of Economic Development and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and they are now looking to further develop the content.
A Management Focus Colloquium held at the end of 2007 set themes for 2008 that will: focus on the development of the individual which in turn will improve the performance of the enterprise; focus on the human factor by developing enabling skills and optimising the use of the current capability development resources available.
The key objectives are to: get managers and business owners started on their personal development plan; to provide the tools by improving the collaboration of the partners; to foster commitment to encourage people to keep enhancing their organisations.
A Management Focus fund of $225,000 has been set up to fund projects aligned with the themes and objectives of the initiative (see InTouch for details).
Other NZIM 2007 initiatives included the sponsorship and administration of speaker tours and establishing the NZIM Business Challenge Game. The IT-based game attracted more than 80 teams and was won by team from New Zealand Post led by Graham Henderson. Runners up included the teams from Farmers Trading Company, University of Otago, Mars Petcare New Zealand and Glenrannoch Farms.
And last year’s NZIM/Eagle Technology Young Executive of the Year Award attracted record number of contestants and was eventually won by Mason Pratt, managing director of Wellington-based Provoke Solutions. Allison Collins, science team leader with Landcare Research and Jo Tarlton, general manager of Auckland’s Eco Maintenance were the other national finalists. These awards will be held again in 2008.
The NZIM Foundation will continue to provide grants for managers for specific projects this year. In 2007 the Foundation paid for five managers to participate in an Australian business conference and site visits programme.
Other highlights in 2007 were:
• NZIM chosen as the preferred provider of training for the Practice Management Association of New Zealand, the Academy of Constructing Excellence, NZ Armed Forces, FITEC, NZ Association of Credit Unions, Fonterra, Fulton Hogan, McDonald’s, The Warehouse, and many other large and small organisations.
• Some 11,000 papers completed during the year through 120 secondary and tertiary providers offering our certificate and diploma programmes.
• Open Polytechnic chose the NZIM Certificate in Management as its first programme to receive free online resources.
• Consortium of 15 Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) and professional organisations chose the Diploma in Project Management as their training model, and have been meeting to provide unit standards for it to obtain funding.
• NZIM Small Business Entrepreneurs programme supported and promoted by NZTE, Chambers of Commerce, Small Business Institute, Adult and Community Education and number of polytechnics.
• NZIM mentoring programme offered on national basis, using experienced, trained and matched mentors.
And during the year, NZIM’s regional directors and management met with the National Board to sign off on future direction and strategies for all NZIM. Agreement was reached on four outcomes:
• Leading management trends and practice are researched and communicated to members and the New Zealand management community.
• The workforce is better informed, skilled and capable in their management practice through their relationships with NZIM.
• New Zealand managers receive recognition for expertise and achievement.
• NZIM has the capacity to meet present and future challenges effectively and with flair.
To meet these outcomes NZIM is pursuing number of strategies in 2008 including:
• The alignment of the NZIM values with policies and procedures to ensure seamless national delivery of products and services.
• Developing the capacity within NZIM to be innovative and responsive to new technologies and systems.
• Developing culture that nurtures readiness and responsiveness to customers. They are at the heart of everything we do.
• Providing range of qualifications that recognise good management practice and achievement and benchmark them against international standards.
• Celebrating success by recognising outstanding management achievement through scholarships and awards.
• Building on the national and international alliances and partnerships NZIM has developed.
• Connecting with members through knowledge sharing and professional networks to explore new ideas in management and leadership.
NZIM has undertaken number of market research studies over the past three years. The work has given NZIM an excellent understanding of the needs and wants of members and managers. The research has now been collated and will be used to inform national marketing strategy being developed for roll-out this year.

David Chapman is national chief executive of the New Zealand Institute of Management.

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