NZIM : NZIM’s New Initiative – A drive to lift management’s game

The New Zealand Institute of Management is planning to establish major annual promotion to focus attention on the need for managerial excellence and the development of management careers in New Zealand.
Management Week will be held the week commencing 25 September with series of events and activities that highlight the critical importance of best practice management in the economy, says NZIM National chief executive David Chapman.
“Practically every critical economic performance indicator, both international and local, suggests we need to lift our game in New Zealand,” says Chapman. “And our economic performance is more dependent on the competence and capability of our managers and organisational leaders than it is on any other single factor.
“We need practising managers to lift their individual efforts and we need to attract the best possible young people into choosing management as profession. We have been talking with the Government for some time about how to lift management capability and we see Management Week as one more contributor to the Government programme to also lift New Zealand export efforts and potential. We need managers who can both see New Zealand’s export potential and deliver it to the world.”
The New Zealand Government has, for at least the past three years, been encouraging all sectors to lift New Zealand’s management and organisational capability. It recognises that unless enterprise generally lifts its game the nation as whole will not reach the OECD economic performance targets the Government has identified as both necessary and desirable.

SME messages
In particular, the Government has expressed desire to lift the management capability and competence of senior managers in the small to medium enterprise sector – large employer group that is the source of much, if not most, of New Zealand’s technical and commercial innovation. But, says Chapman, “it is also group that is notoriously hard to get messages of national economic benefit across to, so we plan to promote range of activities that can be accessed at every level”.
NZIM and the Government also understand the need to lift management capability across all sectors, both public and private. This, says Chapman, requires lifting the skill base of existing managers and doing more to attract bright young people into choosing management as career option.
NZIM has both encouraged and embraced the Government’s efforts to promote the need to raise management competence and capability. It sees its Management Week initiative as means of giving high profile focus to an activity that doesn’t always appear on the mass media radar, unless something goes wrong – such as the Enron scandal. “We need the public to be more aware of the critical role management and leadership plays in our every day lives,” says Chapman – and Management Week is one approach.
As part of its programme to change attitudes and recognise the importance of “good management and leadership” in the economy and the community, NZIM has been re-defining its education and training priorities. It wants greater recognition of the importance of the management and leadership education programmes it offers at secondary school level.
“It is always more difficult to teach an old dog new tricks than it is to work with an enthusiastic puppy,” says Chapman. “Young people are our future and we need to be working to motivate and to equip them to meet the challenges the future will present.”
NZIM management programmes are now in quarter of all New Zealand schools and with the development of some innovative e-learning online options we are excited about the prospect of extending the Certificate in Management to country schools and schools which may not have available teaching resources to deliver the programme says Chapman. Currently NZIM is having an impact in encouraging young people to pick up the necessary base skills and have them either embark on management careers or at least to be more aware of just how much grounding in best management practices can add to their personal fulfilment in whichever career options they choose.

New Zealand Good
“We know we can help managers at tertiary level and in their every-day work environment,” says Chapman, “but for the good of New Zealand we have to start even earlier than that.”
NZIM sees Management Week as way of reinforcing with managers the need to be more innovative in their approach to running their organisations. Too many management practices become entrenched and cannot easily adapt to change, says Chapman.
To address this issue NZIM has developed Small Business Entrepreneurs Programme which has no curriculum but provides framework for the manager or business owner to focus specifically on the immediate needs of the business.
NZIM is also working with university on delivering Management Design programme. NZIM has also developed comprehensive programme that concurrently covers business, language and culture for those students who have English as their second language and struggle with their communication skills. “We see these as innovative developments designed specifically to meet the changing management education and training needs of the market.”
NZIM has established series of events which it will promote through the week. These events include formal launch at Parliament Buildings, presentations by high-profile international management speakers, regional media coverage including management debates and competitions, school-based activities, the inaugural Greenwood lecture (named after founding director of NZIM, Ron Greenwood), and other activities yet to be finalised.
NZIM plans to develop Management Week and expand the range of promotional activities it undertakes to promote the essential message of enhanced management competence in New Zealand, according to Chapman. “This is an important message for New Zealand and it goes to the heart of current and future economic performance. We need our best people in management and we need them performing at their most competent level.”
NZIM’s annual Management Capability Index consistently shows that New Zealand managers perform at something less than 70 percent of their capability in the nine performance categories the Index measures.
“That simply isn’t high enough to take our country into the future – not when we are confronted by an increasingly competitive global economy,” Chapman adds.

NZIM elects new chair
Dr Robin Dunlop has been elected National President of the New Zealand Institute of Management.
He brings to the role an extensive background in senior management – mainly in the transport industry. In 2004, he was appointed Secretary of Transport and prior to that was chief executive of Transit New Zealand.
He has previously held positions in New Zealand Rail and Ministry of Works and Development. He also worked for six months in the Transport and Road Research Laboratory in Crowthorne, England.
Robin Dunlop has represented New Zealand at conferences both overseas and in New Zealand. In addition, he has consulted for the World Bank and International Road Federation on roading agency structures and management.
He is Fellow of NZIM, Fellow and President of Logistics Transport New Zealand, and Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers NZ. He is also past President of the Road Engineering Association of Asia and Australasia, and former Chairman of Austroads.
He has particular interest in governance and structural reform of businesses especially in the transport sector.

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