When Deloitte was involved in the inaugural Deloitte/Management Top 200 awards 12 years ago, the New Zealand business environment was very different to that in which we operate today.
Many of the biggest names in New Zealand business are no longer with us, and new companies have emerged from nowhere to take their place. There are some familiar names of course, but even those companies that have remained at the forefront of New Zealand business throughout the 12-year period, bear little resemblance to the organisations they once were.
This reinforces the notion that there is only one constant in business – and that is change. Only those companies that successfully adapt to change will continue to thrive and grow.
Change comes from all directions. Here in New Zealand significant change over the past couple of years has been that imposed by changing political environment and the repeal and reversal of some key legislation affecting business. When those changes were first mooted, business was sceptical and vocal in its opposition; for while it seemed unlikely that government and business would be able to work together.
But business is pragmatic. While it can’t be said that those changes have been embraced, they have at least been accepted and adapted to. And business realised soon enough that it must work alongside government, rather than against it. It’s fair to say that the past 12 months have seen continuing warming of relationships between business and government, after an icy first few months.
Other changes have come about through ever-expanding technological advance. Even the most enlightened businessperson working in 1989 could not have imagined the technological environment of today, an environment that brings both challenges and opportunities. When the Deloitte/Management Top 200 was launched, an organisation’s IT department, usually comprised one or two helpdesk people – today, smart IT department is focused as much on strategic issues as it is on operations.
Technology has changed the way we do business forever. There is no going back, or even slowing down. When it comes to using technology to do business we must adapt, so we can develop and prosper.
There are also changes that are essential to rapidly evolving global scene. In 1989, few people had ever heard of the word globalisation, let alone understood what it meant. New Zealand businesses now look overseas for innovation, as we look beyond our own borders for new markets and capital, at an ever-increasing rate. We can no longer think of ourselves as world apart.
We are part of the global economy, and we must remain so. That means leveraging off the huge opportunities available through globalisation, but also dealing with the challenges when events thousands of miles away cause shockwaves around the world. Never has that been more apparent than in the aftermath of the tragic events of September.
Deloitte firmly believes that New Zealand business is well equipped to deal with the changes and challenges ahead, largely because of an attribute very close to our own – the ability of New Zealand business to encourage creativity and innovation from its employees.
As we move forward in an uncertain global business environment, one thing is sure. Only those organisations that can fully harness the creativity and passion of their own people will be flexible enough to establish strategic advantage in today’s competitive environment.
Those companies, and their leaders, that have emerged and flourished in recent years such as this year’s Deloitte/Management Company of the Year, Sky City, and the Deloitte/Management Executive of the Year, Keith McLaughlin from Baycorp, have got it right. They are excellent examples where the use of skills, energy and – above all – creativity of people have kept pace with, and stayed on top of, rapid change.
Once again, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and Deloitte Consulting are very proud to be associated with Management magazine and the Top 200 Awards. We congratulate and salute the winners of this year’s awards.
We feel strongly that the Top 200 Awards demonstrate yet again that New Zealand business can rightfully claim to demonstrate excellence which is equal to that seen anywhere in the world.
Employment firm Seek recently launched bilingual search technology allowing job seekers to search the platform in either English or te reo Māori. By Meeral Gulabdas. Genuine representation and diversity of