IN TOUCH : No 8 wired

Q: How long is piece of No 8 wire? A: Long enough to stretch around the globe.
Every day, Kiwis are proving that our innovative ways of thinking around problems create world-class solutions and this was celebrated at the KEA World Class New Zealand presentations day in March.
The speakers were all successful Kiwis abroad and their common theme was that New Zealand’s isolation in the South Pacific has created culture where to survive, Kiwis have had to be creative and inventive – the No 8 wire mentality.
Ray Avery, an applied scientist at Medicine Mondiale, said if Australia was “the lucky country” then New Zealand was “the clever country”.
“If I was running the country, I would do an audit in technology,”
he said. There is brain power in numbers. “No one is as clever as all of us.”
Google computer scientist Craig Nevill-Manning said one of the keys to business success he learned at Google was to move fast, launch, then improve. “Launch before you’re ready!”
After launch, Google then refines from user feedback. Nevill-Manning also uses “beer and demos” weekly session to stimulate new business ideas from his team.
Mark D’Arcy of Time Warner said he felt Kiwis find it’s okay to fail overseas because we can always come home. “Now we have to get used to failing in New Zealand too.”
In the US, business failures are viewed differently, he says, and every entrepreneur has one or two failed start-ups to his name. You learn from mistakes. “We should celebrate mistakes.”
Gordon Ramsay’s top chef Josh Emett says it’s Kiwis’ stubbornness that makes us prized workers. “It’s just about getting your head down.”
Motivation expert Dr Kerry Spackman says small countries can punch above their weight. “We need bigger vision, challenge or education system. We need to be multi-talented and robust.”
Katherine Corich, whose company SYSDOC Group creates business processes for companies and utilities, says you have to adapt to your market to survive globally. “When in Rome, think local.”

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