It is always fascinating to talk to individuals whose work and background means they really do see the big global picture and have a very clear-eyed view of where the world is heading, in their particular sphere of influence at least.

So it was illuminating to talk to global infrastructure expert, Richard Threlfall, from the United Kingdom who was in New Zealand on a fleeting visit to speak at the Institute of Directors’ conference. 

He says that the infrastructure sector is going through something of a revolution and global population growth, and needs, mean that in the next six years infrastructure spend is going to grow by between US$6 trillion and US$9 trillion, with a good portion of it in our part of the world.

I’m guessing we won’t be seeing any of the megaprojects in New Zealand, such as the recently opened bridge linking Hong Kong to Macau and Zhuhai, but I do wonder what role New Zealand businesses can play. 

Perhaps we will be the ones to lead the world in “Cathedral thinking”, as Richard discusses. Maybe we can choose to invest more wealth than we consume on infrastructure so that our children’s children and their children will benefit from our investment. That after all is at the crux of many Iwi organisations business models. (See page 6).

This issue we also get a preview of a major new study undertaken by Dr Ann Hutchison of the University of Auckland and performance and remuneration specialists Strategic Pay. It looks into the collective CEO wisdom on managing a top team in today’s climate. And while CEOs across the spectrum of New Zealand’s business sector are very clear on what they want in their top team, they don’t, in many instances, appear to be getting it. (Page 9).

And here, I think, is the best quote in this issue, from Cathy Parker who is looking at the phenomenon of “virtue signalling” in her column on page 18. She quotes the Urban Dictionary describing it as: “To take a conspicuous, but essentially useless action, ostensibly to support a good cause but actually to show off how much more moral you are than everybody else.” That had me laughing out loud. 

We hope you enjoy this month’s read. 

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