Thought Leader: Coping with Change

New Zealand Management, March 2013 | Go to article overview

Thought Leader: Coping with Change


Byline: Jo Brosnahan

If you want to have a small glimpse of what the future might look like, visit Point England School in Auckland. You can visit them online and view their blogs and podcasts, and episodes from their TV station at www.ptengland.school.nz.

These children are broadcasting to the world, and their computer skills and creative abilities will surpass those of most reading this article. The motivation that comes from having a worldwide audience interested in their achievements is reflected in the academic attainment of this decile 1A school.

This is not a one-off phenomenon, it is a movement. Point England School and the cluster of schools in the area, including Tamaki College, are supported by the Manaiakalani Trust, a partnership between schools, parents, philanthropic organisations and business.

Not only does the trust lease computers for affordable purchase by families, they also provide technical support, training for families, and construction of a community wireless network.

And there are other similar initiatives around New Zealand, such as Manaia View School in Whangarei. This is the future of our education system supported by high speed broadband access to schools through the Government's ultra fast broadband initiative, and with additional support being given to replicate achievements such as those in Tamaki.

So what does this have to do with you and your business? Everything. This is your future workforce and they are our future society. And their expectations are that they will enter a world as savvy and creative and open minded as theirs. A world that celebrates achievements, that embraces diversity, that benefits from collaboration.

Our managers must confront the new paradigm. If you lead based upon what has happened in the past, you might well miss the future. You need to anticipate what the future might look like and be there to greet it.

This requires:

* An awareness of the e-world. Look around the globe -- and remember the speed with which technology and science are advancing. Facebook did not exist 10 years ago and the iPad was only released three years ago. And yet so much of the marketing and communication for any business now uses social media channels and such devices. James Martin's The Meaning of the 21st Century is compulsory reading for a glimpse of

the future.

* An external rather than an internal focus.

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