Critical need for management + leadership
There are strong indications that we in New Zealand are failing to develop and apply management skills as effectively as we might.
The application of better management and leadership skills is critical to an innovative and growing economy, and to improved social well being. If New Zealand is to improve its economic performance it is essential that businesses are led more effectively and innovatively.
If management skills are seen as critical, then they must be given greater priority in secondary and tertiary education, they must he learned in ways that provide practical workplace benefits.
Looking to the future
New Zealand is passing through a social and cultural revolution which affects attitudes and approaches to both learning and work. We are no longer a culture made up of Maori, Pacific Islander and European, but a melting pot of many cultures from around the world. This cultural diversity is matched by an increasingly global reach of ideas and learning through the internet.
There is a strong possibility that traditional academic qualifications offered by universities and polytechnics will become little more than credentials for jobs, with the real skills learnt elsewhere.
In England at present 45 percent of school leavers eventually graduate with a degree of some kind, and that rate is closer to 55 percent in the United States. This means that there is an expectation that people applying for jobs will have at least a degree, and other qualifications are taken only if they lead to entry to university.
Where does NZIM stand?
NZIM has always been committed to providing learning that is relevant to the learner, is challenging, and leads to real improvement in management competence. To meet the new challenges of education and the workplace NZIM must:
* consult widely with diverse communities
* clearly identify needs
* be responsive to different learning styles and concepts and the needs of local communities
* produce high quality adaptable learning programmes and pathways that meet those needs
* ensure that the programmes are accessible
* evaluate them for their effectiveness.
NZIM as a leader
NZIM's role and vision are well articulated and long respected in the tertiary environment. We will continue to be the leading-edge providers of courses and processes that lead to improvement in management learning, and to set and maintain high standards that act as benchmarks for other organisations. We will better equip first-line, middle and senior managers to meet their current and future challenges, and to develop skills for tomorrow's managers.
In terms of its educational and training programmes, NZIM uses approaches that ensure that there is real improvement in management practice. Our qualifications are designed to provide a supporting structure for adaptable, student-centred, facilitated, work-based programmes.
NZIM has moved away from the provision of theory-based approaches to education towards a range of processes and services tied to clear planning and evaluation of their effects. This is leading to the design of radically new models of qualifications and learning frameworks.
In many ways NZIM has been a pioneer. It was one of the initial partners in the development of the NZ Diploma in Business, and participated in the first Business and Management Advisory Group set up by NZQA in 1992. It initiated training in occupational safety and health, and has led the development of project management courses, including New Zealand's first Diploma in Project Management.
NZIM continues to be a staunch advocate of national standards and benchmarks in management and in 2001 was instrumental in the development of the Management Development Advisory Council to advise on ways in which management deficiencies and needs can be met. …