Magazine article New Zealand Management

Staying Power

Magazine article New Zealand Management

Staying Power

Article excerpt

Times of transition are serious business. Handled well, they provide an opportunity for organisations to stop the clock, examine what has gone before and assess what is appropriate and best for the future. That's why the recent death of Pope John Paul 11 and the appointment of his successor Pope Benedict XV1 have made such compelling news over the past few weeks. The pope is arguably CEO of one of the world's largest organisations, with 1.1 billion "employees" worldwide and a corporate heritage stretching back more than two millennia. No wonder, then, that the issue of succession is big business.

Pope John Paul 11 ran the Catholic Church through an odd mixture of conservatism and transformational leadership, holding fast against much opposition to traditional core values when it came to abortion, contraception and infidelity, for example, while embracing aspects of local culture--rather than imposing traditional western ones--in places such as Africa and Latin America. Inhouse, his leadership style was reputedly strong, direct and unbending. Externally, he embraced change, carried charisma and pushed the rules. He'll be a hard act to follow and as with all well-established businesses the Catholic Church is mindful of the signals it emits about its future.

Future thinking and times of transition are also the subject of this month's cover story, which picks up on the recent Hui Taumata in Wellington at which leading thinkers from Maoridom examined their journey over the past 20 years and challenged each other to establish greater economic pathways into the future. …

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