Magazine article New Zealand Management

Lifting Performance: Management Focus the Private and Public Sectors This Month Launch a Joint Initiative Called Management Focus to Promote Business and Management Capability. NZIM's National Chief Executive David Chapman Explains Why His Organisation Is Behind It

Magazine article New Zealand Management

Lifting Performance: Management Focus the Private and Public Sectors This Month Launch a Joint Initiative Called Management Focus to Promote Business and Management Capability. NZIM's National Chief Executive David Chapman Explains Why His Organisation Is Behind It

Article excerpt

National goals for business development in New Zealand have, in the past few years, focused on building management capability--the improvement of management practice in order to develop business capability and thereby increase or improve productivity.

Yet there is considerable evidence that traditional business and management courses and qualifications have little effect on the improvement of management capability.

Direct government intervention, however well intentioned, has struggled to make an impact and clearly reaches only a small number of businesses--mainly those which already show a willingness to find ways to improve and thrive.

At the same time, changes in management practices and the demands of a global business environment are putting strain on many businesses. These stresses indicate the need for continuous improvement methods to ensure that management practice keeps up with an increasingly dynamic and unpredictable future.

We are, quite simply, facing a paradigm shift in organisational management practice so great that increasingly the business models and assumptions of the past are irrelevant to the needs of the future.

It is against this background that NZIM this year has worked to provide leadership for a project initiated by the Business Capability Partnership--a group of private and public sector organisations that came together a couple of years ago to collaborate on strategies to build New Zealand's management and business capability.

NZIM research programmes found that most New Zealand managers were very good at delivering an acceptable level of performance but were not much interested in increasing the risk to chase an excellent performance. NZIM developed the Management Capability Index which surveys seven key areas of leadership and strategies leading to an overall measure of business results. But here again the results are disappointing, with managers and enterprise clearly not reaching their potential.

The government, through its own research, found similar trends and discovered that despite a variety of interventions targeted in a number of areas, many businesses simply do not take advantage of the assistance that is available.

Encouraged by a grant from the Ministry of Economic Development, the Business Capability Partnership worked with key private and public sector organisations on a number of initiatives including Management Focus. Details of this first important combined step is revealed in this month's Management magazine cover story (see page 30).

NZIM got behind the Management Focus programme because it sees a need to have all private sector organisations and government working together to deliver the future and focus attention on this performance need. The impact of this collaboration is significant and is consistent with the way we will need to work together in future. Management Focus 2007 will not only celebrate management achievement and excellence but will also communicate practical ideas and information about ways managers and organisations can improve their own capability.

NZIM has been developing a management model which will help individual managers assess their strengths and weaknesses. The model will be freely available online and lead managers to personal development opportunities.

NZIM has also been partnering with EMA Central which has provided leadership in developing a ground-breaking website facility which we believe will provide assistance to managers and business. The website--to be launched this month--links with other websites to provide support and assistance in a coherent and helpful way, (www.managementfocus.co.nz).

The need for good management practice will never be greater, but the parameters of practice will change constantly. We anticipate that within five years New Zealand's teaching and learning environment will be radically changed. Businesses will, for example, need to adapt to meet the effects of energy and other resource shortages and changes in the natural environment. …

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