Magazine article New Zealand Management

All You Need Is ... (Backup)

Magazine article New Zealand Management

All You Need Is ... (Backup)

Article excerpt

That New Zealand should identify and nurture its leaders goes without saying. Up for debate are the questions of who and how.

Take last month for example. Two very different leadership initiatives hit the market.

One was high volume, with all the surround sound publicity decibels and dollars of Auckland University and its Knowledge Wave Trust. The other is still virtually imperceptible, hatching as it is in the heads and hearts of a small but growing band of supporters.

The Knowledge Wave conference we were invited to"Catch" in 2001 reappeared this year re-branded as the Leadership Forum. The object of the exercise this time round, according to Trust chairman John Hood, was to focus on the three emerging themes of economic growth, knowledge and community "and on an additional enveloping theme--leadership".

Actually, I'm a Knowledge Wave Conference sceptic, but that's hardly the point. What is relevant is the legacy the Trust and the University of Auckland Business School bestowed on the city through a proposed New Zealand Leadership Institute. The Business School wants to provide an ongoing forum for leadership development activities, to conduct research on New Zealand leadership and to "facilitate the maintenance of networks among emerging leaders here and abroad".

Nothing wrong with that. The more avenues for leadership debate and development the better. No question this country could do with more individuals willing and able to stick their hands up, take responsibility and show the way, in every field of endeavour. Leadership centres already exist in other learning institutions, like Wellington's Victoria University for instance, and to varying degrees they input to the leadership process.

I talked a little about the other initiative in this column last month. Things have moved on since then and a decision has been made to establish Leadership New Zealand, or Pumanawa Kaiarahi o Aotearoa. This group still has a long way to go, it doesn't yet have access to the sort of funding available to Auckland's Business School and it is pitched at a very different level. This is not intended to be ivory tower or academic.

Leadership New Zealand plans to establish a trust and raise awareness of leadership and leadership capacity through initiatives such as setting up an inclusive leadership forum to raise debate; establishing an annual leadership, programme for mid-career leaders from all sectors; promoting leadership programmes in all schools, and setting up leadership mentoring programmes. …

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