New Zealand is a great place to do business, with a generally progressive and forward thinking approach.
However, just like everywhere else in the world, many of our larger corporates and organisations have become bogged down and the pace of change isn't keeping up with the pace of change in the world.
We started the NextGen initiative to drive deeper change, but as we discussed the concept with leaders in 2018 and 2019, it became clear that to overcome the resistance to change, more depth and authority was required, so the campaign was put on hold in order to write a book on transformational change in NZ to further support the campaign.
Now, in early/mid 2020 Coronavirus forces the issue. Digital was already driving change at a mind-blowing scale, and now the physical world has effectively ceased to exist for huge parts of the world as we remain temporarily stuck in mass lockdowns and heading towards a recession that could easily wipe out companies at scale.
Changes like this bring opportunity. Our aging ecosystems, corporates and working practices need rethinking, and we can do it better this time.
The companies that will succeed not just through this crisis but in the new dynamic world environment will be more dynamic, creative, flexible and open minded organisations to keep up with the pace and potential for change, as well as completely different ways of organising and governing. From now on, what we all build needs to be nimbler, faster, smarter ... and we might also need to go a long way outside our comfort zone to be successful.
The changes required go as deep as work culture, mindset, how we make decisions and prioritise work, how we choose our people and interact, and how we put value on the work we do. We'll almost certainly need to think bigger and more holistically. The quicker we can do this, the more competitive we'll be.
New Zealand's great strength is
that it's a 'right sized' economy. The book
'David and Goliath' by Malcolm Gladwell
sums this up perfectly. New Zealand has
the potential to be a 'David'.