Management wisdom: 7 top tips for NZ

New Zealand has spent a decade looking for the fast track back to the top half of the OECD. So here are seven top ideas for where this country goes next and how our businesses might succeed on a global scale

My management study only extended to a few papers; it never amounted to a diploma, worse luck. But one thing I learnt was that management speak was a pile of... gobbledygook, sprinkled with a few diamonds.

One of my favourites was 'always hire people smarter than you'. It was the mantra of one CEO or another - I can't remember who - but the line stuck because it spoke of never resting on your laurels and suggested a practical humility.

There was a fair bit of management wisdom on display during Q+A's Innovation Special this past Sunday, so I thought it worthwhile jotting it down. We were discussing how we can grow smart businesses in this country, and the people who have done just that offered some great insights, both about business and about New Zealand.

1:  New Zealanders are great inventors, but pretty rubbish at marketing and selling an idea. The old number eight fencing wire mentality is alive and well, yet we lack the marketing smarts. Or as BioMatters CEO Candace Kinser put it, when she arrived from the US she was amazed at the number of great ideas generated, but equally amazed at how few of them came to fruition and were turned into multi-national companies. She put it down to a "false fear" around the borders of this country; in other words, we're too timid and think too small. Time to get out and get selling.

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