News this morning that a NZTE survey of some of New Zealand’s main trading partners show that they consider us unsophisticated when it comes to business accumen.Interestingly enough Australia took a differing point of view but then again they generally do.

Seems timely given the recent opening of the Labour Party Auckland University (that’s a very in-house to New Zealand joke) business school that Deborah Hill-Cone wrote a somewhat acerbic piece about yesterday.

To paraphrase Deborah, glitz and glam doesn’t build business skills, experience and mentorship do. Instead of focusing on exciting buildings, CEO pay packages and the like, what are our big businesses doing to give young entrants the world view, varied experience and reach that will allow our businesses to excel?

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • That would be the same Deborah Hill Cone who stood up at an Auckland Business School debate last year and argued against the proposition that:

    “…tall poppies are mown down with rapacious glee (and) the media sustains and promotes good leadership and reserves its vitriol for those examples of bad leadership that truly deserve all they receive?”

    Deb’s is currently vying with Mathew Hooten for the title of “Right Wing Political Hack of the Year”. So I’ll take her comments with a grain of salt.

    I notice in her article that she admits to having little background in business or education, having graduated with a degree in philosophy. Her bosses at the right leaning NBR and NZ Herald no doubt see her as an asset however.

    It’s a silly and poorly informed article which undermines the positive initiatives coming out of Auckland that DO support mentorship! Icehouse, Excelerator, UniServices, SPARK. Need I go on? So much for media objectivity and analysis.

  • Paul

    Cheers for that – while Debs may be right leaning I do have to say that I enjoy her reading. I’m fully in support of the true mentorong things around but I have to agree that glitz and glam does not equate to excellence – don’t you think?

  • I guess she didn’t get her Qantas media awards for nothing.

    I’m just steamed over the whole media response to the Owen Glenn thing. The poor guy may not be all that politically savvy but at least he gave something back to NZ in good faith. Kiwis simply cannot abide tall poppies.

    As a business school graduate with a research background myself I can see the value. If we want to attract thought leaders and creative people to our institutions surely we need to provide “world class” facilities?

    On the other hand perhaps the $220 million would have been better spent providing seed funding for more start-up businesses?

  • She has a job and she does it well. As she says she is no business expert and neither are most of her colleagues but she does write some incisive copy.

    Not too sure about those Harry Potter glasses. Maybe she fancies herself as a Hermione Granger type smarty pants?

    But i agree wholeheartedly with Paul’s last sentence. Why spend so much money on an institution. We don’t need more bureaucracy we need less!!!!

    To real innovators this is just another kick in the teeth. We get by with peanuts…work out of very ordinary “establishments” (though Ben has a coffee palace at his gaff!) and spend our money on people not plush gear.

    I believe very much in the concept of public good but I’ve had enough of taxpayer $ being dolled out to those in the know or hose in favour without any understanding of the bigger picture.

    Rant over for the moment. I’m going to Wellington tomorrow, the home of the bureaucrat….oh well at least they have really smart cafes 🙂

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