Friday, 16 November 2007

NZ business needs more mad young things!

I had a fantastic time at the Exporting Beyond 2007 Summit at Sky City yesterday. Sadly, I was probably the youngest there (and at 32, that's not saying much).

  • Short. It started with lunch and finished after 4pm. That's what busy people will go for.
  • Focused. There was a real sense of urgency about this, and a sense that everyone in the room could make a difference.
  • Interactive. After a 45-minute intro speech, we got into elective groups, about 15 people around the table, and threw our ideas around. True Wisdom of Crowds stuff.
Key insights I gleaned:
  • We're so comfortable right now in NZ that we're in danger of being numb to the future - we need to focus on exporting or our future generations won't be able to live this same lifestyle.
  • To do that, we need to tell stories and share more.
I'm sensing a cultural disconnect here. The needs - telling stories, sharing and collaborating - are quite touchy-feely, yet the people there yesterday were CEOs, mostly focused around finance and the economy, rather than the "softer" disciplines like psychology or language.

The way it was positioned - as an "Exporting Summit" for "CEOs" - probably failed to attract the kind of people who can inject some much-needed fresh thinking and creative solutions.

People like the kids who are taking risks and making lots of money. Chances are none of them would consider themselves "exporters" or even CEOs.

The event also highlighted the fact that we kiwis are paranoid about competition and largely unwilling to share. That's another post for another time! Stay tuned.

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