It would seem NZ Inc is starting to collectively acknowledge our economy needs to augment beyond primary industry and tourism led exports and it’s time to focus on making it easy for the digital and technology sector to take a greater slice in the global market, sorry another cliche from me, isn’t it better to work together to grow the pie? and start considering our common enemies as offshore faceless corporates not innovative kiwi companies.

I’ve been thinking about this when reflecting on OptimalBI’s June Challenge. After the high of our coalescing May challenge June has been a little deflated, something everyone has observed so brain cells are in use compiling a plan for a team challenge again in July. Only the stalwarts Barry, who has given up coffee and Nic, who has given up sugary treats, are still in the running. I have missed 3 blogs now but still posting – just not winning. Others have dropped out consistently across the month, quite disappointing but we collectively agree competing in individual challenges vs all competing in the same challenge is a difficult proposition to keep alive and kicking.

In light of this blog topic it many seem odd that we as a team are promoting internal competition which flies in the face of most management techniques which promote a cohesive team via competing as a team against other teams – for example Tribal Leadership – but I’m actually ok with this, set on a backdrop of collaboration and co-operation. Many companies focus on external competition as a coalescing and motivating mechanism. The term “common enemy” is one I have been known to use on occasion myself by setting our competitive sites on a bigger fish or ethically corrupt players in our marketplace. Sadly I have also experienced companies where the competition is internal and between departments, divisions or offices – and not in a healthy way, in these instances the smaller teams lost connection with the larger entity and the notion that we are all in this together to achieve instead competing (seriously even competing in the marketplace) with their peers.

I am starting to feel this way about NZ in our tech and digital sector, by nature of our individual organisations we do compete domestically from time to time but surely adopting a collaborative cooperative position for the greater good – in this case our economy and the wellbeing of our country – we should be working together to generate a vibrant export led sector. It’s a massive world out there and there is loads of room for the smart, innovative kiwi style to be successful without competing with each other along the way. There is an obvious flaw in my thinking of course, competition enhances quality, hones our products and service offerings and forces the cream to rise to the top, a very valid perspective but surely we can do this on a global stage and enhance our offerings through partnerships and collaboration within NZ Inc?

It’s amazing what can come from disparate people coming together from differing perspectives, skills and experience bases to solve a problem. Government and it’s extensive resources have a larger role to play in facilitation and direction of it’s efforts, my experience to date however would indicate the majority of our government agencies have no idea how to become an enabler instead placing unnecessary bureaucracy and process in the way of those who can really propel our economy forward.

I’m keen to find opportunities to work with other companies and individuals as often as possible in the quest of a successful export market, are you? Food for thought anyway. Happy sharing Vic.